The big day has finally arrived - not only the anniversary of Souichirou Shimogamo's death, but also the day when the next Nise-emon is selected.
While Yaichirou looks to focus his mind on making the final preparations for this big day, Yasaburou can't help but dwell on Kaisei's vague warning to him from last week's episode - thoughts that continue to prickle at the back of his mind even as he visits Yajirou in his well to shoot the breeze. Speaking of breezes, a sudden outbreak of gale force winds and storms warns that something less than savory is afoot, but even Yasaburou can't comprehend the exact scale of what is about to transpire.
Of course, it's the Ebisugawa family at the centre of these nefarious goings-on as they seek to kidnap all and sundry within the Shimogamo family starting with Yashirou and working their way up, and by the time he makes it back to the family home Yasaburou finds himself entirely alone. He does, however, have one ally - Kaisei, who not only informs him that the rest of his family have been snatched away by the rest of her family but also reveals the shocking truth behind Souichirou's ultimate fate. The real problem for Yasaburou however is the one immediately at hand, and as the full force of the Ebisugawa family set themselves up to descend upon him it appears there may be no escape.
I've pondered several times over the course of this series what The Eccentric Family's ultimate goal might be, and here it is - a full manifestation of the Ebisugawa family's slow-burning hatred and jealousy towards their own fellow tanuki to set up a grande finale in which Yasaburou and, surely, Benten, will play a major part. It's a pretty heavy and seismic shift in a series that has been pretty gentle and contemplative thus far, but that doesn't make it an unwanted one - I'm actually rather excited to see how Yasaburou in particular behaves when the chips are down to such a massive degree, and this is perhaps exactly what was required of the show to compliment the more thoughtful and heartfelt fare we've been treated to previously. Roll on next week's episode...