Admittedly Satomi isn’t that much like Cruella de Vil. Cruella is more narcissistic and self-obsessed, but petty and kind of a wreck of a person when you think about it. Meanwhile Satomi is more complete of a person. She’s scary precisely because she has her act together. When she makes playful threats they are frightening because you know she can do that, and probably would do so if it struck her fancy.
One of the underlying currents I’m getting from Eccentric Family is this death of an old way of life idea. Bear with me a second here because this gets into much wider cultural context. Old traditions die and the old wives tales of gods of old are dying out. Modern society has won over the land and can raise and level mountains by themselves. All old ways of life eventually die out, I’m just using these examples because of how they relate to tengu and other old Japanese stories that were inevitably the focus of an episode of Natsume Yuujinchou.
Satomi is the representation of the newer society. She’s different in that she’s human and therefore technically more mundane than the main characters, but she becomes more powerful than them. Despite her destroying the power of the old man, he has a fascination and desire for the newness in spite of himself. She is destroying their way of life as they stutter into irrelevancy. Heck, even their one tradition they do have left that the humans do pay attention to, the flying boats parade, they have to go to a human to be able to get their flying house. Now they struggle in dead-end jobs as a misfit family only capable of reminiscing about the olden days, back when people apparently thought MD Geist was the greatest thing.
Not sure if that’s what Eccentric Family is going for, but there’s several layers of meaning to the dialogue so I’m sure you’ll allow me this little bit of theorising.
This was the first episode for me that I wasn’t in love with. I like the dialogue and the several layers it has going on, but it’s episode 3 now. The story really should have started. I’m personally a pretty big proponent of starting the story at the goddamn beginning. Namely at the big moment that kicks events off what makes this story interesting. Eccentric Family still feels like its setting the scene, and I didn’t feel we learned anything new from this episode. The mother is still intensely loyal and protective of her children. Satomi is a scary sexy lady who has the tanuki wrapped around her little finger. Both episodes 1 and 2 had a scene that really got to me. Episode 3’s moment felt like it was supposed to be Satomi grabbing a whale by the tail and trying to lift it out of the water, but I just thought that was a fairly cliche and silly way to demonstrate that she’s free-spirited. Still enjoying the show, but the story really needs to start next episode.