‘Gudetama’ series offers enjoyable, albeit weird, experience

Written By Rachel Ross, Co Features/A&E Editor

I was a big fan of Hello Kitty and the other Sanrio characters as a kid; I had all sorts of their toys, games for the Nintendo DS, and a bracelet from a very strange collaboration with the rock band Kiss, which I still wear every now and then. Looking back, I find it admirable how versatile the brand is; it’s basically just this collection of somewhat random characters that they’ve managed to not only make icons out of but found ways to shoehorn into a ton of different markets, including television. Their latest, “Gudetama: An Eggcellent Adventure,” which premiered on Netflix on December 13 is a semi-animated show somehow entirely surrounding an anthropomorphic egg whose main defining characteristic is that they’re lazy. 

Gudetama the Lazy Egg is a Sanrio character that is literally just a yolk with a face. More than any of the others in the Sanrio posse, they are used mainly for merchandise: shirts, stuffed animals, phone cases, and probably most unique of all…luggage. They are arguably the most approachable of any of the Sanrio characters to a wider audience for their relatability; they don’t want to get up and do stuff, just like me! So out of their pre-established popularity and accessible message for the masses hatches a ten-episode Netflix series, with each episode being between 8 and 15 minutes in length. 

The show follows Gudetama and their “sibling” Shakipiyo, a chick who hatched from the same egg carton, on their quest to find their mother. Along the way, they cross paths with a series of new friends and foes, some being humans, and others being from within the extended world of anthropomorphic food. While Shakipiyo leads the team with his determination and enthusiasm, Gudetama prefers sitting back and letting things unfold as they may, just going with the flow. 

“Gudetama” is a light-hearted, often absurd quick watch that works both for children and adults alike. The characters and story are simple enough for anyone to follow, while still being engaging and charming. It’s not anything groundbreaking, but the little details in each episode make it stand out and give it a special appeal. The show treats itself with just the right amount of seriousness, which is to say not much. It captures the perfect feeling for what it is, capitalizing well on the ridiculousness of the idea. It doesn’t overstay its welcome; it says what it has to say, and then promptly wraps up.

My two favorite sources of comedy for the show came from the “world-building” and the bouts of philosophy. There are a collection of different types of eggs and egg dishes Gudetama encounters, including a rotten egg, a hard-boiled egg, and an omelet; in addition, they come across a few other types of foods such as cupcakes or fish eggs. All of them have the same anthropomorphic face that Gudetama does. There’s this lore of sorts that is built throughout the show, explaining that each food’s ultimate goal is to be eaten and enjoyed. Through this, Gudetama faces this struggle between whether they would rather be eaten before they spoil, or continue with Shakipiyo to find their mother. 

My favorite bit of world-building was definitely the inclusion of the egg mafia, which is a collection of mostly eggs run by an omelet that buys and sells salt and soy sauce; it’s elements like this that make “Gudetama” so fun and absurd. 

Then there are these bouts of philosophy; a lesson often carries through the short episodes about something relating to Gudetama’s ideology or outlook on life, such as individuality, pressure, the meaning of life, and “turning rotten,” which is a double entendre in this case. They’re not revolutionary philosophical musings, but the idea of them coming from an egg yolk definitely enhances the impact. In this case, having the lesson be spelled out while still managing to make a statement compliments the show’s sense of comedy and heart greatly, which is a somewhat rare thing to come by. 

As for the show’s animation, I’m not an expert on the art form by any means, but I found it to be well executed, especially in the case of Gudetama and the other eggs. I would imagine it to be somewhat difficult to make an anthropomorphic egg look somewhat natural, or move in a realistic way, but as far as I’m concerned, they did it. Although I’m sure it helped that many scenes featuring Gudetama see them just laying there on the egg white. The translation from Gudetama’s usual 2D style to 3D feels effortless; to me, the character doesn’t look unnatural at all, which can sometimes be an issue in translating between two mediums. He remains as cute of a little guy in 3D as he is in 2D. 

The only gripe I would cite is in regards to Shakipiyo; although I think he is animated well, to me, he looks a tad more realistic than most of the foods, as well as most of the other animals featured, if not all. I wouldn’t say that it impacted my experience greatly, but there were times here or there when it felt a little bit off. 

Overall, “Gudetama” is a cute, short watch that I would recommend checking out. It’s not anything extraordinary, but it was fun, and it gave me a few laughs. From what I know of the character, I believe this adaptation would be satisfying for pretty much any fan.