Posted on 21 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Looking over my old review of episode 12, I find that I didn’t really cover the episode decently. I gave a brief summery but I don’t think I really articulated my feelings on the episode as well as I could. I do remember finding it to be a big heel turn when it came to Sukeroku’s and Miyokichi’s final moments but I was willing to give it a pass. Now this episode comes along and reveals that was all a fabrication. Thinking on it, I believe Yakumo incorporated part of the last Rakugo story Sukeroku told into his version of the events as it detailed a story involving a deadbeat husband changing his ways. However now so many things make sense. Konastu’s hatred for Yakumo and why she calls him a murderer and why Yakumo is so beaten down in his old age. All this time her lied to protect Konatsu from the horrible truth. The truth that she was inadvertently caused the death of her parents.

While I do find this version of events quite interesting, it does hold a level of contrivance like the last version. It makes sense for Konatsu to lash out at her mother after she stabbed her father but I find her pushing her mother back into the balcony and the balcony collapsing at that exact moment to be too calculated. Konatsu and her mother were fairly far from the balcony so Konatsu pushing her that far seems a little unrealistic. Still the thematic implications are strong and it certainly is heartbreaking to have Yotaru embrace Konatsu while crying. All the while Konatsu being ignorant of the fact that those tears were for her. So the question is, will Konatsu ever learn of this truth before season’s end or will Yotaru and Yakumo take it to the grave. After all these years learning the truth would break Konatsu, it would utterly destroy her.

Other than that we have Yotaru watching the old videos of Yakumo and Sukeroku and remarking at the difference. Yakumo in particular did seem much more cheerful in the past when doing Rakugo, a point Yotaru notices easily. Seeing Sukeroku after all this time was oddly nostalgic and I felt a connection with Matsuda in that it really felt like the return of an old friend. In other events the writer looks to have had a crush on Miyokichi which does explain the level of antagonism he has for Yakumo. Though in turn that seems to be the origin of his love for Rakugo. On top of all that Yakumo says he’s done with Rakugo, this may be why his vision when he fell unconscious features Sukeroku strangling him. To Yakumo, Sukeroku took his voice and without Rakugo he only has to wait for the reaper. The rest of the cast is reluctant to let him leave the Rakugo world but perhaps this truly is the end of his carreer.

Posted on 15 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

The Rakugo breakthroughs in this show always come from unexpected places. Yakumo had his breakthrough while crossdressing as a woman for a play. A second breakthrough with his shinigami story after the death of his dear friends. Meanwhile Yotaro has his breakthrough due to his Master collapsing and having to perform under pressure. Strangely this was the perfect way for Yotaro to work his Rakugo as he previously mentioned about wanting the characters of the stories to come alive instead of placing himself within the characters. Thus comes the moment when Yotaro literally cannot put himself into the performance. For Yotaro at this point in time is a complete nervous wreck over Yakumo’s condition. So against all odds, Yotaro not only manages to perform Inokori but does it magnificently. I like that he left out the introduction as you could tell he wanted to get through this performance so he could check on Yakumo. So he jumped right into it without pause. I was originally worried that Yotaro was going to tank this due to his mental state but it became clear as he continued that he was getting in the zone. Afterwards he even lamented that his master couldn’t see him give one of his best performances since becoming a storyteller.

With Yakumo unconscious for a week, Yotaro finds himself filling in for all his gigs and performing quite admirably. He proclaims that Yakumo will be back on his feet but truthfully this is a big wake up call to just how fragile he really is. Rakugo is in a dire state and already a gaping hole is left with Yakumo out of the picture temporarily. The future of an art could very well live or die and it rests in the hands of someone far past his due date. It’s clear what must happen, Rakugo must change and evolve with the times. But as the theatre owner laments how he must rebuild the theatre to meet new building standards for withstanding earthquakes, he does point out something important. Even if the theatre was flawed in many ways, it still holds a history that will disappear when it’s rebuild. This seems to mirror the very state of Rakugo, for to change Rakugo is to challenge that history and potentially replace it. Unlike a Theatre however, replacing Rakugo is no simple task. The rakugo world needs a Yakumo, it needs a Yotaro, it even needs a Sokuroku. None of these men can carry the art by themselves so we need new blood and their lies the paradox. To make Rakugo relevant again it needs new blood but to get new blood Rakugo needs to be relevant again. Perhaps this is the tragedy alluded to in the title Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.

