Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2
Short Synopsis: A former ex-con hopes to keep the profession of Rakugo alive.
It’s good to see this show hasn’t lost it’s touch in between the seasons and having Yotaro do a recap of the first season through Rakugo was a particularly great touch. The drama is still excellent and we already have some interesting aspects being brought up. For one it’s fascinating how Yakumo is in his prime as a performer now that he’s a senior. Age does benefit a storyteller as it gives his words more weight and you can really tell it with Yakumo. We have those claiming that Yakumo is a shinigami who will take Rakugo with him when he dies thanks to his reluctance to take on appearances. Even Yakumo himself isn’t reluctant to take on the role of being Rakugo’s reaper. Yotaro and Konatsu’s relationship is heartwarming and it is nice how Yotaro is a happy go lucky idiot that is charming for how genuinely honest he is. Yotaro looks to be bringing the future of Rakugo with the help of a man who was refused when he asked to be Yakumo’s apprentice. We have a great start to what is likely to be an underrated but absolute gem of a series.
Mario: Rakugo is back again in fine form, now the second season follows Yotaro in present day. As Yotaro is much more impulsive than Kikuhiro, the story in turns has a lot more comedic moments and overall offbeat tone. As for now I don’t feel that comic exaggerated gestures (especially his friend in Kyoto who gave up rakugo) fit well with the rest but I will wait to see more. Other than that, there’s nothing to complain here. Making new rakugo plays sounds like an interesting angle to me and I really don’t mind to follow just that for the rest of this season, but then we also have his relationship with Konatsu and Kikuhiro and many of the people who connected to rakugo in all sorts of way. As with the nature of rakugo or really of nearly everything traditional, women have a restrict, limited role so I really look forward for Konatsu to break that restriction. This show is easily the cream of the crop this season so people who missed out on its last season, go watch it. You don’t even need to catch up on the first season, just go watch it now.
Short Synopsis: A series of romance tales involving a boy and various girls in his school.
This is Amagami in everything but name. The good news is that if you liked Amagami then you will like this. The bad news is that it carries the same flaws as Amagami. The biggest being the protagonist whose as bland as they come. I find that self insert protagonists really only work within novels and games where you are in the mind of the character in question. When it comes to the more visual medium self inserts are less effective as it’s difficult to insert yourself into a character on screen whom you cannot control nor hear his thoughts. You could imagine being in his position but not really usurping it. In truth this kind of protagonist only really serves to make the lead as boring and malube as possible which causes all character interaction with him to suffer. The second problem is that when you have romances happening and then negated to move on to the next heroine it somewhat falsifies the romance in question. After all even if the protagonist declares himself to have found his true love then wouldn’t that statement sound hollow considering that if things were slightly different he would be declaring the same thing with someone else just as easily? Either way there is nothing truly wrong with this show and I do find it watchable and the girls are rather charming. Should make for a fairly decent romance series.
Mario: In preparation for this show, I watched the first season of Amagami SS and I found all those standalone stories were a decent take on romance. Seiren, although billed as an original, serves as a more spiritual adaptation of that series so you know what you’re getting too. On the matter that whether Seiren can make itself apart from Amagami SS still remain a question mask. I enjoy the 4-episode arc format focus on each girl as the romance won’t drag for too long. The main guy is improved a bit compared to Amagami SS’s but he still isn’t interesting at all. That main character again has a little sister and I really don’t know why the show include her at all. Apart from the harem girls the show spends quite a time for Shoichi and his best mate so that’s a plus for me. At least the first girl Hikari is interesting enough and I very much enjoyed the loose but naturalistic dialogues. Overall I have a good time watching this and for the season that actually crowded with romantic offerings, this one still stands as your safest bet.
Out of cute girls doing cute things shows this is the best out of currently airing but I can honestly say this genre will never quite appeal to me. Maybe because I am a soulless gargoyle who wouldn’t be moved by such fluffy antics or maybe I just find the general concept a bit too artificial. There are no girls who act like this and the experience of watching this show is akin to watching baby animals in a zoo. Sure it’s cute but there’s nothing more to it. It’s just watching dumb animals being dumb. So you will watch, go dawww, laugh and forgot it all by the time you walk away. Not saying anime doesn’t need a show like that but I find there is just too much of an abundance of them lately.
Mario: Okay, it was rather surprising even to me but I enjoy every moments of this show. The series is simply a variation of cute girls genre but damn are they overly cute! That town looks strange but lively and warm, these girls are admittedly very generic but just look at those ears and those belly buttons (I know, I know!) Those fortune telling types are what sell the show to me and I’m generally intrigued to learn more about those details. Yes, in that world every girls are obsessed to fortune telling, but to what extent and for whatever purpose are still pretty much in the air now. Of course not even the main girls but the instructors, the manly guardswoman, even all the animals are too fluffy that actually turn me off a bit. This normally isn’t my kind of show (on a second thought, maybe it is), but I’m more than happy to spend more time with those girls and those fortune tellings.