Seems like forever since I posted a review, not much time for TV watching I’m afraid. Though this past month me and my hubby made time to check out “The Eccentric Family” on Hulu.
This particular anime centers on Yasaburou Shimogamo, the third eldest son in a family of Tanuki, raccoon dogs. According to Japanese mythology, Tanuki, are like spirits and protect their shrines. They also have magical powers, such as the ability to shape-shift.
Yasaburour, chooses most of his time to pass as a human boy, and if the sheer fact of a magical Tanuki running around town wasn’t enough of a plot, there’s more.
Yasaburour is the apprentice to Professor Akadama, a Tengu, or heavenly dog, which is a type of legendary creature found in Japanese folk religion and are also considered a type of Shinto god. Professor Akadama, however, has seemed to become just an old drunk, since losing the ability to fly, due to an accident, and losing his love, Benten.
In the series, Benten was a mere mortal, which Professor Akadama, kidnapped many years ago and taught her all he knew. Traditional, though the name Benten, refers to the Japanese goddess of love, beauty, eloquence, wisdom, arts and music, knowledge, good fortune, and water. This is no coincidence, since Benten leaves Professor Akadama, to become one of the “Friday Fellows” or good luck gods.
The main conflict Yasabour struggles with, or any Tanuki, for that matter, is the on New Year’s Day the “Friday Fellows”, eat Tanuki stew, which just so happens how Yasabour’s father passed away.
The story, although has strong ties to Japanese mythology, can be viewed without too much confusion. The characters are lively and the entire series revolves around the mystery of Yasabour’s father’s death.
Each of the Shimogamo, play a large part in the story, from the eldest trying to take his father’s place. To the second oldest feeling as if he was to blame for his father’s death and thereby turning into nothing more but a frog in a well. Then there’s the youngest son, just trying to grow up. The Shimogamo family is held together by their mother, who encourages the family to stay strong, despite the harassment they receive from the Ebisugawa Family, headed by their fathers estranged younger brother.
The series has just the right mix of humor, drama, love triangles, and mystery to make it very entertaining. I give it an A+, you should give it a try; and if your don’t then your life could be as boring as a frog at the bottom of a well.