Posted on 8 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

The opening of this episode starts us off with an ominous note as Sukuroka’s eyes are shown with a deep blood red. Perhaps it is a sign that the reaper has come for Yakumo, but I think it’s too early for that yet. On Yotaro’s side of things, something I previously suspected was brought up as Yotaro still hasn’t found his Rakugo and I think that until the writer gives him some new material, he won’t. One thing he did realize was that s and his and Yakumo’s approach to Rakugo are different. Yakumo tends to push his style as a performer onto all the characters he portrays while Yotaro wishes to become the characters themselves. It’s an important step for Yotaro as it means that he is moving away from simply copying his master to developing his own style. Considering the events at the end of the episode, I hope he doesn’t regress back from this step forward. It was indeed a very unfortunate timing for Yotaro to have this revelation.

The final scene reminds me of a moment during the first season, when Miyokichi claimed that she would haunt Yakumo in episode 9. In a way she has done just that, so perhaps it gives her joy in the afterlife. Is this truly the ghost of Miyokichi come back to torment Yakumo or simply a hallucination due to his failing health? It really is up to the viewer, but it is rather interesting that Yakumo was telling a story about a man meeting his loved one by lighting incense and making the story more dynamic by having Konatsu light the incense. For the ghost of Miyokichi to appear from incense lit by her daughter, who just so happens to still hold a grudge against Yakumo is rather intriguing. As I stated in the title, I don’t think this is the end for Yakumo. Things may look grim but he still hasn’t hit the apex of this character arc yet. He is essentially the main opposition for Yotaro and for the writer to kill him off now would leave a gaping hole in the narrative. I think this near death experience should give him some perspective though. One thing that really caught my eye was in how Yakumo reacted to Yotaro calling Rakugo fun. Once upon a time Yakumo found Rakugo fun, but it seems after Sukoroku died, that event killed Yakumo’s enthusiasm for it. Rakugo is just a job for Yakumo now and I think this marks a turning point for him to regain that love he once had.

One thing that threw me through a loop this episode was before Yakumo collapsed, he looked at Konatsu and repeated “My Beloved, My beloved.” I personally saw the relationship between Yakumo and Miyokichi to be one sided. Unless that flashback was Yakumo playing unreliable narrator I don’t think Yakumo truly loved Miyokichi. He may have cared for her but often his more intimate moments with her felt like he was just indulging her. Of course time is a fickle beast and it’s possible that looking back over his past that Yakumo’s affection for Miyokichi could have grown into love. It was a long time ago and she was clearly the woman who made the greatest impact on his life. But perhaps there is something more to this. Perhaps Yakumo was hiding something that he didn’t tell Yotaro and Konatsu. What that could be is anyone’s guess. As a nice bit of symmetry this episode is the fifth episode of the second season which could potentially be Yakumo’s end as a Rakugo performer. The fifth episode of the first season was where Yakumo crossdressed for a play and discovered his talent with could be considered his beginning in Rakugo. In that regard this could be the beginning of great change.

Posted on 1 February 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Another time skip? That caught me off guard but it does seem like Yotaro has not quite gotten over the problem of not being able to find his own Rakugo but has gotten popular enough to be featured on TV and expand his fandom. As a fan put it, it’s not so much that Yotaro being consistently good but having moments of brilliance. So in that regard, I am glad Yotaro didn’t solve his problems offscreen. Konastu’s son, Shin, has grown up a bit and knows how to use his cuteness to his advantage. He gains a love of Rakugo just like his parents and even Yakumo can’t help but fawn over the kid. This was more or less Konatsu’s episode, and the biggest smile came across my face upon seeing her reaction to Shin performing Rakugo. Yotaro still hasn’t pushed their relationship further from what I can tell but the two have gotten more lax around each other. They understand each other so well and despite not really lusting after each other I would honestly vote them as couple of the year.

Konatsu’s Rakugo for the children really warmed my heart in just how much she enjoyed it. This seems to suggest that Kontasu would be entering the profession of Rakugo and Yotaro wholeheartedly wants her to do it. I somewhat agree with Konatsu’s assessment that she would be rattling the cage so to speak. Rakugo is something mired in tradition and any change, be it for better or worse, will be met with hostility and I even think that Yotaru creating new Rakugo is bound to stir up some anger. Throwing Konatsu on a stage just seems like a bad idea no matter how you see it and could be devastating for her as a performer.  If she really wants to become a Rakugo performer then it would be better to start with smaller gigs and then slowly gain a fanbase. Of course, before any of this can happen, she would need Yakumo to remove the ban on female performers so that she can become accredited and considering the character of Yakumo, it would be a monumental task indeed. He’s already getting crabby about people having fun in the green room so getting him to agree to this will take some far more convincing. Assuming that Konatsu wishes to go through with it. Which I honestly think she should, she would really light up the stage when performing Rakugo.

