Tanukis have gathered at Shimogamo Shrine!
Everything in this world is entertainment!
On January 12th, 2017, at the World Heritage site, Shimogamo Shrine (officially known as Kamo-mioya Shrine), the ceremony to wish for the success of the television anime series "Uchouten Kazoku 2 / The Eccentric Family 2" (herein after “Uchouten Kazoku 2”) was held. This event was held to wish for the success of "Uchouten Kazoku 2" and to present new information about the new season of the anime series. This was the first time ever for an anime-related event to happen at Shimogamo Shrine.
It was a chilly but nice day for the event. Many fans gathered in front of the stage shrine, anxiously waiting for the event to begin. The fans donned the provided "fluffy tanuki poncho" and transformed into the "tanukis of Tadasu Forest."
As the event began at 11:00a.m., the announcer and moderator of the event, Tomoko Misaki, went up on the stage. Tomoko called up Takahiro Sakurai, voice of Yasaburo Shimogamo, Mamiko Noto, voice of Benten, Tomihiko Morimi, author of "Uchouten Kazoku," Masayuki Yoshihara, director of the TV animation series "Uchouten Kazoku," and Kenji Horikawa, producer of the show. All the male guests dressed up in haori-hakama-style kimono, and Noto appeared with a light-purple kimono. As all of them went up on to the stage, the tanukis of Tadasu Forest welcomed them with loud applause.
The guests on stage began with new year's greetings and greeting to the event.
Sakurai: "Everyone's dressed up today (as tanuki), it's a remarkable view from here. It's going to be an amazing experience for you all today."
Noto: "I am so happy that we are able to do an event at such a great place as Shimogamo Shrine."
Morimi: "It is very interesting to see how it looks like when all these tanukis are gathered together.”
Yoshihara: "This view is fit for Morimi-sensei's works. We're making season 2 right now, and we hope you can all have fun."
Horikawa: "I thought I was going to be nervous today, but seeing everyone so fluffy made me relax."
All the guests seemed excited to participate in an event at the Shimogamo Shrine, where "Uchouten Kazoku" takes place. The guests were delighted to see all the furballs gathered.
But those were not all the guests – they had a secret guest! Misaki said that as an additional guest, they had the voice actor for Nidaime, the new character in "Uchouten Kazoku 2,"Junji Majima!
As Majima's name was called, Majima appeared in a white tuxedo, resembling Nidaime. Majima was greeted on to the stage with a big round of applause, and Majima seemed a bit flushed by it. "Wearing this (white tuxedo) is like I'm attending my own wedding alone. I don't think I may ever have a chance to wear it, so I'm glad I have a chance to wear one," Majima jokingly said. Morimi talked briefly about Majima's character Nidaime, "He's a son of the great tengu, Master Akadama. He and Akadama had a big fight, and he left Kyoto, but now he is back."
With all the guests on stage, the event proceeded to the ceremony to wish for the success of "Uchouten Kazoku 2." The priest of Shimogamo stepped up onto the stage shrine and began the ceremony. Normally, it is considered improper to wear something that covers your head during the ceremony, but for this tanuki gathering, the Shimogamo Shrine gave special permission to keep them on. The guests and fans received blessings from the Shrine. Within the priest's chant, there were terms such as "a fun thing is a good thing" and "to all the furballs" that put smirks on the fans’ faces.
After the ceremony finished orderly, the event moved on to announcing new information about "Uchouten Kazoku 2." The announcements began with a trailer that was revealed for the first time that day, and it introduced the audience to new characters such as Gyokuran Nanzenji and Kureichiro Ebisugawa.
Sakurai: "Nidaime leaves such a strong impression. Especially with your outfit today. I'm enjoying our recording sessions as much as when we did them for season 1."
Noto: "I feel that season 2 is going to be very eventful. Nidaime is going to make such a big impact."
Majima: "Nidaime has a very important role in season 2, so I'm very serious when it comes to acting him. I'm trying to be so serious, I'm doing my best not to join the friendly group of the cast."
Morimi talked about the other new characters, "Kureichiro is the older brother of Kinkaku and Ginaku. Gyokuran is a tanuki that lives in the forest of Nanzenji Temple, and she's going to be an important existence for the Shimogamo family. Tenmanya is a powerful conjurer that can even outsmart Yasaburo. He likes to have fun by deceive people with his illusions." The fan tanukis were eagerly listening to Morimi with curiosity.
As an additional announcement, the music artists involved in the opening and ending themes of season 2 were announced as well! The opening theme song will be sung by the same artist who sang season 1’s opening theme song "Uchouten Jinsei (translation: Eccentric Life)", milktub! The ending theme song for season 2 is going to be by fhána. fhána has also sung the ending theme song for season 1, "Que Sera Sera." The titles for the songs were announced as well. The opening song will be "Narugamama, Sawagumama”, and the ending song will be "Moon River."
Both artists provided a video message for the event.
milktub: "We were under some pressure, but we've managed to create a noisy, fun, and energetic song."
fhána: "'Que Sera Sera' was our debut single so 'Uchouten Kazoku' is a very special work for us. Please look forward to our new song."
