With only one episode left of this season, I figured it was time to catch up on Himouto! Umaru-Chan R. Need to catch up too? Check out my previous review here.
The latter half of this season of Umaru-Chan explores the title character’s relationships with others, with a special focus on Taihei and Sylphinford. Umaru – as her alter ego UMR – tries to spend more time with Sylphin and explore Sylphin’s interests. The pair explores an old fashioned department store, which ends up later being torn down to build an amusement park. UMR also takes Sylphin to Sagamiko Park, one of the first places in Japan Sylphin visited nearly a decade ago. Their sudden interest in retro locations causes the two to realize something profound. While these places may be torn down or closed, their memories of the time spent their will last a lifetime.
While Umaru’s friendship with Sylphin grows, her friendship and kindness with Kirie allows Kirie to come out of her shell. Kirie makes it her mission to help Ebina end up with Taihei, and works with Ebina to ensure she and Taihei end up in romantic situations together. Unfortunately for them, Umaru unknowingly ends up being the third wheel in these situations. Be it joining the pair in cooking, or turning a skating event into a group outing, Umaru continues to unknowingly ruin any romance between the two.
Kirie also begins opening up to Taihei and Bomba. She is much more friendly and talkative to Taihei than she used to be. She even admits to Taihei that her dream job is to be a children’s author. Taihei surprises her by saying her dream is worth pursuing. She even voluntarily hangs out with Bomba, reclaiming some of the closeness the two used to possess. This upswing in positivity seems to happen after Umaru spends time with Kirie at an amusement park. Kirie, who was having an extremely unlucky day, wanted to go on one ride alone with Umaru. Sensing her friend is upset, Umaru and Kirie head on a ride alone together. The joy this brings Kirie causes her to realize she is rather lucky.
With all of the struggles the characters are facing working themselves out, conflict had to arise in a new form. When Umaru wins an award for academic excellence, she is joined onstage by the winner for the AP classes. The winner – Hikari Kongo – has an obsession with Taihei, and the two view each other as rivals for Taihei’s attention. Unbeknownst to Umaru, Taihei and Hikari share a past and have spent quite some time together. Hikari is Kanau’s younger sister, and she spent a lot of time with Taihei when he would visit Kanau after school. Realizing that Hikari is spending time with them to avoid being alone, Umaru begrudgingly allows Hikari to join them for dinner on multiple occasions.
I really enjoy how all of the characters have been fleshed out. They all have a depth and purpose for being in the show, and reasons for acting as they do. The only downside is I feel they introduced Hikari far too late. It now feels like they’re rushing to develop and overcome the conflict between her and Umaru. I feel like if they had introduced her at the start of the season, we could also have more of Taihei’s backstory developed. Hopefully this is resolved nicely in the finale.
Himouto! Umaru-Chan R airs Sundays exclusively on Anime Strike.