Uchouten Kazoku S2: 01-02

Embracing your fool’s blood: season 2


As you may or may not have noticed, Metanorn was down for the past week or so. This means our posting schedule is out of whack since second and third episodes are airing and we still haven’t had a chance to post our “first impressions” posts. To stay on track, I’m dumping two episodes into this “extended first impressions.”



He even gets his own spotlight as the sketchy tengu stick to the shadows

Don’t ask me about the details of season 1, because I don’t have the foggiest recollection of what actually happened. All I remember is one dude was a frog for a while and that tanuki hot pot was a thing. That’s about it. What really stuck with me were the witty conversations and the visuals. Even after several years, I can vividly picture Benten effortlessly weaving through the branches of a sakura tree in full bloom and smiling coyly at Yasaburo. All the imagery comes rushing back to me without context for how and when we arrived at that point, like recalling parts of a dream. I actually ended up liking the show a hell of a lot more after the fact, because months after it had aired and I realized I was still thinking about it.

The second season continues that tradition of bizarre yet striking imagery. Things start rolling when Yasuburo and Yasahiro go hunting for tsuchinoko and end up being rained on by both furniture and unruly tengu. I had forgotten how tricky these tanuki can be, and we see Yasuburo pulling a bunch of cool transformations and bluffs here. While Yasuburo is able to put these gangster tengu on the ropes with his talents, he has less success tricking the newly introduced Nidaime.

It doesn’t take much talent to recognize that a massive white elephant in the mountains of Japan must be a fake, but he reveals more skill by calling out Yasuburo’s half-hearted Akadama impression. Then again, maybe that’s not worthy of much praise either. As if he’d expect his father to greet him with open arms after all this time, reeking of tanuki and sporting a tail. That’s a big giveaway.

So the real tip-off, I feel, that this guy is one of the sharpest around is his total paranoia about Yasuburo. He won’t let him carry out any favours empty-handed, because he’s expected Yasuburo to twist things around and somehow get a bigger favour in return out of it. Most characters in this show tend to have at least one fatal flaw, but Nidaime has yet to reveal that weakness. In fact, his flaw may be that he tries too hard to stay ahead of others. For now, he’s a clever, calculated gentleman in a pristine white suit with a penchant for coming out on top of every conversation he holds. This should be an interesting addition to the cast, and a fun new problem for everyone in the tanuki family to tackle.




Carrying on the theme of Yasuburo meeting his match, yet another new character is here to make his life a living hell! I’ve always loved seeing Yasuburo – a trickster by nature – get bested by others. This makes him a much more likeable character, as it exposes a more “human” side. He’s not some tanuki Orihara Izaya (Durarara!!) who outwits everyone with skilled precision. Yasuburo is still immature and rash, so he fails. And this time, he really fails. That is, unless you consider being hypnotized to ravage a shopping arcade as a bear to be particularly auspicious.

The (other) new guy here is Tenmanya – a human(???) who escaped from hell and spends his time messing with people for fun. It starts off innocently enough though. He builds a ramen shop atop of a building, breaking zoning laws and probably health code violations based on the brief shot we get of his purple soup stock. It’s not hurting anyone, but it’s tricky. Then he does some mildly irritating things, such as summoning wayyy too many paper lanterns at a party.

It becomes clear at the end of the episode that he’s not just some kook who was kicked out of the tanuki-eating club, but a truly dangerous man. He nearly gets Yasuburo shot twice. The first time is with hypnosis in his bear form. Then, Yasuburo tries to find out his weakness in order to seek revenge for the bear incident, but he ends up staring down the barrel of a gun yet again. Even when you target Tenmanya’s weak spots, he’s ready for ya!



I really like the imagery in this show, and I’m actually leaving some stuff out to see if it’s built upon more for a post next week. But for now, I can rant and rave about how much I like this show and what it’s doing. Yasuburo is a great lead because he’s foolish, but he embraces that foolishness and runs with it. He’s a flawed trickster, and a cute little furball to boot. What’s not to love about a rascal like him? His antics are surrounded by a strong cast, and I’m excited to see them all back in action. Yes, even Ginkaku and Kinkaku!

Now, all we need is more Benten-sama…

frog dude is pretty cool too


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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17 Responses to “Uchouten Kazoku S2: 01-02”

  1. skylion says:

    …human magicians, heck, even regular humans are dangerous for tanuki, and sometimes even the tengu. I think it’s because the tengu and the tanuki are always the same. They’re immortal, in a fashion, and powerful, in a fashion. But they don’t seem to have the adaptability of humans. At least that’s my luke-warm take on it!

    Oh goodness, just like you I can barely recall the details of the first season; and like you I can just recall luxuriating in it, it’s that type of show really.

