Posted by psgels on 29 September 2013 with categories: Uchoten Kazoku

The final third of Uchoten Kazoku to me… is probably its worst part. Allow me to elaborate why:

Basically it boils down to that the conclusion was too cliched for its own sake. And I don’t really say that for the sake of it being cliched, but rather the implications that this had on the rest of the series. Two implications really stood out:
– The frog, the second son. I really liked how he actually felt responsible for the death of his father. That was some really good drama, and I loved the episode earlier that was dedicated to his feelings about it. But no, the father was just caught by his brother who turns out to be this stereotypically evil bad guy who just justs after some woman. True, without being drunk there was a chance that the father would have seen through the trick, but nevertheless he doesn’t feel guilty anymore about his actions.
– Wat made Uchoten Kazoku great? Its dialogue and its focus on cultural values, customs and legends. The whole succession story just took too much time away from that, and unlike the first two thirds of the series it brought relatively few new things to the table. You can also see this in the character-development, which while there, could have been much more if the plot was a bit more catered to it. Benten for example: we never really got to see what goes on inside her head.

Does that make these four episodes bad? Nah, just not as good as what they could have been. These episodes still were fun to watch, and at least it did try to stay somewhat true to itself by never forgetting that the simple minds of the characters who on one point can be entirely serious, and then can be goofing off or really stupid again. The chaos in the final episode was a neat anti-climax, and the whole frying tram rocked. Uchoten Kazoku was definitely unique and really refreshing as an anime.

Yojou-han, Uchoten Kazoku. This writer needs to have more of his stories adapted to anime!
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

7 Responses

  1. wicked says:

    Benten is actually the reason why their father is dead, which was partially the reason why she distanced herself from Akadama, that and the previous incident where her and Yasaburou’s prank caused Akadama to injure his back and loss of ability to fly.

    She’s as developed as she can without losing her mystery, she’s selfish and shallow like a human, because she’s half human, but she’s also egotistical and powerful like a Tengu because she’s half Tengu, However, she is terribly lonely at the top because she cannot genuinely fit in with anyone, which is why she took special interest in Yasburou, because she envy him, his ability to be so carefree and loved.

    I think you’re wrong on the assumption that he doesn’t feel guilty anymore. If that were true, he’d not have remained a frog. The guilt was lifted because he wasn’t the reason that his father is dead, but that’s not his only or greatest sin, as you can tell with his tearful first words to his mother. He abandoned his family to hide in a hole and lost sight of what his father left him, that’s his sin.

  2. mulligan says:

    I cracked up so much seeing all the (old but very cute) tanuki losing the plot and scrambling around.

    Benten is still the only character story that makes the least sense to me. Love to see more series like this.

  3. feafea says:

    worst review ever!!!!

  4. Mikey says:

    ^ Troll up above…

    While I agree Soun’s reasons were pretty petty, they way he went about it was anything but cliche. He didn’t twirl his metaphorical mustache around, he definitely thought out his plans, right up to the eventuality that Yaichirou would escape and try to tell everyone and he didn’t present himself like a bumbling fool, unlike his two sons.

  5. Avalon says:

    This time I am disagreeing with you. I think these last few episodes were the most enjoyable. I love all of them of course, but in these last few eps, we got fun character development and interactions in a story that wasn’t just random antics of said characters. A greater purpose was added and the characters still shined.

  6. chuu says:

    You say cliché, I say classic. I didn’t mind the final plot at all since it was so well packaged, with an ending that was balanced and consistent to the rest of the serie. And such a darling cast! Even the more elusive characters got a proper conclusion, so all in all, it was one of my favorite endings. Way better than Gatchaman’s.

  7. kero says:

    whereas I loved the ending of Uchouten! The build up was great, and the last episode in particular saw me getting caught up with the excitement and with a smile on my face.

    I would place this as number one anime of the past season, out of all the ones I watched.

    I wish I’d gotten to understand Benten, but I think it’s also good that she remains a whimsical mysterious lady.

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  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:14 PM)
    Synecdoche is incredibly rich in detail, and keen return viewers can find a lot of things they missed the first time thru. Kaufman didn’t have a single teacup in a shot that didn’t mean something. Pacing is a bit of an issue, but if you notice the passage of time you can see that was deliberate as well. The movie could’ve been livelier, but for a movie about death and decay that would’ve been a bit of a sell-out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 11:01 PM)
    @Emma: Birdman and Synecdoche have a lot of thematic elements in common, and given that Synecdoche was released in 08 makes me realize that Alejandro González borrowed quite a bit from it; although in the end they are different enough to justify Birdman’s existence. Where Synecdiche was a better written movie, I feel that Birdman was the better directed one.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.

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