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Uchouten Kazoku – 11

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「捲土重来」 (Kendojuurai)
“Back in the Game”

You know that stuff’s definitely going down when they start to omit the OP. It’s a wise move by P.A. Works, since the pacing of this episode was excellent, despite myself agonizing at not being able to see Yajirou train-dozer everyone over until next week. Come on Yashirou, don’t pause on that bridge for a dramatic cliffhanger! Realize where you really have to go. Today’s episode continues to build to that epic steamrolling climax that we’re all looking forward too, but not without its minor character development as well, specifically concerning Benten and Soun.

Benten continues to be an enigmatic character, even in the late-game of this series–her intentions and train of thought are something that’s barely graspable. At one moment she’s helping out Yasaburo seemingly out of whim, but at the same time still holds the death of his father over his head. Yasaburo attributes this to her nasty human nature, which Benten disagrees with, aligning more with her Tengu nature. However, when it comes to justifying her refusal to assist Yasaburo, she once again turns to her human side. Benten’s “flexibility” in using her dual nature is an uneasy development, yet at the same time allows us to understand the internal conflict that she deals with. It’s the small things that she does, the seemingly paradoxical actions, that reflect the inner turmoil that she hides behind her cool head. The visit to Professor Akadama, the way she gives just enough info to Yasaburo for him to save the day–she wants to help, but she doesn’t want to seem helpful, if that makes sense. Her dual nature means that two competing cultures demand to be satisfied, but in the end neither wins out over the other, hence Benten’s statement, “I’ve never gotten anything that I want.” I’m sure that she does want to help out Yasaburo when she can, but something in her nature in past is reluctant to do so–what those factors may be are what I hope will be revealed before the series’ end.

As for Soun…it really starts to show why he’s completely unfit to act as Nise-emon. The first request he’s asked of–by his own former affection no less–is brushed aside for a selfish goal. Though he claims that as an Ebisugawa, he has nothing to do with the Shimogamo family, but as Nise-emon, is that not his job? To be concerned with other families in Tanuki society? If he fails in this regard by disassociating himself with another family, has he not already failed his duty as a candidate? After all, most of the election propaganda he’s put out to everyone is only short-term and mostly a facade, where electric brandy can only go so far. That’s not to say though that the Ebisugawa family is completely repugnant, as Soun still has a soft side for Mother Shimogamo and Kintaku and Gintaku still care for their sister despite her interference. They’re a misguiding idiot family that’s lost sight of what’s good for Tanuki society, instead blinded by revenge and pride. Thankfully, they are idiots after all, so it only takes someone slightly less idiotic to foil their plans.

Here’s to seeing next week be a satisfying climax to this agonizing climb, because I’m really itching to see Kintaku and Gintaku get their asses bitten and handed to them, with maybe Soun joining in the mix as well.

 

Preview

Uchouten Kazoku   11   Preview 01 Uchouten Kazoku   11   Preview 02 Uchouten Kazoku   11   Preview 03
September 15, 2013 at 10:45 am
27 comments »
  • September 15, 2013 at 11:52 amRoad

    2 episodes to go and we don´t know who is Benten..
    The mistery is good,but if this series finishes without some explanation about her,i´m gonna get really pissed

  • September 15, 2013 at 11:56 amBear

    Even though we knew it was coming, that was a crapy spoiler in the preview.

    There going to leave Benten as an enigmatic character, damn them.

    Kaisei seems to be about Yashirou’s age rather than the older brothers.

    This whole plot has taken a Shakespearian turn. Jealous younger brother kills the king Nise-emon because he’s in love with his wife. Takes the throne… You see where this is going.

    • September 15, 2013 at 2:57 pmPeTdo

      but not only that you can saw a REVERSED EL-SID on Benten and Yasaburou couple

    • September 18, 2013 at 5:01 pmJel

      This must be one of the many references everywhere my teacher said is made to Hamlet (which I just happened to start reading).

  • September 15, 2013 at 12:05 pmMonks

    Not sure I liked the clear spoiler in the preview, but I imagine it showed what most people expected would happen. Still the nearly hopeless feeling they cultivated throughout the episode is ruined by leaving such a clear indication that all will turn out well.