    But who’s rooting for Kaisei to get her fella one of these days. It’s a tanuki’s life…

    • Overcooled says:

      They each have their own sort of stubborn pride..even tanuki think being tricked by a “mere human” is a disgrace. They have to catch up to the times!

      It’s one of those shows where I can’t remember what happened but that’s okay…it’s all good.

      Me tooooo!

      • skylion says:

        I really like Kaisei’s attitude toward being a practical person and tanuki, and I love her cowboy boots…cause cowboy boots…

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Yeah, I noticed the site was down for a week’s time. That was agonizing.

    Well, back to the world of Tanukis and Tengus. While I welcome Uchouten Kazoku’s second season, like you, most of my memory on the first has been eroded. I can’t even remember why Kaisei chooses to conceal herself, even from her (former) fiancé Yasaburo and I forgot Benten was voiced by Mamiko Noto.

    Yeah, we’re graced with seeing familiar faces but something is terribly wrong. We’re missing the booze known as “Electric Brandy” from the previous season. Where’d that stuff go? And no, I don’t drink. 😛

    The Nidaime is an aloof one but he does have one trait I can really relate to. Like him, I don’t like being indebted to others, for any reason. Whatever transactions are going on, I’d like to pay them off quickly and be done with them as soon as humanly possible.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, sorry guys, I’m not going to go back and try to recall things so I’ll be just as lost unless they re-explain these kinds of things. I don’t know how you could forgot Noto Mamiko though. SHE’S THE BEST!!!

      • BlackBriar says:

        I don’t know how you could forgot Noto Mamiko though. SHE’S THE BEST!!!

        A lot of things about the first season, the series in general for that matter, I’ve forgotten. Mamiko Noto voicing Benten was one of them. I mostly recalled her when she played Shokugeki no Soma’s Hinako Inui and Re:Zero’s Elsa.

      • Highway says:

        She does one of my favorite lines, but not one that most people remember, from Witch Craft Works. 🙂

        • Overcooled says:

          which line?

          • Highway says:

            After Honoka unhesitatingly offers his eyes for Kagari’s life to Evermillion, and she’s trying to tell him how to cure her petrification, to which he misunderstands her asking for his ear to tell him, thinking it’s the price to pay (in horrible romanization here):

            “aho! nanimo tore shinai yo! saki wa uso da mon. tonikaku, mimi!”

            The lilt in the “aho!” is just terrific. (at about 15:50 in episode 5)

  3. Highway says:

    I haven’t been as enchanted by this second season, and I’m not sure if it’s because of being more used to it, or because it really hasn’t regained the storytelling mojo that it had. Maybe it needs time to build up to the circularity it had, bringing everything back to the beginning with more understanding, but it just seems like it was less about getting to the story and more about just introducing more and more characters. I think it also needs to be more about the tanuki family, and less about recalcitrant tengu.

    • Overcooled says:

      I know what you mean…this season has yet to really settle into the “routine” of what made the original so good. It feels a bit disjointed at the moment, more like it’s focusing on the adventures of Yasuburo getting punked instead of trying to tie multiple stories together (and throwing in more new characters is going to make that harder).

      I’m not a big fan of the old tengu dude…and honestly, I can’t remember literally any other tengu so yeah, I could do with less of them too.

  4. HannoX says:

    Yes, we need more Benten! And it looks like we will get more of her in Ep. 3. I’m interested in seeing the interaction between Benten and the Nidaime. Will they clash? I sure hopes so because I think that’d be something to see. But I also think both are the types whose sparing will be done subtly before any big confrontation arises, if it does.

    I hope we see more of Kaisei (and not just hear her) than we did in Season One.

    Unlike others who’ve posted, I seem to remember more of Season One. But that’s probably because I bought the Blu-ray when it came available and watched it a second time.

    • skylion says:

      I’m hoping they treat Benten like the ten dollar character on a total 12 episode, 15 dollar budget, so to speak. Spend her coin wisely, and spend it well. She goes a long way, Benten does.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yesss more Benten! She always comes out on top, so I can’t imagine her ever losing any sort of confrontation, even to someone like Nidaime. But it would be interesting, since both are haughty in their own ways and probably used to being in control all the time.

      I hate rewatching shows, but Uchouten Kazoku is one I’d think about making an exception for. Bet it’s real pretty on blu ray! (Also, I’m glad at least 1 commenter remembers in case I miss stuff later)

      • skylion says:

        Oh the fight between Nidaime and Benten. Quips, bon mots, witticisms,and a few sneers just to keep it interesting…

      • BlackBriar says:

        I hate rewatching shows

        Even if it’s a show you like or that you just needed a refresher course to remind you of a certain event?

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