I recall reading Omamori Himari a long time ago, but I stopped for some reason. Years after, I’ve finally gotten around to finishing the relatively short manga series.
Truth be told, it’s nowhere near as good as I recalled it to be. That’s definitely due to a case of growing up and getting way too much exposure to good shows in recent years. The plot is pretty dull, the characters can feel awfully one-dimensional at times, and the harem situation is boring.
If not for Himari as a character, the series would really fall flat on its face. As it stands, she carried the story basically from start to finish. She’s the mysterious cat-girl slash bodyguard fighting for her master against the odds. Oh, and her own nature as a demon. For all the ‘struggle’ Yūto faces, it’s far less interesting than the slow, insidious struggles that Himari had. Fashioning her as the final ‘villain’ was a smart decision, and ending the manga in a swift and conclusive manner is worthy of praise. No dragging out the story, no insertion of inane crap. Just a simple, sweet happy ending.
I wish Kuesu’s situation was elaborated upon, focusing on the consequences more than on Yūto’s acceptance of her. I wish Rinko was more than just dead weight at times. I wish the villains were more vicious like their reputations suggested. I wish the bubbling potential for dilemmas was fully realised and not just half-assed.
But this is, at its heart, a light-hearted shōnen harem manga. The number of scenes with ecchi is proof. So I shouldn’t be judging it like Shingeki no Kyōjin, but To LOVE-Ru instead. And far too often Yūto gets into situations Rito does, just with more willing girls.
So if you’re going to read Omamori Himari for any deep themes or an interesting plot, it’s probably the wrong manga. For ecchi though? Go right ahead.