The truth about Yuuto's past brings to light yet another buxom babe who wants to be a big part of his life.
Writer/Artist: Milan Matra
What They Say:
Severely allergic to felines, Yuuto Amakawa spends his mornings nursing a drippy nose courtesy of his friend Rinko’s cat. But on his sixteenth birthday, it’s not just Rinko’s pet that’s riling up his allergies (to say nothing of his hormones)! Appearing before him is Himari, a buxom, sword-wielding cat spirit in human guise, who has sworn to protect Yuuto, now the target of vengeful spirits! It’s clear that Yuuto’s allergies are the least of his problems — he’s gonna need Himari’s help if he wants to live to see his seventeenth birthday!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Going into this volume of Omamori Himari was kind of an unusual experience. I had watched the one season that was animated back in the Winter of 2010, finished it whereas other reviewers seemed to largely falter, and I found that I had enjoyed parts of it but was frustrated by the execution of the show. A lot of that simply comes from the style of the manga itself where it introduces new women on a fairly regular basis and plays with a predictable storyline involving childhood promises. The show did grow on me a bit and I found that I rather liked the dirty nature of much of it, something that's definitely present, if not more so, in the manga the anime was based on.
The third volume follows the events where Yuuto began to get back more of his memories as the block had started to fall away, but his memories aren't helping him that much. While he thinks that things were pretty tight with him and Himari in the past, something she definitely agrees with, his memory is still playing tricks on him. The big trick is that he thought he kissed Himari when they were younger, it was actually someone else that he can't remember. Himari's pretty unhappy about this revelation, but it leads her to thinking about what kissing means more. It's actually rather cute as she starts to examine how her body and heart works as she wants to experience an actual kiss for herself. There's a pleasant innocence about her as she works through it and finds the situation turning to her favor for actually trying it. Even Yuuto doesn't get freakish about it in a bad way but rather understands it himself and why Himari feels like she does.
Where the series takes a somewhat unwelcome turn, but one that does admittedly work, is when it introduces the character of Kuesu. At age sixteen, she's come to Japan as one of the future leaders of one of the clans, one that was largely turned away from the others because they left the country and went for western magics. Her intent, a smart one, is to tie her clan together with Yuuto's since they're been on the outs with the other clans as well over the years and that will give them an edge. And with her own past with Yuuto, she can make an easy splash back in his life, especially since he's hanging around with lots of ayakashi which doesn't go over well with most of the clans. And Kuesu herself isn't too happy with it since she doesn't exactly want to consort with someone who isn't as pure as she is. She adds a new wrinkle to things, which is fairly predictable, but I liked that her overall idea is one that has merit and is a realistic approach to cementing her own family's position in the grand scheme of things.
Having had mixed feelings about the anime series, I was curious to check out this volume when it arrived to see how closely it was adapted. The anime certainly did a good job of capturing the manga, but I can't help but feel that the more detailed artwork here and the far more provocatives poses of the characters gives it a much dirtier feeling. And it works in the books favor to be sure. While I'm not exactly jumping up and down to read more, since it has some material to cover to get past the anime, it's definitely better done than I thought it would be. It uses some predictable things when it comes to the story ideas but it executes them well and has it largely grounded in a right and proper approach for the situation, whether it's Kuesu trying to cement her position and clan or Himari trying to understand what it means to kiss someone.