This Week in Anime
Himote House is a Hidden Absurdist Comedy Gem

by Andy Pfeiffer & Steve Jones,

Himote House didn't catch much attention when it first aired, with its janky animation and head-scratching premise. This week, Andy and Steve reveal what's so special about the newest work of nonsense from the creator of gdgd Fairies.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the participants in this chatlog are not the views of Anime News Network. Spoiler Warning for discussion of the series ahead. [Not Safe For Work warning for content and language.]

@Lossthief @Liuwdere @A_Tasty_Sub @vestenet


Andy
Hey Steve! I've got something very important to talk to you about today. Have you heard...
Steve
no no no no No No No NO NO NO
We could get in on the ground floor and leave this TWIA gig in the dust! I just need you to supply about $50,000.
Real talk I wish janky 3D rigs of anime girls selling obvious cryptocurrency scams was only relegated to the realm of satire, but I guess this goes to show just how much Himote House has its finger on the pulse of our current anime hellscape.
Before watching this, I would've said the most self-aware show of 2018 was GeGeGe no Kitarō, but I should've known that the monster mastermind behind gdgd Fairies was not to be doubted.
I guess we should try to explain what Himote House is about.
.................um.
.......you start.
Himote House, like its predecessors from the same director, is a short that split its time between semi-scripted absurdity and actor improv segments.
Ostensibly, it's about five girls (and one cat) in their 20s sharing a house together, only they each have psychic powers. In the end, that detail is entirely irrelevant.
Unsurprisingly, the psychic powers are there mostly for the occasional gag. It's more of a way to complement jokes rather than be the joke itself, which was honestly really well done.
Even then they're referenced sparingly, and in most episodes they don't come up at all, despite the subtitle of the show being "a share house of super psychic girls." Of course, that's also another layer of the absurd onion that is Himote House's sense of humor.
Tae doesn't even have powers until she concentrates really hard in the premiere and ends up cloning herself. Like you do.
Bless the animators for using that copy paste tool to the fullest. This power is very pivotal to the plot by the way, because how else do you manage to get a cast of five to field enough players for a baseball game?
True. And that was a very educational segment as well.

The fact that someone found a baseball rule book and spent the time to write an episode about every corner case rule scenario is absolute gold. I'm not sure how popular Himote House was, but I hope deep in my heart that the google metrics for Randy Johnson hitting a bird rose a little that day.
That's pretty much Himote House's M.O. in each of its sketches. They take an idea, run with it, and at no point think about stopping. And somewhere between the janky 3DCG. the seiyuus' ad-libs, and the whole show's commitment to its own ridiculousness, it just works. It's so dumb that it consistently had me laughing.
It's the perfect kind of dumb that draws you in and lets you accept anything that happens. You get that this is just as ridiculous to the voice actresses, but their fun is infectious and surprisingly, they are brutally honest at times.
Those are my favorite sections by far. The seiyuus literally just get together in the studio and shoot the shit based off the prompt of the day, then they take that recording and tailor some basic animation and illustrations to it.
For example, we get this scene about delivering a pizza to Ozymandias from Fate GO.
And sometimes (a lot of the times), they just mercilessly poke fun at each other.
I was going to ask which bit was your favorite, but then I realized I couldn't even narrow it down. From "What would be the worst thing to hear in helium voice?"
To this too-real moment:
Even the cat gets involved!

I didn't think to mention that the cat talks because it's not remotely the strangest thing about the show.
I know there are other shows with similar content style divides, and I often end up wishing the entire show was just one of those choices or the other, but Himote House nails all of it. There's even a third lesser-used segment involving tourism cats that I wish there were more of.
Yeah! They only have two of those skits, but they're both highlights. The first is my favorite, because it's actually a recording of them visiting a park and speaking with one of the tour guides while it's raining so loudly, but that just adds to the appeal. Like, they're just doing the best they can given their limited resources, and it's super charming, not to mention funny.
The tour guide completely steals the scene with some of his deadpan answers, and then torpedoes it with an unprompted admission. It was beautiful.
Himote House definitely feels more akin to a variety show than your average anime, but the VAs all have fantastic rapport, so it works super-well. This is also something of a reunion tour for the crew behind gdgd Fairies (same director/writer, and the three Himote sisters are the three fairies), so I also think its success is a result of everyone being super-comfortable around each other, willing to let loose and get weird.
Super Weird
I believe you meant to say Highly Intellectual and Politically Engaged
Exactly. It was totally weird and unexpected but incredibly cool in execution.
This leads to the subject of my favorite episode. I didn't manage to watch it in 2018, and even then I don't think Himote House would've made any best-of list as a whole, but if I decided to go further and do some sort of "favorite anime episode of the year", then it would absolutely be the Yuri Yuri Game of Life.
It's so good, and to me the most unexpected application of Himote House's M.O. It starts off with the girls playing a yuri-fied version of The Game of Life, which mostly serves to poke fun at the cliches of the genre. But then it just keeps going.
At first I thought the joke was just "oh whenever a cliche happens they lose a turn", but then it split the game into two teams: Team Emigrated to Europe and Team Stuck in Japan. And hoo boy.
The joke quickly turns into a brutally acerbic demonstration of the everyday discrimination that queer couples in Japan face due to bigoted laws and attitudes.
It doesn't mince words.

While the European couple celebrate pride, the Japanese couple can't find a place that will let them rent. And finally, the big gut punch comes while the European couple are raising a child together.


It's a standout among standouts. I liked the Evangelion gag about trying to open a stuck container. I enjoyed the silly baseball rules episode. But I absolutely loved this. The ability to make such dark comedy land is hard, and this episode nailed it.
I mean to top it off, the game ends in a draw, because the only thing that matters in the game of Life is:
If for any reason you thought that queer activism and awareness wasn't a thing in Japan, then [gestures toward this entire episode]. Also I love the deliberately low-res jpeg of the game board. Himote House is art.
Hasbro's got nothing on this legally distinct blur.
So here's an important question: who's your favorite super psychic girl?
That's easy, it's Dio.
God, same.
I'm sorry, but did they even try to give her competition?
Tokiyo's whole thing is quoting aphorisms nobody has ever heard of and speaking stilted Japanese like a foreigner, despite the fact that she's native-born. So in other words she's perfect.
She also apparently causes The Hangover episode, so credit where credit is due.
To be fair, "everyone being super drunk" could just describe every episode.
I will take this to mean she is responsible for every episode and like her even more.
I mean, somebody has to take the blame for the Bitcoin fanservice episode.
Excuse you, it's called Mokarucoin and you'd better buy a lot of it so they can make more Himote House with all the scammed invested money.
Words can't adequately do that episode justice. Screenshots alone don't tell you that the seiyuus are all moaning erotically in between their explanations of blockchain. If you only want to watch two episodes of Himote House, make them episode 7 (the Yuri Game of Life) and episode 11 (the nude crypto one). But the entire show is one big beautiful shitpost, and I really recommend it if your sense of humor is broken like mine.
It's not even much of a time commitment. I'd definitely check it out, as at least one of the various segments will probably be agreeable to you. If nothing else, you get cute cut-ins of the characters dressed like other shows every episode, which makes for a fun guessing game.

I'm struggling to think of a closing joke, but Himote House didn't finish its last episode in time and had to end with a clip show and a sketch about the girls playing a random card game, so this actually feels appropriate.
I don't have a closing joke either, so I'll just leave you with some valuable life tips I learned.

And when in doubt!

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