Ai KakumaShinya TakahashiShinichiro MikiMamiko Noto
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2022
Director: Aruto Pino
Writer: Kimiko Ueno
Actor: Ai Kakuma, Ayaka Shimizu, Haruka Shiraishi, Hitomi Sasaki, Junichi Suwabe, Kohei Yanagi, Mamiko Noto, Megu Umezawa, Miki Ito, Shinichiro Miki, Shinya Takahashi, Takaya Hashi, Yuria Kozuki
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2022
Review date: 20 December 2023
chimi mo
It's cute. It has the soothing but insultingly cheap animation you'd see on a weekday afternoon in a three-minute snippet aimed at the under-fives. (Misaki, aged five, liked it.) Nothing much happens. It has a cast of three sisters (Hazuki, Mutsumi, Mei), one big hairy bloke (Jabberwock) and lots of adorable blobs with faces who can only say "chimimo".
However, it aired at 1:30 am. It's for adults. Jabberwock and the Chimimo are fiends from hell who want to turn the Earth into an inferno, although they're not trying very hard. Jabberwock's a pushover. These demonic legions are living with Hazuki, Mutsumi and Mei and they help around the house.
The early episodes I enjoyed. The show's second half got dull and I fast-forwarded through most of it, although the last episode's okay.
While the status quo's in flux, the show's fun. Ep.1 shows us that the Chimimo reproduce like Gremlins, while the clueless Jabberwock finds that renting office space is its own kind of hell. A dog urinates on him and Hazuki vomits on him. It rains. This is a laugh. Also, the girls are amusingly relaxed about having Satan's legions in their garden, so long as they're cute and/or can pay the rent. After all, hellfire is useful for roasting marshmallows.
Jabberwock's mission isn't lip service, though. He's being badgered by his hell-boss (e.g. writing reports) and he really is trying to do evil. Ep.2 suggests boiling mankind to death in a pot. Ep.3 suggests throwing a human into hell... and Mutsumi likes the idea, if it's her annoying boss at work. (Perhaps. She keeps changing her mind.)
This has teeth. I could have got behind this, but the show's not serious about its darkness. Nothing bad happens and one of the show's staple jokes is boringly mundane everyday "hells". For instance... the hell of finding too late that there isn't a spare toilet roll. The hell of a toothbrush that's slightly too hard, but not so much that you throw it out. This is amusing initially, but it undermines the show. The second half is largely skippable, with slice-of-life nothing-stories like Mei trying to be a Twitter influencer and Hazuki going on a diet. (I liked the kitten tale in ep.8, though.)
The sisters' characterisation is simple, but likeable enough. Mutsumi is maternal, Mei is a child and Hazuki is a money-grubbing art student who gets drunk.
I wanted to like this show. I like the juxtaposition of its childish art style and its more sophisticated content. I think lots of people judged on first impressions and skipped over it because it looks like a cute throwaway. Nonetheless, if you watch a full episode, I think you can trust your initial reaction. Ep.1 is its highpoint, after which it's all downhill. If you don't think this is for you, you're right. If you're left wondering if it might be okay, give it a whirl... but dump it if it gets boring. You might love it, though. Misaki did. Those little bouncing Chimimo are indeed adorable.