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
5 thoughts on “Uchouten Kazoku Review — A-”
I loved it, as well! At first I watched this show mainly for the visual pleasure (as you say, P.A. Works outdid itself and must make more series of this kind!) and had some trouble getting accustomed to the plot. There were so many different characters and I wasn’t even sure if this was an episodic series or one with a continuous storyline. But the second half was just awesome. Both visually and in terms of storytelling it was by far the best I’ve seen this year!
Some characters were a bit one-sided but I absolutely loved Benten’s half playful half melancholic ways! Yasaburo was excellent, as well. He must have nerves of steel to talk himself out of trouble like this in the face of Friday Fellows and Benten!
Re integration of the supernatural: Too bad the tengu did not play much of a role!
Yeah, the new style is gorgeous. Benten is an especially interesting character, I’m still not sure what to make of it. And I love how Yasaburo has no fear in front of the Friday fellows and Benten as well (and also his teacher, who all the other tanuki cower in fear of).