Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama? – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Somewhere in Japan, there’s a flyer on Third Street with a picture of a cat, bearing the words: “Have you seen Tama?” A young boy gazes at the flyer, but he has fluffy ears on his head!? The dogs and cats from Third Street take on a human form and are about to get in some mischief. Uchitama is a brand-new type of heartwarming anime that may even be the new definition of kawaii!? (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Uchitama is literally the second anthropomorphic cat show we’ve watched today. Seeing as the first was NekoparA, a furry bait/male fantasy wrapped in the disguise of wholesome content, I was more than on edge starting Uchitama. I was unfamiliar with its main line title however, which is story of the cute, easy-going Tama, a typical Japanese cat, and his wealth of local animal friends. And that’s exactly what this Uchitama title is, just with the cats and dogs periodically taking human form. What’s absolutely shocking about Uchitama however is that it’s crazy good. Not only is it truly wholesome, without a single layer of skeeviness to uncover, but it’s got solid comedy, a tinge of drama, and an actual plot to carry the episode’s narrative, plus adorable designs that make each of these animals a blast to watch, in human or cat form.
Linny: What really makes Uchitama work is that it switches between portraying the characters visually as fully animal like and as anthropomorphic characters. A big issue I take with the idea of say, cat girls, is that it gets really weird seeing human characters doing animal like stuff. But in Uchitama, when the characters are doing something extremely animal like; such as chasing cherry blossoms while barking in excitement or interacting with their human owners, they switch to being depicted in their cartoonish animal form, making these instances look adorable instead of outright strange. Uchitama goes full on cartoon style graphics when depicting the cast in their animal form but sticks to a more classic anime look when they’re in their anthropomorphic bodies and I feel this helps to distinguish and establish the content and vibe of the various segments that much more clearly rather than clashing or making the different content feel too jumbled up.
Tom: Since the series balances which kind of comedy goes with which depiction of the characters, you have this wonderful eb and flow to the comedy that keeps it varied and constantly changing, so the jokes are constant but never overused. What’s also great is the personalities of each of Tama’s friends. Each often ends up capturing all too typical and relatable traits pet owners will note in their own fur-ball friends. This makes each of the cats and dogs feel relatable and endearing, because you can start to see your own pets in each of them.
Linny: After the debut of NekoparA earlier in the day, I was fully braced for Uchitama to be either sickeningly sweet but an otherwise generic depictions of cats and dogs, or worse highly fetishized and outright creepy. To my utter relief and happiness, it is neither and instead what we get is an adorable mix of characters offering up various avenues of comedy and even heartwarming content in their various forms as they go about all kinds of adventures; from getting lost to trying to find their personal version of paradise and even practicing how to make the best first impression after moving to a new neighbourhood. The visual switches help to set the right vibe every time and help the jokes hit their marks.
Tom: It’s a testament to how strong Uchitama is that every time I thought the episode was ending (There’s a couple segments past the ‘main plot’s completion,) and instead a new title card popped up, I found myself overjoyed. Right now I think Uchitama has the potential to be one of the Winter’s top Slice of Life offerings, assuming further episodes remain as fun and lively as this was.
Linny: Despite boasting a largish cast, Uchitama does a great job of introducing and establishing each of its characters, even if its just for a few seconds here or there. By dedicating short segments, and offering key narration, the series finds time to display each cat or dogs distinguishing characteristic. This not only Uchitama helps to establish its core concept, but also gradually warm up the audience to its characters. As someone who usually ignores or dislikes most popular cutesy animal/mascot based cartoons, I am thoroughly impressed with how well Uchitama employs its animal cast and the level of content and stories it is able to tell through them. If you are a pet owner/love animals and wish to see cats and dogs get their own anime about their daily lives, Uchitama is a MUST WATCH for this season.
Uchitama?! Have you seen my Tama? is available for streaming via Funimation.