One word review time is upon me again - "heartbreaking".
Gion Corner late at night, or Kiyomizudera, or even one of the seemingly limitless machiya townhouses in the city - so beautiful for their simplicity - that alone is enough to feel something deeply. Kyoto is an incredibly magical place even without any overt acknowledgement of the sort of magic that's stipulated to in this series' mythology.
farewell scene between Souichirou and Akadama-sensei. It's a scene full of mystery - was this a tengu seeing the spirit of a dead tanuki, about to pass into the afterlife, or did Souichirou come to Akadama before the fact in order to make his final request? I don't know the answer yet, but I know it was a beautiful moment, both for the selfless nature of the request Souichirou made and for Akadama's reaction. This hard, angry and bitter man, so vociferously disdainful of the idiocy of tanuki, was saying goodbye to a friend, one of the few he has in the world - yet another powerful form of love on display in this story, that of one old friend for another. Warmth and open emotion isn't Akadama's style, but his simple declaration of what a shame it was that he and Souichirou would have to part was enough - it clearly means the world to Souichirou too, and that simple and absurd image of the old man shaking hands with the tiny, fat tanuki is one that will stay with me for a long time.
One large departure can connect the ones left behind." Honestly, this is such a beautiful sentiment expressed so beautifully that even now, I can't think of it without tearing up a little. This is truly profound stuff, deep and personal and completely and innately true. We are each of us alone in our journey, able to perceive the world only through our own lens. Yet some of us are lucky enough to have others with whom we share something that binds us, as different as we are, if we choose to allow them to share our burdens.
Yajirou isolate himself, despite his father's greatest wish being that his sons would always care for each other and be together, and for Yaichirou to finally set aside his responsibility to be the strong one and allow himself to grieve. And certainly, it was heartbreaking to see Yasaburou's carefree facade crack, as he finally allowed himself to feel the pain of losing the father his loved so much, and in the process the older brother he loved as well. But beauty is heartbreaking too - and much of what makes an episode like this so profound is the simple power of the emotions on display, and the way they're communicated through superb acting and gorgeous music and imagery. To see Yasaburou exhale into the cool Autumn night and study the vapor, thinking of his departed father doing the same years earlier, is to be connected to something deep and elemental that we all share. Whatever magic resides in the Kyoto this series presents every week, that is the truly magical part of Uchouten Kazoku.