Monday, 30 September 2013

The Eccentric Family - Episode 13 (Completed)

As we reach the finale of The Eccentric Family, the tanuki elite and the Friday Fellows are now sharing adjacent rooms in the Sensuiro restaurant.  What could possibly go wrong?

Needless to say, tempers are flaring on the tanuki side of the partition, with Yaichirou not slow to reel off the list of accusations against his uncle, who of course denies them all fervently even with Yajirou on-hand as an (admittedly biased) witness.  When simply flinging accusations turns into something more physical - and more importantly, Yaichirou turns into a tiger - it's no time at all before the partition is knocked down and these two disparate elements come face-to-face.  The timing of this is perfect too, with the Shimogamo family's mother having just been brought in to take her unwelcome place within the Friday Fellows party.

Once a decidedly angry Professor Akadama gets involved, and with his ire further stirred by a cheeky little moment of trouble-making from Yasaburou, chaos soon ensues - as if tanuki running all over the place wasn't chaotic enough, the wind from the Professor's fan literally wrecks everything in its path.  Akadama's warpath offers the perfect opportunity for everyone to escape, although only Benten has what it takes to soothe his rampage before he flattens half of Kyoto.  Thus, all's well that ends well even if the choice of Nise-emon has now become all-but impossible - but maybe a world for tanuki free from politics and self-advancement is exactly what is required?

Some anime series suffered from introducing a feel-good ending, but in The Eccentric Family's case it's just what the doctor ordered via a wonderfully absurd finale that set a literal cat amongst the proverbial pigeons, lit the blue touch paper and stood well back to let the fireworks take care of themselves.  It's an enjoyable ending to a charming series whose only fault is perhaps not delving a little deeper into Benten's psyche given what a fascinating character she is; that aside, this was a series that managed to look beautiful in an unconventional way while also serving up its comedy and drama in an equally unusual manner that was ceaselessly refreshing to watch.  Such is the feeling that this show succeeded in daring to be different that I wouldn't dare to suggest that we need more of the same in the future, as familiarity breeds contempt and perhaps this single, isolated glimpse into the world of tanuki and tengu is all that we need to sustain us for a long, long time.  In a season filled with surprises, The Eccentric Family was perhaps the biggest surprise of them all.

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