Wednesday, February 17, 2016

"Showa Genroku Rakujo Shinjuu" anime

A refreshing change of pace from moe girls and idol shows, "Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu" is a show for adults.  A man is released from prison and he goes straight to a rakugo master to learn the art of rakugo.  The show then flashes back to the master's youth and his training in rakugo.  I only learned about rakugo from watching this anime.  It's a one man comical play where the man sits on his knees on the stage the whole time while acting all the parts himself.  The art is sensational.  It's based on a manga by Haruko Kumota, who is actually a famous BL mangaka.  But this is not BL.  Although with the art style, it feels like it could turn that way very quickly, but never quite does.  There is a close relationship depicted between two male characters, but most of relationship seems to be one man's struggle to compete with another's natural ability to perform rakugo.  There are a lot of long sequences of one character doing 5 to 10 minute rakugo bits, which can be off putting for some.  But I find watching these let's me enjoy a Japanese pastime that I will never be able to enjoy in person.  So far, I've watched the six episodes available.  So far most of the show has been in flashback mode.  I know there will be an upcoming tragedy and the way the show slowly reveals the upcoming tragedy is very subtle.  I look forward to every episode each week.

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