The Cutest Anime Ever: Himouto! Umaru-chan

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Himouto! Umaru-chan cast artwork by Sankaku Head/Shueisha.

Welcome to one of Japan's popular television entertainment, the anime! Have you ever watched or heard of anime? Yes? No? Okay. Before I proceed writing about the cutest anime I found, let me give you a short overview about what anime is. Anime is a two-dimensional animation and a proud masterpiece of Japan which aims the young (and young at heart) viewers. There are variety of genres to choose from like shounen(most popular genre), shoujo, action, drama, adventure, comedy, romance, fantasy, historical, slice of life, sports, horror, mystery, music, magic, mecha, and a lot more. I can assure everyone that there will always be a show that would fit a person's age and current emotional needs so I highly recommend to check  the genre/s before hitting the play button.

Moving on, I believe any person who has a television or an internet connection had at least watched or if not, then maybe had seen a glimpse of an anime show. Now, from the numerous anime I had watched, there is this show that really captured my heart because of its cuteness. And this is what I will be sharing with everyone today.

Behold and scream "kawaii!"(cute!) with the cutest anime ever made(in my opinion of course), Himouto! Umaru-chan!

Himouto! Umaru-chan Story Overview

Himouto! Umaru-chan(My Two-Faced Little Sister) is a story about the daily life of a 16-year-old high school student named Umaru Doma, the main character of the story. She lives in a small apartment together with her brother Taihei Doma who had no choice but to tolerate her dual personality game. A very refined girl, intelligent, perfect role model student at school and a very childish, lazy, video game/manga(comics)/anime addict at home. Her latter personality, which is a top secret and her truest form, had never been discovered even by her closest friend who lives in the ground floor of the apartment building they are residing in.

Himouto! Umaru-chan started as a manga written by Sankaku Head and was adapted into an anime series by Doga Kobo and produced by TOHO Animation. The very cute series aired during the Summer of 2015 from July 09, 2015 until September 24, 2015 with an overflowing twelve episodes of cuteness.


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Second promotional video of Himouto! Umaru-chan.

Trivia: The word "Himouto" actually doesn't exist in the Japanese vocabulary. I guess it was just made for the sake of the story's title by combining the words "Himono onna"(dried-fish woman) and "Imouto"(younger sister). Himono onna is a slang term for a woman who keeps a pleasing image in public but is actually a bum, messy, unconcerned of her appearance woman when inside the walls of her home. So putting the words together resulted to a new word "Himouto", giving a new meaning "two-faced little sister" which is pretty accurate and a perfect title for the story.

Shortly after the series, an original video animation(OVA) was released entitled, "Himouto! Umaru-chan: Umaru-chan Mou Ikkai!". There was also a twelve-episode special of the series called "Himouto! Umaru-chan S" which aired from September 16, 2015 to February 17, 2016. Umaru-chan's cuteness even graced the PlayStation Vita as FuRyu developed a game called "Himouto! Umaru-chan: Himouto Ikusei Keikaku"(Himouto! Umaru-chan: Himouto Training Project) released last December 03, 2015. A short and a long promotional video of the game were uploaded on FuRyu's Youtube channel.


▪ Umaru Doma

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The two personas of Umaru Doma.

The protagonist of the series. Outside her home, Umaru is a perfect girl admired by everyone whether in school or in their community. Beautiful, neat, kind, intelligent, courteous, etc. You just can't say anything negative about her which totally makes her the ultimate role model every student would look up to. But Alas! Once she gets home, she reverts into her truest form which is the lazy, selfish, brat little sister. Her indoor self is drawn in a cute chibi(midget) form wearing an orange hamster hoodie, white long-sleeved shirt and pink knee-length leggings indicating the impending horrible switching of her personalities. She spends most of her time at home surfing the internet, watching anime, reading her favorite manga and playing video games until dawn even asking her brother sometimes to play video games with her but ends up disappointed with him when she wins. Meanwhile, Umaru pretends to be unfamiliar and uninterested with manga, anime and games at school but would actually let out an endless whining just to force her brother whom she calls "onii-chan"(meaning "brother") to buy the latest issue of JUMP Comics in the convenience store at the middle of the night.

