There comes a day in every tanuki’s life when he finds himself in a boiling hot pot.
What a pleasant, quirky show. The premise is absurd on its face— a family of tanuki deals with the tragedy of their father being boiled in a hotpot— but the show deals with the theme with such finesse that you can’t help but take it entirely seriously. Thematically, the show provides an excellent look at the question of how to live in the face of death, and what it means to be a family.
Visually, the show is gorgeous. I wish PA Works would do more shows like this and drop the Hanasaku Iroha clones once and for all. Uchouten Kazoku is quite humorous as well. The main villains wear iron diapers, and all tanuki love playing tricks. I’ve heard people say the humor detracts from the seriousness, but I actually think it complements it. One of the show’s major themes is the absurdity of death, after all. You need to laugh in the face of it.
The characters are each broken in their own way. One is a frog living in the bottom in the well, one refuses to let anyone see her, one is afraid of lightning, one lost his powers, and Benten… is complicated. But the family all recognizes each others’ weakness and works together to alleviate and overcome them.
I particularly enjoyed how in Uchouten Kazoku, the supernatural is just seen as another every day thing. Tanuki and tengus are no big deal in this world. Everyone just has to put up with them. I think that’s the best way to include the supernatural, not have some secret organization so that normal people can also be surprised.
In short, I enjoyed Uchouten Kazoku immensely.
- Storytelling – A – Meandering, touching and comedic. I cried a couple times…
- Voice – A – Great animation style and quirky atmosphere.
- Characters – A – Characters treat different people differently. Why do so few anime do this…?
- Attention Grab – A – Kept my interest.
- Production – A – Gorgeous.
- Overall – A-
Recommendations – Tatami Galaxy, Tsuritama