Ah Monster Girl Encyclopedia, I try to stay away from the waifu side of this hobby for 2 main reasons. First, people like WeebInvestments already have amazing channels full of that type of content, so much more knowledgeable then I’ll ever be. Second there is A LOT, like so much it would be nearly doubling the Archives to even try to keep up with them. Still, a few sets I just cannot resist like that wonderful Beast Mother set or this kind of incredible Monster Girl Encyclopedia release.
WARNING: While not completely nude, this set would still be considered NSFW trading cards by many.
Table of Contents
This box has been on my grail list since the beginning of this project. I remember seeing it as I was hunting around AliExpress in the early days trying to figure out how any of this works. While I wouldn’t yet call myself an expert – I have now placed many orders with all kinds of vendors. One of the most important things to understand about shopping there is that the product pages have multiple products on them and the picture you are looking at does not necessarily match the selected product. Always click the little box for the product you want before adding to card, and verify it again before check out.
Back to the product itself here, it is quite rare. That’s because it is a few years old now, and originally released in Japan. This being from Japan is also why Monster Girl Encyclopedia costs so much, vendors usually sell this for 60-80 dollars. They have to import it from Japan and then re-export it to wherever you are. There is one vendor though who consistently sells this for around 40$ – DITMOGF.
If that vendor name looks sus, you aren’t alone, I knew for a while that they were selling this cheaper – but why? I assumed it was some kind of scam so I avoided them. However I also ended up with a coupon that bought this price down to just 35$. That’s about what I spend on the typical 10-yuan box so I figured – what the heck? I put in my order, expecting nothing to ever show up.
A few weeks later, a tiny little box was on the porch and look at this – they actually sent me the correct product! I’ve since spoken to a few others who also bought boxes from this vendor with no problems, so it does seem like a safe way to order Monster Girl Encyclopedia. When your alternative is 70-100$ on Ebay – it felt worth the risk, at least to me.
A box contains 20 packs with 5 cards in each. There are no redemption cards either so you will actually get 5 real cards in each pack. That’s configured more like a 5-yuan product would be, but this is priced above 10-yuan levels.
Monster Girl Encyclopedia: The Set
This franchise is much larger than just trading cards. Monster Girl Encyclopedia was originally published as an actual book. Not really a manga, it was more of a fictional travel log following an unnamed explorer as they documented all the strange creatures is Monster Girl Land. The franchise was started by a single artist, Kenkou Cross with the first edition back in 2010.
Kenkou drew all the artwork and wrote descriptions of each of the Monster Girls, like their habitat, behaviors and favorite foods. A “Monster Girl” is a cryptid meaning a mostly mythological being. Think unicorns, dragons, mermaids, that kind of thing. These are specifically half human / half… something else, kind of like a Centaur. They are all women, but retain some of the characteristics of their cryptid half.
Since it started there are now over 50 published works and an extensive wiki which is where I’m getting all this information from and linking to. Monster Girl Encyclopedia is a wide ranging franchise, mostly fan driven, kind of like SCP Foundation in that sense. Kenkou now works with a circle of other artist and writers to create the works and companies have also published ancillary products following the same theme — like these trading cards we’re talking about today.
The pack art I’ve scanned and included above tells us all the information I can find about this set. Unlike nearly every other product I’ve looked at – I cannot find any kind of advertising, flier or even a sell sheet for this product. So I cannot find anything like a full Monster Girl Encyclopedia checklist.
From the pack we know that the set contains 99 cards. separated into high and low rarities. At the bottom there are 36 C, common, cards and 27 R or rare cards. These make up the bulk of the set and are the main cards you will be pulling, 3-4 per pack. Then we see 18 different SR, or super rare, you’ll get one of these in a pack. The higher rarities are smaller, like SRR has only 9 cards, UR only 5 and PTR only 4. From what I’ve heard you can expect to find 4-5 SRRs in a box and 1-2 URs. I’ve never seen a PTR, they might be case promos or case hits – I’m not sure.
I’ve got all the scans uploaded here, but let’s take a look at a few cards so we can understand what everything means – and just see some of this really cool artwork.
First up is that wicked looking Centipede Lady. That’s quite an image, and a great introduction to what this category is all about. This is an R level card and features some excellent foil and refraction work to help bring out the artwork without darkening the card too much. The back of the cards are packed with the type of information you would find in the actual books. I tried auto-translating one in case you are curious:
This translation is for the “Chimera” card, a UR I pulled. It isn’t perfect, for example what I translated as “Death” looks very wrong. I think that should be “Lore” or “Details” or something like that, not death, but I was unable to find any other translation. If you know a better one please let me know. So you see it is very Pokemon-like, with species, habitat, behavior and diet. And then a more prose-like description of the being on the bottom.
Some more cards up above. On the left is the Chimera UR card we were just looking at. This card has significantly upgraded foil treatments with some awesome purple cracked ice highlights. It looks great, check out the video! On the left is something you may not recognize, this is called a “Ochimusha” which means Fallen Warrior.
This is a term used to describe a Samurai who is separated from their group in battle and left behind enemy lines. The Ochimusha must try to survive and get back to their side, but will be ruthlessly hunted and hated by everyone they meet. The most likely fate for Ochimusha was to be beheaded for bounty prizes. Monster Girl Encyclopedia gets dark really quickly.
Turning to something a little brighter, checkout this common card featuring the Akaname. This is a type of Yokai, or Japanese Devil, originally thought to invest bath houses that weren’t kept clean. The name literally translates as “Scum Licker” as “Aka” refers to dead skin and dirt and all the scum that washes off you when you bathe. Children would be convinced to clean the baths by their parents out of fear of tempting a Akaname if they don’t.
But this card is depicting a slight variant of that from a 1780 publication, this variant appears as a beautiful woman who approaches you while you bathe. If you invite her into your bath, she will claim to help wash you, starting with your back. Instead though she uses her rough tongue to lick the skin and muscle off of you until only your bones remain. Another cautionary tale in demonic form.
Wait that wasn’t brighter at all. Ah well, this is Monster Girl Encyclopedia after all – not flowery nice girl encyclopedia.
So there’s Monster Girl Encyclopedia, a kind of awesome set of trading cards. Sure the artwork alone could sell this product, but as you see you will also learn quite a bit about Japanese folklore and history if you actually read up on each of these. Interesting, if terrifying, indeed. I’m glad I finally picked up a box, I don’t think I’ll get more just due to the costs but it is a great addition to the Archives.