The family that cares
After help from lvlln last week for the First Impression, it’s all me this week. So what did this family of quirky tanuki get up to this week?
Not In A Hurry
Just some comfort for an old man, nothing wrong with that.
Something I really liked about this second episode is that it’s not in any super hurry to get to some big plot, but rather is taking its time nicely with character introduction and development. Having this second episode focus on the rest of Yasaburou’s Shimogamo family, and the everyday problems they face, we get to go quite a bit deeper into this world, this time focusing much more on the tanuki side. From Mother’s trips to play pool, to Yajirou’s self-imposed work being the ears who listen down a well (as a frog, a form he’s stayed in so long he can’t even turn back to a tanuki), the family is really living up to the ‘eccentric’ label.
Definitely a strange family
They don’t even get respect from other tanuki, with the Ebisugawa brothers harassing Yashirou while he’s working for them to gain experience. It seems they’ve got quite the way to go to live up to anything close to their father’s reputation for being great, and uniting the tanuki. If this was a ‘normal’ anime (from, say, a different studio), I’d say that we’d be likely to get a storyline where Yasaburou becomes the big hero and steps into his father’s shoes as a well-regarded member of tanuki society. But given that it’s PA Works, who is never really that worried about having a story actually ‘end’, it’s far more likely to me that we’ll get some progress throughout the anime, but no big ending.
A family’s love
This was both hilarious and incredible at the same time
But the big thing that comes out to me in this episode is the great amount of caring that comes out of this family. From the misdirection we got at the beginning of the episode of Yasaburou pretending to be Benten to help Akadama-sensei get to sleep, to both Yasaburou and Yaichirou defending Yashirou from the petty harassment of the Ebisugawa twins in giant maneki-neko form, to their frantic search for Mother in the thunderstorm, to the final scene of their mother’s certainty that they are all fine boys, most evidence to the contrary, the message I get is that these boys and their mother really care for those around them. This seems to also include others like Kaisei Ebisugawa, who helps Mother and stays with her during the thunderstorm. Even Yaichiro, in all his scolding, shows how much he cares for his brothers.
Yaichiro does his best, but is easily flustered
An excellent episode this week full of character exposition for us. I love Mother’s Prince outfit especially, with Yasaburou’s girl with a parasol form, and the whole family’s caring for each other. The visuals continue to be brilliant and surreal when they need to be, like giant maneki-neko with bowl haircuts (or the lion with the same bowl haircut). And while Mother says it’s a fact that tanuki will sometimes be boiled in hot pot, I’m really not so sure. It does seem like an odd ingredient. I know we’ll eventually find out more about Souichirou’s death, but until then, it seems like the Friday Fellows are quite the force.
This even felt a little Mouse-ish.