The Eccentric Family Anime to Serve as Special Goodwill Ambassador For Kyoto
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
P.A. Works hosted a special "Tanuki Gathering At The Forest Of Tadasu" event on Thursday for its The Eccentric Family (Uchōten Kazoku) franchise. In addition to a wealth of new information about The Eccentric Family 2 sequel anime series, the event also revealed that the franchise has been inaugurated as a Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador.
The event on Thursday was held at Shimogamo Shrine, a shrine in Kyoto that is heavily featured in the series. The main characters in the series, the Shimogamo family of tanuki, live in the Forest Of Tadasu in the shrine grounds.
The event was the first anime event to be held at the shrine, and the anime is the first to be inaugurated as an ambassador of Kyoto. P.A. Works revealed that the anime "[raised] the world's awareness of Kyoto's attractions," which led to "an increase in tourism and improving of the Kyoto brand." At the event, Daisaku Kadokawa, the mayor of Kyoto, handed a certificate of inauguration to The Eccentric Family producer Kenji Horikawa. Takahiro Sakurai (voice of Yasaburō), Mamiko Noto (voice of Benten), Junji Majima (newly announced voice of Junior), Tomihiko Morimi (original Uchōten Kazoku novel author), and director Masayuki Yoshihara also attended the event.
The event also included a ceremony to wish for the success of The Eccentric Family 2, which included prayers that even the audience participated in, as well as a ceremonial sake-cask breaking moment. Fans who attended the event wore "Fluffy Tanuki Ponchos" (pictured below) to disguise themselves as tanuki from the Forest of Tadasu, and also were able to sample the sake used in the ceremony.
Sake casks used in the ceremony
Attendees drinking the sake used in the ceremony
Kyoto will host a "A fun city is a good thing" campaign in collaboration with The Eccentric Family. As part of the campaign, the characters of the franchise will introduce various parts of Kyoto. The first part of the campaign will include a collaboration with Kyoto's Eizan Electric Railway, which starts on February 1 and ends on May 30. (Fans may remember that Yajiro liked to transform into an Eizan train in the anime's first season.) The railway will transform its "Komorebi" train into a gallery displaying character and production art from The Eccentric Family. The train runs a scenic route from Demachi Yanagi station to Kurama station. The Eizan Electric Railway will also have more collaborations with The Eccentric Family in the future.
Picture of the Komorebi train
Shimogamo Shrine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it enshrines Kamotaketsunumino-Mikoto, the guardian of Kyoto. The shrine was founded in the sixth century.
Shimogamo Shrine isn't the only shrine important to The Eccentric Family, however. The well where Yajiro lives in the series is inside the Rokudou-Chinnouji temple in Kyoto. The story behind the well is that it was used "as a passage way to go to the afterlife underworld." Another well nearby is used as an exit from hell. As the word for frog (kaeru) in Japanese is a homynym for "to return" (kaeru), the shrine itself sells frog charms, for those wishing a safe return. The wells inside the shrine are only available to the public on certain days.
First well that is the "passageway to the afterlife"
Inside the first well
Second well that is the "exit from hell"
Inside the second well
A frog statue near the second well
The Eccentric Family 2 premieres on April 9.