Uchouten Kazoku – 07

Tengu vs Bull

Don’t mess with the bull

spring13-highwSometimes you have to take a step back to move forward, and after going about as far as it can with the Friday Fellows and Benten as it could, Uchouten Kazoku takes that step back to start us down another path. But the previous themes are definitely not abandoned.

 Bath Time


Yakushibou needs a shove

So was this the onsen episode for Uchouten Kazoku? I hope not, since seeing tanuki and tengu take a bath isn’t the most exciting thing. But the main theme of the two-thirds of the episode was really more of that filial piety that has been a major theme of the series. I think we have to include Yakushibou as an ‘ancestor’ as he was Yasaburou’s, and the rest of the Shimogamo’s, teacher, and even if he’s a stubborn old man, he can still recognize that Yasaburou is trying to do his best by him.

The richness

Scenes like this really bring the inclusiveness into the show

I thought it was fun that all 3 brothers – Yasaburou, Yashirou, and Yaichirou – took Yakushibou to the bath house, and it gave a lot of opportunity to show us the bonds between these brothers. Yashirou trying to grow up, Yasaburou trying to not grow up, but realizing he has to do what he can for those he cares for, and Yaichirou feeling the pressures of being “a grown up;”pressures that Yasaburou himself is almost actively avoiding. The scenes of Yasaburou teaching Yashirou things in this anime are some of the most touching scenes, I find.

And of course, Yakushibou has to be grumpy about it, even though he obviously loves the attention. Such a tsuntsun old man. But given enough attention, he’ll do anything that they want him to. They don’t even have to resort to Yasaburou transforming into Benten to convince him to go.

Same Story, But a Different Direction

The idiot brothers

These two again

As I said in the intro, the story took a step back, in this case about the death of Souichirou in the Friday Fellows nabe. But the step back was just to allow us to go down a different path, one that we end up pushed down by the idiots Kinkaku and Ginkaku. Trying to get Yaichirou to withdraw from the Nise-emon election (and they must be pretty worried that Sooun will lose if they need to resort to trying to drive the opponents out of the election), they mention the ‘ace in the hole’. After some crafty threats by Yaichirou, Kinkaku finally spills the beans: there was someone drinking with Souichirou the night he was caught, and was left alone, drunk. And that person was none other than our favorite frog in a well.


Confronting Yajirou

It’s been a wonder why Yajirou felt like living in a well. Perhaps a lot of it is penance. He feels there’s nothing he can do about his role in their father’s death, so as penance he will live somewhere simple, and listen to other people’s problems. Perhaps some of it is guilt, in that he cannot enjoy his life after what happened. He did say last week that he still tears up when he thinks of father. But when confronted by Yaichirou and Yasaburou, he readily admits his role in their father’s death. Unfortunately, he’s never admitted it before, and it was never really put together by either Yaichirou or Yasaburou.

And I’m not really sure how much Yajirou is at fault. Souichirou was their father. He was an experienced guy, and it can’t have been the first time he’s gotten drunk, and been alone. Heck, Yasaburou got drunk with Benten and Yodagawa, both known tanuki eaters. Now, everyone does say that’s how he’ll end up in the Friday Fellows nabe, but it’s not a certainty. And Souichirou seemed awfully calm and serene talking to Yodagawa. Had he accepted his fate? Or was it more planned than that?

Bonus Nightmare gif!


header-spr13-highwayEven when the story seems to go in a different direction, it comes back to what we have learned before, and expands on it. Every episode of this anime is just great, a true adventure, even when ‘all’ they’re doing is going to a bathhouse. And the comedy provided by Kinkaku and Ginkaku is superlative, because they’re not even that idiotic. Well, they are, but they’re trying not to be. This show has really moved into my top three for the season, because it provides that quality story every week.


