First Impressions – Etotama


What’s your sign?

…and here we have out latest in the Spring seasons First Impressions..oink! This is a pretty wild show oink, and it has more than it’s far share of bluster, keeping you amused, bemused, or transfused (?) oink. Sorry, Year of the Boar here…but let’s hear from the cat….
Hello nya! Are you ready for some more first impression posts, nya? Or are you terrified i’m going to put nya at the end of every sentence because it’s annoying nya? Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ve heard enough nya-ing in the episode itself so I’ll tone down the kitty vibes…nya.

Zodiac Girls are GO!


This show is colorful!

Overcooled// I find that the Chinese Zodiac is an appealing concept because you get a personalized, rad animal that’s supposed to explain your personality. It’s a similar concept to astrology where the day you’re born is apparently all you need to know the traits of a person. It’s a little bit silly, but there’s a lot of harmless fun to be found in identifying as the different signs. Etotama took this knowledge and made a show about all the Chinese Zodiac signs so that we, the viewers, could self-identify as whichever adorable girl is our patron Zodiac God.

For instance, I’m a horse so I have my eyes glued to the screen to see every little twitch the horse girl makes to see if she matches up to me. I think a lot of the appeal here is that they all look like iconic mascot characters with great designs so you should be inclined to buy merchandise of your sign and brag about how cute you are. Unfortunately, the horse looks like a generic priestess and boring as hell so I’m sad I missed out on being a cute nurse sheep by just a few days. How fitting that would be! Yes, I’m taking this show rather personally. It’s not like I eagerly read my horoscope whenever I see the newspaper lying on the subway or anything!

Anyways, I have to applaud the financial extortion of the Zodiac concept. If it worked for Fruits Baskets, it can work here. But beyond that shiny veneer of cuteness, it does feel like something is missing. Or maybe just not put into place yet. We’re introduced to almost the entire zodiac at once (no rat yet!), making it very difficult to get a grasp on everyone. It’s convenient that a cour is the right length to show each zodiac member per episode, so why rush it all in the opening act? I’m also a little stunned that things genuinely developed by Nya-tan popping out of a hole and then sexually harassing a minor.
Some fuka fuka before your fuwa fuwa
It was like watching a girl going through her “so raNDOM~XD!” phase and wanting desperately for them to stop injecting sugar directly into their veins so they could calm down and be decent for once. If Nya-tan weren’t so physically cute, I’d tire of her endless gimmicks immediately. Honestly, the fact that she pretend Dora-tan betrayed her just to add false depth to her character says everything I need to know about how shallow she is. She couldn’t decide on her character type? More like her creator couldn’t be arsed to…
At least she isn’t Black Hanakawa…
This is a show where cuteness prevails, and despite Nya-tan trying desperately to win the Most Annoying Female Lead award, it didn’t turn me off enough to drop the show. I’m invested in the other Zodiac signs (*gazes wistfully at the horse girl*), the Sol/Lull thing is cliche but works really well for this kind of show, and the CG fights look really good. I’m not sure what’s up with this season and good CG, but both Show By Rock!! and Etotama have made the fusion of anime and CG look wonderful. Even if you don’t like the slice of life aspect, it’s worth watching every week just to skip to the cool battles!
It looks like she knows how to keep the audiences interest…
skylion// So…mukashi mukashi…when the Land of the Rising Sun was a new born place, the gods decided it need protection. So they threw a big festival, and all the animals were invited to become part of this guardian host. Except for that dirty Rat playing baddie to the Cat; leave it to vermin to spoil everything. With the Rat’s evil mechanization, Cat was left out of the Zodiac, and what was true then, is true now. It’s a rampaging monogatari of roaring revenge! Look out Rat….the Kitty Got Claws!

No. No kitty doesn’t. What she does have is a rather plain main character, who is desperate for a cheap place to call home, no matter what sort of esoteric problems come front loaded; such as a portal to alternate troublesome dimensions, and the aforementioned kitty. She’s not a full fledged eto-musume or zodiac-girl. But, if she can somehow rally enough soul energy from this hapless guy, she might be able to challenge Rat for her place in that sacred circle. Is cuteness a way to his heart? That remains to be seen…Her first opponent is Dora, the dragon girl. Yeah, it’s just that sudden…


Moe Moe Soul!

