Himote House

February 8, 2019

If Tachibanakan To Lie Angle was too yuri and too boring for a short series about a group of girls living in a dorm, well, maybe Himote House turned that down a little. Despite the suspiciously sounding name of the house, it is more or less about a group of sisters and their friends living together, doing stuffs together, talking together… You get the point. But what are the chances that a house without a dick man would eventually start having yuri thoughts?

Episode 1
Tae Hongou is happy she is going to move into the house of her college friend, Kokoro Himote. Looks like Tae is very eager to be friends with all the residents that includes Kokoro’s eldest sister, Tokiyo (is she trying to be some enlightened European?), the second sister, Kinami (what’s that she’s wrestling with a one-sided love? What’s this flashback of how Kokoro was forced to be Tae’s friend because she was the closest when her skirt ripped?), childhood friend, Minamo Arai (rich girl so rich that she rented out her mansion to somebody else so she can live in a smaller place) and the cat mascot of the place, Enishi (it talks!). The girls then gather to discuss some important rules. Like laundry. But it descends into some weird talk about washing bras in nets. And then a discussion of they should label their panties because it’s the same size. Then they have this weird idea of showing off each other’s panties so they would know each other’s taste and need not label. Yeah, we must use our strong imagination to ‘see’ those pantsu they describe! I feel cheated!!! After delegating the duties, they discuss about their powers. You see, all of them have strange powers. Tokiyo can stop time, Kinami can shoot some energy projection, Kokoro can read thoughts and Minamo can copy the power of others. Tae is unsure of hers so as she tries, she unwittingly clones herself. Welcome to the club. Before bedtime, we see the girls doing skits to earn the title of the best kissing sound as they play to the scene of trying to kiss the pharaoh. Weird but impromptu funny!

Episode 2
Tokiyo has a hard time opening the bottle of nori for breakfast. Since it won’t budge, Tae has this idea of using their powers to do so. It’s no different with Tae’s clones. Weak ass. Can Kokoro read its thoughts to help open it? Nope. Minamo reading the thoughts of the dead nori? It’s dead. Tokiyo has this idea to use Kinami’s blast to spin open it and Tokiyo will use her time stopping power to adjust the angle. Why must Kokoro be holding it and be sandwiched in between Kinami and Minamo’s hadouken?! Eventually the bottle is still stuck because they spun it the wrong way. So now it’s tighter? The girls discuss the downside of their powers. Kokoro knows what men thinks and is now only into 2D. Kinami’s power often chips her nail and Tokiyo is sad that despite she can stop time, hers does not so she ages faster. They realize despite their cool abilities, this won’t get them popular. So Tae arranges a blind date? Kokoro isn’t interested in men and continues to play her dating sim. Kinami looks interested but each time her bad habits are revealed by Kokoro. Tae takes a look at her date’s handphone while Minamo wants to know the dirty stuffs he does. Tokiyo ranting about getting sexually aroused Senegalese wresting and Javanese volcano? No wonder the men all sneak away. I guess we can say that even with their abilities, they’re not even popular to begin with. For bedtime talk, the girls do skits of the worst phrases to say in a helium voice. I’ll say, any chipmunk voice sounds funny than worse!

Episode 3
The girls talk about their own ladylikeness. Is it because they do not fit into the men’s definition of ladylikeness the reason why they are unpopular? Minamo reads the 5 different traits that men find irresistible in women that include allowing cheating and being vulnerable. So what better way than to test out all the have learnt via that blind date again. You can guess they are more or less the same like the last time. No wonder the men hurry away faster this time. Failed again. When the sisters return home, they find their underwear hung out in the open. Tae who is in charge of laundry explains based on this Neo Feng Shui that has nothing to do with Feng Shui will have them be popular in no time. It doesn’t stop there. Tae has also made the sofa spikey, a fridge in the middle of the room, a room filled with bicycles, some weird uncle hiding underneath the bed, some weird grandma baking pie, the spikey ceiling caving in and worst of all, locking up Minamo in the pantry! Is this a horror house?! Because now monsters are summoned from another dimension! Oh, that’s Tokiyo’s doing. That night, a robber intrudes. Of course he bumps into all the traps and freaks out so much so he rather escape than continue with the robbery. Bedtime talk, Minamo explains some documentary quote. Pantyhose is like second skin? Like how you boil an egg and there’s a very thin layer of skin? Don’t get it but the way she said it was funny.

