Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 5

Last episode pulled the family together for the closest thing to a resolution the show’s demonstrated yet – but of course, this show isn’t normally about neat resolutions. It’s about people. That’s why it’s good. It employs great craft of storytelling, but it’s not telling tales – it’s just documenting the lives of some people. That they happen to be very interesting people, and that the world they inhabit is rich and colorful and lovingly articulated, and that their conflicts and turmoil reflect on issues of family, maturity, and self-image that are utterly universal? Yeah, that’s probably just an accident.

Episode 5

0:03 – How is this show so gorgeous? 


0:51 – “Thus we are reminded that the ones at the top of the food chain are the humans.” Yep. The tanukis play their own social hierarchy games, but they’re fighting over a pretty meager position

3:07 – That fascination’s gonna be the death of you, Yasaburou. Can’t say I blame you, though

4:00 – “She’s a dangerous person. So fickle and capricious.” Yasaburou smiles to himself

4:49 – LOOK at these SETS. Also, Yasaburou makes for a pretty natural Wanted Man

4:53 – “Yeah, we’re only gonna show that angle for about half a second. Better populate it with an incredibly rich buffet of background details.”

Alright, I’ll stop. Suffice it to say this is the easily the most beautiful show of the season, and this season’s got a goddamn Monogatari. It’s actually kind of the opposite end of visual representation from Monogatari – that show flattens all of its’ details into beautiful abstraction, whereas this show portrays every exact detail of its world to make its’ images feel lived-in and commonplace, but still in possession of their own unique beauty

5:57 – Okay just one more holy shit these backgrounds 

6:57 – “Sticking tengu tobacco in his mouth should shut him up!” Even from exile, he’s managing the family affairs better than anyone else

8:40 – So it looks like the tengu society that was messing with the professor have established more social power by setting themselves as gofers to the Friday Fellows. Benten sure does seem to like playing these people off each other – she’s messing in the politics of both the tanukis and the tengus. I doubt she has any more actual allegiance to the Friday Fellows

Also, this scene is just awesome. Benten and Yasaburou’s relationship reminds me of Horo and Lawrence, in a way – there’s this playful, constantly charged antagonism, though both these characters seem much more self-confident than either of those two were.

10:11 – Moments like this always put this look on his face. The show doesn’t have to say a thing

11:09 – “It was a delicious hot pot.” What is her game. Yasaburou’s taking it well, but goddamn she’s merciless. Is she just steeling him for the tone to come? Since father-eating aside, it seems like the Friday Fellows are powerful allies to have in this society

12:01 – And now she’s laying out the dynamic for him. This episode’s fantastic – it’s directly addressing the most mysterious element of the story, and every Benten-Yasaburou interaction is basically candy to me. Their dynamic is better than 99 out of every 100 anime romances

12:58 – All according to plan. Benten may not care about the professor, but she sure seems to care about Yasaburou

13:22 – And bam, he’s already won over one of them. 

14:13 – They are the best 

15:09 – Maybe the most genuine smile we’ve seen. Kinda gushing, but we just so rarely get an actually good couple, and that’s easily my biggest weakness, and these two are so good

19:08 – Yasaburou is being remarkably tolerant of this weird dude discussing his love of eating tanuki and also Yasaburou’s mom. But I guess tanukis have to get used to shit like this

19:34 – This shooow 

20:48 – This show is killing me oh my god 

And Done

ERMAHGERD. Wow. Smiling too hard. Jesus that ending. So good. Agh, that whole episode. So fucking good. This show. Yasaburou, she’s not talking literally. She’s… aaaagh. Love it. Those last few minutes are probably one of my favorite anime moments in general. It’s built to this so lightly and so well. I didn’t actually think the show would directly address their relationship like this, at least not this quickly. And she’s actually trying to gain Yasaburou the favor of the Friday Fellows… or hell, maybe she just wanted to have him have dinner with her silly regular associates. Either way, that episode felt like a gift. It is hard for me to remain rational around this show.

2 thoughts on “Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 5

  1. New to your blog! I’ve been loving this show too. It’s just so wonderfully magical. I assume they’ll let out some big plot points soon, like why Yasaburo seems tolerant of the people that ate his Dad. Don’t think it was just because tanuki are used to being treated like food. I get the feeling that this and Prof. Akadama’s accident are also related.

    Like your stuff, good job! 🙂

    • Yeah, it’s really only Yasaburou’s complacency that lets me suspend my disbelief on the tanuki-eating thing, so maybe we will get more explanation. That it’s connected to whatever happened with the Professor is an interesting theory – I was under the impression that happened some time after the father’s death, but I really have nothing to support that, so they could easily go in this direction.

      Thanks, by the way. Glad you like the work!

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