Just marveling in the art of Uchouten Kazoku
What chance does Yashiro have at trying to save Yasaburou? Is he really going to storm in, or will he come up with another idea that will work better?
Open your mouth and close your eyes…
Once again, I liked the circularity that Uchouten Kazoku continues to show, with this time it being represented by the ping-ponging of the catch phrase of the last two episodes: “Back in the Game!” I found it funny, tho, that this got less significant each time it was used, the final time with Kinkaku and Ginkaku using it while they were still stuck in the cage inside Yajirou’s Fake Eizan Electric Railway. Not exactly their crowning achievement. And the fact of being inside Yajirou’s railcar is itself circularity again, with his use of that catchphrase signifying his return to the ability to transform into his favorite form. I also liked that the railcar had frog eyes, in addition to the lights that the actual DEO 600 series had.
A railcar with frog eyes
The back and forth of “oh yeah, well how about THIS!” counter-punching was very enjoyable, from Yajirou showing up to the revised trap of Teramachi Street to making Yajirou into the Flying Fake Eizan Electric Railway (this last was a bit of a stretch, tho). And the circularity continued with the reappearance of the Fuujin Raijin Folding Fan, whose absence previously caused Yasaburou’s hiding for 3 months, and whose appearance here elicits the biggest laugh out loud I’ve had for the whole summer, when Yasaburou smashes Yajirou at high speed into Chitose-ya. That was just completely unexpected, and yet perfect.
The Big Setup
Yaichirou finally makes it to the restaurant
Everything is definitely getting set up for the finale. We now have all of the Shimogamo free except Mother, but she’s not in imminent danger at the moment. We have the tanuki, the Friday Fellows, and Yakushibou all at the Sensuiro restaurant, in adjacent rooms even. We have a standoff between Yaichirou and Soun about the accusations of Soun’s scheming. We even have Yasaburou going along with the Friday Fellows under the pretense of seeing a tanuki or even trying tanuki nabe.
The Friday Fellows are still relevant
But there are still quite some big wild cards hiding in the deck, and I think the biggest ones are Juroujin and Benten. Benten we all know about, but Juroujin is definitely someone who’s got more to him than we’ve experienced? Does he have powers like a tengu? Or is he even a tanuki (having the oldest of the Friday Fellows be a tanuki would be pretty amazing, I think)? And does he know the truth about Yasaburou? Who knows what Benten whispered in his ear.
Too bad it wasn’t these two caged tanuki
And Soun was asking for proof that he had sold Yaichirou down the river? Well, now the proof is sitting in the next room, in the forms of Yodagawa and Juroujin, both of whom talked to him with caged tanuki present. Just how devastating will the truth be to Soun? And what role will Yakushibou play, with his short temper and his easily offended tengu pride?
We’re definitely headed for a bangup ending. Will anyone end up as nabe? Or will everyone live through the night? Uchouten Kazoku has pushed all the elements up to the very precipice, and we’re just waiting for the slightest motion to tip everything over the edge in a headlong fall to the conclusion.