Last night, I watched the pilot episode for the 2013 anime "Uchoten Kazoku"（有頂天家族）once again after a couple of years. It was one of those shows that got differing reactions depending on where it was broadcast; in North America and other places, it apparently got a lot of praise for at least the visuals, while in Japan, it merely got a lot of....meh. That's too bad since I certainly enjoyed it for those gorgeous scenes of Kyoto (indoors and outdoors), the acting by the seiyuu especially by the triangle of main protagonist Yasaburo Shimogamo, the beautiful if dangerous Benten and Professor Akadama the crabby tengu, and some of the more exciting sequences which almost reached Miyazaki-esque heights.
Between the opening and ending themes for "Uchoten Kazoku", I preferred the latter theme of "Que Sera Sera"（ケセラセラ）by fhana, but on seeing the anime again, I felt like writing about the opening theme by pop punk duo milktub, "Uchoten Jinsei" (Eccentric Life). While the lovely "Que Sera Sera" makes the perfect musical backdrop to the ending credits focusing on Benten's evolution from callow high school girl to intimidating dragon lady, "Uchoten Jinsei" is the raucous introduction to the weird/wonderful world of the Shimogamo family of shape-shifting raccoon dogs. With lyrics by milktub and music by Kyoichi Miyazaki（宮崎京一）, the duo of bamboo and Ichiban Boshi Hikaru（一番星☆光）exhorts listeners to put some spice in their lives and not get dragged about by anyone else. The Shimogamos (and their allies/enemies) are definitely a good example of that.
milktub had its beginnings in the late 80s when 16-year-old bamboo was inspired by the then-band boom in Japan which resulted in him coming up with the name milktub in 1991. However, it wouldn't be until 1999 that the band would push forward in earnest with a set of indies singles before their 1st major album was released in December 2008, "Smile Energy". "Uchoten Jinsei" isn't one of their 4 major singles, though.
I've been to Kyoto twice with my first time being during that summer 1981 trip to Japan. "Uchoten Kazoku" premiered in the summer of 2013 and the show reflecting that season reminded me of my time there. The old capital being in a bonchi basin made things truly sunny and supremely hot there, and trying to view the Gion Festival from a three-deep sidewalk probably had me sweat off a kilogram or so. The skies I remember from that day were portrayed exactly as they were right from Episode 1 of the anime so there was a reason for me to fall for its charms. And scenes like the one above sealed the deal for me.