Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu - Reviews

Alt title: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen

DrakeChandler's avatar
Jun 25, 2018

Not everything comes to us naturally nearly as often as we like. At the end of Winter 2016, I wrote my initial review of the first season of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu immediately. And at the end of Winter 2017, I tried to write a review of the second season, but I never knew what I wanted to say. The unique style of storytelling of the first season lent itself to a review that could focus solely on that aspect. But season 2 of Rakugo is so much more streamlined in its presentation. The sense of narration from a storyteller, as we saw his story brought to life, is absent. And yet season 2 of Rakugo is still exponentially more compelling than its first season – which was already a masterpiece in and of itself.

But I have always felt like the whole of this series has mostly been about time more than anything else. And not until now, well over a year later, do I think I have found that subject matter to be my talking point. The first season ended on a cliffhanger as to whether rakugo as an art was ever going to survive the upcoming decades; but we, as an audience in reality, know quite well that it has. That was never a mystery and the show doesn’t treat it like one.

In fact, Yakumo does see it changing. It’s true that he made a promise to Sukeroku to let rakugo evolve, and that’s why he took on an apprentice. But that never meant that he has to like doing it. The simple matter of fact is that he’s a stubborn, grumpy old man because the art he dedicated his life to isn’t what it used to be. And let’s be honest, that can reflect on all of us in some way or another no matter what our age is.

Meanwhile, everyone around him is trying to offer a helping hand, but that can only come in the form of changing his ideology. It’s an uphill battle for everyone. No one wants to see Yakumo die miserable in a world he hates, and Yakumo doesn’t want the world he hates to influence his favorite art after he’s dead.

Reality spoke as to what side wins out in the end though a long time ago. And so once again this series exercises its magic to engage in the drama of characters of whom you mostly already know the outcomes of. It’s less so this time, as season 2 is in the present within its context; but the theme remains all the same.

And that theme has always been time all along. This show is patient with its audience and expects us to be patient all the same. We go through the entire lives of several characters, so we can see how time has affected them and what the time they’ve spent living, struggling, failing, screaming, laughing, loving, and pursuing their dreams has meant to them. That was not a magic hook that could be communicated in just one season as that was only the prelude to all of the actual development in their characters that happens this season.

Season 2 of Rakugo is the reward anyone could have dreamed it being and infinitely even better than that. I don’t think the intent is so mind-blowing that it goes beyond words, but it’s paced so perfectly well that there’s nothing more to add. It delivers an experience that’ll compel you to enjoy it, be moved by it, cry with it, and most importantly, reflect on your life alongside it. You can describe the act itself, but that feeling is what transcends words.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
10/10 overall
MetalTsundere's avatar
Feb 27, 2018

BLACKCRTICCTGUY...FORNEVERWORLD...SOUALANIMATION...WESTERN OTAKU..ANIMEKINGDOM.. some anime reviewers there .I'm not overacting but you need to watch this

First of all let me say I can't believe something like SAO is more popular than this, It's not that I'm being bias but this show is really something, I got some reasons, It copuld be personal but still I really enjoyed it.

The Story is simple, Yotarou has now obtained the name Sukeroku and now he's trying to search for his own Rakugo while dealing with his past and his present life, one thing that I like is that the story itself is not rushed, every episode is really juicy as for the 24 minutes you thinks that It's somewhat short.

On top of that the theme of the story is really matured, which is Ironic because the heart of the story is Rakugo a type of commedic story telling if I'm correct.

What I like the most in this series is the characters, everyone is not perfect but that what's make them perfect, my personal favorite is Yota the MC, don't let it distract you from his loud mouth and happy go lucky attitude for he is actually one of the most matured characters I've seen, the way he handles things especially for his family and his love for rakugo is really great, and him being sukerorku is really heartwarming, he went from a former prisoner to someone who gives people laughs.

now we got Yakumo, what makes me like this old man is how he deals with things, he thinks carefully before he acts, and yes he acts rude sometimes but deep inside he's a really nice guy

among the rest what I can say is they all have their fair share of screentimes, for instances Isao Kido the mafia boss he is a minor character so his screentime is fit for a minor character but at the same time his not just there.

and true everyone has their secrets but I think it's a good way because I think ssying answers to the end isn't always the right thing to do to conclude an anime, it's like they all have dark past but they are ready to move on.

and again the fact that they didn't rely on fan service to promote an anime makes me enjoy it even more.

Sound and Animation.
Perfection I guess..I love the combination of jazz and traditional music, It's pretty interesting, and really appriciate all the VA's here, especially Yotarou in episode 3, damn It's not easy to speak in fast paced.
The Art is pretty special I love each and every desgin, my personal favorite is Higuchi

Enjoyment and Overall
while It's true that It's not an anime for everyone I think you should all try this, It's something that Is not cliche, and you'll really learn a lot of life lessons here, 

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall