Volume: Season 1 DV Set (13 eps.)
Distributor: Section23 Films, Maiden Japan
Genre(s): fantasy, ninjas, fanservice
Age Rating: TV PG
Runtime: 325 minutes total
Release Date: 10/25/2011
There are a few things that Japan just loves to turn into anime: ninjas, cute girls, and panty shots. More often than not, all three of those things will pop up in one series. It's a big niche that has a large audience in Japan, particularly with men young and old alike. A lot of these titles are getting U.S. releases and Himawari! meets all three criteria.
Not unlike Naruto, Himawari! is based around a small village called "Kasumi Kogen," or "The Village of Mist," which is populated by elite ninjas. At the center of the village is Shinobi Gakuen, a ninja school for girls only. The students are called "kunoichi" and nearly all of them later profess to all be genetically engineered to be almost superhuman ninjas. The girls are being raised to essentially be agents for Japan and so their entire lives are dedicated solely to their pre-destined profession.
The show's first episode opens with an enigmatic scene involving a cargo plane on fire and two sci-fi-looking soldiers struggling to keep the plane aloft. A girl in a test tube surrounded by lab equipment is flashed across the screen. The pilots determine they have to abandon the plane and before doing so, they have to destroy the cargo. Meanwhile, a lone ninja observes the approaching distressed plane, and using his superhuman jumping skills, manages to leap up and into the plane just before it explodes. Next, you see him falling to earth amongst the debris of the exploded aircraft with the girl in his arms. She wakes up long enough to note a tattoo on the ninja's neck before going unconscious again.
The first episode continues with the rescued girl, older and named Himawari Hinata, as she arrives at Shinobi Gakuen by way of kite. As before, she finds herself falling to earth once her kite gets tangled in a gate -- only to be saved by a passing male teacher named Hayato Marikoji who had also just arrived at the school.
Himawari, who had enrolled in the school to fulfill her dream of becoming a ninja because she had been saved by one, decides at that moment that she would thank Hayato for saving her by declaring him her "master."
Thus we have the premise for most of the episodes in this first season. Hayato, a 24-year-old teacher who took the job at the ninja school to settle a debt, has no ninja skills whatsoever. He was hired to teach the girls "real life skills" outside of being a ninja. However, he's clearly out of his element and often decides to leave -- only returning when he realizes how desperate he is for cash.