35 CommentsEccentric Family / By Scamp /

Eccentric Family episode 6 – So, you ate my dad eh

vlcsnap-2013-08-12-18h13m36s69You know the ways robins like to pose for photos? They will stand on the handle of a spade stuck into the ground with a snowy landscape pictured perfectly behind it, jutting out its chest proudly. It’s simply begging for you to rush now and get your camera to take a photo. So you run off, get your camera, get the bird perfectly in the viewfinder. You then realise the lens isn’t open or something is slightly off, so you get it working and put the bird back into the viewfinder again and then the bird flies off, laughing at you and shitting on your car. That’s what Benten does all the bloody time. Sitting on the windowsill, gazing longingly at the moon. Standing behind the leaves, letting the light shine behind her. The big show off.


I’ve been putting off writing this post, and starting off with some dumb spiel about robins, because I’m honestly at a bit of a loss. I don’t understand the characters and how they’re thinking anymore. The main character says he’s sad that his dad was eaten, but he says it with such an unemotional voice and is fairly content chatting to the guy who ate him I struggle to believe that he feels anything. I get that there’s supposed to be a conflict of emotions within him, but from his actions I’m not seeing that conflict. The two sides are cancelling each other out leaving this character who remains blank throughout his scenes.

I’m struggling even more with what on earth the show is trying to say with the whole eating his dad thing. You love something so much you want to destroy it? I don’t know what it is an unassuming old dude like him would want to destroy in his life. Is it some weird way of putting in a vegetarian message? That seems highly unlikely. Something about how our love with our heritage, in this case the folklore surrounding tengu and tanaki, causes us to destroy them? Leaving it as it just being people who love tanuki so much that they love eating them neither makes sense nor is particularly interesting. The more we go into this story, the less I feel like I understand the people involved.

So this post will have to be cut short. I don’t know what to say because I don’t understand what’s going on because I’m too stupid.

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  1. Johnny Joestar
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    You’re still enjoying it though, I hope?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      I was, but it’s starting to lose me a little.

  2. TienesMilanesas
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    I agree. That whole conversation felt dumb.

    Though if you leave that behing and you have a pretty damn good episode. The way they are slowly getting to Benten is really nice and both scenes(the one in the well and the one in the rooftop with all dat ilumination) were fantastic.

  3. Cobrah
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this show from the start but the more I’m slowly realizing I have no idea what kind of message, or even story, this show is trying to tell. I just really want them to show the family more, who are all far more interesting than this old fart.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      I like the old fart. I get his story. It’s the main character’s story and the Friday Fellows that I don’t get. Maybe now that we’ve moved away from them the interesting parts will pick back up again

      • Cobrah
        Posted August 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        I sure hope so, I really like the mom character especially. By the way, this was posted in both Eccentric Family and Gatchaman Crowds. I wasn’t sure if that was intentional or not.

  4. ANON
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    this show is about frogs, and getting showered with tears.

  5. hint
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Only fighting each other but not against humans. They get really mad when other Tanukis and Tengus start bothering them but always indifferent to humans who ate their hero.
    Now i am not sure if i should look at them as half intelligent beings half “domestic animals” that cant think anything else because its in Tanukis foolish blood and having that its living with a curse.

  6. Fumoffu!!
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Are you too used to characters wearing their hearts on their sleeves? It’s not as if he isn’t upset, however something that’s become rather noticeable is how he doesn’t express his emotions much. I can relate to that a lot. They are giving us some of his thoughts, but they are leaving his feelings pretty much left unsaid. I thought leaving things unsaid so that you could infer it was a big draw of the show, but maybe that’s just me.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      Their thoughts don’t make sense though. And because he’s not expressing much emotion, I start to think maybe I don’t know what it is he’s thinking. If it’s going for subtlety, it’s being too subtle and making me think there’s really nothing going on at all.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted August 15, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Well that’s funny because seemingly no one else is having the same problem :/
        All right, what were *you* thinking during all this, or how would you react?

