Anime Review: Etotama


Happy New Year, everyone!

I’m aware that the new year has started for quite some time, and some of us are still awkwardly writing and correcting “2015” for the past month or so. But if you’re following the Lunar calendar, the new year has only just begun!

While most of the world (including Japan) follows a calendar that begins in January, some people still use the Lunar calendar to refer back to the Chinese zodiac, following from ancient mythology on how the calendar as we know it first came into being. While science now has better explanations on how years actually work, it’s fun to note that the myth referred back to a race among the animals who would be revered in rank order for the rest of time every 12 years, as chosen by the gods. Each of these animals arguably have anthropomorphic qualities that are significant to East Asian culture and philosophy.

The Chinese zodiac continues to have its significance today, and this anime uses the mythology as a background for its wacky comedy. But since we’re in the 21st century, this show presents them the only sensible way for a contemporary anime: by turning all the animals into cute girls!

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