It’s nice to see that Yakumo isn’t cold to Shin but he’s certainly cold to the writer and his attempts to write new Rakugo. These two seem in direct opposition as the writer sees Yakumo his enemy in regards to keeping Rakugo alive. It’s possible that he holds a grudge over him rejecting him as an apprentice in the past. Or how he considers Yakumo one the of the main reasons for the decline of the art. Personally I see it as Yakumo keeping to his promise to Sukeroku. As Sukeroku said in the previous seasonj, it would be Yakumo’s job to keep old traditional Rakugo from dying out and Sukuroku’s job to reinvent Rakugo for the new age. This I believe is Yakumo’s main reason for tearing up the writers Rakugo stories. Yakumo is not the one to ask when it comes to developing Rakugo for the modern era. That job should be left to the man who inherited Sukeroku’s title. I admit however that this really could just be Yakumo being difficult and stubborn. However I find it hard to see Yakumo being purposefully spiteful as it’s more likely just his awkwardness with interacting with people. Which is something he never truly got rid off throughout his life.

Posted on 25 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

 

After the last episode, I expected that this would be the episode where Yotaro digs his own grave. I thought he would have an outburst or just mope over his problems but surprisingly, Yotaro doesn’t do any of that. Instead he takes a course of action that is nearly suicidal and yet, a great step forward. The beginning of this episode touched on what exactly is the problem with Yotaro’s Rakugo with his conversation with his future Rakugo writer. Yotaro revealed that he doesn’t truly think about the meaning of the stories. That he tells and merely copies the mannerisms and tone when telling them. In that regard, he is like a parrot repeating only what he has been told with little thought beyond that. It is understandable as to why his Rakugo feels empty, because he can’t really empathize with the characters in the story.

The father of Konatsu’s baby is revealed to be the boss of the Yakuza which does explain as to why Konatsu wasn’t too eager to share that information. I was a little concerned that perhaps he forced himself on her but it looks like Konatsu may have some of her mother in her after all. For what I can tell from the exchange, Konatsu was in love with the man but it was clear he was never going to leave his wife for her. Thus like her mother she harbored feelings for someone who never returned them. Though I like how the Yakuza boss got angry at Yotaro for dragging Konatsu in and trying to push her into confronting him as it does show that he at least cares for her on some level. The main conflict of this episode was Yotaro essentially telling a Yakuza boss off for getting Konastu pregnant and telling him to not come back for the kid because he was going to raise him as his own. All the while being as polite as possible to avoid getting killed for angering him. Ultimately Yotaro uses Rakugo to vent his frustrations at the boss and I believe that’s the first time his Rakugo feels genuine as he is in a situation similar to the character within the story.

Overall it was a great episode and if I didn’t already like Yotaro before I certainly do now. He’s a happy go lucky idiot but the kind that has the right agenda at heart. He showed that his rant to the boss wasn’t for his own sake but instead for Konatsu. As he stated that he didn’t hold a grudge at the boss for being forced to spend jail time for someone else. In that regard I think he’s absolutely perfect fit for Konatsu and their relationship just warms my heart. Konatsu is a woman who keeps her feelings closed in while Yotaro shouts them from the heavens. To see Yotaro break down Konatsu’s standoffish nature and actually get her to begin to genuinely fall in love with him is the kind of love story I like to see. The kind with real chemistry and two characters who play off each others personalities instead of the usual bland male lead triggers anime character trope number 573. Yakumo looks to be pushing Yotaro towards understanding of the stories by giving him one of Sokuroku’s works and i think Konatsu is going to be a vital factor for Yotaro to discover his own Rakugo.

Posted on 18 January 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

It was inevitable that Yotaro’s past with the Yakuza would come back to haunt him but boy did it really bite him in the ass. I was wondering as to how the show would work with Yotaro and give him conflict but then this episode comes along and gives him plenty to worry about. He’s having trouble finding his old style and is mimicking his masters and acting as a surrogate father for Konatsu’s child when the father appears to have returned at episodes end. Yotaro’s performance in this episode was hard to watch but I really love how Rakugo never has someone on the sidelines to inform us that the performance wasn’t going well. Just by watching and listening, even though I don’t know Japanese, made it clear how well it was going. Helped by showing the audience’s reaction and Yotaro’s own panicking nervousness. Rakugo seems like a temperamental art, much like comedy.

The mood of the audience can kill a performance and in Rakugo’s case, bore them to death. You can tell Yotaro is really trying with his performance but as the audience loses interest his moves grow all the more desperate. Even changing the voice of the housewife character mid performance as Yakumo complained about it earlier. When Yotaro unwittingly reveals his Yakuza tattoo in front of the audience he knows right away that he made a bad move. Still as painful as this is I certainly remember a fair share of Yakumo’s terrible performances. Though what certainly isn’t terrible is the new opening and boy if it isn’t a unique way to start this show. I am a little on the fence over the song but the visuals are fantastic. I love the imagery of Sukoroku opening his shirt to reveal a ribcage. I originally thought this season was going to be primarily about Yotaro but the opening puts Yakumo in the spotlight and shows his worries and the things that haunt him well. It worries me though as the opening is not very happy and could foreshadow this season being quite depressing. All things considered I would prefer a more heartwarming end to this story and more moments like Yakumo consoling Yotaro over his past.

