Uchouten Kazoku S2 – 03

Click if you want Benten to step on you too

winter15-oc

Benten vs Nidaime: what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

I’ve seen several twitter posts comparing Benten to a force of nature, and I have to say I heartily agree with that sentiment. She’s not specifically trying to hurt anyone, she just sort of exists and does what she pleases…which just so happens to result in leaving a path of destruction in her wake most of the time. I would hesitate to call her evil though. Benten simply does things on a whim, and there’s often nothing you can do to stop her. There’s something about being both dangerous and beautiful that makes everyone regard her with equal amounts of fear and awe, much like a thunder storm. Tenmanya curses and praises her within the same breath, solidifying the ever-changing nature of the moody storm that is Benten.

This one is a different kind of force of nature, it seems. We’ll see.

I’ve never seen her lose a fight or argument. If she did, I’ve erased it from my memory completely because it’s so against this picturesque image I have of her. It’s just so hard to win against someone who always changes what it is they’re ultimately after. It’s impossible to bribe her because her desires are fleeting, and as soon as she attains what she wants, she grows bored. Although she lives her life chasing those desires one after another, she seems to be lacking a certain excitement. That’s partially why she’s fond of Yasaburo – because he always manages to bring some brightness to a life where she can just ask for what she wants and receive it in seconds most of the time.

As such, Benten’s only real weakness is that she is too perfect. It’s boring never having to lose to someone. That’s why I think her meeting with Nidaime is such an important shift in defining everything that makes Benten…well, Benten. Now she has a worthy rival who is able to stand up to her. This is because Nidaime is also an individual who is “perfect” to a fault. He’s obsessive about minuscule details to the point of OCD. However, unlike Benten, who does everything effortlessly, Nidaime puts forth every fiber of his being into each and every task. Even ironing shirts looks like a huge labour whereas Benten just casually floats around all the time. I mean, the guy has like 6 clocks in his house to stay on time. It’s like a battle between a prodigy and someone who works themselves to the bone for results.

Both seem untouchable to the rest of the cast – beings on a higher pane of existence who always come out on top. Their methodology and morals are just different, leaving them to butt heads. I’m interested in how this will work since they’re both passive aggressive. They’d never get into a screaming match. I think smarmy looks and biting sarcasm is closer to the route they’d take, with some complicated plans to screw each other over in the future. In a way, I wonder if they will actually enjoy the competition. Nidaime will get a break from his tiresome, strict routine and Benten will finally have a worthy opponent to sharpen her wits against.

Turning the tables. Err..couches.

But watching two almost Godlike rivals duke it out isn’t as fun without some perspective from an average person. Yasaburo and Yashiro getting caught up in it is perfect to contextualize everything. For example, Benten and Nidaime have almost no emotional reaction during the whole couch exchange, but Yasaburo looks like he’s about to implode. Part of season’s 1 charm was Yasaburo getting entangled in everyone else’s business all the time until eventually he went too deep. I imagine this is but one of many feuds he’s going to be part of. There’s a lot of talk about the shogi competition, and I think that will be the next Big Thing that’s added to the mix.

I asked for more Benten and I got it 10/10 ty uchouten kazoku for this blessing

MAKE ROOM FOR BENTEN, OLD DUDE

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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7 Responses to “Uchouten Kazoku S2 – 03”

  1. skylion says:

    I’ve always thought of Benten as a human wizard/sorcerer that just turned out to be a better bargainer/more patient than the rest and was able to wrangle/trick/outlast the tankui and tengu around her to gain power. I had not thought of her like a force of nature, and that’s a good narrative idea. So many people just can’t seem to let her go.

    But now she’s met her match in someone who is as “insufferable” as she is in that department?

    Oh, to pluck a moon from the sky.

    • BlackBriar says:

      If I remember the first season correctly, Benten is human. Just that she was taken in by tengu and was taught their ways.

      • HannoX says:

        Yes, but she wasn’t really taken in. The scene was only a few seconds long, but I got the impression she was a country high school (probably) girl who was kidnapped by Akadama. Benten was not her name then, but I’d have to rewatch to see what it was.

        He did, however, teach her magic and in that way he did take her in. The scene where she first took flight amongst the leaves of a tree was (pardon the pun) simply magical. And that seemed to be when Yasaburou came under her spell.

        And now it seems the pupil has far surpassed the teacher. At least I haven’t seen Akadama fly over the ocean, grab a whale by the tail and pull it out of the water.

        • Overcooled says:

          Yeah, Benten was born human, but has all the powers of a tengu from being taught by Akadama. It makes you wonder if all humans have that sort of potential or if she was special.

          I don’t know what Tenmanya is either. I think Yasaburo called him a human and he refused it, but then what is he? It’s weird.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Maybe it’s just me but it feels like that header with Benten’s expression is saying “submit” and I feel compelled to do so. Man, she’s an aloof one! I mean it. There’s a heavy pressure exuding just from looking at her. “Force of nature” feels like such a mild description.

    Yasaburou’s right to have his knees buckling in the presence of both Benten and Nidaime. Before she even returned, he already predicted that anyone who intervenes between those two won’t come out unscathed. As if this wasn’t enough, wait until Akadama’s comes in to add fuel to the fire. Benten’s his favorite and Nidaime’s his wayward son. Two facts that will cause even more friction.

    Nidaime already has issues with his father. So imagine what’s going through his mind seeing the one his father’s always doting over.

    • Overcooled says:

      Benten is a hurricane I wouldn’t mind getting caught in~

      Akadama getting involved will make things more complicated. He’s too weak to do much, so Benten may actually end up trying to protect him (as a result of him trying to protect her and getting owned lol). Should be fun!

  3. Alexandre Martins says:

    Sorry to disagree about Benten, but “she’s not specifically trying to hurt anyone, she just sort of exists and does what she pleases…which just so happens to result in leaving a path of destruction in her wake most of the time. I would hesitate to call her evil though. Benten simply does things on a whim, and there’s often nothing you can do to stop her” is one of my definitions of an evil person.

Leave a Reply to Overcooled