Type: Who is this for?
Synopsis: For reals, who is the target demographic? At first, I thought it was for the Monster Musume crown. You know, perverts. Then I saw the first five minutes and I thought, OK, this is for lesbians. Yuri bait, got it. But then we get a lot of scenes with little girls and I thought, loli lovers? You know, criminal perverts. Then a bunch of discrimination stories and historical allegories where thrown at me, and I just gave up. I don’t know who this is for, I just know it’s pretty good.
Pros: A Centaur’s Life is a pretty good anime. While I can’t pin point it’s exact audience, can say that this is a dramatic comedy in the slide-of-life genre. Despite the animal-people, it’s pretty down to Earth and mellow. The closest match in terms of tone is Hinamatsuri. So there are funny-ish moments, but they are interspersed with cute moments and dramatic moments. Most episodes revolve around two or three segments centered around different characters. These can me as mundane as studying for a test, or as goofy as the girl’s checking each other’s privates to see if they are normal looking (which is a real segment that happens). This brings me to something you need to know before watching: some of these segments veer into very opposite directions. This is what I meant when I said that the target demographic and audience is difficult to identify. One segments could be about teaching an underclassmen not to take archery so seriously, but the next episode has a straight up holocaust story. The tone of the show ebbs and flows from silly to gloomy, depending on the story. This is actually pretty well summarized by the intro, which has silly moments, fan service moments, sad moments, and odd moments. So if you want a realistic down to earth show, that’s also swarming with anime-people, this is your show (p.s the English dub is really well acted).
Cons: For me, this shows biggest sin it that it’s hard to summarize. Because a lot of stuff happens that explores different facets of it’s world. On the surface, this is show about high school girls. They each have different personalities, different interests, and different lives outside of school that inform their personalities. Hime is beautiful, but also gentle and a little sensitive, which makes sense because she’s a single child, but also kinda funny because she’s a giant centaur. Manami is composed and blunt, which makes sense because she’s been helping raise her four younger sisters, but is ironic because she’s an angel. Quetzalcoatl is just as gentle and sweet as Hime, but that’s in contrast to her snake life appearance. Out of all the characters, Hime and Manami get the most screentime. However, Hime is usually accompanied by her friends Nozomi and Kyouko as they do girl stuff. Manami on the other hand is usually shown taking care of her triplet sisters (The Chi’s) and her toddler sister while her Father tries to make it as an artist. I really liked that the show takes time to explore the character’s home lives, which is usually ignored in slice-of-life high school shows. It helped flesh out each of the main cast. But again, this is just what the show is on the surface. You go a little deeper and you become very aware that the theme of the show is discrimination. In the show, the world has strict anti-discrimination laws enforced by government agencies almost in real time. As the show goes on, you learn little bits and pieces of the world’s history, and how certain races interact with one another. And, to the writing’s credit, we do see little bits of discrimination here and there. From an interracial couple being criticized, to Hime’s friends getting weird looks for attending an all-centaur archery contest, to Quetzalcoatl getting anxious over negative media coverage about her race. And as I mentioned earlier, there is a 7 minute holocaust allegory in Episode 09 (I said the theme was deeper, not subtle). I also really liked this aspect of the show. Again, the show has a lot of different things that it did very well. It’s just that there are a LOT of different thing. So my advice would be to watch the show, but don’t binge it. But honestly, the more I look back on it, the more I like it.
Watch it: Do it one at a time. (5/5)
I loved that she told the student committee that “no, I’m not staying here longer that I have to. I have a family to take care of.”
Best Episode: Ep. 06 “Is Being Able to Retrace One’s Past and Ancestors A Reason to Be Happy or Unhappy?”/”Does Getting a Job Doing What You Love Really Bring Happiness?” (This was hard to pick, but I think this covers a lot of what the show is about).