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.