The full story of what happened the night Soichiro died is brought to light, and a great trap is sprung on the Shimogamo tanuki.
What They Say:
“The Behind-the-Scenes Dealings of Ebisugawa Soun”
The meaning of Kaisei’s mysterious apology becomes clear as the Ebisugawa plot to boil Yaichiro in a hot pot is revealed on the day of the Nise-emon election. The day is also the anniversary of Soichiro’s death, for which it turns out Soun was responsible.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I’m of two minds about this pivotal episode of The Eccentric Family. For one, it’s nice to have the last missing details about the night of Soichiro’s death. It clarifies the order of events and just who was involved in the plot. On the other hand, the guilty party is an obvious target, and for a show with such original qualities the reveal feels too simple.
It was clear from the last episode that bad events were going to go down during the election. I didn’t expect the trap that was set to be so all-encompassing. The Ebisugawa’s never seemed like such a huge threat. Sure, the sons were jerks and the father a bitter rival, but for that family to slip into such duplicity and plot murder so casually is a bit shocking. I would’ve thought they would be sneakier with the election set up. This just makes them seem desperate.
The motivation behind Soun’s actions are simple jealousy. Despite the success and money Soun had earned, he didn’t have the respect his brother did and resorted to making his brother disappear. To that end, he employed Benten to ensure that Soichiro wouldn’t be able to transform out of tanuki form.
As for Benten herself, the cold and calculated way she participated in the crime leaves little doubt that she knew what she was doing. Why she felt that she needed to do so is another matter all together. Was her desire to gain power and prestige by joining the Friday Fellows the driving force? Hopefully we find out her motivation before the series is over. I’ll be severely disappointed if it’s something simple like revenge. Clearly she feels some level of guilt over her actions, and it doesn’t appear that joining the Friday Fellows has brought her happiness.
The one surprise in the episode is Kaisei’s role in this whole mess. Her habit of hiding in plain sight resulted in her accompanying her father to the fateful meeting which resulted in Soichiro’s death. Present, but unable to act, she witnessed the betrayal and kept her father’s crime a secret until she divulges it to Yasaburo. I wonder if Soun knew that was his daughter and took her willingly to the meeting. It’s clear that her guilt kept her apart from the Shimogamo brothers, but she came clean about the current plot a little to late to change anything.
For Yasaburo’s part, it seems he had an inkling that Suon was somehow responsible for his father’s death. At the very least, he knew Kaisei knew more than she let on and doesn’t hold her responsible for any of it. As laid back and understanding as Yasaburo is, he isn’t about to go quietly and let his uncle turn his brother over to the Friday Fellows. I wonder what the rest of the tanuki would think if they found out the truth about Suon?
All suspicions are confirmed, and the honest brutality of the revelation feels blunt. The guilt that the players in the plot are feeling is justified, but in the end the blame can all fall upon Soun. Now that we have a clear target for our disgust, we can go about setting up some comeuppance for crimes past and present. The real question remains, will Yasaburo seek blood for blood, or will the Friday Fellows hot pot remain tanuki free?
Episode Grade: A –
Streamed by: Crunchyroll
Review Equipment: 24” iMac running OS 10.6.8, via Safari 5.1.9, FIOS 15/5 Mbps connection. Your milage may vary.