  • September 15, 2013 at 12:35 pmJel

    One thing I don’t quite understand is why Ebisugawa didn’t want the mother of the Shimogamo family to be eaten. Does he love her?

    • September 15, 2013 at 12:46 pmBear

      Yes, he was devastated when she married his brother.

      • September 15, 2013 at 1:11 pmsikvod00

        One could easily argue that he doesn’t really love her. All of the torment and suffering he has caused mamma tanuki and her family is the antithesis of love.

      • September 15, 2013 at 1:19 pmBear

        @sikvodoo

        Read the last part of my first comment. Jealousy can cause irrational actions and desire can be confused with love and unrequited love can turn to hate.

  • September 15, 2013 at 2:17 pmanimeokay

    I don’t think I’ll be satisfied unless Ebisugawa senior ends up in the hotpot. I think that would be fitting. But I suspect it will be less than satisfying an ending. For me, nothing short of a big meaty end for the Tanuki bastard betrayer will make me happy…And I hope the twins are so shamed in Tanuki society, everyone stops buying their Eletric Brandy and they end up having to move out of town….Oh, I hate them all other than Kaisei, who is adorable.

    • September 15, 2013 at 6:14 pmbanzemanga

      Even with all the horrible stuff that Soun has done, i still feel bad for him. It is not that i like him or side with him. It was just rather sad when he talked with Yaichiro’s mother; he asked her that even though he was her husband’s brother, they still call him “Ebisugawa”. I mean, the “Shimogamo” family used to be in conflict with the “Ebisugawa” family way before Soun married into the Ebisugawa family. And all of the sudden he lost everything including his family name. Usually the man or head of the family keeps his family name. But it wasn’t the case for him. It is something like he became part of “evil” when he married on the other side of the family. And so he did decide to become evil for real.

      • September 15, 2013 at 8:31 pmanimeokay

        Nope. No sympathy. Screw him. He could have reached out to his brother, but his jealousy and pride led him to not just kill his brother, but now to kill his brother’s child, steal the mother. He’s a piece of crap. Women lose their name all the time when they get married and don’t go on killing and betrayal rampages. And I”ve seen other manga where men marry into a family and take the family name, so it’s not that unusual even in Japan, historically. He’s just a resentful and envious and power-mad lowlife. When you can do that to your brother and nephews…nope. He needs to be eaten.

      • September 15, 2013 at 11:35 pmMegas

        Just how many cheeks does a person have . . .

        Understanding Soun & feeling sorry for him are 2 different things, but I can’t do either. Sometimes anime (stories in general) set up characters for you to hate, & it’s your duty to hate them in order to give their part in the story meaning. Having half-assed attitudes towards those types of characters utterly fails their general purpose. A villain’s lament should only be taken in their demise, especially when their actions deserves nothing less.

      • September 16, 2013 at 2:00 ambanzemanga

        I am not saying that Soun or any evil characters should be forgiven. It is just that it is always good to look at both sides of the coin. And not all anime characters are made to be bland and hateful or sympathetic. Of course i am not implying that they are trying to make Soun more likable in this anime adaptation or in the original novel. You don’t like to think deep into it, it is fine.

      • September 16, 2013 at 5:04 amBeedle

        If someone is clearly more successful than you no matter how hard you try, do you murder that person and torment their family? I could have pitied Soun for being second-best, but his response just blew that out of the window.

        Even looking at it from both sides, I still can’t find myself sympathizing or feeling sorry for Soun. He’s got a huge inferiority complex. Big whoop. Souichirou gave up his life hoping that he could help appease Soun’s pain even if none of it was his fault, and the bastard still takes it out on his nephews years later.

        And Soun actually has the gall to ask “you’re still calling me Ebisugawa?”… just, wow. This tanuki needs to get into a hotpot stat.

    • September 16, 2013 at 2:01 ambanzemanga

      @Megas
      I guess i should say that understanding him, feeling sorry for him and forgiving him are three completely different things.

  • September 15, 2013 at 2:20 pmSol

    I don’t know about how other viewers feel (nor do I care for their opinion), but unless this series ends with something horribly, painfully, excruciatingly bad happening to Benten, I’ll mark it as a tragedy. I don’t care how “enigmatic” she is, she needs to be put down.

