Himouto! Umaru-chan R

March 16, 2018

Don’t really remember if this series was going to get a sequel. It wasn’t that long ago but I guess the original was popular enough so we get Himouto! Umaru-chan R as the second season. Ah yes. The beautiful and elegant sister who could do no wrong in the eyes of the public. She is the dream girl whom every guy would love to date and marry. Until you know her terrible true personality of being a spoilt brat behind closed doors. I salute to thee, big brother who has always put up and tolerated her selfish ways. Because now he is going to do all that again in this season. Hopefully, perhaps she’ll grow and mature in some ways instead of annoying us.

Episode 1
Taihei will be away for work since the deadline is near. This means Umaru is going to stay up and do whatever she wishes! Play all the games she wants, eat all the junk food she wants and certainly watch all the late night anime she wants. This is the life. Then she falls asleep and the next thing she knows, it is tomorrow’s night! OMG! She slept through 16 hours?! So when Taihei returns that night, Umaru couldn’t be glad to welcome him back. Umaru is forced to voluntarily help Taihei and Ebina pull weeds around their apartment. Because what would others think if she starts getting lazy… At first she finds it fun pulling them out but when she almost hurts herself, she starts turning into a cry-baby and threatens to call it quits. However seeing Ebina carrying on, Umaru sucks it up and continues helping her. A class football match is coming up and since UMR pulls off an accidental skill, Sylphinford wants her to teach her. UMR thought of doing so if this means she can talk to her easily. And after that ‘world class’ training, on match day it seems they scrapped the class match thingy and just randomly put girls in one team. This means it will be Umaru’s side (containing a hell lot of never-seen-before weirdoes like as though this is some shonen anime) against Sylphinford’s side. You bet she is powered up with her training. From what I see, it is basically one (wo)man team Sylphinford against Umaru and her weirdoes. The only highlight is how the ball bounces off Ebina’s boobs for an amazing own goal. In the end, Umaru’s team fought back for a 3-2 victory. Umaru thought Sylphinford was saddened by the loss after putting so much effort but seeing how her teammates are praising her, there’s nothing to worry about. Then there’s the volleyball tournament coming soon… Oh no… Umaru thought an anime about a friendship being struck just because they walk home together is crap. But in reality, looks like she yearns for that. While talking to Ebina, she sees the ‘stalkers’ following behind. Umaru invites them to walk home together and a beautiful friendship begins.

Episode 2
Alex and Bomber arrive at Taihei’s place for dinner. This is the first time Umaru sees Alex and has this strange familiar feeling (he is Sylphinford’s brother) especially when he starts to like anime. Soon she deduces he might be her rival’s brother but in the end, the power of anime has them become good friends. Taihei and Bomber discuss about Alex being hired in the company in the first place and they’re unsure. Could it be he is a spy? He sounds like he is making a suspicious call about making contact with Umaru but is promptly hung up. Umaru uses the ear pick and doesn’t put it away so Taihei accidentally steps on it. Though he plans to buy it later, he didn’t count of Umaru’s ear itching soon after. It’s hell when she can’t scratch it. Eventually Bomber helps buy many types of ear pick much to Umaru’s relief. The best ear pick is always when someone does it for you. It reminds Taihei how mom used to do it for him. Is Bomber kidding when he wants that service from Taihei? No way! Umaru hears strange rumours that her dad is German and Taihei is a famous actor. When Sylphinford invites her to her place, Umaru sees the anime posters sticking out all over the place like a sore thumb in this very traditional Japanese house. But underneath this spooky basement is a well-respected library. It seems Sylphinford brought her here to study for their tests. It is then Umaru realizes the people got mixed up the rumours of Sylphinford’s heritage with hers. Taihei teaches Umaru how to clean, especially putting things away nicely. Those that can’t? Throw it away! Then she threatens to throw away this cleaning motivational book in which he is reading. Okay, she can keep some things. But because Umaru has a habit of not putting CDs back in its original case, Taihei has a hard time doing so and allows her to leave things messy. Umaru and her friends go watch a movie. In this Detective Conan spoof, Sylphinford is fast asleep and Ebina is embarrassed her stomach would growl but thankfully the loud noise of the movie covered it up.

Episode 3
Kirie’s sanctuary at Umaru’s place is threatened now that Alex is a frequent visitor. Plus, their anime conversations are so deep that Kirie is lost. Alex brings a new dating simulation to play. At an important crossroad, Kirie uses her own experience for the decision. Alex the so called expert disagrees. In the end, Kirie’s decision turns out right, sending the anime master into despair. Taihei notices Umaru has been spending hours on a new game just to get a rare item. Not only that, he notices others around him doing the same. If you can’t beat them, join them? Taihei buys the game and plays with her. However he only restricts it to an hour a day. Responsibilities, you know. This is his way of showing her that the game can be enjoyed this way. When she finally gets the rare item, a sequel is announced. Long nights are here to stay… Bomber tells Umaru how Taihei is once nicknamed a demon because of his top scores at school. Exaggerated but not totally a lie. When they try to steal taste his cooking, Taihei becomes mad like a demon that he actually looks scary! It causes Umaru to cry! They too realize they are in the wrong because they could have done something dangerous. Kirie’s join turns into disappointment once more. Yup, Alex is here. It seems Alex has presents for them. Yes, even you Kirie. But an erotic figurine? Kirie takes it and leaves, contemplating of throwing it away. But when she remembers how her strict family doesn’t celebrate Christmas and she never receives presents for her birthday, I guess she’ll be keeping it. After all, Umaru praised her for getting a present so it isn’t all that bad. After watching that McDonald spoof ad (more like a fake Pennywise!), Umaru now wants to eat hamburgers. So she and her friends go down there to order a hamburger combo. Oh yeah! I’m lovin’ it! Umaru notices everyone around is enjoying their burger. She used to enjoy it too but does it alone. So it’s more fun eating with others, eh? She notices Ebina ordering tons of them though she says it is for later. But for now, let’s enjoy the warmth and tender juiciness of their burger before them.

Episode 4
Taihei and the guys attend an anime concert while Umaru and her friends hang out in town. Sylphinford then invites them to a Christmas dinner at her home. There is an extra place so Umaru thought it is for Alex but it turns out to be for UMR! Uh oh. Will the secret be out today? It might be somewhat exaggerated that Sylphinford starts singing praises of her friendship with UMR but everyone knows whoever this person is, is a good person. Unfortunately, UMR didn’t turn up so after everyone leaves, Umaru decides to go back to do something. This leaves Ebina alone to walk home. It won’t be for much longer as Taihei accompanies her. But this risks them of being called a couple by a kid. When Sylphinford was young and first met Santa in her home, she wanted a wish: To have Japanese friends! Santa was so confused! She talked to Alex about it and learnt that he is going to Japan to study. It made her sad since they have always been together. Not long, she soon found some company in video games. Sylphinford wakes up from this dream and guess who is at the doorstep? UMR in Santa outfit. Couldn’t be happier. On New Year’s Day, nothing wakes Umaru up more than New Year money! So after getting an envelope from Taihei, she notices another envelope. She thinks he meant to give her 2 and takes it. Then the moment of truth. He is supposed to give it to Ebina. Oh sh*t. That guilt look is all over your face, Umaru. Knowing better, she returns it. Umaru starts realizing that Taihei has always been good to her while she has been a dick to him. Yeah, took you long enough. Not wanting others to think she is always pushing him around, she starts treating him nicely the first thing he gets home from work. However he has ‘bad news’. He has been chosen to go on a business trip and he will be away for quite a while. Aww, you don’t know what you’ve lost till you lose it. Sad Umaru cries as she cannot imagine being without her dear brother for months or years. Then it turns out it will be only for 2 weeks. Disappointed? Mad? She shows her repulsion by telling him to get out of here and stay away for 2 weeks!

Episode 5
Taihei packs his bags for the trip. He gives Umaru 10,000 Yen as allowance but when Bomber comments that isn’t enough, he doubles that amount. Umaru so happy! However when she hears the business trip to Hanamatsu is famous for its eels, she throws a tantrum and insists of coming along. Taihei and the guys take a trip there. They wonder why Kanau is coming along since she has got nothing to do with it although she planned the trip. It’s written all over her face so we can guess why. To Taihei’s dismay, Umaru actually tags along! In fear of getting his bonus cut, he doesn’t introduce her and has her sit somewhere else. Upon arrival, Kanau realizes she messed up the time. The meeting is supposed to be 8pm and not 8am. This means they’re free to do their own stuffs, right? I’m sure Kanau misinterpreted Taihei’s words about looking for the future because there’s a bridal ad nearby so to speak… Taihei and Umaru do some sightseeing. This is when Umaru asks about Kanau. Don’t worry. She is her boss and the CEO’s daughter. Not dating or anything. Yet. After Umaru has her delicious eel meal, she goes home. Taihei and the guys are supposed to help a restaurant with their customer data but they end up being the chef’s assistants? The chef is sure strict. He can even tell Taihei that he has a very spoilt sister from the way he prepares the food! Then they learn he is the older brother of Ebina, Kouichirou. Taihei remembers Ebina telling him there was a particular restaurant she was looking for that her brother was working in. He left home for Tokyo 10 years ago and never heard of him since. She hopes he is doing well. The trip ends with Taihei feeling good but not Kanau. Nothing she wanted (with Taihei) was done. When Taihei returns home, the place is in a mess! Time to blow his top. All that goodness from the trip out the window. Of course he wastes no time in restoring the place back to normal. Taihei and Umaru go to give Ebina an eel foodstuff souvenir. The same for Sylphinford but she has a feeling she has seen them recently. Yeah, Alex brought back a few boxes of them. A few days later, Umaru suddenly breaks down and cries. What gives?! She starts bawling how lonely she was while he was gone. Time for some big brother comfort.

