Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu Review — B+

A rakugo actor grows up and ages along with the art form.

This was kind of amazing. Off the top of my head I can’t think of another anime that has followed a man through the entire course of his life. We’re usually lucky if anybody graduates high school.

This ended up being one of the most moving shows I’ve seen all years, as everything changes, his friends pass away, and as he makes new friends and as the rakugo he loves changes with him. It made me cry a number of times.

The only reason I’m not giving it an A is because it’s about rakugo. I know nothing about rakugo and hence I wasn’t able to fully appreciate this. It will have many scenes where someone is sitting there and giving a rakugo show. Try as I might, I just wasn’t able to bring myself to understand and appreciate it. I suspect this may be the case for a lot of non-Japanese visitors (and maybe a lot of Japanese viewers as well…) But still, even if about half the show largely flew over my head, the parts I could follow were more than enough to make up for it.

  • Storytelling – A – So powerful. A tearjerker.
  • Voice – A – Yup, nothing like this.
  • Characters – A – Amazing, especially seeing how they change over time.
  • Attention Grab – C – Some difficulties for me in the rakugo scenes.
  • Production – B – Looks good.
  • Overall – B+

Recommendations – Sakamachi no Apollon, Joshiraku

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