Joshiraku Review — D+

In the first episode, we learned exactly what Joshiraku would be about:

They pretty much nailed it.

They’re very self-aware regarding what their show is about. But that doesn’t make it all that funny. It’s just like Zetsubou-sensei— joke after joke after joke, in the vain hopes that some of them will actually work. And it does work at times. In particular, the episode where they kept punching each other in the face was hilarious. But for the most part, I was simply bored by Joshiraku’s brand of humor.

That isn’t to say that this format can’t work— I loved Lucky Star, which is basically the same idea. But Lucky Star was actually funny. Here the humor translates very poorly— the jokes are enmeshed in a cultural and linguistic context which most English-speaking viewers won’t understand, despite heroic attempts at translation.

I’ll end with what the show itself pointed out in the final episode:

  • Storytelling – D – String after string of jokes, most aren’t that funny.
  • Voice – C – A distinctive setup, although it’s very similar to Zetsubou-sensei.
  • Characters – B – The girls are what the show’s about, as it says, and they are very unique. The best part of the show (aside from the punching).
  • Attention Grab – D – I was always behind on this show, and not particularly enthusiastic about catching up.
  • Production – B – Looks good, nice voice acting.
  • Overall – D+

Recommendations – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Lucky Star, Seitokai no Ichizon

3 thoughts on “Joshiraku Review — D+

  1. “I was always behind on this show, and not particularly enthusiastic about catching up.” Haha, same with me – I still haven’t finished it (stuck at ep. 10)!
    I think, I would give this show a C, not a D, though. Compared to the really bad moe shows I quite enjoyed it. What I liked were the lively characters and the fact that the series was largely about non-highschool everyday life in Japan. I had some problems as well, though, grasping the jokes which were based on Japanese language or characters.
    I also missed the significance of rakugo. In each instalment there was a short sequence with one of the girls ending her rakugo performance but it wasn’t funny at all and even the on-screen audience seemed bored. The creators could have done a better job introducing the us viewers to this type of entertainment, e.g. like in Chihayafuru with karuta.

    1. I was torn between a C and D myself. In the end I decided that the few parts I enjoyed didn’t make up for the rest of the show which I couldn’t follow and / or didn’t find funny.

      I didn’t get the rakugo at all either. Was it supposed to be funny?

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