Doing this first because the fourth episode doesn’t come out ‘till a few days later, and I kinda don’t want to do batch reviews if I can help it.
The story arc this episode revolves around a scary girl named Motoba. Umaru first notices that Motoba has been staring at her around the time that midterms start. Umaru briefly wonders why Motoba is so interested in her, and wonders if Motoba actually knows about her secret life. However, she soon forgets about this worry to play games—that is, until Motoba herself appears right at Umaru’s door.
Umaru manages to pose as her own “younger sister” and befriends Motoba under these circumstances. It turns out that Motoba was actually just attempting to return Umaru’s student ID to her. And it is also further revealed that Motoba is simply an incredibly shy girl, who can’t seem to talk to anyone other than children.
Knowing this, Umaru attempts to befriend Motoba… with mixed results. The episode ends with one last skit, involving Umaru watching scary movies with her brother.
Wow, Umaru wasn’t a complete shit this episode? I’m actually surprised. Maybe it’s just that I’m getting used to her antics, or maybe she actually did have some character development this time around, but I found Umaru a lot less grating than usual and actually almost… nice? What is this world coming to?
So yeah, we get a proper introduction to a new character here, whose entire shtick is that she’s so shy; she comes off as really creepy and standoffish. Okay. I feel like I’d like Motoba more if I hadn’t already encountered this particular character trope so many times in the past. It just feels a little old hat, but at least Motoba is more unique in that her creepy antics are actually played off as really damn creepy instead of making her seem “moe moe.”
Other than the introduction of Motoba, there wasn’t much substance in this episode. The most surprising thing is that Umaru attempted to make friends with Motoba, and actually seemed to pity the other girl. Maybe Umaru isn’t a complete monster after all. But it’s still kind of baffling to me why Umaru cares so much about her outer appearances when she can’t be bothered to do anything but act like a slacker at home. I guess most people are the same way, in that we all act a little lazy when we know we’re home alone. I suppose the humor of the entire Himouto series is that Umaru takes it to the ultimate extreme. However, she’s shown that she CAN be motivated to do things sometimes, such as when she decides to seriously study for the midterm tests. At the expense of her brother, of course.
Overall, I’m finding myself more and more invested in this series. I still don’t like Umaru that much, but at least she’s nowhere near as bad as her first episode appearance. The humor in this series is seriously rather hit-or-miss (re: the whole gag surrounding Motoba), but at least the animation is still very high quality. The next episode seems like it’s going to focus on my favorite character so I’m excited.
Out of five for this episode: