Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Eccentric Family (2013-) - Anime

Chosen Through Crunchy Roll’s ‘Random’ Feature
Anime Name/Year: The Eccentric Family (2013-)
Season/Number of Episodes: 1 season, 13 episodes
Tagline: None
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Episode Length: 23 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Bandai Visual Company, Good Smile Company, Kids Station, Lantis, P.A. Works, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV)
Producer: Takanori Aki, Kenji Hamada, Kenji Horikawa, Shunji Inoue, Hironori Kawano, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Masuhiro Kinoshita, Shuichi Kitada, Yasuyuki Miyauchi, Ryôsuke Nakaji, Tsuyoshi Oda, Shigeru Saitô, Kousaku Sakamoto, Naoki Sakamoto, Shoji Soma, Jun Takei, Kozo Tetsuya, Koichiro Tomita, Hiroaki Tsunoda, Terunari Yoshie, Masato Yukita
Director: Masayuki Yoshihara
Actors: Junichi Suwabe, Mai Nakahara, Takahiro Sakurai, Hiroyuki Yoshino

Blurb from Crunchy Roll: In Kyoto, humans, tanuki, and tengu live side-by-side. The Shimogamo family lives in Shimogamo Jinja’s Tadasu no Mori. The father, Soichiro, used to be the head of tanuki society, but without warning one day he was made into tanuki stew, and no one knows how it happened. He left four sons behind. They all live happily with their mother. After taking care of Professor Akadama, the Shimogamo family suddenly finds itself in a desperate fix. Will the truth behind how their father got stewed be revealed?! What does fate have in store for this strongly bonded family?!

Selina’s Point of View:
I had some issues getting into this anime. That said, I did eventually immerse myself.

It wasn’t what I expected, and it’s probably not the kind of anime I would choose to watch on my own, but I did wind up enjoying the tale of how humans, tanuki, and tengu coexist in a city. There were parts of the plot, however, that I found difficult to comprehend.

If humans, for instance, had a natural predator that kidnapped one of us a year to eat in a hot pot… I’d have trouble socializing with those people. I couldn’t really understand the relationships that sprouted between some of the tanuki and humans. It just didn’t make sense to me.

It’s a cultural thing in this case, but I don’t care. I still find it weird.

After all, you don’t see rabbits hanging out with birds of prey, do you? That would be dumb on the part of the rabbits… and completely against their natural instinct to stay alive.

Other than that, the story did become very interesting over time. By the end of it, I was looking forward to the resolution.

It was worth a watch, but it’s not exactly something I’m chomping at the bit to see the sequel to.

Cat’s Point of View:
This is an anime I hadn’t ever heard of before. I’m not sure that it would have caught my attention if it hadn’t come up for our new anime review series. That being said, I’m glad it did.

It took a bit for me to get into this one, though. The beginning gave me the impression that it was just going to be a lot of goofing around. Tanuki are infamous tricksters so that wouldn’t have been surprising. The story expands and peels back layers of mystery as it progresses. The narrative gets a bit dark, but there’s enough levity woven into the story that it doesn’t feel heavy in spite of the subject matter.

This series is comprised of one full story arc in its single season. Each episode builds on the last so it is helpful to watch it in order. You’ll likely miss something important if you watch out of order or skip an episode.

I’m quite sure that there are some nuances and cultural references that I didn’t get due to my own lack of knowledge of Japanese culture, but I don’t feel like I missed anything important because of it.

Once the series got into a groove, it flowed really well. The musical score was also rather interesting. It gave a little funky feel while keeping the general cultural flavor to accent the show. The animation was nicely done. It wasn’t ultra-realism but I didn’t feel like I was watching a kindergartener’s doodlings running around, either. The backgrounds and other elements were very well done and some were outright gorgeous.

All told, I really enjoyed this series and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other anime lovers that enjoy quirky fun balanced with substantial plot. Eccentric is a very good name for it, indeed.

Sub v. Dub: Sub

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – None
Metascore - None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 7.1/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

Trust-the-Dice’s Parental Advisory Rating: PG-13

Anime Trailer:

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