When the second episode features a beach episode, you can plot out the entire series from there on.
What They Say:
To welcome Himari to their class, the chairperson and Taizo plan a class trip to the beach. Himari toys with Yuto, making him choose swimsuits and summer clothes for her. However, once at the beach Himari's fear of water comes to light. An Ayakashi who manipulates water named Shizuku takes advantage of Himari's phobia and attacks, putting her in grave danger.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After an opening episode that trotted out just about every standard cliché for a series of this nature, the second episode leapfrogs a few other clichés to go right to a beach episode. In celebration of the new transfer student and providing an opportunity for everyone to get to know her better. It’s a reasonable enough setup but one that’s a bit more elaborate than most kids would take since it’d be easier to just hang out at the local hot spot where everyone socializes and get Himari there to talk about herself. Now, if this was organized by the boys, well, at least their motivations would be obvious.
What such a beach excursion does require though is bathing suits and Himari is obviously without one. Being as forward as she is, she makes sure that Yuto knows that he has to go with her to get one and pick it out for her. Rinko manages to get involved in it in the long run and we get the always fun montage of the lead female character showing off numerous outfits. Unlike some shows, Himari isn’t shy about this and she has fun playing it up and being all coy and innocent and then putting it all out there in a seductive way. It’s a nice change of pace, though I could have done without Rinko feeling her up at one point. Another nice nod is that Yuto is a good guy in that he tries to help Himari with her regular clothes since she only wears kimonos outside of her school uniform. It’s a good sweet little moment that works nicely to show that Himari isn’t completely tradition bound.
The beach adventure itself starts out fairly tame with Himari and the gang playing around and the guys all jaw-dropped over the swimsuits and the copious amounts of fleshing showing. There’s a very comical moment where Yuto comments about how soft Himari’s breasts are and that causes a flurry of action. Mostly though the show moves into the first full on frontal attack by the girl we saw in the previous episode, pint-sized child-like Shizuku. An Ayakashi herself, she’s serving the other Ayakashi as the one to take down the demon slayer that always hunts them when they just want to live in peace. The past isn’t the present though but all sides haven’t realized this, especially as Yuto himself is seemingly pretty unaware of a lot of things and nobody is actually having any kind of discussion about the past and what’s involved for the present and future. But that would mean we might have a show that involves some thought if that happened.
Omamori Himari serves up what’s expected of it with this episode and firmly establishes itself as the filler series of the season. It’s going to be mostly interchangeable with any number of shows in the past several seasons that deal with these kinds of characters and situations. Predictability is the key here and if you can get past that and enjoy the basic situational comedy, the simple but effective fanservice and the overall premise then you’ll like it well enough but it’s unlikely to be one of those shows you remember for years to come. There’s nothing inherently wrong with Omamori Himari, but if you’ve watched even a couple of seasons worth of anime in the last few years, you’ve seen this a few times. Which is why it’ll probably do fairly well and appeal to a wide audience.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.