Shima-tan catches Nya-tan trying to bribe Inu-tan and Key-tan of their animal seals but quickly intervenes before the transaction is complete. That night, Shima-tan has a talk with Takeru, fearing that Nya-tan has gotten too lax since living with Takeru. The reason for the battles to get seals is so that eto-musume can grow stronger physically and emotionally. Shima worries about Nya’s conduct, and also worries about whether Nya can grow strong enough to stand against Chu-tan, who’s still out for her blood. Thus, Shima tells Takeru that she plans to battle Nya—depending on the outcome, she’ll take Nya far away to train.
The next day, Shima once again catches Nya trying to bribe Inu and Key of their seals, and challenges them all to a three-way battle of kick-the-can. Shima immediately defeats Inu and Key, leaving only Nya behind. Meanwhile, Dora-tan meets with Chu-tan in the spirit world, and attempts to stop Chu from going after Nya; but Chu-tan is too stubborn to give up her revenge.
Back in the arena, Nya tries desperately to kick the can away from Shima, but Shima is just too strong. Shima threatens to take Nya far away from Takeru, giving Nya the incentive to fight. Shima trash-talks Takeru, saying he’s nothing more than a sol/lull generator; but Nya reveals that she likes staying with him because she genuinely likes Takeru. Takeru is touched by Nya’s words, giving her the sol/lull needed to win against Shima. Shima gracefully accepts her loss, and Nya comes into possession of three new seals.
This was a much more serious episode than usual, without all the forced melodrama of episode 3. And I think Etotama handled it pretty well! The battle this time was also much more involved, though I’m sad that Inu and Key-tan still didn’t get to do too much.
Shima-tan definitely gets the spotlight this time, and I think she got characterized well even in such a short amount of time. I really liked the scene between her and Takeru in the beginning. It shows that she’s a strict and tough but caring master. Also she’s a very noble type of person. Inu-tan and Key-tan have sadly just been resigned to comic relief status, but I’ve grown quite fond of them. Their friendship dynamic is just too cute. Nya-tan also surprisingly gets some character development, and is revealed to still be sneaky but not as heartless as she first appears. Takeru’s growing affection for Nya (and vice versa) is also shown off here. So lots of character development around for everyone! Except for Uri, who’s shown to be kind of a voyeur. You should really know better, Uri-tan.
Surprisingly for this series, there wasn’t too much humor here. But there was a lot of action—the battle this time lasted nearly half the episode. The scene with Chu and Dora was also rather interesting and tense. Chu-tan submits a new rule saying that future battles will have absolutely no intervention. That probably spells out bad things for Nya-tan, but Dora seems to be set on helping Nya out somehow.
Overall, a fairly good episode with a bit more plot than usual. As cheesy as Nya’s passionate speech about how much she enjoys Takeru’s company was, I still sort of teared up. What can I say, I’m a sucker for those types of things. Based on the previews, it seems that snake-lady will finally have some more screen time next episode! I’m excited.
Out of five: