Himawari anime review

Himawari anime review
Himawari Hinata recently transfered to Shinobi Gakuen to train to become the best kunoichi she can be. She wanted to be a ninja ever since she was saved by one when she was little. On her first day, she meets Hayato Madenokoji (a new transfer teacher) who saves her life. Hayato does not possess any ninja skills or traits—he is teaching the ninjas about normal society to pay off his debt. However, Himawari notices that Hayato bears the same mark on his neck as the ninja who saved her when she was young.

An original series by Studio Genco as created by Shigenori Kageyama, Himawari! is a thirteen episode series with its first season that goes to the light and simple approach to comedy and characters. In a lot of ways, it feels like a show that could have easily been done a decade earlier and fit in just fine since it’s largely an episodic work with a strand or two that carries through its entire run as a subplot that’s very lightly touched upon. That light nature is both a boon and a hindrance to the series since it never really does anything meaningful but if you’re looking for something light and fun you can definitely enjoy it without feeling like your brain is being taxed in the slightest.

The series revolves around the titular character of Himawari, a young woman who has spent her life watching ninja shows on television and aspires to be one. She’s dedicated herself to it for a long time and can quote the show Shinobi and knows everything about it when it comes to the popular (and apparently accurate) representation of what ninja are like. What she’s done to get to the next level though is to find her way to the Village of Mist, a hidden place deep in Japan where ninjas from all over the country come to train more in order to excel at their craft. What Himawari learns upon getting there though is that she has some significant competition as everyone else were basically bred to be as skilled as they are as they’re all test-tube babies. With that kind of advantage, Himawari has a huge obstacle to overcome in order to stay there for any length of time.

What she ends up with early on is a surprising booster for her participation there. When Himawari arrives at the school, it’s at the same time as a new teacher named Hayato. Hayato has a huge financial issue that has caused him to take this job in order to pay off a big debt so he’s the standard broke young guy trying to do right. What he didn’t know upon taking the job was that it was for a secret ninja school. The school wants one normal person teaching there so that the students can be used to being around your average nobody as the headmistress puts it. Hayato isn’t keen on staying there but his attempts at getting out don’t go well and the financial burden just makes it all the harder and he ends up stuck there. He and Himawari don’t really hit it off, but she’s intent on doing right by him since he manages to help her stay there and she intends to be his servant as is the norm.

With that setup, we’re introduced to a group of other ninja girls who operate in this girls only academy as the boys school is elsewhere since they need to be kept apart for basic and obvious reasons. The other girls are very much stereotypes, so much so that name retention is a difficult thing because they have no real personality that you can’t discern beyond their appearance. Short and cute girl. Glasses girl. Chesty girl. That says everything that needs to be said. They’re not interested in Himawari being in the school and while they don’t actively try to get rid of her, she doesn’t get much help from them even as Himawari is nothing but friendly, helpful and polite herself. Naturally, they start to see things her way more as the series goes on and it all firms up by the end, but even across the whole series, you never know anything about these kids besides how they exist in the school itself and all the goofy little ninja tests and challenges.

And this gets to be a problem in trying to connect with them because they’re such ciphers. Hayato gets the most time as we understand his background through a flashback that lasts a minute or two at most and that’s what you could call highly detailed here. When you get to the rest of them, there’s nothing about them. Himawari has a couple of meager moments where we see her watching the Shinobi show as a kid and one brief bit about how she used to take hot baths, but over thirteen episodes there’s nothing to clue us in to who they are. At least with the other girls it makes a little bit of sense since they’re test-tube babies, but really, you expect more.

When it comes to the ninja school material, it doesn’t really do all that much that’s exciting as it’s the kind of show that pulls things out as it needs to without making much sense. One episode focuses on Himawari helping an old ninja that got stranded in a gully, another has giant monsters stomping through the night causing trouble and then there’s various tests they undergo. Hot springs, Valentine’s Day chocolates, White Day gags and more. It doesn’t play to standard school material in a way at least, but it also doesn’t play hard when it comes to the ninja side of the schooling either. The majority of the adult cast is even less defined than the girls and that just helps to highlight that the show has no depth to it. The comedy is what it has to survive by and that’s just as light and unfilling as the rest of it. There are cute moments, such as chocolate shurikens, the way Himawari does her best to make Hayato happy and even the quirkiness of the headmistress, but it just kind of washes over you for the most part without making an impact. You may get a giggle here and there, but that’s not enough to sustain the show over the other weaknesses.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Himawari. Watch it now:
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