Himouto! Umaru-chan at a Glance

himouto umaruchan ep 1

A face only an onii-chan could love.

So, I was a bit shocked when I started watching this episode and discovered that it was a full-length episodes and not a short. Having watched the entire episode, I think this really would benefit from being a short – Umaru is such a brat that a solid twenty-two minutes of her is really too much. I kept having to pause and take a break. That it also is adapted in such a way that it feels like a 4-koma adaptation despite the manga not being such lends additional support to the idea that eight minute episodes would’ve been better.

Overall, its mildly amusing, although I strongly suspect that Umaru will try a lot of people’s patience. I’m tempted to say that she makes Kirino look not so bad by comparison, although given how much some folks hate that girl, your mileage may vary. And, while she’s definitely a very extreme example, Umaru is hardly the first anime girl to have a cutesy public face that is at odds with her at-home persona – this trope was a bit stale back when Karekano’s Yukino graced our screens! The exaggerated nature of her blobby otaku-self’s novelty wears off pretty quickly; if witnessing a teenager throwing a tantrum in real life is odious, how does it being rendered in animation make it any less so?

Ultimately, I find it more interesting to consider what Umaru’s characterization means. On the one hand, its just more proof for those of you who are convinced the class hottie is secretly a disgusting otaku just like yourself. On the other hand, Umaru is confirmation that girls are lying bitches who will trick you by acting like an angel in public while they harbor a horrible personality they’ll only unleash on you after its too late – witness her brother’s monologue about how Umaru started off polite and lovely only to degrade to slothful laziness at home contrasted with his enabling of her rotten behavior. And these don’t even have to be an either/or construction; they can easily snap together. In this construction, then, the hot girl in your year is both potentially attainable (you have the same interests! she’s actually a loser too!) and also contemptible and not worth it should you fail to attain her (she’s pretending to be nice but she’s actually a completely lazy bitch!). Useful how these things work, huh?

If you are going to watch Himouto! Umaru-chan, I strongly recommend breaking up the episodes into smaller viewing-spans or the titular himouto is going to wear you out fast. There are definitely a few laughs to have, but you’re more likely to grit your teeth just as much if you try to do it all in one go.


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