Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Comedy, School, Slice of Life, Chibi Transformation
First Aired: Summer 2015, 12 episodes + an OVA
Summary: Umaru is a renowned beautiful 16-year-old girl living in the city with her elder brother Taihei. In public she is a perfect sister with a kind heart, intelligence and popularity. Everybody admires the Umaru they see in school and out on the town. Who would believe that Umaru undergoes a complete transformation at home? When I say transformation, I mean full on transforming. Umaru literally takes on a whole new form when she is at home. Besides changing into her hamster suit, she goes full-on chibi in appearance when she is alone or just with her brother. The transformation is just the beginning, her behavior is entirely different as well. Sleeping, gaming, watching TV, eating junk food, and drinking cola is how she spends her time at home, leaving all the housework and chores to her brother. Taihei is always a responsible adult and tries to convince Umaru to be more motivated at home, but she is convincing in continuing her lazy ways.
Himouto Umaru-chan is a sheer delight to watch. I am sure that all of us can relate to Umaru is one way or another, whether it is spending a whole day at home playing games or getting home after a day at work/school and just being able to relax in your hamster suit. Speaking of which, that hamster outfit is something else. I am sure we will start to see those pop up at anime booths soon. It would be such a simple cosplay, just a hamster suit and a 2-liter of cola!
The episodes of Himouto are mainly episodic but have some story that develops as the season progresses, mainly in the form of character relationships, romantic and otherwise. Besides that, the animation is bright and pops out of the screen. The opening is wild and sporadic, which fits the tone of the show. It is one of those openings that is long and leaves you with one eyebrow raised, but also leaves you watching it over and over, not skipping it. I will just say this, there are packs of hamsters at a couple points in the opening.
You might enjoy this if: You like light-hearted Slice of Life anime that you don’t have to take too seriously. You might like it if you can relate to Bilbo Baggins, before he left the Shire. I feel like Umaru would do well with the Hobbit lifestyle.
You might not like it if: You want an anime that is dark and sinister or has a lot of action/adventure. A good portion of the show takes place in Umaru’s house, which is not that large or exciting from an adventurer’s perspective. You might not enjoy this series if you relate more to Bilbo Baggins after he left the Shire with Gandalf and those menacing dwarves.
Note to the Viewer: Make sure to watch until the end of the episodes. Sometimes there are several minutes left to watch after the credits finish. My favorite is when it shows the aftermath of Umaru and Taihei watching a scary movie late at night. I won’t give it away, but it’s so funny because it reminds me of what I would do in the same situation!
AMV – Same by Hiikari – Re-Evolution
(This is a great AMV for letting you know what the show is all about)