OP: 「Early Days」 by Akatsuki Rin
If only this wasn’t a short! There’s only so much time that Jikkenhin Kazoku gives us in 15 minute increments, but the subject matter does justify expanding on the characters and helping us understand what life is like for the family now that they’re out in the real world. The main premise of this Taiwanese-Japanese co-production is fascinating as the concept of a family of mutated humans trying to gain some semblance of normalcy after escaping the clutches of their scientist parents that transformed them is a story I’d be curious about learning more about.
The only child in the family that wasn’t mutated, Tanis, is inspired by a mystery person to seek out life outside of the laboratory they were stuck in, but now that they’re all free, his siblings are having a difficult time adjusting to life on the outside as their powers and instincts interfere with their transition into society. While Aisley, the spider girl, has a hunger for bug that causes her to ruin the family meal they were going to have, their trip to a local restaurant ended up only drawing attention to their quirks. Although Snow, the boy who can transform from human to dog at will, wanted to learn how to use chopsticks, his initial reaction to having food on the table was to make a mess and eat everything in his dog form. Meanwhile, the photosynthesis girl, Ashise, is open to trying new things, yet is far happier in the sunlight where she can grow shrubbery and mushrooms off of herself. The most avoidant of the family members is a quiet bookworm who would prefer not to go out in public because her telepathic powers are strong enough to pick up on what everyone around her is thinking, including the less-accepting humans around them.
It was a remarkable first episode, but the limitations in its story-telling will leave you yearning for more. There are hints of further developments throughout the show from the TV hinting at turmoil within their area to the identity of the man in the tree and the pills that the seemingly normal boy has to take. However, with such a short span of time spent with the family, it doesn’t feel like we get enough out of the first episode with how vague some of the intriguing aspects can be. At to that the hard-to-access nature of Jikkenhin Kazoku with the lack of simulcasts available for the show, you would either have to wait for an English version or stick with raw Mandarin/Japanese dubs of the series. Hopefully, it will be easier to access soon because there is a lot of promise for Jikkenhin Kazoku, and with time, it should be an interesting series to follow up on.
ED: 「春に落ちて」 (Haru ni Ochite) by Kano