Episode 6
Kirie won third place at a prefectural swimming tournament. Her classmates praise her but she keeps her guard up. Later as Kirie shows her certificate to Umaru, accidentally a storybook Kirie wrote using Umaru as the main character drops out. Fearing this is insulting, on the contrary, Umaru is interested to read it despite Kirie very much embarrassed about it. Sylphinford wears a kimono to school. Though it is a few days late past Hinamatsuri. As Umaru and the rest wore kimonos last year, Sylphinford feels the need for all of them to wear and take pictures of it. This time at her home. Meet her young Japanese mom. And since she is some kimono champion, the kimono that she puts on them must be perfect! Because of that, they do lovely and beautiful. They enjoy themselves with some refreshments. Kirie still believes her art is not there and wants to sketch Umaru. But as Umaru is conscious, Kirie will use her special skill of removing her presence to observe Umaru in her ‘natural habitat’. After a few sketches, Kirie feels something is missing. Till Taihei returns, she puts all her tools away in a flash. It is when Kirie realizes Umaru’s biggest smile is when she is around Taihei. Kirie then goes to shop for art tools but Taihei and Ebina stumble into her. She tries to hide them and Taihei asking some questions makes her feel uncomfortable. He then realizes Ebina was trying to be considerate and cover for her. He prompts Ebina as a kind person and this makes her fluster. Now Ebina is too conscious being around Taihei. Umaru is complaining it was so hot last night and couldn’t sleep. She bugs him to use the air-cond but he dismisses of using it so early. Something about the body will fail to regulate temperature if grown too dependent on it. Huh? I think I’ll buy the high cost reason. Eventually he got a stand fan from Bomber to cool things down. Umaru sees him lying in an awkward position near the glass door. Wow. Look at all the stars! Taihei sure knows his stuffs as he points out all the constellations in the sky. Too bad Umaru is already fast asleep. I don’t think he was that boring… Next morning, it looks like nobody got a good night’s sleep. What’s the problem this time? Mosquito bites.

Episode 7
Kirie thinks it is going to be a fine day today. At least this is what her horoscope fortune says. Although she gets to go to the amusement park with Umaru and co, ‘bad luck’ starts happening to her like tripping on her shoe lace, not tall enough to ride certain rides and her hairband snaps causing her to scream (more like opera singing). Umaru takes her to ride the Ferris Wheel as Kirie laments she is such a boring girl that Umaru will never invite her out again. But Umaru puts on a big smile and says she had fun. It raises Kirie’s spirits as they go ride the next ride. Well, with the rest of the friends. And Ebina’s boobs are constantly in Kirie’s face… Thank physics and momentum… Umaru goes to receive an award for being the top of her academic grade. Also receiving this award is a loli named Hikari Kongou but she is from the special advanced placement class. She feels she has seen her somewhere before. Snippets hint to us that Taihei taught her about the stars. Umaru asks Alex if he ever feels lonely and wants to go back to Germany and be with his German friends. He reveals he had none as he spent his time watching anime in his room. Until a ‘saviour’ suggested he go study at a Japanese high school. He is grateful for that because he made lots of Japanese friends and had lots of great time with them. After Alex leaves, he gets a call from Kanau. He quickly rushes to her place after hearing Hikari’s award and feels the need to celebrate it by watching the entire anime Blu-ray collection? No thanks. Hikari will pass. It is revealed that Kanau is his ‘saviour’. 10 years ago at Akita when Ebina was suffering from heatstroke, Kouichirou assured her she will not die and cooked her a great meal. That was the last she saw of him. By the time she recovered, he was gone. Though she knew where he went, she never understood why he left (for a job). So when Ebina moved into this apartment, meeting and interacting with Taihei made her nervous because he reminded him of her kind brother. Although she still flusters around him and has that same fuzzy feeling when she had a heatstroke, this one isn’t scary but a happy kind of fuzzy.

Episode 8
The horror! Kirie’s parents will be away and she will be left alone with Bomber! So seeks for permission to stay with Umaru in which Taihei agrees. So as not to leave that afro guy alone, Taihei will stay there in Kirie’s place. Kirie and Umaru have a great time together. It brought back some old memories where Kirie used to love Bomber very much. But at Bomber’s place, that drunk guy is crying and complaining to Taihei how Kirie now doesn’t love him. Tough times… After reading a romantic comedy manga and Umaru’s advice to believe what she wants to, Kirie decides that she is going to support Ebina. So by asking her straight up she is in love with Taihei? Oh my. What can Ebina say? That is why she is going to discuss that with her and shall root for their love. Yup, this is awkward. With Umaru spending too much time indoors, Taihei decides to get her outside and this fireworks festival is the perfect excuse. She agrees to come but calls her other friends too. Sylphinford has a makeover for all of them in traditional kimonos before they hit the festival grounds. It was a fine outing. In school, Sylphinford and Kirie describe a kind person Taihei is but of course their love is not of the romantic kind. Still, Ebina is dead shock. When Umaru goes home and thinks she can ‘scare’ Taihei from behind. However Hikari usurps her and hugs him, calling Taihei her onii-chan. He doesn’t recognize her as Hikari snarls at Umaru. Taihei has to be the kind guy by inviting her in (thinking she is Umaru’s friend). There is a ‘standoff’ between the girls as Umaru thinks Hikari knows about her secret lazy identity when she was actually talking about herself. Taihei finally remembers who Hikari is. She is Kanau’s little sister. Umaru is not impressed as she still calls Taihei her onii-chan. Hikari leaves but will come back another time. One last snarl at Umaru… Umaru questions Taihei about things like why Hikari calls him so but it’s been so long he can’t remember.

Episode 9
Bomber gives Taihei his camera since he has a new one. Umaru notices old photos in it so Taihei takes it out as not to be rude. Then they take many photos of each other. Apparently this is Bomber’s ‘gift’ to Taihei as he wants him to take pictures of Umaru now as she will not be the way she is forever. When the usual arcade is closed, Sylphinford suggests heading to an old department store. It’s quite a nice but quiet place and it soon becomes their hangout. Sylphinford is quite sentimental hanging out. Umaru doesn’t understand why until the place is closed down and demolished. Hence Umaru suggests to her friends to hang out at an amusement park the next time. Ebina visits to cook and join them for dinner. Apparently this is part of Kirie’s plan to support Ebina to get Taihei. So that way is via cooking? Oh well, a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Being this close to him makes her very conscious. Umaru tries to help out to hide the fact she cannot cook but blunders. So much so a huge fire scares Ebina and Taihei had to catch her. Umaru is sorry and reveals she cannot cook but Ebina can’t hear since her mind is going all fuzzy with Taihei holding on to her. Umaru is not amused when Taihei brings Hikari back for dinner. Coincidence? She thinks not. Time for a showdown… They compete among each other to make pancakes. Fail! Ultimately it is Taihei who makes the best pancakes. However he is eating their failed creations because they said they were making for him. The girls feel bad as Hikari apologizes for lying that she met him by coincidence when it is in fact intentional. Umaru returns the award she left behind the last time but soon she gets mad because nobody praises her for getting that same award too. Umaru plays with her hamsters but gets lectured by Taihei for treating them as toys. He warns her of the stress little animals can die from. For the next few days, Umaru doesn’t take them out until one night Taihei works late. But it might be the hamsters that are considerate towards Umaru because they notice her feeling the blues that her big brother is not around so they play with her. When Taihei comes back, he scolds Umaru for playing with his hamsters. Yeah, they look like having fun…

Episode 10
Once again, UMR ‘bankrupts’ the video arcade’s vending machine prizes. Sylphinford is impressed as usual and invites her to her home. UMR learns she has the same feasting habit on snacks while watching anime. When Sylphinford is interested to play this Pokee game (thinking it is a tradition of Japan), UMR raises her voice to protest because it’s a game where 2 people eat 1 end of the stick until it leads up to a kiss. She apologizes and they go watch an anime. So happens that anime has the characters play Pokee. Sylphinford gets embarrassed and understands what she meant. Hikari visits again one night but Umaru has caught her with her pants down because she left her home without telling Kanau. Hikari is obviously panicking as Umaru tries to hint to Taihei to let Kanau know. However Umaru knows what it is like to eat alone so she allows Hikari to finish dinner with them before reluctantly giving Taihei the green light to allow her to visit once in a while. When Hikari gets home, she gets scolded by Kanau as she knew she snuck out of the house knowing she would be working late today. Sylphinford talks to UMR she was in Japan many years as a kid before. She fears the place she last visited has changed a lot. But UMR brings her there and surprisingly it has not changed a bit. This also prompts sad memories because it was the last place she visited before returning to Germany and will not see Alex anymore. They end up having a boat ride as this was what she did with Alex. Ebina is nervous should would fail her tests. Sylphinford suggests a study group at her library. Ebina claims she is weak in all subjects but it turns out she does pretty well in them. Umaru believes she has performance anxiety. They suggests way to allay her anxiety but it only made it worse. Ebina remembers the first time she transferred to Tokyo from Akita. She felt like a ‘foreigner’. She wanted to talk to Kirie but heard nasty rumours about her. She tried Sylphinford and because she was the first one to speak to her, she took Ebina’s words as a challenge. When Umaru comes by, Sylphinford throws another challenge to her. Looking back, Ebina wondered if they could be friends and now they are. She starts laughing and feels better. She has no troubles acing her tests and hopes to continue hanging out with her friends forever. Though, she still feels anxiety when Sylphinford offers any sort of challenge.