    • September 15, 2013 at 8:33 pmanimeokay

      I wouldn’t mind seeing her totally stripped of her powers and run over by a car.

  • September 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm^^0nMe

    One thing that’s made clear is that the tanuki cannot transform while in a cage because of their anxiety and clouded mind. Because transforming into something small or even an umbrella would be enough to escape it. Seems like a very cheap and convenient explanation to me, but then again I’m not a small animal trapped in a cage so what do I know? :P

    Funny thing in this show is that Soun ironically is the most human character while Benten is as fickle as the gods of Olympus. For me the main point proving it is Soun’s intend and will to kill off both Souichiro and Yaichiro while other tanuki (like the idiot brothers,Yaichiro in his wolf form and the mother) are apparently reluctant to do so, because that’s not what tanuki do.

    Implicitly the same goes for the option to just kill off the Friday Fellows or humans in general, which should be an easy task for the transforming critters. The story shows that the community of tanuki, humans and tengu believe in some sort of co-existence and accept the fact that once in a while a tanuki is boiled in a hotpot, a human being kidnapped by the tengu.

    Still hard to believe some of the story, but I think revenge is an emotion that solely belongs to humans, which Yasaburo, his family and even Benten are clearly not.

  • September 15, 2013 at 6:41 pmKarmafan

    Yasaburo has family members in cages waiting to be eaten in various parts of the city and he stops to have a bite to eat? He deserves to get caught.

    • September 15, 2013 at 7:58 pmRavens

      Yasaburo is following the ‘professor’ and transformed into the old man and ordered food so not to get caught or arouse suspicion, but the two brothers saw through his act.

    • September 16, 2013 at 2:51 amRedhawk

      he could take it slow since he “found” prof. yadogawa.
      yadogawa was supposed to bring the tanuki to the club, so he just had to wait to intercept at the right moment.
      at least that’s what he thought.

  • September 15, 2013 at 9:15 pminanis

    lol benten’s character feels more like a plot device >.<

  • September 15, 2013 at 9:48 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    im about to start watching this show…not just because of all the good thing you guys are saying…i just wanna find out which characters turn into which racoons…they are racoons right? hahaha!

  • September 16, 2013 at 5:03 amdowcraw

    well this get more hmm sure give ben10 manage get yasaburo to safety then yet go get his family til got it’s trap by those smuggy twins (so want snap-pop their necks) while one of them wearing a METAL DIAPER!!!

    yet evil uncle doing give offer oldest kid of Shimogamo family to friday yet cause he still want their mother give mother trying to reason indeed it all guilty on it all.

    but still kaisei only goodie who manage free the youngest of Shimogamo to tell him man-up & do something to save your family.

    (thank a preview you just sorta as river song would said “spoiler” alert).

  • September 16, 2013 at 6:15 amDvalinn

    They sure are building up to a climax here and it has me pumped to the point where I’d marathon the series if it wasn’t a weekly show. Can’t wait for Yajirou to curb-stomp those two brothers.

    Props to Kaisei for doing what she could to get Yashirou, because he’s probably going to be key. Got real Metal Gear Solid vibes too when she snuck around the place, too bad she probably won’t make it out (or good, if her dad will be getting what he deserves). Speaking of the rest of her family, I hope they get wrecked completely. People like that have no business being anywhere near having power in Tanuki society.

    As for Benten, she’s an enigma as always, but her relationship with Yasaburo resembles the friendships between a ‘normal’ person and a hardened criminal that I’ve seen in other shows (kind of like a lot of relationships in Black Lagoon). His bond with Benten proves useful now and then, and she is willing to do him favors from time to time, but she’s still an all-around dangerous human being and Yasaburo constantly has to thread on glass around her. Kind of like a friendly enemy.

  • September 16, 2013 at 8:00 amDra5ke SoS

    Choo choo da yajirpo train has left da wel, fck my hatred for benten increased and she a perfect example of human nature (to betray and not even care) hope she gets banished, as for soun I feel pity for hm bt da bastard needs to pay alng with hz poster boyz of complete idiot sons