This show continues to demonstrate it really understands the bonds between its characters and it is that spiderweb of relationships and the stain that gets put on certain strands that makes this episode great. Admittedly, by itself it isn’t particularly impressive, but having seen all the pieces getting put into place leading up to this episode and then the episode terminating with one of the more dramatic entrances of the series and setting up a face off between Benten and Nidaime which we’ve essentially wanted since meeting Nidaime this season, plus placing the Tanuki right in the middle of it all just kind of makes everything work.
As usual Yasaburo is getting in way over his head and being cautioned by his brother, however he plows on with his plan though I don’t think even he realised just how big a storm he was in the process of stirring up.
As viewers we’ve known that the Nidaime and Benten had to have had some backstory even though up until now they haven’t admitted to knowing each other previously. We’ve also known that a show down between the two was more or less inevitable and that when it finally happened it would be explosive. This episode leaves us poised for that show down but I can’t help but think they may delay a little longer, possibly fill in the back story or choose to go a different path. This show has never been about direct confrontations and has had a fairly interesting tendency to have situations resolve in unusual ways so I’m actually looking forward to the next choice. Whether I get a fight between these characters or not, I’m sure to be entertained.
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.
It’s weird in that this episode felt incredibly slow paced at times and yet when thinking back it covered a lot of content. We had the non-duel between the tengu, where Akadama was only spared falling completely to the ground because Yasaburo caught him. Nidaime’s only conclusion, other than general contempt for Akadama, was that Tanuki’s really are foolish and you can’t really argue with that after watching most of season 1.
Then Yashirou visits Yasaburo carrying Kaisei with him and we get a discussion about the cancelled engagement. This is before Yasaburo is sent to talk to a guy who has apparently set up a ramen shop somewhere he isn’t supposed to. It was nice seeing Yasaburon put on the back foot in this situation but all of these events have occurred in the first part of the episode.
The second part sees Yasaburo encounter the guy again at a dinner with the professor from last season (the one who likes Tanuki) and some artist, and then Yasaburo does some digging around about the new guy’s past. You would think Yasaburo was concerned about a new power in town, but to be honest he’s never that concerned about anything. He’s just ticked because he came off second best at tricking someone and that hurts his pride as a tanuki (he has a weird sense of pride but it is definitely there).
Anyway, I still love The Eccentric Family and this season is doing a great job of setting up a whole bunch of plot threads again and hopefully they can all come together as they did in season 1. My biggest issue with this episode was that it felt like things were moving slowly and yet they threw a lot at us to try and process.