Episode 11
Bomber couldn’t find Kirie so when he visits Taihei’s place, he finds her there. He then discovers she stole his cream puffs to share it with Umaru. He doesn’t get mad at her but is glad she has a place to hang out instead of being alone at home. Just when the siblings look like they reconciled, it’s bad blood between them again when they discover they each call Umaru by a different nickname. Umaru then makes peace with both of them over a cola. Taihei visits the bookstore to get Umaru some book. He sees Kirie there but she panics and runs away. Because it is raining outside, she cannot get far. She tells him about her dream to write about Umaru and was doing research. She has low self-confidence of her dream but Taihei believes it is a great one because unlike him who was just studying all his time. Umaru comes to pick him back home but on the way he realizes he forgot to buy her book. Kirie’s next plan to hook up Ebina with Taihei takes them to the ice skating ring. Only one problem: Taihei doesn’t know how to skate and hence can’t teach her. Umaru and Sylphinford are naturals but Ebina is just totally a clumsy noob. Though Ebina is happy to hang out like this, Kirie feels disappointed the goal wasn’t reached. Hikari hangs out at Taihei’s place for dinner again. After that they look at the stars outside and this prompts Taihei to remember he was the one who taught her the constellations. Flashback shows Hikari was always alone and Kanau always scolding her for eating only bread. Who is she to say because… One day she brings Taihei home so she could give him some recipe book. Hikari could tell Kanau likes him and pesters Taihei to stay so that Kanau could cook for him. Thing is, Kanau can’t cook! So as she stares at the cookbook for hours, while the rest wait, Taihei teaches Hikari about the stars. Now Hikari hugs him as thanks for remembering her. I wonder how long Umaru can tolerate this. She would have told her off had she not see the tears in her eyes. Both girls clinging onto him hard and he can’t move. Don’t know who gave up first but eventually when Hikari goes home, Umaru sheepishly says see you soon.

Episode 12
It’s a bit cold so Sylphinford has the girls cuddle up together like an old children’s game. In public. Thankfully the warmth isn’t from the embarrassment. Umaru wants pizza so Taihei looks fired up to make it. Bomber and Alex are invited to join in and to Umaru’s horror, she learns they are making okonomiyaki instead. Technically, Japanese pizza. The guys are in a dilemma what to include it as filling. Up to you Umaru. Mix everything! It turns out delicious thankfully. Umaru bugs Taihei to buy some very expensive special limited edition game she already has for her Christmas gift. He doesn’t say anything so she assumes he will buy it. Too bad he has to work on Christmas so she’ll have to hang out with Ebina. Umaru panics when she asks what present she will give Taihei. Selfish girl never thought of that, eh? So the duo go to shop for presents. Ebina gets Umaru a hamster cap. Then they decide to wait for Taihei to show up here after work and ‘ambush’ him. Boy, is he surprised. They hand them their presents and he asks what they would like. Umaru reminds him about the game… Kanau narrates how Hikari have been acting strange lately ever since she knew Taihei. Kanau also got some school achievement award like Taihei and was fantasizing her usual. This made Hikari think she would be praised if she also got such award. She managed to do so and despite Kanau praising her, she wants to be praised by Taihei. Kanau is in a bind because she plans to invite Taihei over to dinner as her present for Hikari. She can’t. She thought of spending Christmas alone with Hikari but Hikari knows what she has been doing for the past Christmas. Watching rented videos alone before going to bed. Sad! Sylphinford invites her friends to her home to celebrate New Year. In their kimono they play traditional badminton (they call it tennis?) as well as other games. It was a swell time. After Umaru gets her New Year’s money from the guys, this year she decides not to give into her greed and save them. It might seem silly she exchanged them for all small coins but this way it is hard to spend too much at once. Uhm, you mean she has one coin left in the piggy bank? She’s hinting he could help contribute some… Then it hit her all her money is gone! Taihei isn’t going to help her this time but seeing how she is sad she can’t make good her promise to do something together, he helps donate a small sum. Umaru then lectures about how such small value isn’t much these days and hopes he could increase the amount. Why you ungrateful brat! Is sorry too late?

Hamsters Of The Same Fur Flock Together
Another year, another season. Not too sure if they would surprise me with another season seeing this series is popular enough in Japan so don’t count that out yet. Basically if you have watched the first season, this sequel feels very much at home with lots of things staying mostly the same with a few new and nice little developments but nothing much that would overhaul and change the entirety of the series. Umaru will always be the Umaru we have started to know her from the beginning and looks like she will continue to remain that way until at least she graduates high school. Don’t fix something that is not broken?

Just like the last season, the episodes feel like standalone fillers and each episode is divided into skits that may or may not be related to whatever that theme was for that episode. Hence hot really much of a plot to being with in the first season so what is the point of having one right now? So if you are watching this sequel without watching the first, you won’t lose much. But highly recommended to watch the first season as it sets up the characters and their relationship. This season expands that albeit a little. Of course we have a few new discoveries and introductions like Ebina’s brother, Kanau’s little sister and that Alex and Sylphinford are blood related.

So speaking of that, basically if you have watched the first season, you will see that this season enhances the friendship between Umaru, Sylphinford, Ebina and Kirie. It looks like there is still a long way before their relationship would hit the BFF type but they are making enough strides to head that direction. After all, the quartet each has their own quirky personality and even Umaru herself isn’t spared. She might be a genius and elegant lady in public but hides another personality whom many would never know it is the same person because of her extremely good ‘transformation’ skill of turning into that chibi character. In this group of weirdoes, we also have the overzealous and hyped Sylphinford (~desu wa!) who looks more like Umaru’s friend than her rival now, the shy and panicky Ebina and the socially awkward Kirie who is now somewhat Ebina’s relationship manager. So odd no wonder they stick together because everyone else in their school are so normal.

Interestingly, Umaru is much less in her spoilt tantrum throwing brat. I don’t even remember if I have seen her in this state this season. Even if it was in the beginning, it was mostly forgotten. Because this season sees Umaru slowly converting into one who has learnt to appreciate Taihei in his absence. Sure, Umaru is still basically the same slackster we all know and generally she still is. Even last season, Umaru too wasn’t as bad and annoying as we thought she would be (still irritating nevertheless) but here it is like as though she somewhat has matured a bit. It is just hard to imagine Umaru going into her chibi mode and start screaming her head off at this point. Perhaps with Kirie and Hikari hanging out more often, there is not much personal time for herself or even Taihei who is required to work late more often. So at least in this aspect, I believe Umaru has grown up a little and learnt to appreciate the sacrifices of Taihei. The thought that one day they can no longer be like this is a scary one. Better value what you have now and count your blessings if you know what is good for you. Because now it feels the more annoying one is Kirie hating Bomber. At might look like the series’ running joke but after a while, it just feels annoying because Bomber is trying to be the nice big brother (he still has lots of areas to improve, though) but it’s like the moment she sees him, he is public enemy number one and does not hesitate to beat him up. Like, what’s the problem, girl?

Hats off to Taihei for being the most patient and understanding brother of all time. One of those in running for the Best Big Brother Award of the year. Often siblings hate each other as seen between Kirie and Bomber which is a very common occurrence everywhere. Therefore Taihei’s patience and kindness sometimes feel wasted on Umaru for viewers who don’t know about them. After all, Umaru is his only sister and family member around and it won’t do him or Umaru any good if he goes overboard. The occasional getting mad at her is okay (because it is also mainly her fault) but it won’t go so far as to physically abuse her or control her life. Umaru is already a grown teenager and she should be able to decide by herself.

This season introduces Hikari as a new character. Nothing really much about her except now that she has become Umaru’s rival for Taihei. Another reason why she should appreciate her brother more often. Because if you don’t, some genius loli is going take him away. Hikari’s debut also gives Kanau more reason to appear albeit still very much less. With the revelation and confirmation of Alex being Sylphinford’s big brother, it opens up some heart-warming stories and flashback between them and how they come to Japan and love its culture. Heh. Which foreigner in anime doesn’t love Japan’s culture? Even Ebina has her own but that is not as focused as those aforementioned. But it is good to know that she too has some family matters. Now all that is left is to know how Kirie came to hate Bomber so much while growing up because we have seen they were so close and cute together as kids. Eventually fate has all these characters related to some way or another.

