The Eccentric Family 2 – Episode 4

The Eccentric Family had another terrific episode this week, which, I know, big surprise. Though I guess it would have been just as easy for this season to have somehow lost the spark of the original, so I can’t complain that things are as heartfelt and magical as ever. I’m still waiting on something like the “flying teahouse above the Kyoto skyline” moment, but this week’s love story between Yaichiro and Gyokuran was so cute that I can’t really complain. Good shows are good.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below.

“The Tanuki Shogi Tournament.” !!!

TANUKI FIELD TRIP

The backgrounds here are gorgeous. I love how this color scheme captures the early morning, just-after-dawn light

Reminding us that their transformation technique can’t be used inside a cage

“The transformation technique is highly connected to the idea of freedom”

Haha, Yasaburou taking a gig as the tanuki at the zoo

Father hid his… shogi room?

Gyokuran, the woman from the clinic. She seems good at handling Yasaburou in her own way

Gyokuran seems to have a crush on Yaichiro

Yasaburou complains, but he shows up in the end

This episode is the right mix – slice of life/conversational pacing, but a core focus that gives it momentum

Nanzenji Shojiro is the host. Gyokuran is also from the Nanzenji clan

And she’s playing against Yojiro

Ah, it’s human-sized shogi, played with transforming tanukis

Their waddling noises add a lot

Flashing back to a brief memory of playing shogi with his father. Yasaburou’s personality never leant itself to stuff like this

Yasaburou gets pulled into stupidity with the twins

Now they’re ragging on Yaichiro’s relationship with Gyokuran

Gyokuran turns into a tiger and wrecks their shit and it’s awesome

And the tournament is ruined

Yasaburou’s playing off his blame, but he’s totally responsible

Another very nice flashback to Yaichiro and Gyokuran playing as kids

Hahaha, Mom tanuki is pushing Yasaburou to set Yaichiro and Gyokuran up. She’s so good

The head of the shogi tournament reflects on how Yaichiro’s need to succeed actually makes him more likely to make mistakes

Yasaburou’s talents aren’t in shogi, but his silly games help cheer Gyokuran up

Gorgeous flashback here

Yasaburou succeeds

Yaichiro’s too ashamed of his behavior as a child to play shogi with Gyokuran

Their sense of propriety keeps each of these two apart, even though they care for each other. This episode illustrates that so naturally. It’s wonderful

Yaichiro got mad because she lost on purpose, of course

And shogi is the perfect vehicle for their feelings

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