I wouldn’t blame you for overlooking Etotama. At first glance, it looks like a generic moe-blob show with a twist in that all the girls are animal spirits. In truth, it’s doesn’t do anything too impressive, but I’d still say it’s a great timewaster, and a solid all around comedy!
The story of Etotama is… Weird. Written at the last minute, aka. rushed/insignificant kind of weird… Our main character insert generic ecchi protagonist here just bought a new apartment, and in said apartment, female animal spirits spawn from a hole in the floor of his living room (don’t question it). Said animal spirits include, but not limited to; the animals of the chinese zodiac. You can usually expect an episode to go as following; Shenanigans, conflict, badass fighting scene, victory pose, end. It is nothing really to write home about. All for pure enjoyment. Its very much a “do not think too much about it” kind of anime. That being said, the show does like to do a complete 180°, by having a character stabbed through the head with a sword, and ultimately dying! In an ecchi mahou shoujo anime… Yeah…
Characters : As mentioned before, the main cast consists of Takeru Amato, whom is Insert generic ecchi protagonist traits here, and a plethera of female animal spirits whom either has a speech impediment related to their race, or abuse the top notch comedy known as punology. For example, there is a cat character introduced in the first episode whom ends every sentence with nyan (japanese perception of the sound a cat would make). There is a saying that a rooster looses its memory after walking three steps, and of course there is a girl spirit thingy whom looses her memory every third step, though not as obnoxious as she could have turned out, gladly. I figured the main antagonist would be a bee-spirit, since fuck bees, but I digress.
Also, the animal spirits possess superpowers fueled by others happiness. After having experienced the euphoria of uttering a god deed, the animal spirits, after a transformation sequence, turn into cgi chibi characters in a fighting game along the lines of Tekken, on a tv that magically appears on the spot. (As i said earlier, don’t think too much about it). So in a nutshell, the show is a magical girl anime on acid, or should i rather say; magical chinese zodiac girl anime. As for characterisation, there were quite too many characters for the show to go through each and every one, but you do get the general idea of them quickly, due to everyone being buildt of a stereotype of an animal, which also made it quite entertaining. With this being a comedy, the characterisation does not need to be perfect, as long as the interaction is on point, which for the most part, it is! You could say a lot about the characters themselves, but the fact stands that most of them are just tropes to get the story progressing.
The art and animation of Etotama is a weird case. On one end, it is “shortcuts, the animation”, in the sense that there are still frames, repeated sequences and other lazy shortcuts everywhere. On the other hand, the actual cgi fights themselves look fantastic! Cgi done well in an anime! The cgi art-style is done in such a way that it looks quite a bit like it is drawn, which is weird… You’l get were I’m going with this, as the entire anime is presented to us within the first few episodes. The rest is mostly rinse and repeat with a few twists and turns here and there for good measure.
In the musics department, there is absolutely nothing to talk about. Abso-fucking-lutely nothing. The opening is a typical “this is going to be stuck in my head for the shows runtime, then become forgotten for good”. You know, a typical ecchi opening -> DxD, Love-Ru, HotD, SAO, etc.. Songs that will ultimately be forgotten, however unfortunate. As for the actual soundtrack itself, it is the epitome of mediocrity. Neither good, nor unfitting. Just mediocre supporting tracks.
Ultimately, what is the appeal of the show? Jokes, puns, shenanigans, pop cult references, and the utter destruction of the 4th wall. This is by all means a “this is bad and I know it is bad” kind of anime, but I still can’t help it… It is simply very enjoyable. Thank god this anime does not
try to take itself seriously. What makes it bearable, is how it acknowledges it’s own stupidity. With the exception of fan-service and comedy, there are no redeeming factors whatshowever. If you look for an actually good anime (plot-, character-, animation- and sound-wise), then I advise you to
stay as far away from this as possible, unless you’re of course looking for a change of pace. If you on the other hand if you want to sit back and enjoy 12 episodes of absolute bullshit, then go ahead! Etotama is dumb entertainment at its finest, which has me giving it a 3/5, which is a great
score for your run of the mill “12ep one of ecchi”