Whenever monster girls are involved, you can be sure of two things: crazy situations and lots of skin. Monster Wrestling: Interspecies Combat Girls delivers both right on its cover. It’s about monster girls and pro wrestling, with lots of ornate skintight outfits to boot. What more could a manga reader want? Well, a bit more substance would be nice, as this lavishly illustrated, bizarre take on the genre looks fantastic but can’t quite back up its glossy exterior with interesting content.
Tirol, a young Cerberus girl (humanoid in appearance but with two dog heads on either side of her head), dreams of dominating in the ring. She looks up to Kayla, the leader of the “beautiful” Bellezza group, but somehow Tirol is always a step behind the rest of the crew. She’s got to figure out how to “unleash the beast” inside and maximize her strengths so she can go wild in the ring when her opponents test her. Tirol is pushed to her limits at every turn, and her teammates don’t make it any easier. Her centaur friend Urus is always pointing out her flaws and drawling out orders for her to follow. Meanwhile, Kayla imparts tough love so Tirol and the rest of the Bellezza team can succeed against the World MonWres Entertainment group, led by the virulent Ajida.
There’s so much packed into each page that it can be hard to figure out exactly what’s going on. While each character is lovingly illustrated, the heavy shading and strange, contorted poses make it difficult to discern who’s doing what. It doesn’t help that so many of the monster girls have confusingly drawn tentacles, tails, and other appendages.
The monster girl matches are rife with amusing, mildly titillating situations, and if that’s what you’re into, you’re likely to have a blast. But there are also oddities that go beyond typical fanservice, like a monster whose attack involves bugs and centipedes crawling out of her wounds, all over Tirol’s body and into her mouth. It seems impossible for the artist to twist every monstrous situation into some kind of sexualized encounter, but somehow it keeps happening.
Meanwhile, too much time is spent prepping Tirol for her matches and berating her at every turn. It gets old watching the poor girl, despite being Kayla’s clear favorite and “hobby,” get poked and prodded and humiliated to the point of madness (unless, of course, that’s the reason you’re reading in the first place).
If you’re squeamish about eroticized horror, aren’t into women in suggestive poses wearing ahegao faces, or prefer sports manga with a focus on sports, you’re not going to enjoy Monster Wrestling. If you’re looking for something as ridiculous as possible, let ‘er rip. Just don’t expect to find a deeply engaging plot—or even to understand everything that’s going on.
publisher: Yen Press
story: Etoh Mori
art: Ruzuru Akashiba