  7. Raiphin
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I think….I think it’s like this:

    We haven’t seen any mention of Tanuki dying on their own, only when they get eaten in a hot pot. So…what if you look at it like to the Tanuki humans are more or less Shinigami? And getting eaten in a hot pot just how they die, so it’s a thing that happens to most of them eventually?
    I felt like that might have been what Tanuki-Dad was trying to get across.

    Yasaburo seems to have taken refuge in being all happy-go-luclky, but perhaps the dicotomy comes from that not actually being his ‘true’ self? He complains about it with his brother (while in the form of a frog like his brother who has just given up, all literal-like) but doesn’t seem to know (or remember) how to express himself yet. Probably having him freak out and screw something up (probably the election) will be the conflict of the show.

    Or I could just be reading way too much into it. That happens too. It’s definitely what might be called a “Really Japanese” show…

    • Scamp
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

      I like that! That’s a cool explanation. It’s their version of death. The inevitability of it is why the fear is more base-level than instant, and the dad was ready to face death.

      Doesn’t explain why the old guys love the tanuki so much they want to kill them though

      • Raiphin
        Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, I haven’t quite cracked what’s up with the Friday Fellows yet…or Benten, who I want to like as a Strong Female Character but most just get annoyed by right now.
        She is kind of interested and a kamikakushi(spirited away)-victim who grew up though, and is unhappy–probably about being taken and/or the life she has now but hopefully not about Yasoburo >_>

        Y’know, if I were to sum up this show in one word it would be “Inevitability.” We don’t know WHY it’s inevitable yet, but that’s definitely the theme.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted August 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        “I don’t know WHY it’s inevitable yet, but that’s definitely the theme.”

        That’s amazing. I might quote you on that one day.

  8. Lazy
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    This post is pretty sad.
    There’s really very few things left to be confused about in the show right now.
    The characters and the “rules” of this world were hard to figure out right from the get go, but in 6 episodes the show has answered most of the original questions, clearly established the different factions and how they interact with each other in kyoto and gave insight on characters from each one of these factions.
    Why even bother trying to find the kind of “message” the show is trying to convey when you don’t even understand the characters?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      That…none of that has anything to do with the Friday Fellows loving eating Tanuki and the main character’s relationship with that. I get the factions. I don’t really know what it is they’re fighting over.

      I’m trying to find a message because the character’s actions aren’t making sense to me on a base level. If I understood the overall aim, I might understand their actions.

    • Lazy
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      That has everything to do with it. The show spent a lot of time establishing the interactions inside the Human/Tanuki/Tengu triangle. You obviously have a hard time getting the Human/Tanuki part of it.
      The Friday Fellows eat Tanuki because it’s part of a tradition, the professor has his own reasoning about love and eating to justify it but that’s just him.
      Also we haven’t met all the members of the Friday Fellows yet.
      Yasaburo isn’t hell bent on avenging his father because getting eaten is something normal for a Tanuki. I think that by talking to the professor he just wanted to know more about his father’s last moments and maybe try to find some meaning in his death/in the actions of the Friday Fellows.
      If there’s a specific message to get out of this show I’m sure it’ll be crystal clear by the last episode.

      • Gosav
        Posted August 15, 2013 at 4:01 am | Permalink

        But isn’t the professor a spokesperson for the Friday Fellows? As far as i understood it, the professor’s spiel on love and eating is supposed to represent the spirit of the tradition.
        It’s also rather normal for humans to be consumed by Titans, but that doesn’t seem to stop Eren (and his response isn’t the unreasonable one here). I can’t buy that our protagonist is apathetic towards his father’s death simply because it happened.
        Then again, i haven’t actually read the novel, so maybe this all clears up by the end. I hope so, at least.

      • Ramiel
        Posted August 21, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

        Except that they haven’t explained shit with the power structure and hierarchy between Tengu, humans, and Tanuki. We know it exists, but we don’t know what purpose it serves or how it exists.

        There has been pretty much no plot at all so far in this show. At first, I thought this show was maybe gonna be about Yasaburo trying to live a “fun and interesting life”, but so far it hasn’t been about that at all. Then I maybe thought it would be about a family that had fallen from grace, but that has only been a minor part of show. Now they are focusing on Benten, but she is still really clouded in mystery.

