Himouto! Umaru-Chan is hand’s down probably one my favorite anime to date and for good reason. The series started out originally as a manga by Sankaku Head before it was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine called Weekly Young Jump. There was even a video game version of the series that came out on the PlayStation Vita that released on December 3, 2015. I’m glad to say a second season for the series was announced for the fall of 2017 since I couldn’t get enough of Himouto! Umaru-chan: Complete Collection from beginning to end.
Umaru Doma is the perfect high school girl everyone admires and wishes to be someday. She’s a good girl who earns good grades, is kind to her peers, and can complete any task set down in front of her with relative ease. Once she gets home though, Umaru undergoes a drastic change in personality and appearance.
The pretty clothes come off, her hamster blanket comes on, and from there everything is fair game! Umaru overindulges in video games and junk food, refusing to budge an inch as she watches her latest anime episodes. Umaru will throw tantrums, whine, and cry until she gets what she wants from her poor older brother Taihei that has to put up with her crazy antics on a daily basis, but somehow the two always seem to find a compromise.
One of the reasons I ended up loving Umaru so much is because she’s easily relatable. The feeling of shedding the day’s stresses away to settle down and play a few video games and binge watch anime is an AWESOME day in my book. While she’s a bit nutty in how she whines and complains to her brother, throughout each episode, there is never a feeling of mean-spiritedness. There are times where she will overwhelm Taihei’s patience and he may snap at her, but for the most part, the two always seek out each other’s company.
While the anime is touted as being a part of the slice-of-life category, it certainly never felt that way. Umaru is always up to shenanigans from planning out her next banquet of junk food to participating in game tournaments at her local arcade. I couldn’t help but smile every time parodies of big gaming names like ‘Gapcom’ and famous console systems like the ‘NHES’ were brought up either. These were small treats I appreciated that had me grinning from ear to ear at the cheekiness of the acknowledgments.
The constant balance between Umaru’s public persona and her private life behind closed doors is juggled throughout the episodes. She has a few close calls where people almost figure out her ‘secret’ identity where she has to work fast to cover up her secrets. The only question the anime left me with – which I hope is covered in the second season – is why Umaru changed the way she did after moving in with Taihei.
If gaming and junk food don’t sound like a good time, I don’t know what is! Personally, watching Umaru in Himouto! Umaru-chan: Complete Collection made me itch to have a controller in my hand and play a few classic ‘NHES’ games myself. The other addition I liked is since the anime has Japanese and English Audio, it’s easy to watch while I’m working. I look forward to the second season and to spending more time with Umaru-chan while munching on some Hot Cheetos.