Book Review: “Monster Girl Doctor Zero” by Yoshino Origuchi

Cover of "Monster Girl Doctor Zero (Light Novel)" by Yoshino Origuchi
Cover of “Monster Girl Doctor Zero (Light Novel)” by Yoshino Origuchi

I’m back with another book review, and this time I’m reviewing “Monster Girl Doctor Zero” by Yoshino Origuchi! This book acts as the prequel to the main Monster Girl Doctor series, so both newcomers and longtime fans of the series will be able to pick it up easily. I only watched the Monster Girl Doctor anime in the past, which followed part of the main series (and does not have a second or third season, as of this writing). However, when I learned of a prequel book to the series, I knew I had to pick it up and see how it connected to the main series.

Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:

“Before Glenn Litbeit opened his own clinic, he was just a med student—in an academy full of monsters! Take a trip back through time in this prequel volume about young Glenn’s trainee days at the lab run by his upperclassmen Sapphee and Lime. Dog-headed girls, hypersensitive marionettes, amorous silkworm-ladies and more—with such tantalizing adventures in consultation under his belt, it’s no wonder Glenn became the doctoral sensation he did!”

Worldbuilding Development: 3 out of 5 stars

For longtime fans who wanted more insight on Glenn’s time studying to be a doctor, this book does deliver that insight. It also gives some great background information on the monster and human war that happened before the events of this book. Sadly, the book doesn’t delve into huge amounts of detail on the previous war, which is unfortunate since it’s a plot point I remember being mentioned more often in the anime (and even then, it wasn’t a lot).

I also found it hard to really get into reading the medical examination parts of the book. Those examinations are a major part of the series for obvious reasons (medical setting and story development), so my inability to enjoy reading those scenes made that point hit harder for me. I think this is due to a lack written description. There is more emphasis on the reactions and dialogue taking place during the examinations than the actual procedures themselves.

The lack of describing the procedures is unfortunate, since having more of it could lend to more worldbuilding about monster biology and so on. You don’t have to worry about ‘writing’ description in a manga/anime so much. This is because you have the physical images/anime depicting those physical details. But in a light novel with very few pictures and relying on the written word, having actually-written description is more important to visualize those details.

Plot Development: 3 out of 5 stars

This book plays out in a slice-of-life type of style, with the book consisting of various flashbacks from Glenn’s time as a doctor. More specifically it focuses on when he first joins the school and, later on, his time before he graduates. I wish there was more time spent on Glenn working with his classmates and how they reacted to his skills. I would like more insight on that because he’s the only human at the school, while the rest are monsters. Given that this also takes place just after the war between humans and monsters finished up, I’m surprised there wasn’t much tension surrounding this still.

It’s revealed by the end of the book that Glenn has lost his memory of his time studying to be a doctor. This is because of an accident that took place before his graduation. Thankfully, Sapphee, Lime, and Chuthilly were able to help him recover physically. But, it’s left unknown whether his memory loss is because of the accident itself, or because something went wrong during their procedure to save his life at the time. Either way, I’m interested in seeing how this affects Glenn in future related books (if not already addressed in the main series).

Character Development: 3 out of 5 stars

I liked reading Glenn and Sapphee overall. Both were fun to read, and they don’t deviate much from how they are portrayed in the main series. I wish there was more of Chuthilly’s presence, since she’s a main part of the school. However, I did enjoy reading Lime and her attempts to jog Glenn’s memory inbetween flashback stories.

Unfortunately, most of the other characters introduced in this book don’t get much of a role to play outside of being patients to Glenn and so on. I know that’s a staple of the series to have different types of monster girls highlighted as patients for Glenn to work on once or twice before they fade into the background, but

Overall, I’m rating this book 3 out of 5 stars!

Any longtime Monster Girl Doctor fans might enjoy reading this book for some expanded worldbuilding and backstory, but don’t expect to find an entire encyclopedia’s worth of lore. However, it does make for some good light reading, and is also a good introductory book to the rest of the series for newcomers.

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