Home > Episode by Episode > Uchouten Kazoku ep5: you can’t have your tanuki and eat it too – so don’t eat it!!

Uchouten Kazoku ep5: you can’t have your tanuki and eat it too – so don’t eat it!!

Well this episode was weirder than normal. All in all, not a lot happened. But what did was pretty important. Our tanuki hero is on the run from Benten after destroying the inner parlor and losing the Flying Thunder God fan. His efforts to be on the run don’t get him very far though. As pretty early into the episode he’s already been caught by Benten and her tengu guards. Wow, this show isn’t going to last very long if the main character gets cooked this episode.

Benten makes things very clear to her tanuki friend. He is to entertain the Friday Fellows, or be eaten. Well, Yasaburo is a fool with fool’s blood, but he’s not going anywhere and he’s not an idiot, so entertain he shall.

The get together was an awkward affair. I say this because it was nothing like I expected. There wasn’t a hint of malice or tension in the air. It was just a very casual friendly get together of power brokers in Kyoto, mostly middle age and old men, Benten being the exception. While there, Yasaburo entertains and hears stories and gets to know the Friday Fellows. One of its members talks about his love of tanuki just as other members are talking about why they even eat tanuki once a year when they all like beef more?

He tells everyone including Yasaburo the story of a adorable tanuki that he saved many years ago. From the context clues he gives, it’s clear that it was Yasaburo’s mother that he saved. Mama Shimogamo had talked before of a human she was grateful too, because they had saved her life. And here we are listening to the other side of the story from the very same man who, and the very same group that killed and ate her husband, Yasaburo’s dad. Wow! What a dichotomy!

Well, the old man gets way too drunk during the night, and as he gets more drunk, he gets dumber and more lecherous. The atmosphere bores Benten, who takes Yasaburo outside with her for a drink. They also talk about why the Friday Fellows eat tanuki once a year. And Benten doesn’t seem to be too excited about the idea, though she is comfortable with it. It almost reminds me of a relationship between a vampire who is fond of his prey. It’s a strange “you can’t have your cake, and eat it too” situation. I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand exactly where these characters are coming from, yet.

Things are made even more awkward and confusing when Benten appears to invite Yasaburo into the Friday Fellows. Now maybe it’s because I’m a little sick and tired, but I could have swore that was a hallucination. What exactly is this show aiming for? What am I not catching so far in this show. Is it my lack of understanding of Japanese culture, or does this show really run just deep enough that I can’t grasp it yet?

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