In commemoration of the broadcast of TV anime The Eccentric Family 2 (Uchouten Kazoku 2), an event titled ‘The Eccentric Family 2: Let’s Make Waves! Advance Screening Event (Uchouten Kazoku 2: Namikaze Tateru yo Senkou Joueikai)’ was held on 7 April at TOHO Cinemas Roppongi Hills.
The original story comes from the novel written by Tomihiko Morimi, known as the author of The Tatami Galaxy (Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei). In the Tadasu-no-Mori Forest of Shimogamo Shrine, there lives the Shimogamo family, a family of tanuki (Japanese raccoon dogs). The father of this family, Souichirou, who was also the leader of all tanukis, was killed and put into a tanuki hot pot by a social group called ‘Friday Club (Kinyou Club)’. However, there were still many unsolved mysteries to his sudden death. Out of Souichirou’s four sons, it is the third son, Yasaburou, who has strongly taken after his father’s carefree personality, or what you may call ‘the blood of fool.’ The first son, Yaichirou, is the serious type. The second son, Yajirou, has transformed into a frog and is now always hiding in a well. The fourth son, Yashirou, is the shy and cowardly type whose tail pops out when he is frightened. Finally, the four children’s kind and caring mother is a huge fan of Takarazuka Revue (a Japanese all-female musical theater troupe). The Shimogamo family all live happily together.
The Eccentric Family is a comical fantasy story illustrating the world where humans, tengu (a legendary creature in Japanese folklore), and tanuki coexist. The anime’s first season featured the mysteries behind Souichirou’s death and who the next ‘Nise-emon’, the leader of all tanuki, would be. The second season will start with Junior (Nidaime), who is to succeed Professor Akadama (Akadama-sensei), coming back from the UK.
At the advanced screening event, the audience watched the final episode (Episode 13) of the anime’s first season, followed by the first and second episodes of the second season. After the screening, special guests came up on the stage: Mamiko Noto (Benten), Junji Majima (Junior), director Masayuki Yoshihara, and Tomihiko Morimi, the author of the original novel.
During the talk segment, Yoshihara commented, ‘In Morimi’s novels, it is very difficult to understand the motives of each character. I always need to think deeply, “Why did this character take such an action?” However, one thing I can say is that every character has a very kind and caring heart.’ Hearing these comments, Morimi responded, ‘It takes only one person to write a novel, but for animation, many people need to take part in the making process. When I’m writing a novel, I can continue to create a story as long as I agree with myself, but in animation, that’s not the case, so I think what Yoshihara is doing is very difficult.’
It was also revealed that one of the most important aspects of the anime’s second season is the psychological depiction of Benten. In the first season, Benten was a cool and mysterious character who did not show her inner feelings. However, because Junior shows up, Benten’s attitude changes in the new season. Noto commented, ‘This time, you will have the chance to see Benten strongly expressing her true feelings.’
Another thing that the viewers should pay attention to is the anime’s opening sequence. Many beautiful photos of Kyoto’s scenery appear, and the characters are freely and happily running around these places. The movie is not only fun to watch but also is full of information that might become useful when visiting Kyoto. The opening theme has a very fast tempo, so you may need to watch the movie over and over again to check where these sites are. All of the places are famous touring spots in Kyoto, so the movie will definitely become a good travel guide.
Towards the end of the event, milktub, the band who sing the opening themes for both seasons, came up on stage. They sang their new song ‘Naruga Mama Sawagu mama (Let it be, and freely shout)’ and the first season’s opening theme ‘Uchouten Jinsei (The Eccentric Life).’ Their performance heated up the whole theater.The event was finished by the guests shouting out, ‘Omoshiroki koto wa! (Funny things are!)’, which was responded by the fans’ shouting out, ‘Yoki koto
The event ended with the guests shouting out, ‘Omoshiroki koto wa! (Funny things are!)’, which was responded by the fans’ shouting out, ‘Yoki koto nari! (The Good Things!)’. From this fun event, we can definitely look forward to watching the entertaining story about the fuzzy, lovable creatures!
Official Site: http://www.uchoten2-anime.com/en/