This series could potentially turn into a harem series but I highly doubt that because many of the girls seem to have a thing for Taihei. Like Kanau who is still having nervous feet around him but she is too slow in doing anything that would make an impact. Is it a good thing that Taihei is dense? Ebina is the same but I also doubt under the guidance of Kirie there would be progress. There is a chance Kirie would also fall for Taihei since she is helping Ebina and with him being so kind to her, it is not impossible although the chances are remote. Of course there is Umaru for his sisterly love and now Hikari for some loli love. Man, this guy is sure popular. Now, how to fit Sylphinford (~zushaa!) into this equation…

Last season I remember there were a few trivia from the otaku culture to spot. I am not sure about this season because I don’t remember seeing any. Maybe that took a backseat in exchange for the character development. Art and animation remain the same with Sylphinford (~shupaan!) still looking the weirdest because of those petals (or was it stars again) in her eyes. Hikari can join that list of looking weird too. In her chibi mode, her eyes really look weird. I don’t know. It feels like as though she might turn into a crazy killer… Also, Hikari’s general design of having white hair and bushy eyebrows make her look some sort of anomaly, like as though she was some specimen who escaped her experimental tube. Do geniuses look like this? Okay, Albert Einstein… Hikari looks so different that you won’t even know she is related to Kanau.

This season’s opener might not be spamming that U-M-R line and make you go crazy, but Nimensei Ura Omote Life by Aimi Tanaka (voice of Umaru) still retains its spunky liveliness. The draw this time is the ending theme, Umarun Taison by Sisters (Umaru, Ebina, Kirie and Sylphinford). Despite all the fast paced techno frenzy effects, this feels like one big odd callisthenic exercise song. Even though seeing the girls in their chibi form doing those cute callisthenic moves, I figure that I shouldn’t follow them because I realized how silly I looked. The girls are alright because they are cute to begin with… Puura, puraa, puura, puraa, puura, puraa… Okay, swing your hands like a pendulum now… Old casts retained while the new ones added are Inori Minase as Hikari (Hestia in DanMachi) and Nobuhiko Okamoto as Kouichirou (Bakugou in Boku No Hero Academia).

Overall, this season feels a bit better than the previous because Umaru doesn’t go into her spoilt brat mode and the characters are more developed this time. It still maintains its own brand of quirkiness and cuteness altogether and hence enjoyable in its own right. But just like everything else, this will all soon come to pass and this would end up as just a phase in life and only remembered in memories. We can only take so much of the childish shenanigans and all the glittering-cum-energetic ~shupaaaaaaatz and find it cute and funny before it turns into something irritating. We all have to grow up one day and change. Okay, maybe some of us don’t. Ugh… Too lazy to change…

Himouto! Umaru-chan

June 12, 2016

Never judge a book by its cover. How many times have we heard that idiom and yet fall for it? I’m sure that all of us are guilty of judging others by their appearance one time or another. Take a look over there. Look at that girl. She is pretty. She is elegant. She has good friends. Everyone admires her. She helps others in need. She probably has good grades at school too and does well in sports activities. My, this girl is an absolute role model and how I wished that girl was my girlfriend and future wife. Well, you know what they say about looks can be deceiving. Folks, if you believe all that in a girl I just described, then you’d be shocked to see the other ‘dark side’ of her. Our lovely protagonist of Himouto! Umaru-chan might have all that desirable traits in the eyes of the public. But when she comes home, she becomes a spoilt slacking brat who only feeds on junk food and laze around doing nothing but play video games! Oh dear. How could such a girl be this uncouth? As long as the world doesn’t know… Because it is her poor brother that has to put up with her whims, fancies and tantrums.

Episode 1
As narrated by big brother Taihei Doma, his younger sister, Umaru is a beautiful and helpful high school girl who also excels in her studies. She is the dream girl that every guy would die for and every girl would admire. However back home, all that cute and pretty façade is cast away as she reveals her true uncouth, selfish and slacking nature! OMG! How can this be?! Donning her favourite hamster hoodie, she bugs Taihei to buy her a manga magazine simply because she cannot be seen reading one by her friends or it will contradict her story. When he refuses, she starts throwing a tantrum worst than a toddler. Even resorting to her puppy dog eyes just to force him to bend over. Finally he gives in to the love for his sister. What is the thanks he gets? She tells him to pipe down because she is reading! Man, she is going to easily top the b*tch list of the year. Umaru also has a couple of pet hamsters and she dreams of them becoming her slaves. Of course the one doing the real taking care is Taihei. Flashback sees Umaru bugging him to buy her the pets. As usual she throws her tantrum. In the eyes of the public, Taihei becomes the bad guy for being such a heartless dick for his sister. Eventually he gives in… And he realizes she has never once cleaned their cages… Umaru continues to excel in school. Like any typical girl, she has her best friend, Nana Ebina. But not all look up to her as she too has her own ‘rival’, the attention seeking Sylphinford Tachibana who is always second best to her in everything.

I’m sure Umaru scoring perfect in all her tests would be pretty admirable. Except for Taihei who feels the biggest irony ever. How can this slacker do this well? I mean, look at the ‘important’ decisions she has to make. What anime to watch today and what kind of food and drinks to go with it! Oh yeah. It’s sure tough deciding the best mix. And once she’s done with the best combination, nothing can stop Umaru from her comfortable pleasure. Yeah, this is the life. And when it is dinner time and Taihei has made her favourite steak, she is too full to eat them. Oh God… While Taihei accompanies Umaru in playing a first person shooter video game, he remembers he needs to go shopping for groceries. This doesn’t sit well with Umaru because she was just getting started. Forced to accompany him, she pouts the entire time. Of course in the eyes of the public, they think she is the idol while that bland guy is her manager or something. Who cares. Umaru is also a dick (oh, the irony) in choosing her snacks and when Taihei thought he could pacify her with ice cream, it seems to go well till she accidentally drops it. Yeah, it’s his fault somehow. She doesn’t help carry the groceries despite a big chunk are her snacks. Then he remembered last week when Umaru helped him with the groceries, he promised her he would play a video game with her. He asks if she would like to continue their game and the smiles return to the sister. Taihei still sucks at the game and Umaru taunts he is no fun. Sighs…

Special 1: Short specials lasting 2 minutes about Umaru in a parallel world. For a start, she plays a prank on Taihei and big brother is confused there are a few versions of Umaru. They are all still annoying nevertheless. Because now he has to spoil them 3 times as much. So parallel world or not, a slacker will always still be a slacker.

Episode 2
Taihei returns from another rough day expecting to be rougher at home. Hey, what’s this? Umaru is so nice and polite? Oh, turns out Ebina is here. Even more shocking, Umaru actually lifted her finger and cleaned the place before her friend came? Unbelievable! You can’t blame Taihei hoping for Ebina to come here more often! After Ebina leaves, it is back to that slacker character. It takes a lot of energy to put up that act, eh? To Taihei’s nightmare, Umaru didn’t actually clean up the place but dumped everything in the toilet. And she’s complaining he bought the wrong snack flavour… Umaru plays her video game till morning. So when Sunday morning comes, she still has time before her anime shows. Too bad Taihei can’t stay up and is exhausted from work. Thinking of playing a prank by sleeping with him. Before she knows it, she already fell asleep. And she missed all her shows… Whose fault is it?

If you’re wondering why Umaru is so kind to let Taihei accompany her out on that day, it is because there is a simultaneous competition going on and she wants to win both the prizes. I guess he had to give in to that sisterly look of “I want to spend time with you…”. Yeah, right. Luckily Taihei manages to enter the final and the other finalist is surprisingly Ebina. He won. On the way home, thinking Ebina really wants this long cat bolster, he gives it to her. Umaru who has been watching them ever since (she lost hers and rushed over to see how Taihei is doing) is not very happy she betrayed her. Whose fault is it? But Ebina is one happy girl. Eventually Umaru orders that bolster via net auction. Once again, Umaru bugs and pressures Taihei to buy a game. This time she waits for the right time to throw her tantrum but at the supermarket, Ebina is there so her tantrum is put on hold. Ebina also joins them for lunch and Umaru suspects Taihei is using Ebina as a scapegoat to prevent her from getting what she wants. Taihei continues to ignore her till Umaru cannot stand it anymore and goes into her tantrum mode. OMG! Is she busted?! Turns out Ebina was quite deep in her thought and didn’t notice. Phew? But in the end, Taihei is still forced to buy the game. Flashback shows a year ago when Ebina came from the countryside of Akita to Tokyo. Already a shy girl, she is made even more nervous because men can’t keep staring at her big boobs! The first person who looked her in the eye and greeted her was Taihei. They are staying at the same apartment and it is safe to say because of this, it was love at first sight for her. Luckily too, she became good friends with Umaru.

Special 2: Ebina joins the special as she tries to advertise the specialties of Akita like its food. Umaru has an idea of putting mascot outfits on Ebina so they can strike it rich in town. But which mascot outfit? Time to try them all out. Even becoming the map of Akita? It makes no sense anymore.