Internet and playing video/arcade games is Umaru's life. She disguises herself with a hat and hoodie when going to the arcade center and even going by the name UMR. UMR is feared by the arcade's staff because of her winning skills that the store might get bankrupt in the future for losing most of their prizes in an instant.

(image source: Screenshot from Himouto! Umaru-chan by Katsanslimites)
The normal setting inside the Doma's apartment.

Umaru's bratty and lazy personality, of course, shares the same taste when it comes to her food choices. She loves cola, potato chips and anything that is junk food. She has two hamster pets named Hamujiro and Hamusaburo; and a cozy long cat plush pillow named Necolumbus which she bought online with her brother's money after her brother gave the Necolumbus prize he won from a rock-paper-scissors game to her friend, Ebina. Everytime her friend Ebina visits her apartment, Umaru reverts back to her fake pleasant personality.

▪ Taihei Doma

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Taihei being persuaded by his sister to buy a video game.

Taihei is Umaru's brother. He is a responsible hard working man and very considerate towards her sister. Cooking is his passion and making sure that his sister eats the right food is one of his missions. He is very much worried about his sister's sluggish attitude and poor choices of activities which he feared awaits a bad future for her. But apart from that, he is still very tolerant of her selfish demands, often taken advantage by his inconsiderate sister and always getting the short end of the stick. Although he's very considerate, he would scold his sister sometimes but would always end up losing from his sister as one of his weaknesses is a crying and whining Umaru especially when they are in public. He would receive glares from people for not giving or buying what Umaru wants which makes him appear to be the bad guy so he always ends up buying it to silence his spoiled sister.

Overall, Taihei looks reserved and calm. He was also a top student like Umaru during his high school. Often worried of his sister's academics, he is dumbfounded to how she manages to get perfect scores in all of her tests despite slacking off at home. Being the responsible sibling, he does all the household chores too. In one of the last episodes of the series, Umaru asked him to purchase a vehicle(of course all for Umaru's selfish intentions) but Taihei realizes that he fears driving when he test drove the vehicle they're about to buy.

▪ Nana Ebina

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Nana Ebina during a group study with Umaru. (If I'm not mistaken.)

Ebina is Umaru's best friend. Although despite being a best friend and residing in the same apartment building as the Doma's, she is unaware of Umaru's unpleasant second persona. She is a kind, shy and soft-spoken girl and also has some confidence issues because of being conscious of her own body. Even living alone in her apartment, she has a nice kitchen area which Umaru's brother applauded. Later on, she somehow developed an admiration for her best friend's brother.

▪ Kirie Motoba

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Kirie Motoba gets obsessed with Umaru's chibi form.

Kirie is one of Umaru's classmates and has a petite body and a bit messy hair. She has a difficulty reaching out to people especially to the person she admires(Umaru) due to her great level of shyness. However, she could somehow talk with the younger ones like when she went into the Doma's apartment and caught Umaru in her midget lazy form whom she thought was Umaru's little sister. (Umaru pretended to be a younger sister and even introduced herself with the name "Komaru". Umaru's little sister role play went successful that she was even later on referred as "Master" by Kirie.)

▪ Sylphynford Tachibana

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The overly confident Sylphynford Tachibana claims she's the best.

Tachibana is a classmate of Umaru. She is a self-proclaimed rival of Umaru with a goal of surpassing her in everything. Contrary to Kirie, Tachibana is a very competitive confident girl who sticks to her goal even though she always end up being the second best. She comes from an affluent family and has a German descent. In one of the episodes, she said that she loves everything Japanese and so she drinks matcha(green tea) often. One day, she bumped into UMR(Umaru) in the arcades whom she challenged around some games but later on persuades her to connive with her in defeating her greatest rival Umaru. (Tachibana has no idea that UMR and Umaru are the same person.)

▪ Takeshi Motoba

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Takeshi Motoba meets midget Umaru.

Takeshi Motoba is a co-worker and long time friend of Taihei Doma, Umaru's brother. His best distinguishing feature is his afro hair. Like his friend Taihei, he has a little sister too, Kirie Motoba. Although unlike the Taihei and Umaru, Takeshi has a bit of a violent sibling relationship with Kirie which he tries to fix but always get violently hurt by his sister(in a comedic way of course). He is the second to find out about Umaru's secret personality, his sister being the first. He also has a "tmetter"(Twitter) account going by the username @bomba_hair with a profile photo showing only the upper portion of his head literally only displaying his afro hair which fits perfectly for his username.

