20 CommentsEccentric Family / By Scamp /

Eccentric Family episode 5 – Friday Fellows

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It’s interesting to have this episode air alongside Silver Spoon, where people can talk about how much they love animals and part of the reason they love them is because they’re tasty. When you take it from the animal’s point of view, that’s a kinda scary thought. Except while in Silver Spoon it’s part of necessity, in Eccentric Family it’s just because it’s a tradition. A bunch of them don’t even want to do it. I can imagine a bunch of elite nobles sitting around a banquet table talking about how they don’t even like this rare whale meat much anyway, they only eat it because it’s what you do when you’re posh.

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If the Friday Fellows aren’t that bothered about eating tanuki, then why don’t the tanuki simply fight back? They can apparently turn into giant mountains and tigers to bite each other in the groin. So why can’t they take on the Friday Fellows? They’re just a bunch of middle to old aged men. Or at the very least try a little diplomacy. I’m sure a sharply worded letter would turn the democracy over to the side of not chowing on tanuki. Asides from Benten that is.

It doesn’t even seem like Benten should be all that powerful, yet she’s got the tanuki cowering in fear and running away, while the tengu are busy acting as her personal bodyguards and shopping bag carriers. Is it all just her aura and charisma that are scaring these people? Sure she can fly and has a few knick knacks lying around, but can she turn into a mountain? I’m sure she could probably convince the tanuki and tengu that she could, which is where her power lies I guess. All they need is to realise it and they can stop living wrapped around the little finger of this one human and stop being below them on the food chain. This ability to dictate events and strike fear into everyone is why Benten is such a great villain, but it also gets me a little irritated with the rest of the characters’ inability to do something about it.

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I would just have the rest of this post be pictures of Benten, but I’d like to clear something up in regards to Eccentric Family’s context of the wider PA Works library. Going by the animation studio is a solid step towards understanding how an anime might turn out and how it might progress. This is mostly if the work is original content though. Previous PA Works titles such as Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari and original works with largely the same staff working on them. Meanwhile Eccentric Family is based off a novel written by the author of Tatami Galaxy, a very different style of writing to their usual fare.

Similarly, even if we start looking at the staff, the director and series composition are done by ex-Production IG folks who worked under Kenji Kamiyama on Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East, Moribito and so on. The only previous anime they have worked on under PA Works is that Anime Mirai project about the talking carrot. The visual style is also pretty clearly different, given that they’ve brought in the character designer from Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei instead of the usual Kishida Mel ladies with skin covered in wax look. Once you start going down into individual animators and storyboarders, you do start to see the PA Works backroom team showing up. But with all the key staff having never worked on previous PA Works properties, basing how this show will do or how it connects to the wider PA Works library is not a good idea.

I said all of this in my season preview too. I know I can’t get everyone to read the season previews, but you bloody well should so you stop sounding like uninformed idiots when trying to be knowledgeable.

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20 Comments

  1. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    I look at Eccentric Family and I have to keep reminding myself this is from PA Works and not Masaaki Yuasa — I keep catching glimpses of tatami galaxies in the shadows (well, bits of the OP seem cribbed from Tatami Galaxy, in fact).

    I guess Tomihiko Morimi’s vision is pretty powerful. Or maybe its the Kyoto setting that does it.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the way they present the static character designs is very similar to the way the Tatami Galaxy OP does it.

  2. Pusswookie
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I cant help but wonder how the Tanuki, who can apparently turn into mountains, large animals, and decorative trinkets keep finding themselves in the hot pot too.
    At any rate, seems a bit like Benten knows that she’ll be the death of our protagonist and actually mourns that fact. Also, how can she, a self-professed human, fly?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      You can really do it if you put your mind to it. That’s what Dragonball taught me

    • R1CK_D0M
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      I remember reading somewhere that benten is psychic? Though I have no idea if that’s true or even if it is what it means in this universe/setting.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted August 9, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink

        I didn’t know Psychics could fly.

      • R1CK_D0M
        Posted August 16, 2013 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        yeah man I dunno, some sort of weird telekinesis or something?