Episode 4
Because it’s raining outside, the girls discuss about the rules of baseballs since it is the most popular sport for men in Japan. If you’re like me who knows nothing about the game, their explanations are very alien to me. It’s like the blind leading the blind since the girls too aren’t sure of the rules and keep asking about certain specific rules in which they try to find and elaborate the answer. Like touching the base legally doesn’t mean anything near to groping. I guess there is only so much you can follow the rules so the next step is to try it out in their small quarters. Do they have enough member? Don’t worry. Tae can clone. As the girls play, they come into special and rare situations in which Tokiyo would explain so and so from the rulebook. Again, if you don’t know baseball, it’s all like Greek. In the end, they find the game boring and confusing. Bedtime talk, the girls do an impression of a death metal voice but need to say phrases that would appeal to a man’s heart. Lots of hoarse and coarse but hilarious moments! Is your heart ~kyun already?

Episode 5
It’s that time again to talk about why they don’t have boyfriends. Kinami thinks they don’t have male presence around them such as leaving the toilet seat up or hide porn underneath the bed. So they decide to come up with imaginary ex-boyfriends instead. Their imagination run wild with the cliché they thought up for each other. So are these enough to get them boyfriends? Then Enishi comes in with this ‘devastating’ news: Attractive women don’t make him think of her ex-boyfriend. Now that’s another reason why these girls can’t get a guy. For bedtime talk, Tokiyo acts as a sleazy producer trying to get Kinami the actress to go out with him and she has to try and reject all that. Then it is Enishi as Tae’s girlfriend and the cat must reject the boyfriend who insists of sending nudes. I guess it got a little bit hair raising there. Hairy nudes please!

Episode 6
Oh dear. Everyone is acting weird. They won’t even talk to each other at dinner! Kokoro who can read minds is very worried because as far as she remembers, it all started when she saw them arguing over something. She thinks that everyone hates this place and blames herself since it was her who invited her friends to live here. It goes from bad to worse as Kokoro can’t take it anymore and snaps at Minamo. If she hates this place, just say so. I wonder if Kokoro will ever get a piece of mind since she bums out at the crowded place and start hearing negative thoughts. After calming down and getting the resolve to tell everyone this shared house won’t work, the moment she returns everyone throws a surprise anniversary party for her. It has been a month since everyone moved in together. So the ‘argument’ was about who does what. To commemorate this special day, Kinami has created special house keys for each of them. Here’s to best friends and best sisters. We take a break from the bedtime talk as we see Enishi and fellow cat, Nyarin meeting a cat guide who brings them about places of interest in this Tetsugakudou temple. There are some philosophical and cat age jokes along the way too but not that I understand anyway.

Episode 7
The girls play a yuri version of the Life board game. Let your yuri imaginations run wild! Is it me or is every spot miss a turn or two because whether you are happy or sad, you just blood miss a turn! And WTF is this ultimate miss a turn f*ckery because you make the yuri god mad and hence miss 35 turns?! WTF?! Eventually we have Kanami-Tae marrying each other as well as Tokiyo-Minamo. The former married in Japan and the latter in Europe. We can see the vast treatment of same sex marriage in different continents but no matter how happy or how shocked they are… Miss a turn! In the end, Kokoro reaches the finish line but the condition for winning is for the one having the most money. Too bad they didn’t have any so it’s a draw. Probably this board game affected them so much that our pairs now are being yuri with each other! It is another death metal voice for the bedtime talk but the funniest one I find is Kokoro doing that onii-chan impression of a scared little sister not wanting to sleep alone. Who’s the scary one?!

Episode 8
The girls wake up to find the house trashed. They don’t remember much except that Tokiyo made them drink a lot. However Tokiyo isn’t around. Hence they start investigating suspicious items around but they start making fun and laugh their ass off about those so called ‘evidences’. Like that tanuki statue with a flower bouquet and a crime scene murder mark. They all seem to think Tokiyo and her Senegalese boyfriend got into some love triangle fight! Then they start adlibbing a couple of ‘suspicious’ photos that they don’t remember taking. Again they adlib and make fun of Tokiyo. When she finally returns, she suggests looking at the security camera. You mean they had a surveillance camera? It seems they were all just super drunk. But could it be some scheme by Tokiyo because that evil flash in her eyes… For bedtime talk, the girls take turn making jokes on several random topics based on “X without Y”.