Episode 3
The midterm test is coming up so what is Umaru going to do about it? Play video games… Incredible. Till Taihei warns about the surprisingly hard stuffs, it starts to make her worry. Then deep in the night, she has a nightmare of her friends mocking her for being weak. So she wakes up screaming and bugging Taihei to help teach her. A few days later, she scores top place. Sorry Sylphinford. You’ll have to settle for second place again. With everyone giving lovely admirable stares to Umaru, it’s hard to think there is one who would be staring at her like piercing daggers. Yeah, there’s one. Kirie Motoba. Does she have some sort of grudge with her? Although Umaru does have her suspicions, she lets her guard down at home by playing video games the entire afternoon. Thinking Taihei has come back late, she goes to scold him but to her surprise, it is Kirie at the doorstep! GASP! HORROR! OH SH*T!!! You’re busted!!! Although Kirie tries hard to contain her fawning over her cuteness, somehow Umaru ends up inviting her in. Kirie gets the wrong idea she is Umaru’s little sister. Might as well go with the flow. Umaru plays that part and calls herself Komaru. To her dismay, she learns Kirie knows where she lives because she has been stalking her for a week! Actually Umaru has dropped her student ID and was trying hard to return it back to her. So is this why those stabbing stares? In another twist of events, Kirie wants Komaru to be her master! When Taihei comes back, he is confused seeing Umaru in her slacker form before Kirie. He is scared when Kirie gives him that death scare. Umaru realizes it could be that Kirie is just shy (thus her scary look) and can only talk normally to kids.

Kirie continues to hang out with Komaru and daydreams of becoming friends with Umaru. She wants to ask for advice but that face she puts up makes her look like some sort of pervert… If Kirie’s presence freezes everything, then Umaru’s presence brings spring and colours! Kirie now gets to walk back with Umaru and she finds it hard to contain her happiness. But then she realizes that walking back with them too is Ebina. I guess everybody in this world are fruit heads, the reason why she never noticed. This causes Kirie to become jealous as she runs away. Later she talks to Komaru that she has a rival… What in the world? Umaru is watching a horror movie in the dark with Taihei. Although she is scared, she won’t admit it. She wants to watch the sequel but Taihei has to go out shopping. Watch yourself? I think she’d rather wait for his return… Then strange things start to happen like in the movie. Stormy night. Power cut. Just your imagination… Then she sees a ghostly hanging from the window and it scares the sh*t out of her. Taihei comes back and Umaru thought she could hug him. Instead, he rushes out to the window to take in the laundry (that ghostly figure) and scolds Umaru for forgetting to bring it in. They continue watching the sequel. As usual, Umaru is scared hiding behind him while watching but not admitting it.

Special 3: Kirie is now in and since she is finding a little hard adjusting to this world, Umaru takes them to the sea to train their balancing. Kirie cannot stop fantasizing about the island survival life with Umaru. Kirie and Ebina find it hard to keep their balance on the float and this scene reminds Umaru they look like paper sumo. When they sink deep into the ocean, they stumble upon the legendary Ryuugajou and are treated with the best hospitality. They are given a box at the end and thinking the legend would be different in the aftermath, but after opening it, they all turn old.

Episode 4
The video game shop owner fears when Umaru steps in. She is the legendary player known as UMR who has aced in every game she played especially the crane game, turning video game stores broke. The owners setup traps and tricks to make the games harder but each time it backfires as Umaru wins more. She wins every prize in the machine and now her room is cluttered with them. But when she sleeps, she dumps them all on Taihei. The ever attention hunger Sylphinford challenges Umaru to a tennis game. In a doubles match, Umaru pairs up with Kirie and Sylphinford has Ebina on her side. Each time Sylphinford serves up, Kirie gets to take the shot thanks to her athletic ability. On the other hand, Ebina is such a klutz that Umaru’s team may just win by default. Even when Umaru serves a weak serve, Sylphinford is so passionate to take it that she always crashes out. Back home, Umaru is like dead because of her muscle aches. Taihei receives a porcelain cat as gift from his junior colleague. Despite Umaru calling it ugly, she secretly takes it out to play and as we have guessed it, accidentally breaks it. The horror of Taihei never ever buying things again has her go into desperate mode to fix it. Wow. What an elaborate surgery. Watching videos and online information to piece it back together, the problem now is to fix the head. She has to build from scratch at it is completely broken. But she cannot remember its face! Eventually Taihei finds out she broke it but because she reflected and apologized, he is not mad. But he is mad because she spent ridiculous amount of money for all the repair materials using his credit card!

Taihei accompanies Umaru to a fighting video game tournament. Alex is also there and accompanying his sister too. We are introduced to all the weirdoes in this tournament but Umaru cannot be more surprised to see Sylphinford as one of the final competitors. As everyone wears a mask and using their alias, thankfully Sylphinford doesn’t discover Umaru’s identity. However she is so bent on being number one that she is the only one revealing her true identity to everybody. Of course the finals boil down to Umaru and Sylphinford. Obviously Sylphinford is much better as she pulls off devastating combos after combos. On the verge of defeat, when Sylphinford sees Alex looking at her from the crowd, she gets very embarrassed and runs away. Thus, Umaru wins by default. Sylphinford continues running till Alex catches her. Next day in school, Sylphinford is back to her usual rivalry with Umaru. The other girls think she is doing it for attention but Umaru knows it isn’t so because she can tell from yesterday’s video game challenge, she did put in a lot of effort and practice.

Special 4: Now that Sylphinford has joined the gang, she and Kirie argue about being number one. Ebina wonders what Umaru is the master of and since everybody doesn’t know, Umaru makes up being number one in Umaru’s Path. The Way of Umaru. She might be lying around doing nothing but there is this crap explanation of how she is channelling her energy and chakra, blah, blah, blah. Everyone follows her method lazing around till they fall asleep.

Episode 5
Umaru is playing at the arcade when Sylphinford pops up. Luckily Umaru had her mask so she recognizes her as UMR. Apparently Sylphinford wants to challenge UMR and beat her before defeating her eternal rival Umaru. So they play games based on luck, which doesn’t feel like winning at all. Heck, they give their winnings to some old man! Bless those goddesses! When Umaru mentions about having fun at the arcade and isn’t sure why Sylphinford wants to win so badly, she gives her a winner’s medal as a sign she has won. Sylphinford revels in victory. Now she wants to become friends with UMR to team up and take down Umaru! I wonder how this is going to happen. Kirie hangs out with Umaru and while it is sizzling outside, the duo are enjoying the cool comfort in their room. This is the life. When Umaru falls asleep, Kirie can’t help turn into a perverted monster. But she fears Umaru might be onto her when she starts climbing her?! WTF?! Sleep climbing? This ‘paralyzes’ Kirie as she cannot move from her spot. They fall asleep and when Taihei returns to see this atrocity, he turns off the air-cond and opens the windows. The heat immediately woke them up. Umaru is enjoying her bath. But because the bubble bath is controlled by Taihei, she sneaks out while he is busy on his computer to steal a bunch of them. After finishing her bath, she chugs down her cola to cool down. Remembering she needs to take her milk coffee, she accidentally slips and spills her cola.

Taihei does the laundry on his day off. Noticing Umaru has not much clothes (aside from that hamster one), he gives her 10,000 Yen to go shopping with Kirie and Ebina. Big brother so generous? Umaru notices the duo are still at odds with each other so she tries to calm the tension trying out clothes together. At the end, Umaru sees a game she wants to buy. However, Taihei reminded her the money is for clothes. Her devil side got to her so she bought the game while the rest of the money on cheap warehouse sale clothes. Umaru is a pain when trying to get her to wake up or eat breakfast. But she’s like an idol once she heads off to school with Ebina. We see a rare glimpse of Taihei at work. Looks like he is the responsible kind dutifully doing his job compared to his colleagues and even the helpful one. Heck, there is even a colleague who has a crush on him! Look at her reaction when his male colleagues ask who made his lunch. His girlfriend? Even though it’s a lie, he says it’s his sister. Phew… So responsible this kid that he even helps a slacking colleague finish his day’s work! When he goes back all tired only to see Umaru happily sleeping like the lazy pig she is, he can’t help resort to his devilish side by rudely waking her up. That grin proves he enjoyed it…

Special 5: The girls are now Umarangers! Little Sister Squad? So we have them discussing their plan as a team to save the world as heroes from evil megalomaniacs. Their arsenal includes a cola powered cannon and the very clichéd giant mecha hamster robot to help fight big monsters. They even tease Ebina’s nature as a shy girl who falls for the enemy commander (Taihei) since she is against all the fighting. But this gives her the motivation to fight. With their excitement reaching feverish pitch, the girls can’t wait for the evil to attack them. Too bad the baddie is still waiting to recruit his minions. No takers?

Episode 6
After Taihei sleeps, Umaru continues to have her own time. Noticing she is out of cola, she decides to head to the convenience store to get some. She returns and sees a different view of the town’s night time. However when she returns, Taihei is waiting and is mad she went out on her own. What if there are crazy killers like this Jason dude?! On Taihei’s day off, he has… Nothing to do! He did all the cleaning and chores the day before (the weekend). Sure, thoughts of Umaru bugging him occupy his mind. He goes to make char siew and then falls asleep the entire day till Umaru gets back from school. Don’t worry, the char siew isn’t ruined thanks to the auto burner. With Umaru always bugging him while he is working on his PC, Taihei decides to get a curtain to separate their single room. Umaru agrees seeing she could do anything she wants without him yelling. Taihei of course believes his work efficiency would go up. It’s like they have a new life once the curtain is put up. But soon Umaru gets bored so she ‘stalks’ him while he is working, making that guy looking over his shoulders many times. I guess things didn’t work out so they take away the curtain with the excuse that it feels a bit cramped. Taihei and Kirie join Umaru in playing the Game of Life. While Umaru has extremely good luck, Taihei has decent luck but Kirie goes from hero to zero. So as not to make her feel left out, they purposely lose the game to be on the same footing with her. Umaru is excited that today is her birthday. Look at that long wish list… She is bugging and hinting to Taihei but that guy seems to be acting like normal. Did he forget? Checking the calendar, indeed today is her special day. Hmm… At school, her friends remember and throw her gifts. Even Kirie and Sylphinford remember too. Despite all their presents, she can’t help frown over Taihei because she was really expecting it so much from him. So she rushes home and catches him in the act of putting up her birthday decorations. So he was just acting and pretending the entire morning? Heh. Taihei the responsible brother forget about her? No way.

