I don’t know how the Nidaime fits in yet but I do know that if we wanted to start seeing some of the plot threads of this fairly meandering show come together, episode 6 was a good turning point.
Yasaburo visits the professor who is trying to interfere with the Friday Club and defend Tanuki’s from getting added to a hot pot but the club members have started a nasty rumour about him at the university. All this leads to Yasaburo visiting a hot spring where the Friday Club are meant to be meeting and we have an encounter with Yasaburo’s uncle who hasn’t really been seen since the last season when he tried to hand over Yasaburo’s older brother to be turned into a hot pot.
His uncle hasn’t improved given he’s now trying to join the Friday Club and kicks his nephew into a painting of hell.
So with a lot of these returning characters and ideas from season 1, as well as Yasaburo’s ongoing complicated relationship with Benten, this episode felt like things were starting to come together and get a bit more serious. Or at least as serious as this show ever takes itself as Yasaburo mostly found his short trip to hell kind of weird rather than particularly gruelling. Very fun episode and I look forward to where we go next.
Given how the previous year’s festival went I was really surprised that the Tanuki decided to continue with this festival but it ended about as well as expected. Still, that’s jumping ahead because the episode starts where the previous one left off with Gyokuaran having been sucked into the Shogi board.
While this might have been a minor diversion in the long run it leads to some interesting interactions and conversations and fills in some of the gaps in the family history and their relationship with Akadama that has always been a little vague and yet is a significant cornerstone of a lot of the story.
Still, it was definitely the festival itself and the showdown between Benten and Nidaime that stole the screen this episode. On a side note, I learned that his name isn’t actually Nidaime but rather that is some kind of title and one that Akadama instructed Yasaburo not to use. Which took us, of course, to the interesting discussion of what Yasaburo should call him, and so I was thinking ‘name reveal’ and yet instead we get an unveiled insult and we move on leaving us without really knowing what to think.
I am loving this continuation as it really is delving deeper into the relationships in this world and the interactions between the groups. While there still isn’t a central narrative all of these fragments are interesting in their own way and they are all tied to the family at the centre so it looks like it will come together nicely as season 1 did.
Yasaburo loves trouble. This we learned during season 1 of The Eccentric Family. However, in this episode he seems to be inviting it from every direction imaginable. Once again, we get an episode full of encounters that all seem fairly random except that Yasaburo serves as the connection between all of these people but Benten’s return was the true highlight of the episode.
Still, Benten’s arrival alone isn’t enough to make up for the overall driftless nature of the plot so far. As much as I love these characters, season 2 has been taking its time about getting to a point and that is somewhat holding the show back. And yet, Benten arriving and then watching her interact with newcomer character Nidaime… Well, that is interesting. If this show needed something to get things moving, the encounter between those two characters was more or less what the doctor ordered.
I just have to wonder if they’ll end up killing each other or falling completely in love because those two personalities together is going to make for an explosive combination. Of course, the show could back away from this plot point and go in a different direction. It is kind of hard to know.