Himouto! Umaru-chan joins the ranks of anime that takes the idea of the “typical nerd” and spins it on it’s head. It follows a girl that loves anime, video games, and manga to the extreme. In that respect it’s somewhat like Lucky Star, though Umaru does have it’s own unique blend of humor and plot lines.
Umaru seems like the perfect high school girl. She is very intelligent, kind, and everyone adores her. When she gets home, it’s a completely different story. She is nerd to the extreme, bratty, and very lazy. The story follows Umaru and her brother as he attempts to navigate his younger sister’s extreme personality, and she attempts to navigate having the most amount of fun without being caught by her high school friends.
Himouto! Umaru-chan is funny, charming, and surprisingly endearing. On the surface it’s pretty simplistic, and frankly a lot of the moments in the anime live up to that. However there is actually a lot more going on, and the blend of the two helps a lot. Umaru herself is a character that you love, even though you should hate. She is rather selfish, and down right horrible to her poor brother at times. She then turns around and is incredibly kind to the people around her, without it being an act or “for show”. She might be bratty, but she’s young. Underneath that is a girl that only fakes so much of the “good” parts of her personality. Throughout the show she does learn to give her brother a break (though rarely), and reaches out to a number of people clearly in need of friends.
The growth that she shows helps to counter the brattiness of the character. She learns to appreciate her brother, and their chance at being close. Umaru takes advantage of his kindness more than once throughout the series, but she also adores him, and in her own way shows him that she appreciates him. She gathers a collection of friends that each need something different from her. Umaru shows them kindness and helps them to find what they need through their friendship with her, with only a few complaints.
She’s also downright hilarious though. Certain sections of the anime are devoted entirely to how to be the best at being a lazy nerd. She will explain the best possible snack combinations (with great detail as to why), what the best way to bathe and still game is, even how to best use your time so you can game, watch anime, and catch up on your comics every single day. She is the queen at all she does, especially at being a nerd.
There’s not much to say about this anime, it’s a charming slice of life. Umaru is funny, and most nerds will fall in love with her enthusiasm. The cast of characters is great, and the pacing is solid. There is some growth and development but the show is meant to be light, and it shows. It’s a great comedy, and a good break from anything dramatic.