Which isn’t to say the rest of the eto-musume have no problems themselves. It seems most people cannot spot recall all twelve of them in one go. Man on the street interviews show the people kinda lose track of them after six or so. As these girls are connected to the gods, that lack of attention has to spell trouble at some point. And so we have plot, such as it is. Which when you think about it, that’s all you really need.
The show goes way overboard on kawaii factor, and that’s the selling point Full Stop. There is no need to call this place a mansion, or a kennel, or a matchbox. It is what it is, it’s proud of it, and it’s not going to call it quits any time soon. It’s the Thing. Respect the Thing or go to another channel. There’s really nothing all that new to see here, other than another chance to see more Akio Watanabe designs, and some pretty slick CGI rendered combat. We’ve had plenty of discussion about computer modeling, and this show is well worth part of that discussion.
EtoTama01-18 EtoTama01-19
It does look like much more time and care was taken with shading, mouth movement, and the general flow of all the animated structures. When you push that line, the combat looks a great deal smoother, and easier to follow. I’m really no expert, but this is probably some of the best I’ve seen. Failing that, I don’t think you can call it “unremarkable”. It does stand out, and probably deserves a look just by itself, regardless of the tired and true…uh, tried and true characterizations and recycled narratives.
Etotama is an odd show and I honestly can’t predict how anime fans are going to react to it. Despite having cliches, it has a very loose structure and manages to be unpredictable in how utterly random it is. The surprises – like the great CG – make Etotama a good left hook show that could potentially be something great. Maybe this will pave the way for more shows to adopt this CG style and not make all anime CG look like uncanny valley nightmares. There’s a lot of room to grow here. While the first episode was nothing special and I still belong to the camp that wants to beat Nya-tan over the head with a shovel, I still think it’s got a good thing going on here. It’s got something intangible that makes me want this show to evolve into something better and bigger than it is right now. This is by no means a knockout show of the season, but it’s alright. Now if you’ll excuse me, Etotama reminded me that I should really use this lazy weekend to rewatch Di Gi Charat, nyo~
This show isn’t really anything to write home about (but just fine for about 1400 words it seems). But why are you doing that anyway?! Go watch another show, or watch this one again for favorite scenes. No one is saying each premiere has to shake the heavens. It just has to stand it’s ground. If it’s not your type of show, then there is probably very little to lose in skipping. You don’t really need a shovel (OC just loves gardening!) But if you want to spend 23 minutes or so, kipping back and just letting some good, colourful, slightly brain damaged fun happen, there are worse ways to spend it. This is not a bad one…

Playing With the Animals


A skylion just happens to be a boar, and a good expositor…



House shopping is caveat emptor…


Let sleeping Dogs….and Monkeys…lie


Dora-kun is serious business


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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15 Responses to “First Impressions – Etotama”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I agree Horse is the best. >_> It has absolutely nothing to do with my zodiac. >_> Absolutely none!

    All I have to say about this show is: Ditzy airhead perverted LOLineko. And oh yes, Tenshi no Shippou.

    The CG is slick, yes, but I’ve noticed at times there is laziness in the effort they put into it. Mainly in the less action bits. I do hope we get to see Irisviel Rat soon. Other than that, insufficient pettanko.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Now if you’ll excuse me, Etotama reminded me that I should really use this lazy weekend to rewatch Di Gi Charat, nyo~

    Dejiko-sama approves-nyo! If you don’t, she’ll call Kurumi-nyo! She expects you to watch:
    All 16 original shorts
    Summer specials
    Christmas special
    Ohanami specials
    Natsuyasumi specials

    followed by:
    Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat

    and 104 episodes of Di Gi Charatnyo.

    -nyo. (Puchiko approves too-nyu.)
    *Looks at the Di Gi Charat DVD collection…* :3

    • Overcooled says:

      I’ve seen all of these and half of Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat haha. It was one of the first anime I got into…

      Now…to rewatch!

      • Di Gi Kazune says:

        Now how many times have you rewatched it-nyo? Definately cannot compete with me-nyo. :3

        One day I have to complete the Panyo Panyo Di Gi Charat DVD collection. Everything else is there.

        It was one of the first anime I got into…

        Dejiko-sama introduced me to extreme cuteness makes right!

  3. Foshizzel says:

    This will fill my needs for wacky/silly anime! I liked this one and it blows my mind that this series has the monogatari character designs <3

    I liked the CGI fighting game moments even though I'm not crazy for Chibi style designs...yes I know that coming from the guy who found Show By Rock CG as "good" LOL

    • skylion says:

      Show by Rock was good, with some qualifiers. This is a bit better with other qualifiers. Suffice it to say, the trend to improve is…improving.

      Yep, best character design you can find outside the Monogatari franchise and some select hentai

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I haven’t seen this but Overcooled is really going out of her strike zones this season with some of these shows.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m branching out! Gotta see what there is to see out there!

      • BlackBriar says:

        It seems you’re not done, either. Then we’ll get you to watch ecchi yet! Shokugeki no Souma was a start! 😀

  5. akagami says:

    Hmm, my top three based on the pics are Sheep, Tiger, and Snake ^^

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