Well, I just watched the 8th episode of Uchouten Kazoku and I must say, that was one heck of a tearfest. If you’ve been watching or don’t particularly mind being spoiled, well, spoilers up ahead!
I think episode 8 really hot the emotional mark. Not only does it shed a light to the death of Daddy Shimogamo, which was a driving mystery of the series. Indeed, how could a powerful and influential tanuki end up on a hotpot? Is it really because that Yajiro got his father so wasted that he really wasn’t able to transform anymore? It still sounds too good to be true, but it still does make some kind of sense at least. Adding the fact that Shimogamo Soichiro pretty much has a carefree personality and views death in a different way.
But, more than that, we finally get why Yajiro is a frog in a well. Not only do the viewers find out that he likes Kaisei (who is betrothed to Yasaburo), but it is also the precursor to why he actually had a drink with his father. Which was somehow the precursor to his father’s eventual demise. Lov eproblems sure hit it hard for the tanuki siblings, first you get Yasaburo’s dangerous game of fire with Benten, and now this. Yajiro’s unrequited love for Kaisei may not be as well-developed, but we have yet to see. Considering Kaisei is also a mystery of her own, and it is still not clear if she does have feelings for Yasaburo.
I liked how Yajiro being a frog in a well reflects his guilt and regret. “I’m just a frog in a well, knowing nothing of the sea”. And indeed, it does, Yajiro’s own frustrations does play on his own limited understanding. The sea is as ruthless as it is vast, and the safety of a well is pleasant for all those harsh realities. We got a deeper look at Yajiro’s psyche, and it is some thing understandable to be the butt-end of the guilt and regret train. To be branded as useless when you father is great is also hurtful, but when you inadvertently cause his demise is a worse thing to swallow.
But overall, the episode is not about Yajiro, or the departed Soichiro. It drives a simple theme and that is family. Soichiro said to Yajiro he must never separate from his family. His mother, while not stating explicitly knows the reason why Yajiro holed up in a well, and she still understands. She isn’t angry or anything, but in fact knows how hard it is for her son. The same goes for Yaichiro, who might appear angry but also understands the guilt. It shows how powerful a bond and how emotional their connections to each other as a family. And nothing beats Yasaburo’s final narration, which caps this episode’s sentiments.
Man, that was heartwarming. Also, this episode’s soundtrack really hit the mark with all those feels. It’s comforting to the ears and sad yet relaxing. I can’t wait to get my hands on the OST! Kaisei episode next week!