I’ll admit that I haven’t heard much about Interspecies Reviewers. A “sex comedy” based on a manga of the same name. The series focuses on the human Stunk, the elf Zel, and the fallen angel Crimvael, as they “review” the sexual experiences each humanoid species provide. It should be no shock that this series has caused some controversy. Many streaming services dropped the series due to its sexual content. The dropping of the series has resulted in accusations of “censorship.”
cen·sorship/ the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.
Interspecies Reviewers are available elsewhere so the censorship argument isn’t accurate. So how offensive is it? After watching the first (uncensored) episode, I would say it depends. I can make a case that sexism runs rampant in this episode. All the “females” are “succu-girls.” Descendants of the succubus, they all have a “need” for sex to survive. The very profitable and politically supported brothels are good sought-after jobs. Another potential issue is Crimvael, who’s an intersex angel.
intersex/ an individual having reproductive organs or external sexual characteristics of both male and female.
Based on this one episode Crimvael’s being intersex doesn’t seem to matter much. However, Crimvael has been subjected to several crotch shots that the male characters aren’t. I would imagine that this objectification continues. Also because Crimvael is an angel, religious organizations could find that offensive. Although they would surely find this entire series offensive, so I guess it wouldn’t matter much.
Finally, the fact that the female prostitutes are reviewed solely on their sexual value is well shallow. However, that’s the entire point of this series. The only female character who’s not supposed to total objectified is Meidri. She’s a large-breasted “birdmaid” waitress working at Ale & Eats. She considers Stunk, Zel, and Crimvael to be despicable. However, she is indirectly subjected to a “review” when she reads how they rated a birdmaid prostitute. Although I did learn what a “cloaca” was.
clo·a·ca/ a common cavity at the end of the digestive tract for the release of both excretory and genital products invertebrates (except most mammals) and certain invertebrates. Specifically, the cloaca is present in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes.
The biggest controversy wasn’t in the content of the series, but the cancellation. Fans of the series criticized streaming sites like Funimation, for abandoning the series midseason. After its cancellation, Interspecies Reviewers garnered a surge in popularity. However, this resulted in some more controversy. Anime YouTubers with millions of followers encouraged their fans to upvote the series on mass. Their followers gave the series a score of 10. This caused Interspecies Reviewers to shoot up the rankings, reaching as high as second.
The MAL moderation team announced that they will introduce “a new method to combat vote brigading.” Currently, the series is ranked 1323 with a score of 7.59. While the “vote brigading” was harmless but annoying, I can’t imagine that these anime fans thought that Interspecies Reviewers was a superior series than say Hunter X Hunter (5), Mob Psycho 100 2 (19) or Kimetsu no Yaiba (21). Not only was MAL justified, but it was also the right decision to maintain the integrity of the rankings.
This entire controversy could have been avoided if the streaming services bothered to watch the anime first. The licensing of anime is often done on “faith alone.” Furthermore, the Interspecies Reviewers’ manga series is not as graphic. Meaning that reading the source material isn’t going to be a solution. I don’t find Interspiece Reviewer to be all that offensive and I watch the uncensored version. That said if you, like me, have seen series from the ’70s and ’80s this series wouldn’t offend you. The series did nothing for me but I did learn what a “cloaca” was.