A happy family.
Even though dear old dad is still dead and eaten.
So, where to begin with The Eccentric Family? On the balance, I did like it, although some things about it never ceased to bug me. Chief amongst these was in how much the show utterly squandered its female characters – Benten was easily the most intriguing character in the show, but for all that she makes appearances, we never really got to know her much. Then there’s the mom, who struts up all princed out, apparently a would-be pool shark, and, then, uh, wilts at the first whiff of a thunderstorm. And while I enjoyed Kaisei’s sneaky, surreptitious act, I nevertheless was disappointed by how quickly she got shut down each time in the last few episodes that she took a bold action.
Mind you, I did still like the show – I gave it a seven out of ten on MAL (for comparison, Day Break Illusion I gave a three, Free! a seven, Gatchaman Crowds a five), and I found it to be a fairly engaging show. I know some folks were disappointed with the direction as they felt it didn’t have much of one, but it didn’t bother me that this was primarily slice-of-life that happened to have folkloric-type roots. I really enjoyed the rich world that was presented to us of Kyoto as a city of three groups – people, tanuki, and tengu.
Of course, then there’s what I actually have really wanted to talk about…
So, a lot of folks were expressing joy and shock that this was a P.A. Works title, with some people then following to point out that the production crew for this show was actually one that didn’t really have any of the studio’s previous folks working on it, the point then being that it wasn’t necessarily indicative of a future shift in priorities. Except while the visuals were very different from the usual P.A. Works, and the execution was a lot defter than the usual P.A. Works, Eccentric Family fits in fairly easily with the studio’s historical output – it trumpets the same sort of values that almost every other show they’ve done does, like the importance of family, and a larger importance of traditional values. For all that Yasaburou thumbs his nose at some of the conventions of tanuki society, he still falls into line when it comes to his brother and the Nise-emon election. And the bad guy of the piece? Ebisugawa, who betrayed his brother, then betrayed his family ties through breaking off Kaisei and Yasaburou’s engagement, and then tries to betray the family ties again by handing Yaichirou over to the Friday Fellows. So, Eccentric Family – not actually as unique for P.A. Works as it would seem on first glance.
I suppose, really, though, what I walk away with from Eccentric Family is that I would like to see more of author Tomohiko Morimi’s works adapted – he wrote the novel that this show was an adaptation of. He also wrote the novel that Tatami Galaxy was adapted from. Hmm, maybe Penguin Highway could get an anime? I honestly have no idea what it is about, but it does have a cool title!
Anyway, TL;DR, but my favorite character was Yajirou. That’s probably CLAMP’s fault.