Anime Review: “The Eccentric Family”


“Hmm…maybe I should get some ice cream for tonight…”

The Eccentric Family is what I like to call a “casual” anime. This basically means that most of the episodes can stand alone, and there is no central story. There are a few episodes that are necessary to watch, and the final episodes are actually part of a miniature story, but all in all, it’s pretty separate, each exploring different parts of the character’s life.

In this anime, which takes place in Kyoto, Japan, the spirits known as tengu actually exist. In addition, tanuki (also known as the Japanese Raccoon Dog) can actually shape-shift like in folk-lore. Tengu are humans that can fly, and have evolved to take the face of humans even though their original forms were of the bright red faces and huge noses. They have power over wind, and can apparently teach full-blooded humans to fly, as seen in one of the characters. Tanuki, on the other hand, live on the ground, and only have one fear – every year a tanuki gets boiled in a new years hot-pot.

The family is made of four brothers and a mother: Yasaburo – the main character and middle child, Yaichiro – the oldest and most serious of the three, Yashiro – the youngest and most innocent of the three, and Yajiro – who, due to deep depression, has turned into a frog and taken residence in a well. Their father was killed by the hotpot, having actually been fooled into transforming into his original tanuki form and put in a cage. When a tanuki is trapped in a cage, he or she can no longer transform, thus, not escape.

The story follows Yasaburo in his daily adventures to live an interesting life. He protects his brothers against the spoiled Ebisugawa brothers, talks to his older brother, the frog, who has separated from the family, and helps to protect his mother, who is so scared of thunder that she cannot transform when it storms. He also has a hobby of transforming into a girl, but keeping his male voice. This anime is thick with Japanese customs, which I love. By watching it, I learned that at the winter solstice, yuzu fruits are put in hot springs and baths for fragrance. It also shows the new year celebrations, and makes references to many folk-lore characters. For those are fans of this, it’s a great anime rife with folk customs and celebrations.

I can only give this anime a 7.5 out of 10, but I do recommend it for most anime fans. It’s not in my top five, but it is well constructed, and the last few episodes really make it exciting. The ending is very well done and might even make some of your cry!

For more information on my rating system, check here
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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: “Hiiro no Kakera” Review | Anrisa's Anime

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