© Tomihiko Morimi, GENTOSHA/Uchoten-Kazoku 2 Committee

The tanukis are back and things are just as crazy as ever with father and son disputes, a new human with insane powers, and a magical, bewitching woman traveling the world.

What is a Tanuki?

The Eccentric Family 2 (Uchōten Kazoku) is an anime based off of Tatami Galaxy author Tomohiko Morimi’s books of the same name. The story follows the adventures of a family of tanuki (raccoon dogs): the eldest son Yaichirō, who is a figure of leadership; Yajirō, the second son who hasn’t been able to transform back into a tanuki or human since a certain incident left him in the form of a frog; Yashirō, the youngest son who can transform into a human but sometimes ends up letting his tail pop out; and finally, Yasaburō, the third son and protagonist of the story.

The novels inspired an anime in 2013, but we’re finally getting the second season of this modern day fairy tale when it premieres in Japan on April 9, 2017. However, we got a sneak peek at the second season’s first two episodes at the premiere for the show starring Mamiko Noto (voice of Benten), Junji Majima (Nidaime), director Masayuki Yoshihara, and original creator Tomohiko Morimi.

© Tomihiko Morimi, GENTOSHA/Uchoten-Kazoku 2 Committee

The world isn’t just made up of tanuki, however; there are the tengu (who are portrayed as kind of a mafia in suits) and the humans (some of who are part of the Friday Club—a club that enjoys cooking and eating tanuki).

Ever since Benten—the mystical human woman who is adored by Yasaburō’s tengu master Akadama—went off to journey across the world, Yasaburō’s been left to take care of him. Unfortunately, the elderly tengu is drunk off his ass much of the time. Taking care of and protecting him may prove to be difficult with the appearance of “Nidaime” (lit. the Second)—Akadama’s estranged son who has returned. The problem: Nidaime hates his father, and might even wish to settle the score with him.

© Tomihiko Morimi, GENTOSHA/Uchoten-Kazoku 2 Committee

To put it simply: Yasaburō has always been a pleasure-seeking tanuki. He will suck up to anyone when there’s a problem if that means things get easier for himself and/or it gets him out of trouble—which is why he starts trying to make peace between Nidaime and his father almost immediately after finding out that the two have a beef with each other.

Of course, instead of being on either one’s side, he would prefer to stay in the middle. Even if it means getting talked down to as a “lowly tanuki,” Yasaburō is willing to give up his pride if it means giving him good results in the long run, allowing him to have an easier life.

What’s really amazing about The Eccentric Family 2 is that while it deals with some depressing topics, there is lots going on, never giving you time to feel down. The second season even begins to deal with dark matters like hell. However, when watching, you can never not be in a positive mood.

Even though Akadama and his son are in a tense battle, Akadama’s cocky attitude despite his advanced age leads to plenty of humorous moments. Meanwhile, eldest son Yaiichirō is trying to put on a shogi gathering for all the shogi-loving tanuki and Yasaburō is trying to discover the identity of a new mysterious foe. There is a lot crammed into the first two episodes, making The Eccentric Family 2 feel just as fun and hectic as the first season.

The second season of The Eccentric Family 2 will premiere on Japanese television on April 9. Crunchyroll will stream the anime with English subtitles as it airs. Season 1 of the anime is not currently available for streaming, but NIS America released the first season on Blu-ray in 2015.

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