CHIMIMO – Episode 1

By: Vrai Kaiser July 7, 20220 Comments
the sisters and chimimo playing cards

Content considerations: bodily fluids (vomit and urine)

What’s it about? The Onigami sisters—head of the house Mutsumi, money-minded artist Hazuki, and middle-schooler Mei—find their lives changed by the arrival of a gaggle of cute little blob-creatures. Except these tiny friends are actually chimimoryo, and they’ve brought their master along to turn Earth into a living Hell…as soon as they figure out how.

When I first saw the announcement trailer for CHIMIMO, I assumed it would be a short. Having sat through the segmented 24-minute premiere, I can conclude it most definitely should have been a short. Still, if you’re just looking to chill then CHIMIMO might appeal.

Jabberwork reading a handbook, surrounded by chimimo. "This is going to be the headquarters for "Operation: Turn the Human World into Hell"

Visually it evokes a style more common to children’s anime, with a watercolor palette and thick brush lines that look like a scroll painting of Hell was given a pastel Hello Kitty wash. Everything is rounded and soft, which is central to most of the jokes. The first half of the episode is the supernatural equivalent of a cute cat video, with the titular Chimimo napping on cats, riding on Roombas, and otherwise being adorable. It works well in montage but drags toward the eleven-minute finish, so it’s a major relief when their boss, Jabberwock the 8th, shows up and tries to wreak havoc.

Thus does the series’ other main wellspring of jokes appear: hapless fish out of water. Jabberwock has a Doofenschmirtz-esque aura around him, doubtlessly doomed to concoct elaborate plots that fall down around his ears. Still, the series isn’t interested in being especially cruel, as he’s welcomed into the family by the end of the premiere.

While most of the show is vibing with cute things animated in a pleasingly squishy and creative style, there is a slight undercurrent of melancholy about being a working adult: Hazuki feels left behind as she sees other people her age find success as professional artists, and Jabberwock’s first foray into the human world involves almost immediately being crushed to death under the paperwork requirements of trying to find a living space.

crushing list of requirements for rentals squishing Jabberwock into the corner. In red text: "Paperwork Hell."

There’s not a lot of meat on these bones, and in a more robust season it would already be left in the dust. But there isn’t a lot going on in the way of iyashikei series right now, and the vibes are soothing if you just want something gentle and even appropriate for older kids. It might not be the most memorable watch, but it’s a little slice of comfort in an especially Hellish present.

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