        Truly, this show has no direction.

  9. Gosav
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I had originally picked up this show as a specific counterpoint to silver spoon, because as a vegetarian I find the notion of lovingly killing things out-right sadistic. Now i’m sad -_-. At first i thought this show was a kind of post-modern version of Peter Rabbit, but now I feel it’s just throwing out psuedo-deep statements to assert that is indeed ironic and hipster-like. It’s really artsy, but it doesn’t really have a compelling factor to it (even straight fanservice would probably work ala -monogatari series). I’m in this deep, so i might as well finish off the thing but my interest is definitely waning.
    Also, “It’s in our idiot blood” has got to be the most ridiculous psuedo-deep handwave of just about every plot hole ever conceived. A part of me hopes that later on we’re shown that tanuki have been selectively bred by humans for consumption and that the statement actually has a scientific basis, but for now it’s just bullshit.

  10. DarkEnergy
    Posted August 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I predict the tanuki family will end up eating the professor in a hot pot. It’ll be all symbolic or something.

    I’m really uninterested in the tanuki-eating story elements. I’m not even that interested in Benten. I wanna see more tanuki-transformation fights, fireworks battles, and politics between tanuki, tengu, and human societies.

  11. Posted August 15, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Yasaburou claim that he’s not quite sure why he doesn’t feel enraged over his Father’s death in episode 2 when he’s conversing with the eldest brother at the well?

    But yeah even so, I do agree that his emotional response is a little jarring.

    • Gosav
      Posted August 15, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

      He admits it again at the end of this episode (along with his crush on Benten).
      The fact that he’s confused doesn’t make me any less confused though.

  12. BwackNinja
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Yasaburou is full of patience and understanding. In addition, you saw that his father was alive and well in a cage. This implies that there was no big fight. You also see that Yasaburou always changes form where no one can see him. Perhaps a tanuki cannot transform while being watched by humans, either as a requirement or as a form of pride or integration into society that protects their kind.

    The professor is a completely nonthreatening guy. He helped Yasaburou’s mother, and the whole situation with his father also implies that he has no real idea what a tanuki is, beyond a cute animal that is tasty in a stew. The firework firefight shows by itself that their existence is transparent to humans. To any onlookers, it is merely a pretty display at the right time.

    Then we have Benten. She has an interesting story because she is a human who is fully aware of this other world. The professor describes her as completely different as compared to when he first met her, before she ate her first tanuki as a member of the Friday Fellows. Yasaburou has known her since she was innocent, and was immediately enamored with her. Given how she treats Yasaburou as compared to everyone else, he seems to be one of the most, if not the most important person in her life. He talks to her without trying to bribe her to get his way, as an equal. While it is obvious to be angry at the person who ate your father, how about being the one to know after the fact that you ate your best friend’s dad when you were trying to feel included in a world you were supposed to belong.

    It is kinda hard to be angry at someone who is doing something against you that isn’t out of malice and you can clearly say that they have no way of knowing of their transgression against someone else. You also see that Yasaburou talks about his food all the time, so he can connect with enjoying the remains of another being while being oblivious of the consequences he’s causing. The message eludes me as well, but maybe that’s the point so far. He’s trying to find out what it all means and where that puts him, and that’s why he’s a frog in a well getting covered in Benten’s salty tears while talking to the wisest of his brothers.

  13. Pusswookie
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Damn Scamp, you should try being quiet, sitting down, and enjoying the ride. Maybe they’re building up to the main point; maybe it’s already there and just isn’t broadcast-ed in neon lights.
    Maybe, if you quit trying to dissect it for immediate gratification [or purpose], you’ll get whatever theme or message it’s [presumably] trying to build upon via osmosis and have a better experience for it.

    The main character didn’t sound emotionless over events, he sounded like someone who doesn’t usually recognize turmoil in his life, and was confused at how his actual emotions conflicted with what he expected he “should” feel. That doesn’t mean that he has to angst or react with anxiety; he’s a laid-back tanuki dude who’s a little surprised and awe-stricken [? I just got this sense of subdued wonderment from him] at recent revelations [and the people who brought them about] and acted as such.

