The Eccentric Family becomes increasingly eccentric this week, with all the business about bear running wild and a strong reference to hell (who would’ve thought that?). But first, I’m delighted with two new returns this week. The first “return” is the OP that were sorely missing last week, in which we have the opening song that would sit comfortably next to the wonderful OP of first season. This new OP carries the same spirits and energy sing by the same artist that almost bring tears to my eyes; although I’m not quite sure the implication of Yasaburou taking camera and the settings went back and white. All part of memories? It’s weird choice consider that colorful and rich settings are one of the show’s selling points. The second return is from my favorite character of the show, Kaisei, and again today she proves to be more helpful than most of the cast (man, she’s reliable). It’s very Kaisei to let Yashirou go home early, then hides inside his bag (or is she the bag?) to hang around Yasaburou. I enjoyed their chemistry and a touch of jealousy from Kaisei towards Yasaburou’s affection of Bentei. But when Yashirou stated the obvious that why don’t they get marriage, I have a feeling the show doesn’t get the timing right. They could’ve make the scene much wittier with a beat, instead they play it quite safe, thus generic, this time.
This episode also introduces us to a new character and boy, he really knows how to stand out. We still can’t say for sure whether this new character Tenmaya is a human or any other kind, but it’s heavily implied that he’s a human. Not your regular Ningen, he’s a human who went through hell. As much as I love the character’s writing in Eccentric Family, one of the show’s weakness is that the bad, negative characters are bad and negative. The twins will always be annoying, stupid little brats and the bad guy is bad all the way. It often feels like out of all the characters, the writer doesn’t care about them the most. So here in Tenmaya we have something completely different, he’s not a good person at all. He’s sly and tricky, but he’s multidimensional. He appreciates the old painter and it shows clearly. He loves to play prank, but there’s no ill intention yet. He’s even outwitted the tanuki (who love to play pranks) and the whimsical sequence where the bear runs loose is exactly why I love this show. And how about Yasaburou gets back at him by transform into a devil? How about Tenmaya got all serious he pulled a certain missing air-gun from certain someone. The Eccentric Family is pure gold in small details and whimsical moments that I can’t help but sucked in.
We also meet Professor Akadama (the tanuki-otaku) again, this time not with the Friday Fellow, but in the equally strange and misfit group of Thursday Fellow protest group. The old painter Ayameike is a wise man who basically sees through everything. Tenmaya really respect the old man because he was the one who draw the Buddha into the Hell picture, thus Tenmaya can escape through the spider’s thread. As of now I will take it literally as it appears Tenmaya has some illusion tricks that ain’t either from tengu or tanuki. And what is the connection between him and Jurojin? I remember that guy Jurojin back from last season, already possessed some supernatural ability (using his goatee to catch the tanuki anyone?) and so far the show seems to set him up to be the main villain this time. I’m still not sure how they going to develop the “hell” direction but it’s sure interesting as we never really see the show addresses this concept before, so for now I will give it a benefit of doubt.
Oh and Nidaime did acknowledged his father after they fight off but they’re both too pride to accept each other. Understated maybe but I strongly believe the reason Nidaime comes back this time isn’t to fight his father again. As this episode makes a strong case, sometimes all tanuki cares is to spend huge efforts to trick other people and all tengu cares is to settle some stupid scores; you could say they’re directionless but I’m totally fine with it; call it a reflection of their (and our) idiot blood.