Episode 9
Kokoro in a weird old man’s voice has hired Minamo as the newbie as she introduces her to the rest of this crew in this ‘important job’. Then she has Tae teach her how to draw and such. But the best way to get experience is first-hand experience on the job. Now, if you’re wondering why Enishi is spying and saying coded terms followed by Kinami’s strange mirror light dance, then the rush copying job of Tae and Minamo before passing to Kokoro to hand it to Tokiyo to ‘shoot it out’, at one point in your life you must have wondered this is how a photocopying machine works, right?! And then the mother of all anime portrait copying. So not sure this answer of Kokoro getting some anime specialist to draw but makes Minamo cosplay and pose. And then when Tokiyo starts suffocating, cue for Minamo to hold up a sign that says paper jam! For bedtime talk, the girls do some documentary quotes. The odd one is when Enishi tries to explain TPP but couldn’t, hence making several funny faces. I believe this isn’t intentional because what does a cat know about TPP?! It is Kokoro who explains in detail what it is and Enishi still looks blur. Is this supposed to be the punchline?

Episode 10
We’re starting off with bedtime talk? Anyway, the ‘competition’ is to see how to appeal to men more and they come up with funny-cum-silly ideas such as being a YouTube star, labelling boobs as good fortune, erotic moans and putting a jackpot on your belly. WTF?! Next, Tokiyo has to act out a scene whereby her boyfriend (played by Kokoro) are dating when her old otaku friend (Minamo) comes by to disrupt and she has to avert this. I don’t know, all I see is Minamo as the one ranting about being soul mates while blaming the boyfriend for any lack of communication. In the end she decides to ‘exorcise’ the boyfriend while Tokiyo just stood there doing nothing. Enishi and Nyarin visit a reflexology maid. Enishi gets his shoulders massaged and he feels good, leading to some ambiguous scenes. But when his foot (paw, rather) is massaged, he starts feeling a lot of pain. It’s the same thing for Nyarin.

Episode 11
The girls head to the public bath. Our much awaited fanservice? But I think we’ll get far more than we bargained for. As usual, it starts off slow and pretty normal. Until they start to wash each other’s backs. Because now they are making that ambiguous moaning sounds and even to a point that ahegao! While talking about crypto currency! WTF?! It feels more weird than turned on. It gets even weirder when they decide to do breast enlargement massage while continue talking about crypto currency! WTF???!!!! More ambiguous moaning until they all decide to buy the 50,000 worth of Bitcoins. Is this the part where they climax? Then it all turns out to be some scheme by Enishi to have them buy from a Bitcoin dealer. For bedtime talk, the girls agree or disagree about types of woman. Mostly they’re just making fun of themselves and having a good laugh at it.

Episode 12
This ‘special’ episode is supposedly a talk show that has the girls reminisce and summarize all that has happened. With a knight in not so shining armour as host (and fake audience laugh for cue), the girls start off by introducing themselves and I suppose their quirky behaviours are supposed to be the punch line and introduction of their personalities. And the so called recap isn’t anything much except with commentary from the girls. Then in this special segment, not sure what the girls have to write down (it all seems so random) but the worst performer will be penalized. That ‘honour’ goes to Tae. So what are they going to do to her? All just an elaborate setup just to wish her happy birthday! For the bedtime talk, the girls play a weird card game. Weird faces of guys pop up and they must make up reasons why they are not popular. If the same one pops up again and the fastest one who recite that same unpopular reason gets to keep all the accumulated cards. The one with the most cards wins. Now I can see why the girls themselves aren’t popular…

Girl Power Talk
Safe to say that the girls are not going to get popular with men any time soon. But I think it is better this way that the quintet continue to live like this and talk about their fantasies of being popular with guys and playing cheesy-cum-weird games. Because you can’t undo all that in reality, can you? Also, I read that the final episode wasn’t supposed to be a special summary. Due to production issues, they changed it to this and the original was supposed to feature the Himote sisters’ father who is an archaeologist living overseas. Wow. Are their bad luck in men so bad that it also extends to their own father? I hope it’s just a coincidence…

It is mixed feelings for me to say whether this series is boring or interesting. Kinda like in between. There are some episodes that are interesting (like the photostat metaphor) to those that are just eyebrow raising (orgasm in the public bath!!!) and some just mind boggling strange (the one where the girls got drunk and trashed the house and it is indicated that Tokiyo is the main culprit). This series doesn’t have a real plot and does have its own brand of humour but some of them I don’t think I quite understand. To me, it felt funny only because, well, it looks like it is supposed to be funny.

