12 Days of Anime #1: “Umaru and Christmas and New Years” December 24, 2015Posted by navycherub in 12 days of anime, Anime, Essay, Umaru-chan.
Tags: 12 Days of Anime, Anime, Umaru-chan
Bet you weren’t expecting this one.
Himouto! Umaru-chan isn’t the most thematically complex show, I admit. It is much more preoccupied with making jokes at the expense of its hamster of a main character than saying something about the human condition. This episode is not much different in that respect; if you’ve seen an anime Christmas or New Year’s episode, you probably know what to expect from the basic beats of this one.
However, in its most vulnerable moments, Himouto! Umaru-chan does have a compassion for bonds. Between siblings, between friends, the small ways we make sacrifices for each other or try to lift each others’ spirits is the one Big Idea this show tries to play with every once in a while. With that in mind, this episode has one of my favorite little scenes.
It is New Year’s Eve, you see, and Umaru, her brother, and Bomber are hanging out and enjoying the evening together. They spend some time under the kotatsu, and as the time grows closer to midnight, Bomber brings out the big guns: beer and snacks. Taihei is a bit hesitant, because he doesn’t want to drink with his sister, and in one of her very rare moments of selflessness, Umaru reveals that she has her own snacks and cola to share with the group.
I really love the times Umaru shows the appreciation and love she actually holds for her brother and friends. There is actually a story to tell there, about how embarrasing it is to admit how much you care about the people around you, and for the most part Umaru-chan expresses that through jokes, which is fine. It’s really these scenes, though, played (for the most part) straight, that punctuate that idea, and prove to me that Himouto! Umaru-chan is aware of itself.
There is some other stuff in this episode along these lines – particularly the extremely funny post-credits scene that turns around the manager character and humanizes her in an incredibly amusing way – but since it is Christmas, I’ll cut it short. Thanks for reading these posts, and I hope you have a good rest of your year and continue to support me in 2016.