Special 6: The girls are imprisoned. But they can escape since the grill easily comes off and they revert to their chibi size to go through small cracks. When they reach the exit with 4 doors, each decide to take their own path in hopes of meeting each other again. Each ends up in a room that has all their desires. Turns out it is a big elaborated trap and thus that is why the legend that nobody has ever escape this prison before.

Episode 7
Umaru is being lazy as usual. Even to a point of calling Taihei just for fun. Later when Umaru is looking for the box for her Hatsune Miku figurine, that is when Taihei mentions he thrown it away since Umaru said she didn’t want it (because she was busy playing her game then). This causes Taihei to feel bad. Although Umaru doesn’t really care about the box, seeing Taihei’s guilt, she can’t help play a prank to scold him. When she wakes up in the middle of the night, Taihei is nowhere to be found. She panics and starts calling for him but he is not around. When Taihei returns, she can’t help get emotional and cling all over him. Seems he went to buy a replacement. But did he enter the wrong store? This is a geisha, you know? Next morning when Taihei learns it was just a prank, of course he gets mad. Ebina goes with Umaru and Taihei to eat at a ramen store. The ramen is on par with her junk food and Umaru would love her cola to go with it. Of course she can’t. Not with Ebina around. Taihei’s colleague, Bomber is accusing him of living with a woman! Sure, he just got dumped but why the heck take out his frustrations on this guy? Plus, he doesn’t believe that woman is his sister. Whether Taihei accepts or not, he wants to come to his house. Although Taihei has texted Umaru about it, she was asleep so Bomber sees her cute sleeping face and fawns over it. When she wakes up, she freaks out her brother has become a gorilla! When Bomber goes home, we learn he is the older brother of Kirie! He wants to treat her like a little sister but the feeling is not mutual as she beats him up for trespassing her room. UMR and Sylphinford pay a visit to an old candy store and see many weird stuffs being sold. It is another usual day at work for Taihei. On his way home, he follows a stray cat and ends up in unknown parts of a residential area. When he sees a familiar poster, he remembers seeing it with Umaru before. This prompts him to think he has been working for 5 years and doing the same things that he is starting to forget these memories. Even more confusing is that he remembers Umaru calling him by his first name. When he sees the cat again and it licks his hand, Taihei remembers walking this part of town and that girl wasn’t Umaru but his mom. What a splitting image. He now knows where he is and feeling good, he will make Umaru a great dinner.

Special 7: The world is overrun by zombies. Kirie has no qualms killing her zombie brother! As for Taihei, he goes to work as usual. Because working for an oppressive company makes him like a zombie! The girls are stuck in a shopping mall but living in paradise with all the amenities. They think they are set for life but the food runs out after 3 days… Time for Umaru to play Michael Jackson’s Thriller?

Episode 8
It is snowing and we know Umaru by now she is going to stay in and play her games. However when Taihei mentions he is planning to bring out the kotatsu but the place is so messy, Umaru becomes serious in cleaning up. The kotatsu is like paradise for her. Now she can laze around like never before. It got too comfortable that she sleeps. Infectious enough to make Taihei fall asleep too. Meanwhile Kirie doesn’t appreciate Bomber sharing the kotatsu with her… On Christmas day, Umaru is anticipating Taihei will be back and they’ll have their fun but it seems he and Bomber are doing overtime. What kind of company is this! I know Bomber has the right to complain but when the section chief, Kanau comes to check, it’s back to work. She isn’t fond of Bomber and even dares him to quit. On the other hand, she treats Taihei nicely and even gets a little flirty. It is getting late and Umaru sees Taihei and Kirie at the door. He is in a Santa suit since his friend wanted to buy it. Taihei happened to bump into Kirie on the way back and she has an octopus present for Umaru. Bomber joins Taihei and Umaru at their house to celebrate New Year instead of cramming up the shrines that is pack with people. Bomber brings out his beer snacks so Umaru won’t lose out and brings out her kiddie snacks. They taste each other’s food and find some complements well with theirs. It is such a bliss that Umaru falls asleep so the guys just let her be and watch the sunrise by themselves. It is already way pass New Year but Taihei looks serious in making Umaru remember a promise she made last year. That promise is to clean up. Now she’s trying to retract her statement or being smarty pants that she didn’t specify a date and place. But that will be after they visit the shrine. Once done, she returns to her cheeky self that she will be relying on him to do the cleaning. A throwback to that overtime Christmas at office when Kanau chides Bomber and flirts with Taihei. She learns he has no plans for Christmas except to go home. When Taihei suggests they go out just like old times, flashback of their days at school (I guess she has had a crush on him since then) and her lonely days as an adult. She acts tough by passing it up but deep down she’s regretting it like mad. But at least Taihei gets to home early. Is it a bad sign when a lonely woman rents DVD on Christmas? That is what Kanau did. Back home, she receives mail of a picture of Taihei and Bomber in Santa. She crops out Bomber’s face and continues to admire Taihei.

Special 8: Edo period Umaru! Kirie as her subordinate, gives her castella. Then they go bully slave girl Ebina by pulling her obi and spinning her. When Sylphinford the ninja tries out, this makes Umaru want to have a go of being spun as it looks fun. The next morning, Taihei the officer is going to arrest corrupt Umaru but she and everybody else are out cold, dizzy from all that spinning.

Episode 9
Kirie is trying to make cookies for Valentine. She fails the first time because she is fantasizing too much about Umaru till it got burnt in the oven. The next try she is successful but Bomber at them all thinking it was for him. Here comes the pain… Next day in school, she is nervous to give to Umaru and trips. But Umaru is sharp and knows what she is doing so she picks up the cookies and eats them. Kirie also gives Taihei her cookies but she mixes it up with those burnt ones! No, it’s not chocolate… Umaru enlists Taihei’s help to assist Ebina in making Valentine chocolates. He is surprised at her fancy kitchen and she has to refrigerators! Taihei becomes an expert in telling the girls how to make chocolates (including that cheesy line of putting your feelings in it). Yeah, there is even some chocolate history. Just make the damn thing. Ebina wanted to make the chocolates for him but is too shy to put his name and eventually put hers. The rest think it is for herself. Umaru gets a distressing call for help from Sylphinford. Turns out it is to buy some DVD event of an anime. Then they go anime shopping together and talk about their brothers. At this point, we should know Alex is Sylphinford’s brother. Although Alex is into anime, in his perception her sister is not. That is why she is secretly doing this and the reason during that video game tournament, she ran away after spotting him. Sylphinford believes they are comrades because they both have big brothers. But Taihei isn’t into anime but cooking. Sylphinford thinks she should cook with her brother once in a while because it is easier to fall in love with something your loved one likes. So when Umaru wants to help Taihei in cooking, he thinks something is wrong with her!

After Umaru leaves the house, Kirie just comes in. She is shaking all over that I think the cup is now empty. Taihei has to entertain her and probably this is the first time he wishes Umaru would be back soon. He tries thanking her for those ‘chocolates’ but it gets even more awkward. The silence is killing them. After a long time, Kirie apologizes for giving burnt ones. Taihei realizes this is the reason she came over. Umaru won big at the arcade and comes home late, much to Taihei’s dismay. She thought she could confide in Kirie but looks like she’ll be going home now. Protection over. Taihei comes home late one night and sees Umaru sleeping and her untouched pudding on the table. Next morning, Umaru is throwing a hard tantrum that somebody ate it. Well, it wasn’t Taihei. Needing to set a good example, he cannot simply accuse her. Although it would have been easier to buy a new pudding, they will have a court case drama to find the culprit. Umaru’s alibi was her snack party last night and fell asleep before she could eat her dessert. She turns the tables on Taihei citing he came home late and was so tired that he ate her pudding. Taihei suggest making pudding to jog their memory because it was what he promised. After eating them, now the memories come back. After Taihei came home, he is going to put the pudding in the fridge. Sleepy Umaru ate it and asks him if he knows how to make pudding. And there you have it… Taihei is going to blow his top but Umaru keeps changing the topic about his delicious pudding and he should make more.

Special 9: Umaru the world’s famous medical doctor and her friends are nurses. When Taihei wheels in Bomber for an emergency surgery, it seems Umaru is focusing more on her snacks and games than the surgery! In the end, she hands Taihei a pair of hamsters. He blames her if he had locked them up properly, they wouldn’t have escaped and got stuck in Bomber’s hair. Yeah, now he is bald. But Umaru blames Bomber’s afro instead.

