Sunday, 25 August 2013

The Eccentric Family - Episode 8

We've already seen throughout this series how heavily the death of their father weighs upon this family, but how will they cope with the revelation that Yajirou was the last to see him and arguably had a hand in the lead up to his demise?

For Yajirou's part, he certainly has no intentions of denying this possibility, and thus he recounts the whole story of the final meeting with his father - a secret meeting to allow Yajirou to discuss the difficulties of his love for Kaisei in spite of her engagement to his brother Yasaburou, to which Souichirou promised to do what he could.  From there, the father and son pair decided to drink away their troubles before engaging in some local tomfoolery before departing from one another, with Yajirou heading home and his father ultimately meeting his demise at the hands (or rather, mouths) of the Friday Fellows.  Of course, as a result of all this his father's demise was enough to leave the normally placid Yajirou in a tailspin, leading to him effectively quitting both his family and life as a tanuki.

In the wake of all this emotion, Professor Akadama has his own postscript to add to the story, having "met" a surprisingly sanguine Souichirou after his demise to say farewell to his friend.  As the Shimogamo family returns home from this difficult evening however, it seems that the Ebisugawa's plan to break apart their rivals has backfired spectacularly, instead only serving to strengthen the ties that bind this otherwise disparate set of brothers.

As per every other week when I write about this series, I still have no idea where The Eccentric Family is headed or what its grand plan is, but it doesn't really matter when it delivers fare like this.  This week's episode was beautifully poignant in a way that anime rarely succeeds in being - heartfelt without being overly maudlin or saccharine, and superbly capturing the bonds of a family in simple yet heart-breaking terms.  Between material like this and the intrigue surrounding the fascinating Benten, it's no surprise that this show continues to be a surprise contender for one of the summer's finest.

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