TV Review: ‘The Eccentric Family’: Tanuki, Tengu, and Hotpots, Oh My!

The Eccentric Family
Directed by: Masayuki Yoshihara
Written by: Ryou Higaki and Shotaro Suga
Voice cast: Takahiro Sakurai, Atsushi Ono, Ayane Sakura, Bon Ishihara, Hideyuki Umezu, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Junichi Suwabe, Kikuko Inoue, Kosuke Hatakeyama, Mai Nakahara, Mamiko Noto, Mutomu Kiyokawa, Nobuo Tobita, Ryoukichi Takahashi, Takehiko Higuchi.
Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV)
Air Dates: July 7, 2013 to September 29, 2013
Streaming Free on Crunchyroll

This summer, I had the distinct joy of discovering one of this year’s true gems of anime, The Eccentric Family. The production, directed by Masayuki Yoshihara, whose resume includes Angelic Layer, Dragonball-Z, and Ghost In the Shell-Stand Alone Complex among many others, ran live from July through September on Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation and was simulcast on Crunchyroll, where it now streams free for all users.

The Eccentric Family, or Uchoten Kazoku as it’s known by its Japanese title, takes place in modern day Kyoto and revolves around the trials and tribulations of the Shimogamo family, who are all tanuki, or raccoon dogs. Anyone who has seen Isao Takahata‘s film Tanuki War Pon-Poko knows that tanuki are shape-shifters and tricksters who have learned, somewhat reluctantly, to live among humankind. In this production, however, the tanuki are more than willing participants in society, although still somewhat cautious, and with good reason.

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Anime Review: Kill la Kill Episode 1

Kill la Kill, Episode 1
“If Only I Had Thorns Like A Thistle”¦”
Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi
Written by Kazuki Nakashima
Voice Cast: Ami Koshimizu, Ryōka Yuzuki, Toshihiko Seki, Shinichiro Miki, Aya Suzaki, Tetsu Inada, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Mayumi Shintani
Studio Trigger
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Streaming Free on Crunchyroll

For those anime fans that have been sleeping under a rock all summer, the anime series Kill la Kill has begun streaming on Crunchyroll this month. The series was heavily hyped this summer by fledgling animation studio Trigger, who produced the brilliant one-shot animation Little Witch Academia, also available on Crunchyroll.

Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi of Gurren Lagann fame, Kill la Kill’s setting is Honnouji Academy, a post-apocalyptic neo-fascist school run by a militaristic student council under the command of its autocratic president, Satsuki Kiryuin. The school’s Disciplinary Committee Chair, Ira Gamagoori, enforces Kiryuin’s iron-fisted rule. “Fear is Freedom! Subjugation is Liberation!” Kiryuin declaims loudly from the parapets as the student body and faculty cower in abject terror below.

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