Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 8

Well, the plot’s afoot now. Yajirou’s part in his father’s death, though obviously not anything approaching full blame, will definitely be quite the scandal for the election. Yasaburou has so far managed to indulge his ultimately compassionate and dutiful nature while still maintaining his air of aloof ne’er-do-wellhood, but this trial will likely force his hand.

Episode 8


Well, this is what I get for hating slice of life with no grounding in the real world – a beautiful slice of life deeply entrenched in the human mix of joy and sadness that makes me blubbery in five minutes

4:11 – Aren’t these character designs great? More shows should play with facial structure like this – the combination of that and this show’s incredibly careful posture lends personality to characters’ very profiles

Uchouten Kazoku

4:45 – Oh man, great twist 

5:17 – Family again. Yasaburou only seems more and more like his father all the time – he takes great pride in his carefree nature, but family is sacred

5:34 – Aaah, and that’s influenced by his father’s own strained relationship with his family. And the breach in familial trust that governed his father’s behavior is now acting as the principal conflict facing the sons. Beautiful. Great stories have a tendency to be composed of threads that all wrap around and reflect each other, and this is a lovely example. Nothing just “happens” – each facet reflects the whole

6:00 – A good man. Ugh, this show makes me break up without even trying. It’s such a beautiful thing

6:21 – Lovely shot, without an inch of wasted space. I like how their angled gaze and the sharp geometric composition draws the eye towards that hint of green in the distance

Uchouten Kazoku

6:44 – He can be both – dedicated patriarch and emblem of the idiot blood

7:23 – Magical realism at its finest. Another gorgeous shot

7:37 – Again. This show should be making careers

8:00 – The family slowly comes into focus. What a sad, ominous shot

Uchouten Kazoku

9:20 – Dear lord 

9:37 – Her default method for dealing with misbehaving children 

10:44 – Too many shots, not enough captions 

10:59 – Yasaburou takes charge again 

11:43 – Professor gets all the best gags. That’s a great expression

Uchouten Kazoku

12:12 – And the other side of the professor equation again 

13:10 – This is a new expression from him. His eyes more open, less resigned and heavy-lidded. Even Benten doesn’t make him look like this – he’s remembering his father, and so his eyes reflect an innocence he no longer possesses

14:05 – “Reflecting on the dead just makes you an idiot.” Remember the professor referred to their father as a “great fool” when reflecting on the time he saved his mountain. He has interesting terms of endearment

15:47 – It is extremely difficult to make a tanuki look dignified, but they do their best

Uchouten Kazoku

16:33 – It’s interesting trying to square the “idiot blood” with the emphasis on sacrificing for the family. He had just promised to help Yajirou with his love troubles – had he then decided that it was time for his sons to deal with their own problems?

16:49 – Professor states it outright. He is the true heir

18:18 – I’ve got the same question. So the professor was just enjoying some wine by the door to eternity?

18:38 – An endless buffet 

Uchouten Kazoku

20:45 – Stop it Uchouten you’re killing me 

21:32 – They keep calling it that. Tying together the free-spiritedness and the gift for leadership and responsibility. It’s interesting

And Done

Oh god. Well THAT was fun. Jesus. What an exhausting episode. Lots of beautiful moments, of course, and now they’ve finally explored Yajirou in some depth, but goddamn that was sad. It examined Yasaburou’s own grief as well, and even the professor got some great lines. I think Yajirou admitting to his “guilt” marks the rock-bottom turning point for the show – this episode was more continuously sad than the last, but it was the sadness of the actual grieving process, where the relationship with their lost father has to be remembered and explored before it can be moved past. This is far better than simply bottling it up, and means the brothers can now hopefully move forward. The trial of the election will demand a united front, and now for the first time that seems actually possible