17th Animation Division Excellence Award
The Eccentric Family
Animated TV series
YOSHIHARA Masayuki [Japan]
The Shimogamo family are tanuki living in Shimogamo Shrine, Tadasu no Mori, in Kyoto. The father, Soichiro, was once chief of the tanuki, but has been turned into a stew. His third son, Yasaburo, has inherited his father’s “fool’s blood” and lives by the creed that whatever is interesting will turn out well, along with his serious yet ultimately weak oldest brother Yaichiro, the second oldest son Yajiro, who stays inside a well as a frog, and Yashiro, the cowardly youngest son, all protecting their Takarazuka cabaret-idolizing mother. Meddling in the affairs of old tengu Professor Akadama, at the mercy of the beautiful flying girl Benten, and engaging with their arch foes, the Ebisugawa family, in an aerial contest at the Gozan no Okuribi fire festival, the Shimogamo eventually face a desperate crisis! As they find out the truth of what happened to Soichiro, what does fate have in store for the Shimogamos? YOSHIHARA Masayuki ’s rollercoaster family story is based on MORIMI Tomihiko’s book.
Reason for Award
The Eccentric Family is an animated TV series adaptation of popular writer MORIMI Tomihiko’s novel. MORIMI’s fantastical world featuring tanuki, tengu and humans in Kyoto has been made into a fastpaced and very heartwarming series by director YOSHIHARA Masayuki and studio P.A.Works. While dressed up as an example of the currently fashionable trend for “local animation”, based on careful research the series also utilizes contemporary sensibilities and techniques for thrilling action. When adapting a popular novel for animation, unless the characters and the art harmonize, the charms of the original will be lost, but here the team behind the series has really succeeded in animating MORIMI’s world. It is also notable how it creates here something of a rather different kind to the many recent superb examples of science fiction and “magical girl” animations. (SUGII Gisaburo)