  14. Raiphin
    Posted August 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    The Friday Fellows…there’s definitely something in the fact that they don’t seem to naturally register any actual supernatural events.

    1) They’re told Yasburo’s a tanuki, but don’t seem to ‘get’ it and think the shapshifting is some other kind of trick.
    2) Dad Tanuki has to be like, ‘No seriously, talking to you. Right here. Last trick, pay attention.’
    3) Old Man in the Friday Fellows doesn’t seem to work out BenTen can fly? Mentions she’s very athletic?

    I’m wondering if the humans interpret the surpernatural world differently, through their own lens–perhaps helping to explain (a little) why they eat Tanuki….like, the different between eating a green apple and being told you’re eating a green apple but you can’t see it. It’s not ‘real’ unless you see it, that kind of thing. So they know they’re eating a Tanuki(do they get anything out of this? no? just tradition as far as we know?)but do they know/accept/realize what a tanuki is?
    That might be part of Benten’s issue, that she sees both sides but is stuck on the human side and not too happy there.

  15. T1g
    Posted August 16, 2013 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    I do like what Raiphin has been saying, its a very solid hypothesis that helps me sort out a few character reactions.

    Also, I am assuming that any confusion will clear up by the time its over. Tatami Galaxy’s message doesn’t start to become clear until the end of episode 9, during that amazing back and forth between Watashi and Higuchi(chin guy).

    So I am just kind of assuming that things will clear up by the end.

    On a side note, me and my friend have taken to slowly standing up from our seats, arms stretched to the heavens, during the part in the opening where it says “WONDERFUL DAILY LIFE”

    • Raiphin
      Posted August 16, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      This makes me happy on a number of levels.

      I also totally need that “Wonderful Daily Life” image on a shirt so help me god.

      • T1g
        Posted August 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        I’d pay for it

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I honestly don’t get the problem some people seemingly have with fictional humans eating fictional raccoon-dogs in a fictional hotpot. I’ll also confess to not understanding the whole ‘to love is to consume sacrifice’ idea that Uchouten Kazoku puts on my plate. But criticizing Uchouten for embedding those in its Kyoto-shaped world is dumb, because, while it may seem alien or disagreeable there are still people who ascribe to this school of thought or eat animals they consider cute, lovable, intelligent or even sapient. For everything that exists there is a place in fiction.

    A series doesn’t have to, and really shouldn’t, pass judgment on every single aspect of living or every trope it employs –especially not to appease a section of the audience.

  17. OP
    Posted August 18, 2013 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    It seems to me that the ”I love it so I eat it” is being misinterpreted. Consumption of food is not destruction; it’s absorption. They love the tanuki enough that they’re happy to make it part of themselves; the old man’s use of the ”my idiot blood” line may even be implicating that the great tanuki is part of the old man at a significant level, instead of just the typical degree of oneness that a person reaches with their food.

    • Raiphin
      Posted August 18, 2013 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      Good point, that seems quite likely. Now I want to go back and watch it again, listening to the Japanese in case the subbing is failing us, but sadly I doubt my meager knowledge of the language is sufficient to the task.

  18. Grey
    Posted August 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    This. I’m really liking this show, the characters, the subtle hints at how the world works…
    I can even understand the acceptance of the tanukis of being eaten, because they obey to different rules (like humans accept death).
    Also the mask almost every character have, like a public image… Benten the “peerless” that cry alone at night, the tsundere-tengu…

    What doesn’t fit for me is the professor, because his shaky motivation for eating an intelligent creature and his kindness doesn’t fit together.
    I don’t think anyone could chat an hour with his steak before eating it…

  19. Abdiel324
    Posted September 12, 2013 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure this would be the healthy response to a conversation with your father’s murderer:

    Yasaburo’s reaction makes me worry that the show doesn’t have a whole lot to tell me as a flesh-and-blood living being.

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