Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 3

Alright! Time for the easily best show of the season. By virtue of its subtle plotting, incredibly naturalistic and understated dialogue, confident, meditative pacing, and realistic focus on family ties and community, Uchouten Kazoku has almost certainly lost the interest of the anime community at large. That’s okay! Turns out we still get actually good shows even when we consistently prove the community isn’t ready for them. I’m not bitter! Nope, definitely not bitter. Don’t think anyone could possibly accuse me of being bitter. Anyway!

Episode 3

0:16 – Apparently this actually exists. Nice silly detail

2:44 – “Dad called this our ‘idiot blood’”, and then there’s that “Blood of Fool” in the OP background. There seems to be quite the disconnect between what their father actually did for the community and the lessons our MC learned from him

3:50 – God, I love the relationships between these brothers. The oldest one’s pride is so fragile, and the MC can’t really imagine taking things seriously in the way he does, making him basically ignorantly cruel

4:30 – “Our engagement was decided entirely by father.” That’s a nice hint that his ambivalence towards taking over the family legacy might be more personal than he’s willing to admit

4:50 – “Under those circumstances I think it’d be appropriate to hole up in a well.” Fair counterpoint

7:06 – “Tengu identity crisis.” Assuming a role versus actual self. How you let yourself be defined. This seems to tie in with the MC’s own reluctance to be who his family wants him to be. And of course he delights in changing his actual physical identity. Hm

10:43 – Foiled by Benten once again. It seems unlikely that she’s actually responsible for their father’s death (and honestly, in a story as well-told and interested in actual human conflict as this, their father’s position as a missing presence in their lives is much more compelling than as a catalyst for revenge or something), but I can’t wait for them to reunite her and the MC at some point – she’s the only one who seems actually capable of rattling him

10:55 – “It’s good that you take care of him.” “I was just kind of forced into it. Nobody else comes around.” You’re a natural caretaker! Embrace destiny!

14:43 – This show spoils us. I also loved the brief exchange of expressions between the brothers as they walked down that hallway

18:34 – She’s quite an intimidating woman. Goddamnit does anime ever need more distinct, self-confident, actually mature characters

19:13 – Great sequence 

19:52 – Scary-sexy 

20:42 – Who could resist that? She basically represents the carefree attitude he wants to live by

21:19 – So many striking images 

And Done

Ugh, this show is so good. I don’t even want to talk about it, I just want to enjoy it – that’s an incredibly rare thing for me. The writing is so good, the ideas are so good, the characters are so good and so actually alive, it’s so beautiful. No complaints at all. These rare shows are why I watch anime