One thing I love about this job is that it often feels like one, enormous session of connect-the-dots for my life’s entire interaction with pop culture. If I ever have even the slightest question lingering about some show I watched as a kid, I’ll inevitability find its answer throughout the course of all this anime viewing.
Case in point - - SUPER MARIO BROTHERS 3 came out 25 years ago. As you might recall, its featured gimmick was the flight-granting raccoon suit Mario wore whenever he happened upon a feather. At the time, I just assumed it was another non-sequitor in the game’s overall surreal setting; a random transformation on the order of the fire powers he gained from flowers.
Well, after watching THE ECCENTRIC FAMILY, I now know that Mario’s power-up was actually in reference to the raccoon-like tanooki creatures of Shintoism. I guess it was more-or-less like him turning into a werewolf if he happened upon a full moon icon, and the show’s depiction of the rivalry between the shape-shifting tanooki and the avian tengu is a Japanese equivalent of the werewolf/vampire feuds we’ve seen played out in UNDERWORLD, et al.
And who says anime can’t teach you something sometimes?
The Summer 2013 anime season has been living up to its less-than-stellar reputation so far with all the pilots I’ve watched up until, now. So the fact that this actually held my interest for its duration is a feat in itself. I feel like I’m missing a lot of the context for the joke about our lead’s cross-dressing (it’s just so easy for him to shapeshift, perhaps?), but aside from that, this is a really fun premise for a sitcom.
Of course, it isn’t an action-packed shonen, so I doubt it’ll be lighting any fires for the American anime community over the summer… but I might just watch it anyway. That is, unless a better pilot comes along (not likely?).
Watch this episode, "Goddess of the Noryoyuka” here and decide for yourself.
Now, read my write-ups on other pilots from this season below…