Good luck, Yaichirou, you’re going to need it.
It’s finally the day of, well, everything in Uchouten Kazoku. The anniversary of Souichirou’s death, the day of the Friday Fellows year end party, the day of the Nise-emon election. And the day where all the plans go into action.
(as a side note, I’m not doing a Love Lab post this week, since it was mostly comedy skits this week, but it’ll be back next week).
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
More picking on Yashirou
The Ebisugawa are pretty low. Putting their big plan into action against the whole Shimogamo family, it starts with taking advantage of Yashiro at his humiliating job for the Kinkaku and Ginkaku. I was hoping he wouldn’t be so spineless as to give up his phone, but unfortunately he was, and you really can’t blame him too much.
But getting Yashiro out of the way is only the first part. Yaichiro, on his way to show his continued candidacy for the position of Nise-emon, is induced into an accident throwing him out of his rickshaw by a tanuki doll, and someone has whipped up a storm with the Fuujin Raijin fan (last seen by Yasaburou when he blew the Ebisugawa out of the sky with it) to scare Mother. And the only one Yasaburou can find is Kaisei, who finds him and tells him of the plan against his family. But that’s not all she has to tell.
Like Father, Like Son
A smile full of guile
Once again, Uchouten Kazoku employs the extended storytelling to further complete the picture of the night. What happened after Yajirou and Souichirou parted ways that fateful night? Well, it turned out that Souichirou had another appointment even after that, with Soun. And Kaisei knows because she was brought along, presumably on purpose, by Soun.
Souichirou catches up fast
The level of deliberate betrayal on offer here is astounding, and there is no mistake that Soun so hates the Shimogamo family, and his own older brother, that he is willing to be complicit in their kidnap and murder. For that’s certainly what everyone knows will happen to a tanuki taken for the Friday Fellows year end party. And not only does he do it to his own brother, but he is planning to do the same to Yaichirou. For what? Being a Shimogamo? Having the temerity to oppose him in his goal of being Nise-emon, which was also the second of Soun’s losses to Souichirou, which further steel him to carry out this vile deed.
His journey to the dark side is now complete
But what was the first? Well, that seems to have been Souichirou winning the heart of a girl they both cared for. And to hear Soun tell it, they were married ‘in a flash’, certainly before Soun wanted. And he has held and nurtured this grudge for this long, decades, and let it fester into something that allows him to sell his own brother up the river. A brother who, for all outward appearances, holds very little open animosity towards Soun anymore, who he’s even gladly meeting to bury the hatchet and reconcile with. But that doesn’t matter to Soun. And Souichirou, sensing the fait accompli with Benten present and no hope of resistance, asks just to clarify that Soun knows exactly what is happening, and is answered in the affirmative (with a smug expression).
We’re left with the seemingly terrible inevitability of Yasaburou’s capture, along with the rest of his family. But what will happen in the next episode? I’ve thought of some speculative pathways, but the show has done well to play its cards close to the vest, without really tipping its hand as to which way it will go. There could be important roles for Kaisei, Yajirou, Yashirou, even Benten or Yakushibou. As the preview asks, “What fate awaits our family?”
And while this episode didn’t leave one in tears like the previous ones about Souichirou’s death, there was a far grimmer reaction on my part. It’s not ‘shock’ at Soun’s betrayal. Nothing about what he’s done is particularly shocking to me, just far beyond what I thought one could do. The depths of his unscrupulousness haven’t been plumbed, and it’s hard to even say that he’s doing it for the election, because what election is worth murdering your nephew for? No, he’s doing it for his own smug self-satisfaction, his own ego. The election is merely picking the target as Yaichirou rather than Yasaburou.