      • Tux
        Posted November 5, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

        It was covered early on, Prof. Akadama taught her how to fly like a Tengu.

  3. Raiphin
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m watching the show with my boyfriend and at one point he said, “PA Works? Are they new?” and I responded. “You OWN Hanasaku Iroha. And we watced TariTari. So no, not really.”

    What gets me about that exchange however is that Eccentric Family was the point where he got interested in the production company, not the prior ones even though he actually bought the limited edition Hanasaku Iroha box set (Don’t ask me why, I made him watch that one on his own. >_>)

    admittedly I really just hope more people to like/buy this show so more like it get made.

    I also kinda get the feeling the tanuki shape-change may be a bit similar to an illusion, not entirely but not as real and like, a real mountain y’know?

  4. Matthew
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I sort of assume that there’s a reason humans rule the world while the Tanuki and Tengu cower in the shadows and pretend to be humans to get by. Since they’re fairy tale creatures, and operate by fairy tale logic, they may simply be unable to fight humans. Like, if a human grabs a tanuki by the scruff of the neck, that’s it. They’re done.

    Which would nicely explain why they’re so terrified of Benten. If their only defense is trickery and deception and she’s a human who knows what they really are, then they have no defense.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink

      That seems plausible in an implausible fairy-tale kind of way.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      I see what you’re saying. But Benten is still quite clearly flying though, that’s not just a trick of the eye. They clearly have some sort of power

  5. stushi
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    I was thinking that maybe the tanuki and tengu have this unwritten law or tradition that doesn’t allow them to go against the humans’ will. Maybe there’s even consequences in doing that. It would explain why the tanuki don’t just transform into huge monsters that could squish humans whenever they’re about to get eaten.

  6. baśbaś
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    It seems like there’s some kind of deal between Friday Fellows and tanukis. How else can you explain the tanuki as powerful as Souichorou got eaten? At the beginning of the episode Yasabouro talks with his fiance about him being chosen to be cooked. It’s like his death is definite and there’s nothing they can do about it.
    What if every year tanukis give one of them to Friday Fellows without complaint, so for the rest of the year they can live peacefully?
    It also looks like Benten prefers Yasaburo being alive (even though eating him is not a problem for her). It’s a little bit far-fetched, but maybe she’s sad because she knows when he gets chosen even she won’t be powerful enough to help him.
    Also, is it only me, or did she look really lonely at the Friday Fellows’ gathering?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      So it’s like a sacrifice? That doesn’t seem right at all. There’s probably an explanation coming, because at the moment I’m finding it a little hard to swallow.

      • baśbaś
        Posted August 9, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, two episodes more and it’ll be clear.
        But for now, there’s little to no indication of hunting or any struggle. What’s more, Shimogamo family is afraid of Benten, afraid of dying, but it’s not like they have any other negative feelings (like anger or vengeance) towards her.

  7. DarkEnergy
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    So now that you know the production staff, how does it help to understand how the anime might progress? Judging by how Tatami Galaxy ended, I think this show will have a good ending.

    Also, I read the season previews. It’s how I figure out what shows to watch and what to avoid. Are you ever coming back to Bakacast? Are there any other podcasts you’re doing? Will there ever be a Cart Driver Podcast?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      Gosh, I guess a lot of people listen to Bakacast, given how many people have been asking me this. I like taking seasons off, but given how many people are asking me this, I might go back sooner.

      As for Cart Driver podcasts, the problem is my internet connection isn’t good so the sound quality from a skype call is crap and doesn’t make for good listening. We’ve done them for the top 30 deciding post and the year-in-review, but I don’t think either of them worked great.

  8. aethelwulf
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I’m sure Benten has powers other than flying. If she can smite people with the effortless ease she floats about, it would make sense the tanuki are afraid of her.

  9. Ramiel
    Posted August 13, 2013 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Yeah, one of the issues for me with this series is that it’s hard to determine what the characters’ motivations are. What is Benten’s goal, and why does everyone else cower under her? How does the power struggle between Tanuki, Tengu, and the humans work? None of this is really laid out in the show, so its hard for me to care about the plight of the characters. All I’m seeing is characters sort of acting on whims and having interesting conversations.

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