The other dilemma I had is regards to the girls having unique super powers each. Introduced quickly when the series started, after a short while, it is then somewhat forgotten or sparingly used. It was interesting at first to see all of the girls having some sort of weird power since normal girls living together seems to be so ubiquitous these days so the weird powers they have helps differentiate them from others. I am not sure if they keep spamming these super powers in every episode, would the series remained interesting. I mean, there is only so many time a joke of Tae multiplying herself can be funny. There is a limit of how many times Tokiyo can use her time stopping powers before it becomes stale. After all, this series is trying to explore the daily lives of the girls in as normal way as they can and don’t want the super powers to overwhelm and dilute its worth.

As we can see that the series is divided into 2 segments with the first part usually being some random skit and the second part that I have taken liberty to call it as bedtime talk as the girls are in their pyjamas getting ready to sleep. Instead of reading books to wind down, what better way than to talk and laugh at the topics in hand. Now, what strikes me for this part is how the girls sound during their conversation. You see, from the way they speak, it feels like as though they are not reading from a script and everything feels impromptu or adlib. I could be wrong and the seiyuus might just be very convincing in making their characters sound so. Therefore, even though there are a lot of jokes in this segment that I didn’t understand, I started laughing because of how natural and spontaneous the way they sound. You know what they say about laughter being infectious. So it was one of those weird moments for me whereby I was not laughing at the context of the jokes but how naturally funny they sound.

The other obvious aspect that makes this anime a lot more different than your conventional Japanese anime is the CGI. Yes, this series renders at least 98% of its animation in CGI format. Personally, the animation doesn’t look very good either. It is only passable because this is mostly drama so there aren’t any fast action bits needed (like in Houseki No Kuni). But still, I wonder if it is intentional since the CGI is still horrible and feels like low quality overall. There are some traditional hand drawn 2D works but those are just still pictures. Even so, these actually look way better! I wonder if the series would have been better if the animated parts were in this format. But that would have made the series less unique.

As this series was made by Bouncy, you thought that at least throughout the years they would have improved on their CGI animation but I am starting to also wonder if this bad CGI quality is part of their trademark. Their specialty is to animate short animes via CGI. Works I have seen from them are Boku No Imouto Wa Osaka Okan which is just passable and the oh-God horrendous Mahou Shoujo Naria Girls. No wonder…Then there are those I didn’t watch like Gdgd Fairies and Tesagure Bukatsumono. But I’m guessing they are more or less the same.

Character wise, I don’t think there is much that can be said about them. Each of them has their own quirky and strange personality like Tokiyo and her exotic cultures (I wonder if she is in some stage of chuunibyou), Kokoro the tomboy and Tae the, uhm, retard? The main running joke on them is that they are in search of love and hence many of their topics revolve around this but they often fail because they are just too quirky. If I was those guy’s shoes, I would be making one of the toughest decisions in life. Get a weird quirky girlfriend or stay single for the rest of my life. Looks like the latter outweighs the former enough for them to even give these girls a pass! And perhaps it is a good thing for everyone too. The girls get to stay together and talk more often while laughing at themselves about it. Imagine if one of them snagged a man (Kinami is most likely of candidate), how would that affect the overall mood of the house? Would she have to leave? Yeah, status quo the best.

Voice acting feels normal, nothing really special. As mentioned above, the bedtime talk that made them sound spontaneous and impromptu is one of the highlights as it makes me wonder if they are really doing a very good voice acting job or this is what they naturally sound. I mean, seiyuus mostly do naturally sound good, right? The casts (many of whom have roles in Gdgd Fairies) are Aya Suzaki as Tae (Kaede in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Satomi Akesaka as Kokoro (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Kaoru Mizuhara as Tokiyo (Gisen in Hyakka Ryouran series), Suzuko Mimori as Kinami (Nanami in Kamisama Hajimemashita), Sumire Uesaka as Minamo (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shita) and Asuka Nishi as Enishi (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic).

The opening theme is Motetaino by the Himote House girls. Sounds generally cute in its own way. The ending theme might just be a short lovely instrumental piano piece but the highlight of this part is the girls in different costumes and outfits. It reminds me why the traditional hand drawn 2D is much better than the CGI. Some of the outfits shown in this segment parodies other series such as Toki Wo Kakeru Shoujo and To Aru Kagatsu No Railgun. Neat.

Overall, this series even doesn’t take itself too seriously and if you’re like them, everything can be a joke and made fun out of. If you can tolerate the bad CGI animation and understand some of the jokes, I guess this series is decent. If you can watch Pop Team Epic that has even ‘crappier’ animation and more nonsensical outlandish jokes, you can stomach this one. Or find it boring. Because in a house that has only female residents, talking and laughing about love seems a lot better than trying out yuri and lesbianism love among themselves. It won’t be funny anymore if this turned into a Himo House (Pimp House). Yikes!