15 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Eccentric Family episode 1 – Hairyballs

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You might think that I’m doing first impressions of all the good shows to ensure Shinmaru and Inushinde don’t get to cover them because I’m spiteful over the fact they got to have fun at Anime Expo while I didn’t. However you would be wrong! I totally left them with awesome new anime. Yellow Mosaic, Love Lab, the anime that’s about oppressing black people, all sorts of great anime about a group of teenage girls doing nothing!

Meanwhile all I get to cover is this boring anime based off a novel by the Tatami Galaxy author with fantastic directing, attention to detail, and clever dialogue. Oh woe is me~

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In case you didn’t get that from my oh so witty intro, I really liked Eccentric Family. It’s got a very off-beat feel that gives it the same vibe indie movies have. That trick where the real important parts of the story are left completely unsaid, but heavily implied throughout the way the characters act and how they look away during certain things they say, or how they openly lie at different parts. The story is about this old man Tengu who has lost the ability to fly, and my reading of it is it’s allegory for people who were crazy active people in their youths struggling with their lack of mobility in old age and their depression brought about from that.

The story is told from the perspective of a student of his, a tanuki dude who likes to transform into a high school girl. He says it’s for the old man’s viewing pleasure, but I’m guessing there’s more to it than that? Possibly just for shits and giggles. I know that if I could transform into a sexy highschool girl then I’d do it to mess with the heads of old men too. But anyway, his perspective on things reminded me a lot of teenagers and young adults who are close to their grandparents and are trying to live out their newfound freedom, but in turn realising that they want to be responsible and help their grandparent but aren’t sure how to do it. I really like how their dialogue plays out.

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It’s also interesting how different a tone it has from Tatami Galaxy. That had Maasaki Yuasa, so obviously it was completely bonkers and had a totally madcap presentation style. Meanwhile the guys working on this are fairly new to this whole directing business. They have worked under Kenji Kamiyama for Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East and Moribito, and it’s definitely closer to his style. A lot of fantastic attention to detail in very little things, such as how the main character holds his body as a girl being not very lady-like. It’s very understated directing, which usually isn’t my style. I’m more one for the in-your-face style of Shinbo-era Shaft or Gainax before everyone good left Gainax. But I’m digging the style of Eccentric Family a lot. Possibly my favourite first episode of the season. All it needed was Senjogahara in her underwear and it would have beaten everything else.

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15 Comments

  1. gedata
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Someone should teach Kumeta how to draw ears properly

    • Scamp
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Nah, it’s just all his characters play rugby so they all have cauliflower ears

      • Baphomet
        Posted July 13, 2013 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Still less noticeable and less creepy than Adachi ears.

  2. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    It’s also quite refreshing to see a main character that doesn’t mind the vices. He doesn’t hide his voice when transformed, smokes in front of his “teacher”, and imbibes alcohol at a bar. I haven’t seen a main character with such arrogance and self-confidence in a while. Having Takahiro Sakurai (Polar Bear from Shirokuma Cafe) pretty much seals the deal.

  3. gedata
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    A girl with Tanuki nads, that would be one helluva trap. Why hasn’t their been doujins of this sort before?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      You just haven’t been looking in the right places

  4. Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    About to watch this. Looking forward to it.

    I hope P.A. Works doesn’t screw this up later on.

  5. Joel
    Posted July 7, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    This was fantastic. I loved in the bar scene how the tanuki guy’s voice didn’t change when his body was clearly afraid, it suggested that the body language wasn’t really happening and the scary girl was only seeing what his voice was portraying. So like in a book when it describes the character’s private thoughts, except visual. Neat.

  6. Matthew
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    You didn’t even mention the Benten character, who completely owns every scene she’s in. “Hey, you guys like sexy, strong ladies who can be charming even as they threaten to eat[1] our protagonist? Have we got the character for you!”

    [1] Not metaphorically.[2]

    [2] Okay, probably also metaphorically.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      She’s a difficult one to work out at the moment, so I left it. Considering blogging the show. It’s currently between this, Danganronpa and Monogatari, and I only really have time to cover 2 of those. I might try cover 3 anyway…we’ll see on that

  7. Posted July 8, 2013 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    You gotta love Kumeta’s artwork too. It keeps the story down to earth in its simple line detailing, while fine-tuning most of the subtleties within their character actions.

  8. Kirin
    Posted July 8, 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    >the anime that’s about oppressing black people

    What is this, and why haven’t I heard of it?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      The anime that can be boiled down to the acronym KKK

  9. Someone Else
    Posted July 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Aside from the fantasy setting I really liked the idea of taking care of an elderly in a realistic view, not like in most anime that they treat them like pets (yes pets!) but real people, with feelings, philosophies and everything, which really hits a mark on me. Because you know like when you see some elderly people and you feel like helping them or something, but instead of respect for the elderly, is more like pity which is bad. In this case for this anime, it’s more of a respect which make it as selling point for me with this show.

    Really great stuff. I hope the old master (did they even mentioned his name?) doesn’t die with all the foreshadowings…

  10. R1CK_D0M
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    that bar scene especially was fantastic. Still moderately confused as to whether benten is a human, a tengu, or a yuki onna of some sort (judging by the frost she left on MC’s lips)

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