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!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

18 Responses to “Uchouten Kazoku – 07”

  1. HannoX says:

    So how much of a role did Benten play in Souichirou’s death? That was her first time at Friday Fellows and you’d think they were eating tanuki hotpot before she showed up. On the other hand, perhaps she was told that she had to supply the tanuki for their hotpot as the price of admission to their fellowship. I’m sure her role in his death will be made clear soon.

    Now for a comment on Ep. 6 since I wasn’t around when it was discussed. I have to wonder if Benten’s tears at the end are for her lost humanity and the simple country girl she had once been.

    • Highway says:

      I’m pretty confident she was the one that rounded up Souichirou, whether he himself was complicit in that or not.

      I think her crying is probably *somewhat* related to that, in that I think she is just completely torn about what to do with Yasaburou. She can’t admit that she loves him romantically without losing scads of status, and maybe even some self-respect. And I think she also, for whatever reason, thinks that Yasaburou is the only choice for this year’s nabe feast, and is sad about that. As she said, if you eat what you love, then you don’t have it to love anymore.

  2. AllenAndArth says:

    i was kind of sad in this episode, it was the best in my opinion up until now, The reason why Yajirou is at the bottom of a lake and refused to come out or started being a frog, this episode was extraordinary and shocking,

  3. Gecko says:

    I feel like all of the characters really, truly care about each other (except for the Ginkaku-Kinkaku and Yaichirou’s rivalry for the Nise-emon spot.) Between the brothers working together to force Akadama to go take a bath, to how the slightest bit of pain one could cause another making more pain than it might otherwise. Especially when it comes to matters related to Souichirou.

    I just have to wonder if really Yasaburou will end up as the hot pot because of how slow time is moving (as you mentioned two episodes ago.)

    Other than that, I really liked how they showed Yasaburou with a lot of bags holding leaves after Benten flies off, and then we hear later that all the leaves in a particular area fell off all at once. Little things like that make the story more full and add in little bits of “cause and effect” here and there. “Cause and effect” seems to be a repeating idea.

    And that gif… it’s a perfect loop. Good job.

    • Highway says:

      About the gif, thanks, I really only do them if they’ll be a closed loop. I’ve come to dislike ones that start and stop. I wanted to do one for Love Lab this week with Maki’s scary face, but it would have been too many frames. This one was actually really easy.

      I’ll give Kinkaku and Ginkaku at least enough credit that they care for their own family, but that pales in comparison to the Shimogamo, who seem to like everyone (except Sooun, Kinkaku, Ginkaku, and their lackeys). And Kaisei definitely hasn’t been unlikeable at all. I almost wish that Yasaburou would end up with her, as she clearly holds a torch for him.

      • Highway says:

        In other gif notes (and more cause I want to mention the new DxD ED), I’ll have to restrain myself from making gifs of that animation. But man, what a great new ED!

        More on that tomorrow!

      • Gecko says:

        Yeah, I would like to see Kasei and Yasburou together, she won’t eat him and they seem to like each other enough to get something started. She’s been likeable to me, I just wish she would show her face (although I do give props to the story for working it out so we never see her face, although it’s not that hard when she can be a chest or a ladder.)

  4. ronbb says:

    “This show has really moved into my top three for the season, because it provides that quality story every week.”

    It’s so true, and we don’t see such a sophisticated comedy-drama that gives the kind of quality week after week that this show offers. This week’s episode, in my opinion, pushes the show up a notch, again. It entertains us with its comedy, enlightens us with another side of its story, ties the threads together (the casual remarks that Yajirou made in episode 2 and 6), shows us more about the characters and their bonds, captures our hearts with its character-drama — all executed in such a smooth, believable and engaging way. The bonding of the brothers is heart-warming, and the confrontation at the well is heart-wrenching — that sequence (the water droplets, the BGM, the beautiful performance of the seiyuus) is so well-orchestrated.

    To be honest, I don’t really care if there is a plot and if the show is set to answer any questions — to me, this show is about the characters living their lives. However, I am amazed by how neatly woven the story is. It looks like next week it will drill deeper into the story, peeling off another layer — it probably will be another emotional ride for me. So looking forward to it.