Episode 10
Umaru is sick and she thinks Taihei will have to take leave to take care of her. Sorry, girl. You’re all by yourself. To get back at him, she doesn’t rest and plays her games as usual. Next morning, it seems Umaru is well and Taihei caught her fever! But does Umaru have a change of heart as she is going to take care of him? Apparently she goes out shopping to buy foodstuffs to spike his food! But when she comes home, she sees him nearly dead and starts panicking. Not so funny now, eh? This must be a figment of her imagination as she defeats the evil Umaru virus with her leeks! Stick it in the butt! Taihei wakes up next day feeling fine. He sees Umaru sleeping next to him. Though, he reeks of leeks as it is tied around his neck. Umaru is a picky eater and won’t eat her green peppers. Despite Taihei telling her he worked hard to make those, she still doesn’t care. She isn’t pleased he put them in her hamburger steak for her school lunch and even lies to Ebina that she is the one who made it but big brother doesn’t like it. But when Ebina notes the effort to make them and that Taihei must be very happy, her conscious kicks in. Back home, she says stir fry green peppers will be okay but Taihei if she has eaten something wrong! Grrr!!!

Umaru frolics so much that she accidentally spills her cola. Little does she know, it short circuits this little blinking device. Don’t know what this is? It’s a modem! No internet! Horror! First world horror! Aha! Try looking it up at Yahoo. No internet, duh! User her mobile to search. No wifi, duh! Play games to relief stress. No internet lah! Oh no! Umaru is trapped! She is cut off from society! Taihei and Bomber return to learn her problem. She is not impressed with the funny mask Bomber has. But when Taihei tries it out, they all laugh like mad. Then they play a game of cards. See? Life without being connected isn’t so bad. Umaru visits the manga café since her home has no internet. Although the space is small, she finds the amenities convenient. It is like her secret base. A cool secret base with a massage chair, free drinks and she can read all the manga she wants. But after a few hours in, she feels bored. Even with 4 hours remaining, she gives up and returns home to be with big brother. Nothing like home sweet home, eh? We head 10 years back when Taihei is still in high school. He scored yet another 100 marks and others think he is some sort of robot. Of course Bomber only got 15. Even during this point, Bomber and Kanau hate each other despite sticking around Taihei. It is like this guy is the only reason preventing an all-out war. At the arcade, the duo challenge each other with their theories at the crane game. Both wrong. Both failed. Taihei used his brains to get 3 cat plushies for the price of 1! He goes home to little Umaru who is still an angel then and gives her the plushie. But 10 years later, he must be sick of it because Umaru keeps winning it at the arcade.

Special 10: Umaru and friends are idols and just finished a successful concert. At the backstage as they discuss their success, Ebina wonders why their concert doesn’t have singing. Umaru bluntly explains that fans won’t be satisfied with conventional concerts anymore and they need to do something different. So they discuss the novel things they should do like no one else has seen before. A sleeping concert? A mountain hiking concert? A dinner show? But the space concert has to be the ultimate because it is like the entire world is watching them. Let the concert begin! You do know that sound doesn’t travel in space, right?

Episode 11
When Ebina gives Taihei some rice from Akita, he thinks having her join them would let Umaru eat some healthy diet once in a while. That girl craves for pizza but once she tastes it, she finds it delicious. Ironically, it is Ebina’s tummy that growls after seeing a pizza brochure so they end up ordering a mini one. Umaru is having a tough time deciding what snacks to buy. We see her various personalities in her mind having a heated discussion on what to buy. No one can agree on anything and they start fighting! Mental breakdown! When Taihei eats the snack, all the little minions get shocked upon realizing that this snack was supposed to cheer him up if his proposal at work failed. Fortunately it passed so Taihei thought it was a snack for him to celebrate. Ebina joins Taihei and Umaru to eat parfait. She is having a hard time trying to be true to herself after that last tummy growling incident. She tries to hold back but eventually finishes it after taking the first bite. When it is the rainy season, Umaru’s snacks are soggy. She is lazy. Even deflated! But not as bad as Kirie who is so gloomy because of some traumatic experience. Taihei tries to help improve their mood but I guess trying to explain the elegance of the rain is like pearls before swine. So he tells them about the summer season that comes after it. Ice cream tastes better. Instantly they revive. Such simpletons. Time flies and before you know it, summer is here. Umaru hangs out with Ebina eating lots of chocolate, UMR teams up with Sylphinford to clean out the arcade again (and eat more ice cream), Umaru even wins some prize eating the stick ice cream with Kirie. More ice cream heaven when Taihei makes her a big one. Then Taihei blows his top when he discovers she has bought a secret cooler to keep all the ice cream she has bought. Busted. That’s Umaru for you. Man, I wish I had a taste of all the ice cream here! I WANT ICE CREAM!!!

Episode 12
After watching a car commercial, Umaru bugs Taihei to buy a car because he can send her to school while she uses that time to sleep! Using that beach trip as an excuse, Taihei thinks she wants to go outside and must not let this chance slip. The salesman is of course trying to sell while Taihei is worried about the 3 million price tag! But do they need a big car? Umaru quotes about sending her friends. As Taihei test drives, Umaru starts fantasizing the car life. They can go anywhere, do anything! Reality comes crashing down when Taihei is real slow because he is very worried of an accident. What if Umaru is hurt? What if the car is damaged and he can’t pay back? Anything that crosses the road (at a safe distance) scares the hell out of him! Umaru suggests to just go in Bomber’s car. Taihei packs for the trip and at night the siblings can’t sleep because they are so excited. Ebina and Kirie are also coming on this trip. Kirie is trying to hide her face from Bomber and big brother doesn’t recognize her just because she changed her hairstyle! Umaru appears as her elegant self. This is the first time Bomber sees her in this form and he is confused Taihei’s sisters have the same name. Thankfully he is dumb enough to think this is some family problem and won’t question anymore. During the drive when Taihei calls Kirie’s name, Bomber is shocked that his sister is onboard! Luckily he is dumb enough to think that Umaru’s friend has the same name as his sister! Big coincidence?! At Enoshima, the gang take walk around the island, eat local delicacies and enjoy the local attraction.

Kirie is about to ask Umaru what happened to Komaru since she isn’t on this trip but is interrupted as the birds are attacking Bomber’s head thinking it’s their nest! Kirie laments Bomber doesn’t recognize his sister just because of the change in hairstyle. He attended her high school entrance ceremony in place of mom. Since they have a love-hate relationship (more of the latter), she beat him up and this caused her other friends to stay away from her. By making friends with Taihei and Umaru, she was able to talk more. That is why she is grateful and worried if something happened to Komaru. Umaru thanks her and just says something urgent came up for her. Bomber laments his poor relationship with Kirie ever since the ceremony and perhaps he shouldn’t have come. But Ebina says no sister despises her big brother for coming. Bomber is so happy nobody has been this nice to him for this long (really?) that he wishes Ebina was his sister. Just when you thought Kirie is going to pity him, her anger has risen to boiling point. She beats him up and despite that pain feeling familiar, he still can’t recognize it is her! While Taihei watches passed out Bomber, the girls play in the beach. Swimsuit fanservice time. They are joined by Sylphinford who is on vacation with her brother on their luxury yacht! As usual, Sylphinford challenges Umaru to everything but Umaru suggests playing with her, at first she feels awkward but soon joins in the fun. Taihei thinks of letting Umaru experience the mountains next time. But as usual she is lazy and lethargic about it. Instead, she chides him for being unreliable because he forgot to buy her usual stuffs. Here is to another love-hate relationship.

OVA
Umaru sees a pillow she wants on a TV shopping channel but of course Taihei won’t waste his money. Use that long cat bolster instead. Next day, she is surprised that Taihei bought it but he becomes a lazy ass after having a taste of it. She fears he will become useless! Umaru then finds herself in a middle of an advertisement advertising the cat bolster. It has additional features like serving you and play games on your behalf to level up while you sleep! The best feature of it all is that it can become a rocket for you to ride! If you’re wondering this is too good to be true, it is. Just a damn dream. But at least Umaru appreciates more as thinks how ‘lonely’ it is. Oh, remember this bolster is the one she got from the auction. The real one Taihei won is with Ebina. Again Sylphinford hangs out with UMR so they could plan to take down Umaru. At a shop, Umaru sees a rare Hatsune Miku figurine up for grabs via lottery and feels the need to get it. Using limited cash to increase her chance, she lost. Even Sylphinford joins in. Despite having more tries, she got all worse prizes! But she is happy with it. Umaru has a gambler’s thinking because the more she buys, the more her chances will increase and thinks of going back to get more cash or use Taihei’s credit card. But when Sylphinford gives her an extra notebook, Umaru becomes quite happy over it and has forgotten all about getting the figurine.

Taihei and Umaru are eating yakiniku. Taihei thinks he is the grill master but ends up blundering and panicking, burning up lots of them. Next cubicle, Ebina is eating alone but she is a master and knows how to grill her meat and enjoy them. Mmm. Delicious! In a rare act of kindness, Umaru gives a piece of her cooked meat to him and they continue eating the rest. Both sides leave at the same time and Ebina’s face becomes hotter than the grill upon seeing them. Umaru has cast away her hamster hoodie to wear a wolf hoodie! Oh, it’s Halloween. Kirie is a witch and scares the hell out of Taihei by hiding in his closet. Is Halloween about scaring people in Japan? Noticing he doesn’t have a costume, they prepare one for him. A bloody chef? But he makes the best pumpkin dishes ever! Mmm. Delicious! Umaru loves the softness of her futon that she feels lazy to go to school. Thus she fakes having fever so that she could slack the entire day doing what she enjoys. But in no time she starts feeling guilty that she has lied to everyone and that they may not trust her anymore. Before noon, her friends are surprised to see her coming to class. She claims she has gotten better. This means Sylphinford wants to challenge her. No rest for the best? Lastly, Umaru comes clean with Taihei and reveals the trick she used by rubbing the thermometer against her body to increase its temperature to bluff him. I guess she saw this coming Taihei blowing his top. But at least her conscious is clean now.