It's exciting to have the artists return to season 2! We can't wait to hear their eccentric songs!
As we thought the event was coming to an end, Misaki announced that there was yet another big announcement! The Mayor of Kyoto, Daisaku Kadokawa, was called up onto the stage.
The crowd seemed to be confused with the appearance of the Mayor of Kyoto. As Mayor Kadokawa stepped onto the stage, he announced that the characters of "Uchouten Kazoku" were to be appointed as Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador! The fans cheered with excitement!
Sakurai: "This is an amazing thing for this project, and Season 2 is off to a wonderful start."
Mayor Kadokawa continued that they would like to inaugurate "Uchouten Kazoku" at this event. Mayor Kadokawa handed the Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador certificate of appointment, in the shape of a tanuki face, to Horikawa.
Mayor Kadokawa: "'Uchouten Kazoku' did an amazing job at conveying attractions of Kyoto, beginning with Shimogamo Shrine. We are grateful that it has been delivered to not only across Japan, but across the world. We are looking forward to the success of the second season. In addition, we are looking forward to the third volume by Morimi!"
To commemorate the moment, two large sake barrels were brought up on the stage, and a sake-opening ceremony took place. Misaki said, "Omoshiroki koto ha (An interesting historic city is)," to which the guests responded, "yoki koto nari! (A good thing!)," and the hammer was swung down on to the sake barrel to crack open the top.
After the sake ceremony, Mayor Kadokawa left the stage. The guests on stage talked about their excitement for season 2.
Majima: "Actually for Nidaime, there was no audition, and I was requested specifically for the role."
Yoshihara: "Nidaime is a very difficult role, and I am looking forward to Majima's acting skills."
Morimi: "When I'm writing the novel, I'm not really imagining the sound of their voices, so from here on Nidaime will have a voice."
The guests kept putting pressure on Majima.
Majima: "Stop pressuring me!"
The audience burst into laughter.
Horikawa: "We can guarantee that the world of 'Uchouten Kazoku' will be created with quality like that of season 1. I am looking forward to how Director Yoshihara is going to execute the spectacular scenes."
Noto: "I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to talk about it, but the interactions between Nidaime and Benten are going to be very serious, like a blue flame. Please look forward." So much anticipation!
With much excitement, the event at the shrine came to an end.
Sakurai: "It's a great honor to become Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador, but nonetheless, for us, having season 2 and being able to act it out is the most fabulous thing. It's an eccentric feeling. Please look forward to the show."
Noto: "As Sakurai mentioned, I am truly happy to be involved in this sequel. It's amazing that we can hold this ceremony at Shimogamo Shrine. Season 2 is going to be a fabulous show that I would like as many people to watch and feel. Please look forward to it."
Majima: "Including my announcement, there are so many remarkable things that happened today, and I realized that I'm involved in such a significant show. The title of the show is 'Uchouten Kazoku,' but I would like to perform sincere acting and not become eccentric about it."
Horikawa: "Many people are interested in anime right now. As being Kyoto Special Goodwill Ambassador, I believe that 'Uchouten Kazoku' is a show that can be loved by various people, and I want as many people as possible to watch season 2. I am also a fan of the original novel, and I am going to make 'Uchouten Kazoku 2' a success so that when the 3rd volume comes out, we can make 'Uchouten Kazoku 3.’"
Yoshihara: "Everyone's talking about Morimi's volume 3 today, but at these events, we tend to put pressure on everyone else. The second volume of the novel was an even more interesting story than the first volume, so I'm currently under a lot of pressure. For this animation project, I am intending to keep the flow of season 1 and add new things little by little. Please enjoy."
Morimi: "No one asked me about volume 3 until Mayor Kadokawa asked. Of all the people, I never imagined Mayor Kadokawa to ask me about it. When I began to write 'Uchouten Kazoku," I used to live near Shimogamo Shrine. I was taking a walk and thinking that it would be interesting if a tanuki lived around here, and now we are all gathered here. Life is full of mysteries. I don't want to further pressure Director Yoshihara, but I am looking forward to the show in spring."
After the event at the stage shrine, the guests and the tanukis of Tadasu Forest all moved over to Mitarashi Lake, located at the side of Shimogamo Shrine, and took a photo together. The tanukis were provided with the taste of sake that the guests opened and ended the event with fun and excitement.
The event gave out gift packs, including the "fluffy tanuki poncho" (GS Craft) given out at the beginning of the event. Other gifts included "Buke Yohkan" (Kyoto 1 muan), "Uchouten Kazoku 2 Original Coaster" (K-uno), "Shimogamo-san lip cream; Shimogamo grandma recommended mint scent" (Kyoto Shabonya), "Guinomi" (Shinrokugama), "akadama hot wine (white) 250ml" (Suntory Wine International), and "postcard" (Bandai Visual). Some were enjoying the ceremony sake with the guinomi cups, and others took photos in their tanuki ponchos. Many people enjoyed the event.