Uchouten Kazoku – 02

The surviving family

The family that cares

 spring13-highwAfter 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

Not Benten

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.

The Black Prince Yajirou

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

The Ebisugawas Yachiro wins the fight

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.

Yachiro flustered

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.

A Disney Moment

This even felt a little Mouse-ish.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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16 Responses to “Uchouten Kazoku – 02”

  1. AllenAndArth says:

    it was a homely episode…i wonder if i can open one of those tanuki to know what happens when they transform… also i kinda felt a really big impulse telling me to to eat them…maybe it will become a delicacy

    • BlackBriar says:

      Your curiosity and need to dissect creatures worries me. I’m glad I’m still human otherwise I’d be in trouble hanging around you. 😀

  2. skylion says:

    At first I thought it was an odd note to see Elder Brother break down like that, but the end stitched it up nicely. Better than a typical response of “braggart breaks down easy”.

    I enjoy the pacing of this show, and the characters are a treat to follow. Lots of fun, and some great performances that enhance a multiple level of backgrounds, from the city itself to the deeper stories they have to tell.

  3. HannoX says:

    This is an interesting family and world and I look forward to seeing more of it. I think Benten knew who was in that hot pot and was probably the one who put him there. No wonder they say she’s crazy and the tanuki are terrified of her.

    • Highway says:

      I’m starting to think there was much more to the story than just “Soichirou was nabbed for nabe”.

      I also wonder how obvious shape-shifted tanuki are to each other.

      • skylion says:

        That is my suspicion as well. Blaming that Friday Fellows seems to obvious. Could be the old man is playing a long game with his middle son as a big piece…

  4. Gecko says:

    I enjoyed this episode because of the exposition of the family, from pool-playing to being stuck as a frog in the bottom of a well. I get the feeling Benten’s the one who did something to the father, unless maybe the Friday Fellows were led by someone else at the time and now she’s continuing the tradition.

    The bridge scene was hilarious and had all the right little details to make it great- and I think the huge size of everything really made it better because it was like their argument overpowered the city by being so huge, even though they’re just part of the city, (I can’t see this becoming a big hero of the world kind of show) and have been scorning the tanuki traditions of the city.

    • Highway says:

      Yeah, why be a two-story maneki-neko? That’s just hilarious. And that they then digressed into talking about the ‘words’ that the dumber Ebisugawa brother had on his bib just moved it into ludicrous.

      • BlackBriar says:

        It’s ridiculous that he’s so dumb but tries to be all high and mighty looking down on the Shimogamo family.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    The episode was great because despite the fact each family member has a different and solitary distinct mindset, when things get tough, they don’t hesitate to stick together. I found the mother was pretty cute as a tanuki. There wouldn’t be a problem with me if she stays like that a little longer.

    I hate it when assholes like those two Ebisugawa brothers who have the intelligence of a monkey act all superior. A firm ass kicking should be set for them every time they go on a power trip and I’d imagine it would happen very often. The sister, however, sounds like the black sheep in their family but at least she’s not the type to look down on others.

    • Highway says:

      I thought it was interesting how thorough Yaichiro’s beatdown of both of the Ebisugawas was. Basically, it was no fight at all, and they got tossed into the river. Of course, Yaichiro isn’t a loser. 😉

  6. joojoobees says:

    Really enjoying this show. Could be my favorite of this season.

    • BlackBriar says:

      That’s a hard decision to make considering the other animes this season have proven to be entertaining as well in their own way.

    • Highway says:

      It’s definitely a unique show this summer. There’s very little else that’s light drama with some comedy. And of course the look is beautiful, even if it’s not the standard PA Works art (which I really like a lot itself, nobody does skies like they do). The only thing with as unique a look, I think, is Gatchaman Crowds.

  7. Overcooled says:

    That was a really good second episode. I’m glad they’re taking it slow too. Heck, this show could be entirely about family ties without much in the way of a serious plot and I’d be completely satisfied. There’s just something genuine and endearing about this scrappy bunch of tanuki (+frog).

    I loved meeting the mom: she is absolutely fabulous. Usually the parents don’t get in the action too much, but the ~*~Black Prince~*~ is truly too magnificent to be cast as a petty side character.

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