▪ Alex Tachibana

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Alex Tachibana.

Alex Tachibana is also a coworker of Taihei Doma and the brother of the self-proclaimed rival of Umaru, Sylphynford Tachibana. He has similar interest to Umaru like playing video games and watching anime. (Umaru and Sylphynford should probably just switch brothers. Though I believe that combination will be up to no good. Lol!)

Opening and Ending Theme Songs

One that makes an anime even more interesting and enjoyable is its opening and ending theme songs. The tune and emotions brought by these songs is an essential way to easily convey the story of the series. This less than two-minute songs is very powerful as it also acts as an overview of the series' art style and creativity.

Well, sometimes, I do base how good an anime series is through its opening theme song and animation as you'll mostly get to see all of the characters in it and luckily a sneak peek of how the story will go. I believe how they present their animation with the theme song gives a hint of how good or poor the series is because this should set the viewer's energy and interest for the next twenty plus minutes. However, I also believe that that is not always the case for all anime. It would still be the best option to watch the anime itself and not just by its opening song and animation.

Meanwhile, I would say that Himouto! Umaru-chan's opening theme song is without a doubt the perfect song for the series. The uber hyper cute song "Kakushinteki Metamorufo-se!" was sang by no other than the voice actress of Umaru Doma, Aimi Tanaka. Aimi's voice is so cute and really matches the childish behavior of Umaru. There's also a video of Aimi Tanaka singing the the song live! I am sure that Aimi Tanaka's voice acting career is going sky high with this voice acting role. 

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Himouto! Umaru-chan opening theme song and animation.

I would give an 11 out 10 rating for this opening song because of its overflowing cuteness. The song sounded really energetic which complemented to Umaru's crazy personality. The animation was also great and the part where a crowd of little Umarus in hamster jackets killed me and sent me straight to fluffy heaven.

On the other hand, its ending theme song "Hidamari Days" was sang by a newly-formed group named "SisterS" consisting of four voice actresses in the series namely Aimi Tanaka(Umaru Doma), Akari Kageyama(Nana Ebina), Yurina Furukawa(Sylphynford Tachibana) and Haruka Shiraishi(Kirie Motoba). Having the voice actresses sing for the opening and ending songs gave it a more personalized touch for the anime and I think it's really a good idea.

The Cutest Anime I have ever seen!

(image source: Screenshot from Himouto! Umaru-chan by Katsanslimites)
Umaru's getting very satisfied with her life.

I may have sounded a bit biased all throughout this post but believe me when I say it's the cutest anime ever because it's sure it is! (Haha!) This is just one of the anime that I instantly fell in love with, well, because of some similarities I find between Umaru and myself. Internet is both our life. It is one of our necessities next to oxygen(Believe it or not. Lol). We both love manga and anime too. I had also been addicted to online games and video games when I was little but had come to end it around college. And Umaru's undivided love for cola reminds me of the time(about the age of 8 or 9) when I was so addicted to cola and even cried when I found out that there was so little cola left. Little Katsanslimites didn't stop crying and eventually my brother was forced to go out at the late hours of the night to buy a liter of it. When it comes to Umaru's academic side, we do also have one similarity. I'm not a straight A student but I do get pretty nice grades even without putting too much effort on studying. But most of all, the greatest similarity we share is laziness and the heart of giving all the responsibilities to our siblings. In short, this anime was my life story. Just kidding!

Himouto! Umaru-chan was a hit in Japan and is also considerably successful around the world. I even saw it trend on Twitter Japan around last year. In fact, there are some stores that produces Umaru's hamster jacket and Necolumbus pillow. I came to think that the true to life scenarios is what made the show popular. I'm definitely sure a lot of people could greatly relate to Umaru's life especially that of her secret personality. Most people could see themselves in Umaru like how she balances her academics from her leisure and not being caught of her deepest secrets, which in return gives the viewers a personal attachment to the show. I believe this is one of the best and funniest anime of 2015. Seriously, if you're ready and willing to be drowned with cuteness, this anime is for you.

Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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