From Maiden Japan, the anime publisher behind series like Glass Maiden, Ray and Papillion Rose comes the second season of the ninja girl series from GoDo, Himawari!
The story of Himawari follows a young girl named Himawari Hinata, who after being saved by a ninja as a child comes to the decision that she wants to become a ninja herself. To do this she travels to The Village of Mist and enrolls in the ninja academy where she meets a teacher, named Hayato Marikoji who saves her after a training mishap and bears the same mark as a ninja who saved her as a child. Himawari then makes a vow to Hayato that she will always remain by his side and protect him. Along with the rest of her class, who all excel at specific techniques, Himawari attempts to become a better ninja and serve her new master.
The second season of the series kicks off with the boy’s school coming under attack and all of the students go missing. As Himawari and the girls try to investigate the disappearances they are told that the school was closed down and destroyed and the student sent home, but something just doesn’t seem right and the girls eventually come under attack from ninja with strange abilities. As the group battles back the enemy ninja they eventually learn more than they could have ever expected, including a few dark secrets about Himawari and Hayato’s past.
The story of the series seems like it really isn’t going anywhere early on but around the halfway point things really pick up and the central story is brought to the forefront. Early on the girls just spend most of the time fighting off ninja with some of the oddest techniques you can think of, including a broccoli shaped ninja who uses poison and a woman who turns into a giant flying squirrel whenever she sees okonomyaki.
Visually the series has a nice look and if you’re familiar with the anime Girl’s High, another Genco produced series, then that should give you an idea of what the series looks like. Each of the character’s designs seem to match their personalities well and the altered ninja have some very unique looks that fit nicely with their special abilities. While there are fight scenes they likely won’t match up with series like Naruto but they are still drawn well and are entertaining to watch, and they won’t last 12 episodes like other anime.
The series is available in Japanese only with English subtitles and the Japanese voice cast match up very well with their characters with the exception of Himeji, whose voice just sounds off and doesn’t fit well with her hyper personality. The English subtitles are translated well and remain on screen for a long enough amount of time to finish reading.
The three disc set comes in a standard DVD case with a nice image that shows much of the cast, both allies and enemies alike. In addition to the anime the third disc includes a fair amount of additional features including a making of video, the clean opening and closing, promo videos and two ninja training videos that feature the voice actresses for the girls. The two training videos are especially entertaining and those viewers that enjoyed the anime will definitely want to check them out.
All in all Himawari likely isn’t the best ninja series that you will find, but if you enjoy ninja anime with plenty of comedy then this is one series worth looking into and Himawari, Too!! delivers everything that the first season offered and more. The one drawback of the series is that a few of the characters just aren’t that likable, including Hayato, whose personality just doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the cast, making it hard to believe they spend so much time around him.
Fans of anime like Naruto may want to consider adding Himawari, Too!! to their collection. If ninja action and comedy doesn’t appeal to you then you can always watch for Momota, a dog that travels with Yusura and uses a variety of different fart attacks to deal with enemies.
3.5 Out of 5
Publisher: Maiden Japan
Runtime: 325 minutes
Number of Episodes: 13
Number of Discs: 3 DVDs
Languages: Japanese with English subtitles
Age Rating: TVPG
Release Date: December 27th, 2011
(A review copy of Himawari, Too!! was provided by Section23 Films.)