Three student council girls pay off 2nd year high school boy Hime Arikawa's debt from his parents, and force him to be their dog for the remaining two years of his high school life in return. Oh, and he must also cross-dress for the entirety of that time, too.
I've never gotten the popularity of the "boys cross-dressing comedy" genre, and how throwing a guy in girls' clothes is supposed to be hilarious. Half the time the boy already looks girly to begin with. But of the few examples I've myself watched, Himegoto is by far the worst I've seen to use this tired idea. I already loathe male abuse played for laughs in anime, but Himegoto's case isn't just a few slapstick jokes here and there, and dressing the poor lead in a wig and skirt. It's far more sinister and tasteless in its approach.
So our male lead, Hime, spends about 97% of the series in girls' clothes, and a lot of it being hounded/adored by his male classmates, despite his gender reveal early on. While he does wear a wig, he does have naturally pink hair (and he's voiced by an actress), as does his little cross-dressing brother Kaguya. Also, as revealed in the first couple of episodes, he already wore girls' clothes in middle school and when he was being chased by those guys who were collecting his parents' debt. (I wonder if they're best friends with the parents of the main lead of Hayate the Combat Butler!. Hell, I bet they vacation together.) This isn't exactly new to him, a revelation that I found more depressing than funny.
Of course, as Himegoto reveals later, Hime and his brother are hardly the only cross-dressers in the series. With the exception of Hime's bastard friend Yuuma (who literally feels him up in his only episode directly interacting with him in the series), every male in the series is a cross-dresser. Most of the other cross-dressers are part of the public morals committee, led by thrd-year-student-who-looks-like-he's-12 Mitsunaga, the one and only character in the series with a functioning brain, and the only one who ever calls out the student council girls for their abhorrent behavior. Not that it matters, since the girls never get reprimanded for their actions and the series treats him like a joke. And that's the "funny" part of Himegoto; all of the cross-dressers in this series are, for the most part, portrayed as laid-back, relaxed, nice people. The people who don't - the three student council girls and Yuuma - are portrayed as repugnant, mean-spirited assholes.
And yes, the student council girls are absolutely horrible, pure and simple. Leader 18-kin/18+ (yes, that's her name she's referred to) likes to force Hime into positions/favors the student council does, which conveniently involve him cross-dressing every time. She and the other girls don't dress up in these filly outfits they make him wear, mind you; just him. (Aside from two episodes with obligatory swimsuits, because otaku pandering.) Albertina II talks abusively through a puppet and has an unfunny running gag about her chest, which involves her whipping Hime with measuring tape when he brings it up. (Male abuse! Hilarious!) Unko is slightly more likable than the other two members, but the series makes up for that by making her absurdly perfect at everything she does. She's apparently the student council president and the smartest girl in the school, despite the series treating her like a bland genki girl until they announce this.
Oh yeah, did I mention the girls constantly insult the other guys in this series simply for being men? And that most of these insults involve mocking them for having a penis for no discernible reason than to remind us these boys are indeed cross-dressing as girls?
Aside from the above, the other "joke" with the student council girls is that they get away with everything. Hime is constantly forced into situations where they reveal his underwear and his male bulge (with them taking pictures of it at times!), which is a running gag portrayed near once an episode. One of the meaner examples is one episode where they force Hime to teach the boys in their school how to swim, despite that 1) he can't swim and 2) the student council girls, who CAN swim, do diddly squat as they watch Hime get fawned upon by the other boys as they relax. One later episode even hints that when it comes to their bullying of Hime, it's not even the first time they've pestered another student like this. The nadir of their not giving a damn about Hime's feelings comes in the penultimate episode, when Hime gets stripped and fondled by two guys, and they just stand there and watch him from the bushes! When Mitsunaga comes out and yells at them, they say they wanted to see where it would go from there, and were planning to eventually save him.
Congratulations, Himegoto! You have successfully pulled off the worst single scene of any series I've ever reviewed for this site in the 12 years I've been reviewing on here. These girls are monsters! And their ignoring him is played for laughs, mind you! Of course Hime leaves the student council after this, but then he goes back in the final episode because status quo demands him to. Bah! (Also, he gets force kissed by someone. Blah.)
While most short comedies shows of this type I've seen are at their worst a mindless time waster, Himegoto left me frustrated every episode. Awful characters, combined with a terrible one-joke premise of a boy forced to cross-dress and being treated lower than a dog every episode, equals one terrible series. The very few jokes in the series that are actually funny (like Hime's top half of his swimsuit coming off, and him covering his nonexistent chest by impulse) are drowned out by the endless barrage of male butt, chest, and penis bulges, which are some of the most desperate examples of fan service I've seen in the near 20 years I've been watching Japanese animation as a hobby. I'd watch the entirety of Rizelmine before watching another second of this unfunny, insulting pile of garbage that dares to use the word "comedy" to describe itself with. Galaxy Angel Rune and Kotoura-san look like Mel Brooks films in comparison to this. Even Maria Holic's self-titled lead wasn't this flat-out nasty to Kanako.
Imagine if the genders were swapped, and it was a bunch of guys making a girl cross-dress to pay off a debt…oh wait, we have that. It's called Ouran High School Host Club, and that series was actually funny, charming, and not creepy. And the female lead didn't need to dress in outfits that revealed her panties every episode to be cute, either.
Did I mention Himegoto was directed by a guy who directed hentai beforehand? Suddenly everything makes more sense.
It doesn't even deserve the one star I gave it. Add a very cautionary star if you don't mind really mean-spirited humor and enjoy boys cross-dressing. — Tim Jones
Recommended Audience: Between the physical/emotional torture of a boy cross-dressing for laughs, shots of male bulges in underwear nearly once an episode, and rape played for comedy (!), I can't recommend this to anyone.
Version(s) Viewed: crunchyroll.com stream, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Himegoto © 2014 Norio Tsukudani / Ichijinsha / Himegoto Production Committee
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