Yokai Girls is one of the first titles to be released by Seven Sea’s mature imprint, Ghost Ship. ‘Mature’ in this case means a lot of nudity and revealing outfits. It’s essentially a harem series; one guy plus many women. The women, however, are yokai (monster) girls; a set up which has become just as cliche in recent years as the harem itself.
That said, Yokai Girls manages to be a bit better than the average monster girl series. The characters are more likeable, and the world they inhabit is more interesting. The Yokai have a backstory (somewhat reminiscent of American Gods); and each of the yokai girls has their own motivation that extends a bit beyond a one-dimensional character trait. As an added bonus, it’s set in Akihabara, which is cool to see since it reminds me of my visit there.
With most harem series, it feels like characters are added to check off a list of romantic archetypes – the serious woman, the drunk woman, the ninja woman, etc. The characters in Yokai Girls, while still being archetypes to some extent, at least help to drive the plot and change the course of the protagonist’s life in material ways.
The art is above average as well. While not stylistic or unique, it’s highly refined and easy to follow.
If you like standard manga harem comedies, and want a step up from Monster Musume, Yokai Girls might be what you’re looking for. It doesn’t break new ground, but it does what it does pretty well.