Once, I wrestled with the difficult question of how one should live as a tanuki. I felt I understood how to live an interesting life, but it was unclear what else I should do. And then somewhere along the line, idling my time away doing nothing, I realized that there's nothing else I need to do besides live an interesting life.
The Eccentric Family (Uchōten Kazoku) is an adaptation of Tomihiko Morimi's 2007 novel animated by P. A. Works. Given direction by Masayuki Yoshihara and character designs by Koji Kumeta, of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei fame, it's quite the odd one out in P. A. Works' portfolio.Set in modern day Kyoto, the series depicts the escapades and daily life of Yasaburo Shimogamo, the third son in a family of shape-shifting raccoon dogs, as he watches the wheels of human-tanuki-tengu society turn.The anime began airing the 7th of July and ran for 13 episodes.Character Page Still Under Work.
Awful Truth: Kinkaku reveals to Yaichirou that Yajirou was the last one who saw their dad before getting captured by the Friday Fellows —they got drunk together and then Yajirou left him to his luck. Yaichirou doesn't take it well.
Later, the reveal that Soun Ebisugawa was the one to sell out Soichiro to the Friday Fellows
Beyond the Impossible: Yasaburou's dad shapeshifts into a mountain (no other tanuki can transform into anything bigger than a truck).
Bifauxnen: The Shimogamo mother often takes this form for playing pool and mingling with humans.
The folding fan is demonstrated in episode 3, and shows up in the aerial battle in the next episode: Yasaburou uses it to attack the Ebisugawa's flying battleship, but loses the fan afterward. In the last episode, Akadama-sensei uses it to obliterate both the council of tanuki and the Friday Fellows' meeting.
The flying "inner parlor" is also demonstrated in episode 3, used in the aeiral battle in the following episode, but crashes at the end. Near the end of the show, the Ebisugawa brothers try to launch Train!Yajirou and his brothers into a river; but it turns out they saved the wine-powered levitator from the inner parlor, so they simply float over the river (and toss the Ebisugawas into it).
Cherry Blossoms: Benten flies (for the first time) through the branches of a blossoming Sakura-tree not long after the start of her introductory flashback.
Covers Always Lie: The cover makes you think that the girl next to Yasaburou is the female lead but she is actually one of Yasaburou's forms, Benten is the actual female lead.
Crack! Oh My Back!: Akadama-sensei suffered one in the Demon King Cedar incident and hasn't been able to fly ever since.
Femme Fatale: Benten, she's unquestionably dangerous to Yasaburou, and they both acknowledge that their interactions are likely to be the end of him.
Gender Bender: Yasaburou spends a good deal of the first few episodes as a girl. He seems to like shapeshifting into female form, especially when visiting Akadama-sensei.
Glamour Failure: The youngest Shimogamo brother occasionally has his tail pop out when under stress. For tanuki in general, stress (or a loss of focus) can cause a complete reversion to their animal shapes, as when the council discovers that the Friday Fellows were next door, or Soichiro around Benten
Good Parents: Yasaburou's parents are good if not great people and generally well respected.
Shout-Out: Yasaburo is fond of this. He fancied himself Nasu no Yoichi as he spitefully shot an arrow with love letter at a priceless fan and in realizing he really didn't get Benten's complicated feelings he fancied himself a frog on the bottom of a well, who knows nothing of the vast ocean.
Take That: The series regularly makes small quips against blindly following tradition.
Tanuki: The titular family and about half of the characters.
Theme Naming: The Shimogamo brothers have one going following a pattern of 矢(Ya/arrow)*the number son they are* 郎(rou/son).
Similarly, the Friday Fellows are each named after one of the Seven Gods of Fortune
The Trickster: Fits Yasaburou to a tee. Benten also applies, in that she is powerful in more ways than one and uses her power to her amusement by subtly whipping up storms.
Tsundere: Akadama-sensei for the Shimogamo family in general and Yasaburou in particular. Kaisei is one as well.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: Between Yasaburou and Benten. It comes with him being mesmerized by her to but also justifiably afraid for his life whenever he's with her. And her generally being entertained by his presence but also saddened by the realization that she will undoubtedly consume and thus lose him.
The Voice / She Who Must Not Be Seen: Kaisei Ebisugawa, who doesn't like coming out in the open, so Yasaburou ends up having conversations with her as a disembodied voice while she's hiding under a bridge or in a drawer. The audience (although not Yasaburo) finally gets to see her in episode 9 of the anime
This seems to be a thing with Kaisei, as she lets herself be seen by Yasaburo's younger brother while helping him to escape from the Ebisugawa factory but deliberately hides behind Yasaburo in the final episode so that he can't see her