Uchouten Kazoku 13 – This Is The Cutest A Bunch of Middle-Aged Men Is Going To Get

Wow, never thought I’d ever type that sentence down in my entire life.

Summary:

The Friday Fellows move in right next to where the Tanuki society are having their elections. They also secure Yasaburo’s mom for their hotpot.

The argument between Soun and Yaichiro get to a point where Yaichiro transforms in a fit of rage.

Yaichiro breaks down the wall separating the Tanuki from the Friday Fellows.

Hotei finally recognizes Yasaburo’s mom and tries to save her from being boiled in a hotpot.

The Tanuki revert back to their original form in fear when they realize that they’re in the presence of Benten and the Friday Fellows.

Professor Akadama grows impatient and shouts at everyone.

Hoping to cause a distraction, Yasaburo puts Benten in an awkward situation in front of Akadama.

Akadama chases Hotei with the Fuujin Raijin fan, not caring that the regular humans can see his powers.

Even the brothers get blown away but are saved by Benten.

Benten convinces Akadama to calm down and go home with her.

Mom managed to get away safely. She calls to check up on her boys.

Yajiro finally gets to talk to his mom after several years. I never thought I’d cry for a talking frog but damn all the feels in this scene!

The brothers end the hectic night with a celebratory belly slap.

Yasaburo meets Hotei some days later at a temple. He’s been booted out of the Friday Fellows but he’s been doing well otherwise.

Benten is also there with Professor Akadama.

Yasaburo would have gotten into another fight with Ginkaku and Kinkaku had Kaisei not stopped her brothers’ idiocy.

Yasaburo still doesn’t get to see Kaisei. (GODDAMMIT)

Benten asks Yasaburo what he’s wishing for. Yasaburo tells her that things are fine the way they are and he only prays for a little glory for his family and friends.

T

Thoughts:

Man, Uchouten Kazoku sure was something else, in a good way too. These days, most anime rarely try to be anything more than cheap pandering. The same old plot devices are used over and over and over and over and over again because these anime studios know that that its audience will never get tired of the same loser high school kid who suddenly gets himself magical powers and/or a hot girl beside him and he’s gonna go out there and fight everything with the power of his teenage angst. Characters, these days are being made to appeal to a certain market rather than being made to fit a role in the story. That’s why no anime these days ever gets by without some merchandise, be it figures or hug pillows or whatever, of its characters being made. It’s all about selling these days. If a story can’t sell to a bunch of sexually frustrated teenagers, then its not worth making an anime over. Yet somehow, Uchouten Kazoku came to be. Uchouten Kazoku never felt like it ever tried to sell me something. It’s cartoony art style certainly wasn’t trying to make me fall in love/ get horny over its characters looks. The characters don’t seem to fall into any of those moe archetypes either and the story definitely wasn’t some power fantasy about some dude who beats the bad guys and gets the girls and becomes a badass and stuff. No, none of that. Uchouten Kazoku wasn’t selling me anything. It just wanted to tell a story. And a beautiful one at that. Now, there wasn’t anything really mind blowing with Uchouten Kazoku’s premise. It’s a simple story about a Tanuki getting by in life dealing with his family and his other relationships. What makes Uchouten Kazoku a great story to follow, though, is how well written this show is. Though the show features fictional creatures from Japanese mythology, it’s still very relatable. Yasaburo goes through things that we all go through. Dealing with family, having estranged friends, and simply looking to live an interesting life. In fact, I’d say that the mythological details of this story enhance the experience and adds color to it and allows for some beautiful metaphors between was we’ve always thought of as fantasy and real life circumstances. This marvelous realism isn’t a literary style most writers of anime even dare to try and yet the writers of Uchouten Kazoku pull this off so expertly (It helps that the anime was based off an actual novel). Even when the story’s about a society of cute little shape-shifting raccoons or a race of proud winged nose-people, it’s easy to immerse oneself in the world of Uchouten Kazoku because its still a very human world run by human standards of logic, emotion and society. The characters in this anime are probably the best as a cast I’ve seen in a while. Everyone matters to the plot in their own way. Sure, there are characters that are more prominent than others, but it works because of where they fit in this giant web of relationships the characters establish with one another. That’s what makes these characters great; they’re not created with the thought of how the writers or the story wants to portray them in mind, but with the idea that these characters matter to the lives of the other characters. No one character in this anime feels out of place, unlike with some other anime where there are characters like the token loli who’s really just there because the main character’s harem lacks a loli. Anyway, back to Uchouten Kazoku. I’ve talked about how the world and the characters are written, but how about the actual plot? Like I said, its a simple one, but its one that explores many aspects of life along the way. There were so many things that really hit home with me in this anime. There was Yasaburo’s awkward relationship with Benten, one that had so much history and secrets behind it. There was Yajiro who I could relate to so much because I too was sort of the bum middle child who distanced himself from his family at one point. The scene with Yajiro finally reconciling with his mom? Made me cry like a baby. Then there’s Kaisei. Sweet Jesus, there’s Kaisei. She is definitely one of the most interesting characters I have ever come across. She’s a strong child and one that cares deeply for the people that she loves and yet, she keeps her distance from Yasaburo for some reason. I loved how she did that. There wasn’t really a lot of romance in this show but Kaisei always being in Yasaburo’s blind spot teased the romance lover in me better than any generic K-drama could. In the end though, Uchouten Kazoku doesn’t seem to end conclusively, but I think that was intentional and goes well with its theme of reflecting real life. To quote the show, “More fun than anything is watching that wheel (a metaphor for life) spin”. Just like a wheel, there is no definitive end to our stories. Life goes on past the good times and the bad. There’s no such thing as a true happy ending. Uchouten Kazoku taught me that life is still worth living despite that. Life will have interesting moments in store for us and getting to experience those interesting moments is what makes a life worth living. So, to cap it off, Uchouten Kazoku is a great show and one that I’ll recommend to anyone. It may not be ambitious like Shingeki no Kyojin or Guilty Crown. No, Uchouten Kazoku tells a simple story but one that is told well and one that is rich with a wisdom of life that it invites you to receive when you watch this show.

I’m really sad that I won’t be able to fanboy about this fine piece of literature in the form of anime anymore, BUT! There’s always the Facebook page for that.

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