    • Highway says:

      I think the show is actually telling the story, in long form, of Souichirou’s death. It’s just doing it in a very unusual way, by setting it in the current time, after his death, and filling us in by way of conversations with people who were there for different parts. But it’s not documentary style, or interview style. It’s reminiscence and conversational style. And it’s never relied on the big reveal, and I don’t think it ever will. It’s more of a fog that slowly lifts, giving us a clearer view of it, even letting us adjust to the small bits of information we get.

      It’s emotional, but it’s never the emotional gut punch of Day Break Illusion, or the “HaHA! Betcha didn’t expect THAT!” of Shingeki no Kyojin. This episode is probably the only one that I’ve thought left us feeling even the least bit sad, as opposed to wistful (Benten crying in a well or talking to Yasaburou) or triumphant (the Shimogamo battling off the Ebisugawa) or relieved (finding Mother being taken care of by Kaisei in the thunderstorm) or wondrous (Benten tugging on a whale’s tail). And none of the episodes have been even what I’d call a roller coaster of emotion, not even this one. It’s more like a day trip through the emotional countryside.

      And like you say about that sequence of confronting Yajirou, the water droplets in place of the tears (although frogs have tear ducts). The heartbreak of Yaichirou who takes everything so seriously, the milder reaction of Yasaburou, who deals with things in his own way. And that line at the end, that everyone has to say sayonara sometime in their life, relating humans, tengu, and tanuki.

      • ronbb says:

        I agree. This is not the kind of show that tries to draw a dramatic emotional impact on its audience — this will be out-of-character in my opinion — but it does quietly tug your heartstrings. Perhaps I am more emotionally connected to the Shimogamos, I could feel Yajirou’s remorse, Yaichirou’s heartbreak, and Yasaborou’s introspection — this episode gave me a bigger emotional ride than the last couple of episodes.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    So the reason Yajirou became a frog and hid himself from the world is revealed. I can’t imagine how that feels. With consuming guilt like that it’s a miracle he didn’t deliberately do something that would have gotten him killed but with this revelation out in the open, it’s official the family won’t be able to look at him the same way even if they give him leniency.

    It seems not even Yakushibou is immune to the “dirty old man” stereotype. Benten kicked him to the curb and he still can’t take a hint. How sad.

    I really hate those annoying pompous idiots Kinkaku and Ginkaku. It would be a huge favor if they ended up in a tanuki hot pot instead of Yasaburou. Their worst trait is that they’re utterly thick headed but want to act all superior.

    • Highway says:

      I don’t know how much the opinion of Yajirou will change. It might give Yaichirou another reason to never visit Yajirou, but he never did that anyway. It might change the way Yasaburou feels about Yajirou somewhat, but Yasaburou is not going to abandon his older brother for that reason. I doubt it will have any effect on Yashirou, and Mother will still love her son. None of the Shimogamo are vindictive enough to shun Yajirou, even over this.

      What else does Yakushibou have to live for? The hope of the pretty young girl he took under his wing returning to him is about it. I can understand that he’s not really interested in giving up.

    • Gecko says:

      I’m pretty bored when Kinkaku and Ginkaku show up- their heads are sure full of hot air. But I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t taste good if they were the hot pot. They’d probably keep talking as they were cooked.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, you’re right. The mindless chit-chat from those two would most likely ruin anyone’s appetite.

  6. lvlln says:

    One thing that got me about that bath scene: I’ve never worn a towel like that in a public bath. Maybe in the locker room, but in the bath area, no way, just be free! Isn’t that the whole point of the gender segregation? And these a are tanuki, who already spend plenty of time naked outside.

  7. KLACMAN says:

    give saw this ep really what a twist reveal what happen to the father.

    & give also explain frog brother’s “secret” yea since mid-point eps yea anything thing could happen next.

    (give for delay post due to having area being clean & fix due to flood rain probs)

Leave a Reply