Uchouten Kazoku – 04

The Eccentric Family

Still quite the Eccentric Family

spring13-highwThis episode may have finally seared it into my brain: Uchouten Kazoku is the far and away best storytelling this season. But what was so good about it? Well, it starts from the time when…

 Not afraid to Backtrack

Tengu Torment

Tormenting the Tengu

Some might consider it a flaw that they tend to go back over the same stories a few times in Uchouten Kazoku. But what it ends up doing is really putting us in the right frame of mind to hear these stories, and it also reinforces how important those stories are in the mythos of Souichirou Shimogamo.


Yakushibou thanks Souichirou

For instance, with more and more telling, the tale of the tanuki who transformed into a mountain gains more depth, more clarity, and more import. And it also gains connections. First we learned that he did something with the mountain. Then another time we learned that he actually transformed into the mountain and scared the Kurama Tengu. But this time, the story all comes together as to what it’s true import is as relates to Yakushibou. Deciding to help Yakushibou, who is being harrassed by the Kurama Tengu, Souichirou spends a week as Mount Nyoigatake, Yakushibou’s mountain, revisiting such harassment on the Kurama that they finally come and prostrate themselves before Yakushibou to apologize. But even then, Souichirou shows how humble he is, admitting to being a bit foolish, and allowing Yakushibou to thank him without losing face.

Beautiful Kyoto

The beautiful view of Kyoto

Staying in the Present

A little ostentatious

The three-master is a little ostentatious

The show’s not only about the old stories, tho. The current feud between the Shimogamo and Ebisugawa families continues in the sky, after last year when the Ebisugawas ‘sank’ the Manpukumaru. But even worse, this time Benten is on the Ebisugawa’s boat, or rather a 3-mast ship. And while there’s peace for a while, the Ebisugawa’s escalate things by firing fireworks around and at the flying parlor. A truly epic battle ends with the tearoom at the end of a harpoon, but Yasaburou taking it upon himself to exact punishment on the Ebisugawa, through the use of Benten’s fan. Yet, the thrill of victory is short-lived as the tea-room falls out of the sky, having run out of port wine (thanks to Yakushibou’s stubbornness, having drunk all the fuel). But that’s not the worst. Not only has he destroyed the parlor, but Yasaburou has lost the fan. With thoughts of floating in a pot of nabe in his head, he decides to cool his heels and disappear for a few months.

Extra Screenshot Time!

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The episode really tied everything together that we’ve experienced through the first part of the season. Exhibiting the capriciousness of the tanuki, the pride that all of these creatures – tanuki and tengu – have, the power of legend, and the hopefulness of the present, this story made me laugh uproariously and stare in wonder. And as the parlor is crashing to the ground, heck, even as it’s in the middle of the fireworks fight, you can’t help but think of Benten’s warning to Yasaburou, especially as she’s sitting there on the mast of the Ebisugawa’s ship. And you know that bad things could happen to him, but also that, like an uncontrolled ship heading for the rocks, there’s no chance of stopping the craziness, and everything will end up dashed. And yet, with this beautiful art style and great storytelling, you just don’t want them to stop. I’m sure the story will pick up after Yasaburou has returned from his hiding, and the preview indicates we’re going to get more information on the Friday Fellows. Will it be their hotpot recipe?


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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8 Responses to “Uchouten Kazoku – 04”

  1. lvlln says:

    This was the most absurdly fun episode of anything I’ve seen in a while. A tanuki tormenting tengu by transforming into an entire mountain and its wildlife, and then rival families duking it out in the sky riding a ship and a flying hut, using fireworks? How can that not be awesome? Well, PA Works does deserve credit for their solid production and continued good job directing the action scenes. The family holding on to Yasaburou hanging off the edge was just a perfect moment.

    The story certainly has escalated quickly, and Yasaburou’s life is already in jeopardy. I can’t wait to see what else this show has to throw at us.

    • Highway says:

      It was just absurd fun, and the super tight bond among the Shimogamo’s was just great. I think it’s also interesting that they don’t have feuds with everyone, just the Ebisugawas, and Sooun, Kinkaku, and Ginkaku definitely seem to really be the tormentors. There’s definitely no love lost between Mother and Sooun, and it probably all goes back to jealousy over Souichirou.

  2. KLACMAN says:

    yea at least fireworks battle floating in the sky really now that was overkill.

    yet old guy want to have drink rather keep the mini-house float indeed too dumb to live?

    & yet mam noto’s ben10 always have it “hmm” really only we need now either a spinoff or give her a certain “watch”?

  3. BlackBriar says:

    I don’t know how they do it but every new episode turns out to be more fun than the last. The fireworks sky battle was ridiculously entertaining and to make it better, each tanuki family are self aware of how absurd they’re acting. They’re like the supernatural Hatfields and McCoys but it’s much more personal since they’re cousins.

    Yakushibou should give up on Benten. I doubt he even knows she’s more interested in Yasaburou than she is in him.

    • Highway says:

      Yakushibou is not the type to give up on anything. Not his birthright as a Tengu, not his favored girl, not his port wine. It’s pretty obvious to me that Benten cares nothing about Yakushibou. She won’t even go to see him, and I get the feeling that the injury he sustained came from her idea. Maybe there’s some guilt there, but she doesn’t seem the type to be interested in guilt. Even when he climbed the roof to greet her, she just flew away.

    • AllenAndArth says:

      i think that…Yakushibou lost even before it began, to me, Benten has the hots for Yasaburou, but, messing with him is too much fun for her to change their relationship… i feel bad for Yakushibou now

      • Highway says:

        The relationship between Yakushibou and Benten seems to have been, from the beginning, a rather typical ‘old (fairly) rich man and pretty young girl’. He’s her platonic sugar daddy, although he still harbors wishes that maybe it wouldn’t be quite so platonic. And despite her true nature of independence (and a bit of using him), he won’t say a bad thing about her, except when she doesn’t do what he wants so openly, such as hang out with the Ebisugawas.

        (and while Yakushibou might not be ‘rich’ in money, he has things, and he had knowledge. And I think that’s what Benten wanted most.)

  4. skylion says:

    Indeed, HWY, this is wonderful storytelling, the wit and imagination is full to the brim, and the cup runneth over (but not with port wine, and not a tea kettle).

    I look forward to this one every week.

    Get some clothes on that kid!

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