The “semi-improv” anime genre began in 2009 with gdgd Fairies, and since then it’s been a source of both laugher and confusion. 2018’s Himote House: A share house of super psychic girls is the latest take on this formula, and it feels in certain ways a culmination of all the previous works. If gdgd Fairies is the pioneer, Tesagure! Bukatsumono the most consistently funny, and Naria Girls the strangest failure, then Himote House is simultaneously the most indicative of experience and the most successfully experimental.
Ostensibly, the series is about a group of girls with super powers who all have trouble getting boyfriends, but the premise (as always) is mostly a pretense to set up joke after joke. Like most of its predecessors, the show is built around varying degrees of scripted comedy and impromptu improv moments. More than any other show of its kind, however, Himote House is willing to break with its own established patterns. Trying to find ways to be attractive to guys gets plenty of laughs, but only because they highlight the absurdity of the characters themselves. An episode at a bathhouse has to be seen to be believed—at once spoofing the exploitative power of fanservice and leaning hard into an awkwardness like no other.
These types of shows live and die by their actors, and Himote House fortunately brings back multiple veterans from past series such as Straight Title Robot Anime and Tesagure! Bukatsumono. Himote House will even occasionally call back to previous series as a nod to the returning fans. The biggest thing of all, however, is that the three of the gdgd Fairies are here too, and that includes seiyuu mega-star and Okada Kazuchika girlfriend Mimori Suzuko. I’m particularly impressed by Mizuhara Kaoru, who plays a very different but equally amusing character compared to her role as shrshr in gdgd Fairies.
As with its predecessors, Himote House hits home if you’re into a kind of disorganized humor that thrives just as much on when jokes fall flat as when they succeed—it’s all about the actors sticking the landing. Existing somewhere in the range between Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Inferno Cop, Himote House is, if anything, memorable.