Mo Black
Mo Black
Feb 15 · 4 min read

Nah writing essays is what we do here so y’know write away!

I will concede that, when I think about it, I wasn’t exactly all that nuanced when I spoke about sex work in the context of Interspecies Reviewers. Work under capitalism is exploitive, so sex work in this universe would involve some kind of exploitation on a basic level. However we don’t really have more evidence of how these brothels actually work so there isn’t much more that could be said either.

I think, in general, at least when I call a piece of media sexist, racist, or whateverist, I’m referring less to whether or not we can draw a 1–1 parallel between the fictional world and reality, and more about what kinds of attitudes the show justifies with the premise itself. The point is less to say “oh if you like this show you’re a bad person”, and more to say, whether or not you enjoy the show it’s good to think about how your shows stack up politically.

So on the sexism, there are two main components that combine into one. The men only ever think about women in terms of how good they are for sex, to the point of rating them objectively based on their physiological compatibility. They are also no female voices on the show. In fact, quite hilariously, when the men want to find out what sex is like for women, they literally turn themselves into women before just, like, asking one?

And you could say “oh well Mo, it’s a comedy the point is not to make some commentary on gender”, and I’d agree with you. The thing is it’s not necessary for the comedy that the show end up this way. I think there are plenty of ways you could take the idea of a bunch of people who like going to brothels without mirroring the same attitudes actual sexist men have towards women.

So yeah there is no exact translation between bird girls, hyena girls, and like real life women. But there is a 1–1 translation of how the protagonists view women and how a lot of men see women and try to compare like what sex is like with a tall or short or black or white or Asian or big boobs or small boobs or whatever other kind of girl.

It’s a similar deal with the race stuff. But this is just, more generally, when you have different fantasy races and you’re not careful, you can run into issues where you’re repeating those same attitudes just in a fantasy setting. So like, in a different story, maybe there’s a race of Elves an they’re the “good” race, and there’s a race of Goblins and they’re the “banker” race, and there’s a race of Dark Orcs and they’re the “evil” race. And maybe it’s not on purpose but you’ve kind of made an allegory for how racists see race. It’s the same except there’s a race of birds and they’re the “submissive” race, and there’s a race of hyenas and they’re the “masculine” race and a race of cows and they’re the “gigantoboob” race, and so on.

The protagonists being homophobic wouldn’t surprise me in terms of caracterization, but for it to be a character flaw the story needs to call them out on it. In those scenes, Skunk and Zel act like audience surrogates. They’re supposed to be surprised with you to learn that one of the guys also likes guys. As for the transphobia, insisting someone identifies as a man just because they have a penis is inherently transphobic.

If you’re biased in thinking about Interspecies Reviewers, I’m at least as biased as you. I don’t mind ecchi, I’m not the kind of SJW that thinks all fanservice or all big boobs are sexist. I guess what I’m looking for in ecchi is for things to feel more real. The female lead can have ridiculous, jiggling KK titties if they want, but I want her to feel like a person. I want like actual flirting and attraction that feels human. Whether it’s a light-hearted comedy or a gritty cyberpunk action series, that’s not impossible to do.

I don’t really get that out of Interspecies Reviewers. When I say it’s porn, I think I say that less in terms of how much is exposed, and more in terms of what the point is. A good chunk of each episode is just the sex part for you to enjoy. There is comedy, but it takes the back seat more or less. When I watch this show, I feel like the point of it is to jack off. Fap material is fine, but if it’s just that it’s not 10/10 on MAL, y’know?

I think there are two parts to anything I write. Whether or not I liked Interspecies Reviewers, which I happened not to have, has no bearing on if you find it enjoyable or not. That part you can take however you want. The other bit is the more analytical/political aspect. Which I hope, even if you disagree, was an interesting exercise.

Thanks for reading this and reading my other stuff too! I appreciate it honestly

Mo Black

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Mo Black

Leftist. Media analysis, fiction, and the art of writing the perfect story. YouTube:

More from Mo Black

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