6 Manga Like Uchouten Kazoku [Recommendations]

Is there a place in the world where people believe we are alone on this Earth? From the dawn of time, people have always believed that those unexplained events were manifestations of the activity of unseen forces hiding inside the Nature which happened to come in contact with the sphere of humans. We are not alone in this sensorial world and this statement is particularly true when it comes to Japanese shintō beliefs. Indeed, one of the strongest elements in Japanese religion is undoubtedly the certainty human beings share their space with spirits which inhabit their surroundings. They live inside rocks, trees, lakes, mountains, but they can also decide to leave their natural world to approach the world of mortals, sometimes.

That is the case with Yasaburō Shimogamo from Shimogamo tanuki family. In Japanese folklore, tanuki are overjoyed mysterious creatures with special powers and a great curiosity. Mischievous and jolly, master of disguise and shapeshifting, tanuki can also be gullible and absentminded both in legends and in Uchōten Kazoku, sometimes. That is what makes Yasaburō suffer the most; he would like to become a proper human being but condemned by his own blood, Yasaburō can’t get rid of his nature that easily. You can’t deny who you really are, so the best way to move forward is accepting yourself and try to be special in your own way. This is the lesson Yasaburō will learn along the path, thanks to experience but most of all thanks to his family’s help.

The manga universe is full of stories similar to Yasaburō’s in which teenagers and young adults with special powers or of mystical origins will need to come to terms with their own selves and find their own place in the world. Therefore, if you are searching for some of them you are in the right place. Here’s a list of manga that will help you revive the same atmosphere you experienced in Uchōten Kazoku.

Similar Manga to Uchouten Kazoku / Similar Manga to The Eccentric Family

1. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai (Gray and Wonder Around Her)

  • Mangaka: Irie, Aki
  • Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Supernatural, Seinen
  • Volumes: 7
  • Published: Dec. 2008 – Apr. 2015

The first manga on the list could only be Ran to Haiiro no Sekai that is one of the cutest stories about family bonds and supernatural powers ever existing. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai, in fact, follows the adventures of Ran Uruma and her dysfunctional family all the members of which were granted with the power of sorcerers. Ran is a young witch capable of incredible sorcery skills, but with very little experience. Unfortunately for people surrounding Ran, her mother who is the most powerful witch around is committed to defending the mortal world from danger, so she is never home to teach Ran how to be able to control her powers. Will Ran get wiser and stop getting into trouble?

In the same way as Uchōten Kazoku, Ran to Haiiro no Sekai is the story of a troubled teenager who has to deal with her family’s real nature too. Ran was left by her mother in a mortal world both extraneous and familiar at the same time which she enjoys and does her best to be part of. However, Ran can’t forget about her family’s role as the humans’ guardian. Ran and her sorcerers’ relatives can only hide in the human society by pretending to be ordinary people, while in reality, the place they belong is a universe inhabited by magical beasts, mythical creatures, and strange energies. Divided between the physical world and the other side, and supported by her family, Ran will have to go through many funny adventures before being able to find her perfect balance.


2. Nurarihyon no Mago (Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan)

  • Mangaka: Shiibashi, Hiroshi
  • Genre: Action, Demons, Horror, Shounen, Supernatural
  • Volumes: 25
  • Published: Mar. 2008 – Dec. 2012

Another good manga is Nurarihyon no Mago. The story is about a middle schooler called Rikuo Nura. Although he may look like an ordinary boy, he actually hides a secret which is related to his birth. Rikuo has one-fourth of yōkai blood and the heir of a yōkai clan led by Nurarihyon, Rikuo’s grandfather. Since yōkai are supposed to perform evil deeds, Rikuo is unwilling to follow his family’s “tradition”, but there is nothing he can do to avoid his fate. In fact, one night he undergoes a transformation into a terrible yōkai capable of amazing powers. What will Rikuo use them for?

Clan’s stories are very common in Japanese graphic literature. Since ancient times, unity has been considered the basis of Japanese society, and even now, this sense of belonging is particularly strong. However, if in modern society this sense of belonging mostly relates to group and social identity, in the past it had to do with the family you were born into. A family’s bond meant to possess a certain special blood which made you like nobody else. So, this element has always been the perfect base for family’s stories whose blood granted them supernatural powers, and that is the case of both Nurarihyon no Mago and Uchōten Kazoku. Belonging to a clan and the special nature of family’s blood are, in fact, the two main points in common between the two series. Just like Yasaburō, Rikuo would like to be an ordinary human being and is reluctant about following a path chosen for him by destiny. Rebel and unwilling to give in with the purpose of his family’s existence, he will eventually have to find the place he belongs to.


3. Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus' Bride)

  • Mangaka: Yamazaki, Kore
  • Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Slice of Life
  • Volumes: Unknown
  • Publlished: Nov. 2013 – currently

A little heavier than Uchōten Kazoku but still a worthy story is Mahōtsukai no Yome. The main character of this manga in Chise Hatori, a sixteen-year-old girl who has had it rough since her mother’s death. Indeed, Chise has been in and out of slave trading and has always been treated like an animal, so she lost hope for the future. However, her life is going to be changed forever by the encounter with a mysterious man wearing a goat skull mask; his name is Elias Ainsworth, he is an incredibly powerful sorcerer, and has come for Chise who he claims will be his future bride.

There is no conventional family bond involved in Mahōtsukai no Yome since poor Chise has lost her family when she was a little child, but rejecting one’s own fate is that point Mahōtsukai no Yome shares with Uchōten Kazoku. Chise has no magical power and no special birth, but she is involved with the other side’s inhabitants more than anyone else. Her life has been a hell since she lost her mother, so she has no other choice but to let herself go with the destiny’s flow. However, the day of her liberation will come when Elias, the one who will become her only family, will come to her rescue. Darker than Uchōten Kazoku, Mahōtsukai no Yome will teach you the importance of human bonding more than ever.


