Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 13

Last Uchouten Kazoku. If I said I didn’t want it to end, that’d be kind of missing the point, right? Well, good, because I’m actually perfectly comfortable with it ending. Uchouten Kazoku has lived well – offering us many beautiful glimpses of a fantastically realized world, sharing a variety of well-written and relentlessly human (loaded word, but we’ll go with it) characters, and telling a sharp, perfectly composed story of life, family and duty. I’m not sad it’s ending, I’m happy it’s ending so well. I think Sou would approve.

Episode 13

0:44 – The opening lines again, of course. Life goes on. We end where we begin

Also, let’s get that one without the text, because it’s a beauty


1:01 – Another lovely one. Yasaburou savoring his last moments as an alleged fun-loving bystander to the wheel

1:52 – Love that little reveal. Benten outta fuckin’ nowhere

2:09 – Blowing smoke in his face like a child, focused only on the “interesting.” Yasaburou may outgrow her today

2:43 – Having second thoughts about your philosophy, professor? Is there something about that tanuki?

Frankly forgot that thread myself. This show is so damn elegant

3:45 – They might need a more intimidating witness. But really, Benten could have put her finger down at any point in this story and resolved everything

4:04 – Leaning entirely on that “nature of a tanuki” refrain to absolve himself. Guess they’re gonna stress that line to the breaking point for some thematic point

5:40 – Welp, tanuki’s out of the bag 

5:45 – Oh my god Benten you are the best


5:51 – The Fellows head ain’t no fool. The second character to occupy Benten’s world-hopping position

6:07 – You done fucked up Soun. But Mom’s the only one who can put him off his status-focused game – the only one that pushes him towards family/tanuki

6:35 – Soun is allowed dignity when it’s convenient. I love Benten watching the real show

6:45 – And here’s the key moment, where the concept of “what a tanuki does” is dissociated from the arbitrary group of people it originally described, as the human professor takes a stand while Soun proves his unworthiness to the title. Perfectly done

7:14 – This is brilliant. Yasaburou attempts to save Yaichirou… and is promptly captured, only to be saved by his other brothers. Yasaburou attempts to save his mom… and is beaten to the punch by the good-natured professor. A for effort, Yasaburou

But of course it’s always more about engaging and doing what you can than being a perfect person or living up to some arbitrary standard for yourself. I actually really like that – it would be more hollow if Yasaburou simply tried and then everything went well – there’s no reward for engaging, you just have to be who you are

7:30 – The professor is fine with rejecting the label and tradition of the Friday Fellows. Echoes both the tanuki identity and the arbitrary need to become Nise-emon

7:37 – And he even acknowledges his failed philosophy. Beautiful

7:48 – Oh my god it’s so good he’s saying everything. 

8:02 – This professor is dropping so much thematic truth I don’t even 

8:10 – Why can’t all shows end in heated arguments about the narrative’s underlying philosophical stance 

8:34 – 10/10 Bash Would Recommend. Benten always manages to have a great time

8:49 – The professor crosses into the world of the tanuki 

9:39 – Followed by Benten, checking on the one who has abandoned her “family” 

9:58 – Seriously, great party 

10:24 – Yasaburou clearing not above abusing his friends. Again, Benten is just totally down if entertainment seems likely


10:52 – Sorry professor, turns out we’ve totally blurred those societal lines you’re always talking about 

11:05 – The ending clearly didn’t have enough explosions 

11:36 – This show has a very whimsical idea of reality. Like with the train car, I love the pedestrian trying to hold her skirt down as she gets blown into the sky

11:43 – Professor please 

12:15 – Saving these brothers is a full time job 

12:48 – This is adorable. And also critical, of course – it seems like this is the moment of Benten acknowledging what family she has, first saving her adopted brother and then pacifying her adopted father

13:04 – And there it is – “home”. Back with her first adopted family

13:55 – So much for Nise-emon. He doesn’t look too unhappy about it 

14:53 – More adorable. The simple joy of a family call

15:05 – Funny, considering she’s probably never been more proud of her children 

15:50 – Oh god this show kills me sometimes


17:01 – The true hero of the story. So happy they resolved his philosophy

17:18 – You got drunk and became a metaphorical tanuki. It was great 

17:59 – Superficial identity becoming less relevant by the second 

18:40 – Take it from the professor. Advice for all his adopted sons

20:02 – Aw, so close, too. Well, I’m sure she’s very pretty, Yasaburou

20:50 – You don’t have to eat everything, Benten 

21:56 – No wonder the professor didn’t have any advice for him 

22:53 – Unguarded for once 

23:27 – One last shot for the road


And Done

Complete. Finished. Close, extended, and adopted family all together, just living and enjoying each other’s company. Ideas of identity resolved, elections forgotten, selves accepted and embraced. Meaning of life perhaps not fully discovered, but here, come sit with us and have an orange.

That was a beautiful thing. I love that both Benten and the former Fellows professor got such full resolutions, I love that phone conversation with their mom, and I love that it ended in such a pure expression of itself, reveling in the daily happiness of living with people you love. It’s just a perfect little show.

Man. I’ll hopefully have a review in the next few days, but I think anyone who’s been reading these can probably guess my feelings. It was nice getting to share this show with people. I’m very happy it exists.

5 thoughts on “Uchouten Kazoku – Episode 13

  1. Pingback: Check-out Station: Uchouten Kazoku ep13 (alien world, alien culture, familiar familial values) | the Check-in Station

  2. Thank you again for all that insight. I’m going to have to watch the episode again with fresh eyes, since you described so much that I missed the first time. And I’m really looking forward to reading your series review. A lot of others complained about how Yajirou was coaxed out of the well with alcohol instead of having a big emotional moment with the realization that he might not have been that responsible for their father’s death. Others have been complaining that Benten’s motivations are never explained. But those complaints sorta miss the whole point of this show, which is that what is fun is good! It’s a celebration of idiot blood. Sometimes, you just gotta let events happen, and ride with it. It’s a bit like Occam’s Razor. People like the human professor can tie themselves into conceptual knots justifying the weirdest things, and that can be OK at times, but one still needs to be grounded in the basic, emotional truths, because those feelings tend to be decent for the most part, for most people.

    • I kinda love this writer’s life philosophy – eat, drink, love the people you love, keep on living. It’s really great to see a show express the simple things with such joy and richness.

      Glad you enjoyed the posts. I’ll have that review up soon!

  3. It was certainly nice to see this show come to a conclusion that seemed so fitting and true to itself. I’m impressed at how well it maintained its identity throughout. I wish some things had been more fleshed out, I wished Soun had received a more definitive punishment aside from his exile and shame, and I certainly wanted to know and see more of the relationship between Yasaburou, Akadama and Benten. But if the show is gonna just take all these characters I’ve enjoyed (including Akadama) and have them happily sit down and have a drink, then I won’t complain. It’s an easily digestible conclusion, and you don’t always get that with anime.

    I will say that I like your attention to detail, I was too busy laughing to notice some of the stuff you noticed during Akadama’s rampage.

    • Actually, Soun might very well have received that definite punishment you wanted. Someone else pointed out that Kaisei specifically says he went to a hot spring and probably isn’t coming back, which could VERY EASILY MEAN those Friday Fellows got their hot pot after all.

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