Ms Jekyll And Hyde-chan
If you are looking to find some sort of plot in this anime, forget it. It is basically close to zero and reading the series’ synopsis is enough to get an idea of what the entire series is all about. Because every episode is divided into several skits and plays out randomly. It is good in a way that you don’t really have to a plot to follow and remember whatever convoluted storyline has aired. But because of the standalone filler-like episodes, it feels there is somewhat a break in continuity. In the sense that you are just watching random adventures for chuckles other than to have at least something to follow, look forward to and care about. By following this format, it is a great way to avoid ending a series with plots with a cliff-hanger or dissatisfying ending that would upset many as well as they can easily add on episodes or another season without falling back on the plot that has happened.

At first, Umaru was on the verge of being a very spiteful sister in my books. Because her character of bossing around Taihei like as though he is her eternal slave started to remind me of a particular anime of a sister and brother who didn’t get along together. Remember Kirino from OreImo? Yeah, I almost hated that b*tch the way she treats her brother. But after lots of episodes, you learn the character, you learn stuffs you didn’t know and in the end, the sister doesn’t turn out to be a total b*tch after all. It was the same for Umaru here. The first few episodes of Umaru playing hide and seek with her alter ego with her brother and friends sometimes make me feel hot under the collar.

But I remembered what I said in my opening paragraph about judging a book and jumping to conclusions. Despite only a dozen episodes, Umaru although still is the slacking sister, she is not as bad as you think she is. I even come to think that by bossing around her brother, this is her only way to show her love to him. You would have noticed that there are a handful of incidents that show Umaru does care for Taihei and panics like when he is not around when she thought he is supposed to and showing decent kindness. So all hope is not lost that Umaru can turn into a decent sister in any form. So okay, that might take a while unless something drastic happens. Like Taihei dies and she could either turn into a super responsible chick or just let alcohol (upgraded from cola) ruin her life. Oh well, let’s not get into that and ruin the ‘happiness’ of this series.

It is funny to see that Umaru has this ‘ability’ to change into her chibi form. At first I thought it was just figuratively speaking. Like you know, when she puts on her childish behaviour, this chibi form symbolizes it. Who knows, she actually can turn into this size without other people figuring out they are the same person! Or they must be that dumb. I know Bomber is but the rest? Chibi Umaru is definitely cute especially wearing that hamster hoodie and could have been cuter if she loses that selfish attitude. But then again, would Umaru be Umaru if she does not have this alter ego of hers? She could have been a great spy for the government with this double personality of hers. The best camouflage that nobody would suspect! Of course we would prefer very much for her to stay in her elegant form forever but I guess sometimes both sides need to ‘come out for fresh air’. Sometimes I feel a bit odd when she puts on her hamster hoodie because it is like it gives her the power to shrink into an evil chibi self. Really.

Taihei as the beloved brother is a character that you will have to give a lot of respect. He works hard as an honest salaryman and he can still find time to provide for his little sister who does nothing but laze around, if not complain her ass off if she does not get what she wants. Without this guy, Umaru would have been dead ages ago! I kid you not. This guy cooks. This guy does the cleaning. This guy does the laundry. This guy does everything! He is the ideal husband for every darn woman looking for a useful guy! And yet his efforts go unappreciated (mostly) by his closest and only family member as she continues to b*tch about like she is queen of the universe. At least in her own head. So once again Taihei, I respect you for caring so much for Umaru and I forgive the occasional top blowing when she steps out of line and yet she fails to learn it. You try to teach her but she refuses to learn and change, what more can you do? This guy has the most boring and uneventful life ever, stuck with a useless sister, her weird friends and dependent colleagues, sometimes you wonder if he had a bad karma in his previous life to deserve this.

Other characters feel okay but they aren’t as deep enough as you would expect some sort of interesting character development. For example, Sylphinford is your typical annoying halfie, the self proclaimed rival to Umaru that must challenge her to almost everything. All the time, she always has to settle for second place but does this stop her from becoming even more annoying with her future challenge declaration? Then there is shy girl Ebina whose only traits you will ever remember are her big boobs. The awkward and gloomy Kirie is a mixed baggage because her character is so awkward like as though she has a screw loose in her head. She can range from a killer stare to a creepy stalker. Her face is scary enough to scare away the devil! But either way, ever since meeting the siblings, at least they manage to open up a bit. Though, there is still a long way to go. Despite their different personalities, can you say that all 4 of them are like good friends?

Kanau is an interesting character since she has romantic feelings for the most responsible and boring guy in the world and it could have been chaotic if she was really thrown into the mix. Umaru would really start worrying if Taihei gets engaged to her because I mean, who would take care of her then? Then the fight for onii-chan begins! Not happening here. Her insults towards Bomber are always amusing to hear and despite her tough stance against that afro dude, she is like any other shy woman trying to get Taihei to notice her. So another year of Christmas watching DVDs alone?

It is a small world after all because who’d knew that 3 of the main female characters have older brothers working together in the same company? I can generally say that the relationship for each of the siblings differ from each other greatly. With Bomber and Kirie being the most obvious and most striking of the love-hate relationship. Sometimes we want to blame Bomber for being the blur head and slacker that made Kirie hate him but sometimes I think that is how they communicate. Although still uncomfortable around Taihei (albeit slightly improved), I think Kirie would rather hang out with this guy (and of course her master) rather than her big brother. I don’t see their relationship patching up soon given how dense Bomber is. Heh. Can’t even recognize his own sister… I’m not too sure about Alex and Sylphinford but I am deducing they are close enough but not close enough to know each other’s secrets. Especially with Alex being a perverted otaku who uses his workplace computer to browse through otaku products and having the cheek to ask Taihei to fix his PC when it freezes!

When you have a character that is into video games and the otaku culture, it cannot be helped that there would be popular references and trivia peppered throughout the series. Otherwise it will be just a big waste. The most obvious being that Hatsune Miku figurine. If you are fast enough you can spot other parodies that range from Street Fighter to Pokemon to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica to Death Note to One Piece to Mario Kart and that trademark hand pose from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Artwork and animation look pretty decent. Conventional anime standards but mostly leaning towards colourful, cute and kawaii. You might find the drawing and character designs a bit simple and average but I guess that is okay considering the genre this series is. Maybe a bit unrealistic because I was wondering if Sylphinford is some sort of aliens because she seems to have sine sort of petal shaped flower for her eyes (or is it stars?). Creepy or cute? This series is animated by Doga Kobo who also brought to you series like Plastic Memories, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, YuruYuri, Love Lab, GJ-Bu and Shin Koihime series.

Aimi Tanaka is the voice behind Umaru and I believe this is her first major role as a main character. The last I heard her was as Yuyan in Lance N’ Masques. It is quite amazing she can pull off different voices for Umaru’s different persona. Maybe that is why the rest can’t figure it out. The same can be said for Yurina Furukawa as Sylphynford and Akari Kageyama as Ebina in their first major role as new seiyuus. The rest of the casts are Kenji Nojima as Taihei (Yuuto in High School DxD), Haruka Shiraishi as Kirie (Ayumi Himekawa in Glass No Kamen Desu Ga), Hiroki Yasumoto as Bomber (Sado in Bleach), Tetsuya Kakihara as Alex (Natsu in Fairy Tail) and Ami Koshimizu as Kanau (Ryuuko in Kill La Kill).

It is chaotic frantic hamster frenzy opening! You’ll be spammed with lots of chibi Umaru and her hamster forms in the opening animation credits. The song itself is a denpa song with Kakushinteki Metamorphose sung by Aimi Tanaka as crazy and lively as it gets. Hope you don’t get hamster phobia after this. “U-M-R! U-M-R! UMA janai yo Umaru! U-M-R! U-M-R! UMA janai yo Umaru!” Yeah. Get ready to be spammed that line that might send you into a frenzy. The ending theme, Hidamari Days feels more like generic anime pop sung by the main female quartet. This time the animation spams the girls having a lot of fun in the sandy beach. Ah, if life could only be this bliss. Well, it has almost always been for Umaru at least.

Overall, this series is a mixed baggage of emotions. You will feel annoyed and irritated as Umaru’s irresponsible behaviour behind closed doors. You will laugh at all their funny antics and come to realize how dumb everyone is not realizing Umaru and Komaru are the same person. You will feel motivated at Taihei’s efforts in trying to be the responsible brother. You will feel your heart warmth all inside when you realize that after all that they have been through, they are just normal siblings who want to spend time in each other’s company. You will feel disappointed that this series is more or less the same thing in every skit and despite having potentials nothing much really happens. Who am I to judge Umaru? Here I am sitting and watching my animes instead of doing something useful. I have been a slacker even before Umaru was conceptualized!