Any Manga Like Uchouten Kazoku ? / Any Manga Like The Eccentric Family ?

4. Kyoukai no Rinne

  • Mangaka: Takahashi, Rumiko
  • Genre: Comedy, Supernatural, Romance, School, Shounen
  • Volumes: Unknown
  • Publlished: Apr. 2009 – currently

Searching for a good adventurous comedy which resembles Uchōten Kazoku’s supernatural world? Well, then Kyōkai no Rinne is the story you were waiting for. Kyōkai no Rinne starts with introducing us Sakura Mamiya, a girl who’s capable of seeing dead people since childhood. Her power was mysteriously awakened after she got lost in the woods near her grandmother’s house, but although she is aware of her capabilities, Sakura can’t recall the cause at all. Her life starts to get more complicated when she enters high school and comes to meet one of her new classmates – Rinne Rokudō. Rinne seems to be pretty close to Sakura’s world, although he looks completely human. His Rinne a unique existence or not? That is what Sakura will have to find out.

Everyone who has read a manga by Rumiko Takahashi knows that the mangaka is particularly fond of extra-sensorial worlds and magic power. When we talk about metaphysical realities, Uchōten Kazoku comes to mind. It is not difficult to understand what makes these manga similar to each other since Rinne, being a Shinigami, is a supernatural existence just like the tanuki Yasaburō is. However, Rinne is half human and has already accepted his nature and mission long ago exactly thanks to his family that has helped him through his confusion and path toward understanding. Still, he can’t completely stay on the sidelines of the human world to which Sakura represents his precious link, just like Benten for Yasaburō.


5. Miyori no Mori (Miyori’s Forest)

  • Mangaka: Oda, Hideji
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Shoujo
  • Volumes: 3
  • Published: 2004 – 2008

Miyori no Mori is another story set in perfect Japanese cultural standards. Divided into three short stories, this manga is about a little girl who was abandoned by her parents at the age of eleven. Miyori was then sent to live with her grandparents in a village far away from the city, located next to a forest. Feeling like an unwanted outcast, Miyori shut her heart from the rest of the world and avoid any kind of human relationship. The only place where she feels safe is in the loneliness of that forest with which she starts to empathize. To the point that she starts to see all the creatures which inhabits it. A little disturbed in the beginning for the unbelievable creatures she comes to know existing in another dimension, Miyori will come to like those creatures better than human beings.

If Uchōten Kazoku is about a young tanuki in search for his own place in the human world, Miyori no Mori goes in the opposite direction. Having come in contact with spirits living in the forest when she was just a little girl, Miyori is a human being who ends up entering a supernatural reality to which she doesn’t belong to. In the beginning, she is upset about her discovery of not being alone in the world, but the more she hangs out in the forest, the more Miyori becomes curious about the creatures living there. Before she knows Miyori isn’t a bystander anymore, but completely involved with the life of mystical existences she comes to love and wants to protect at all costs. In this way, Miyori has a development that is very similar to Yasaburō’s and his purpose in life. Set in a natural peaceful environment where spirits mix with people residing in the next village, Miyori no Mori is a story which can make you relive all the cutest moments experienced in Uchōten Kazoku.


6. Fukigen na Mononokean (The Morose Mononokean)

  • Mangaka: Wazawa, Kiri
  • Genre: Comedy, Supernatural
  • Volumes: Unknown
  • Publlished: Sep. 2013 – currently

A manga which resembles Uchōten Kazoku both for its carefree moments and the feeling of being flung between two worlds the main characters share. Fukigen na Mononokean is Ashiya’s adventure since he has come to get in contact with an extraordinary world. Indeed, Ashiya is a poor young student who happened to be targeted by a puppet-like yōkai, which drained his energy to the point he is forced to spend the first week of classes in the infirmary. What scares Ashiya the most is that no one but him can see the little thing. The only one who can is Abeno, a tea shop owner to who Ashiya eventually asks for the help. However, instead of exocising the parasite spirit Abeno will help Ashiya to make his view of yōkai’s world broader.

In Fukigen na Mononokean, cute but still creepy spirits are always ready to cause troubles to human universe, so Ashiya’s life is frenetic as his struggle against persistent yōkai is constant. Also Yasaburō and his tanuki’s family life is equally adventurous; involved with spirits which aren’t always friendly, they are never short on troubles that alternate with peaceful days. Fukigen na Mononokean has, indeed, the same slice-of-life pace of Uchōten Kazoku which makes of it a lighthearted manga, but never boring; in short, a real combination of action, fun, and moving moments.


Final Thoughts

If you thought we were the only creatures having troubles in this world you were wrong; Japanese fairy tales remind us which also tanuki, tengu, yōkai, and Shinigami’s families have their own problems to take care of, and that they can also be very frustrating. They also remind us that coexistence with invisible forces residing in mystical forests and supernatural dimensions is what makes our world complete and special, perfectly balanced between empiricism and spirituality.

Did you read any of these manga like Uchouten Kazoku? If you didn’t, you definitely should and let us know if you liked them with a comment!

Dareka Nobody

Writer

Author: Dareka Nobody

I’m an Italian dirty little girl obsessed with Japanese language, culture, literature, anime, manga, games, but also with writing, reading, and travelling, in general. I lived in Japan and I’m about to be moving there forever. When I’m not working, I translate yaoi light novels for a hobby. I’ve recently started a partnership with the website Novelleleggere.org where I publish my works. I run a page on Facebook about my translation and I’m also a blogger who likes to write about her experiences in Japan. Akiba addicted and enthusiastic Honeyfeed’s writer!

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