Speaking of which Yakumo is not doing so well either. He’s not doing much to help out Konatsu with the child and it’s clear that he has long grown tired of his life. His cold attitude towards Konatsu and disinterest in the child is somewhat understandable. As I doubt Konatsu wants him anywhere near him. Konatsu is still just as hostile to him which is sad as Yakumo at least tries to throw some kindness her way. The scene with him reciting one of Sukoroku’s old bits that put her to sleep. I almost believed that this could be the start of them at least growing closer together as a family. Though Konatsu burns that bridge fast by reminding him that he lead her parents to their death. All things considered I think Konatsu isn’t really being fair. After all if anyone is to blame for what happened it would be her mother. Yakumo then reveals his desire to die and to take Rakugo with him. So in that regard Yotaro may have saved Yakumo’s life when he declared to be taking up Sukoroku’s name. So in one episode we have essentially declared the problems the protagonists will be dealing with for likely the majority of the season. And here I thought that the end of season one only signaled a rise for Rakugo in the future. Life truly is never that simple.

Posted on 7 April 2016 with categories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

So we reach the finale of the first season of Rakugo and against all odds we have a second season to look forward to. The last episode of this season capped off the end of Yakumo’s tale and returns to our characters from the first episode. Through it now some time after Yakumo told them his story and Yotarou from the first episode has just become a shinichi. Konatsu asks Yotarou to do the same story her father did for her long ago and we have a moment were  we the audience know just how much meaning this story has for her yet Yotarou is completely clueless. Yotarou has very much become a new incarnation of Sokeroku and while his performance isn’t as good as Sokeroku’s, it is certainly reminiscent of it. How Konatsu has changed is something I find quite interesting. Her mother was very much stuck in the past and dependent on men to survive. Yet Konatsu has gotten pregnant and is determined to raise the child as a single mother. Konatsu is very strong a self sufficient which was likely birthed by her desire to support her father as a child and her standoffish relationship with Yakumo. On why she got pregnant, Yakumo insinuated that part of this was out of spite for him however Konastu makes it clear that she will not stand for her father’s line dying out. However I wonder why she is so adamant to not name the father. COuld it be this was the result of a drunken night with Yotarou perhaps? Maybe that’s why she was so surprised by his marriage proposal out of the blue. However that is quite unlikely.

Then this episode lets out the words that was being hinted front the start. Yotarou has decided to inherent Sukeroku name. The scene with Yakumo at the grave of Sokeroku venting his frustrations with a mirage of Sokeroku was excellent. Even after all these years his death still eats away at him. He feels that he failed him and that he couldn’t keep Rakugo alive as he wished. And in his ventings the mirage slips into the fog and Yotarou replaces it. We know what Sokeroku wished, a rakugo that never changes and a rakugo that changes with the times. Yakumo has kept one side alive and now I believe Yotarou is the key to being the second side Yakumo needs. Even Matsuda mentioned this fact to Sokeroku himself in the last episode. The crowds need both the styles of Yakumo and him, without one it felt as though something was missing. But Yakumo also mentions how he failed in raising Konatsu which I think he really shouldn’t blame himself for that. Konatsu and him had a standoffish relationship even before Sokerokus death so regardless to how he tried I doubt he could have raised her better. Well maybe he should have let her do Rakugo but admittedly in this time she wouldn’t have much hope in a profession such as that. So we end this season on a bit of a cliffhanger as now as Sokeroku has acted as a guiding light for Yakumo, he too must act to transform the rough Yotarou into the new Sokeroku all the while dealing with the issue of Konatsu’s baby and the mystery as to who is the father. The next season should prove to be quite interesting.

Posted on 1 April 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Well Sukeroku was just five days away from retirement, not afraid of anything anymore, gonna tell Miyokichi he loves her after the battle, followed by a around the world trip on a boat called the live forever, put on a red shirt and kiss Yoko Littner goodbye. Yes, the Grim Reaper was clearly sharpening his scythe this episode as Sokeroku expressed how this was the turning point for him in his life. Thoroughly expressed by him telling a sentimental story about a man who cleans up his act after his wife tells him a white lie regarding a wallet found on the beach. This story truly exemplifies Sokeroku to the core as this too was a turnround for him. A chance for him to make his daughter happy and win back his wife. This story was like a promise to Konatsu that he planned to make things better from now on. All sorely ruined by Miyokichi.

I find that this episode has thrown a wrench into my previous assumptions about this little love triangle. Miyokichi is obviously still in love with Yakumo but against my previous impressions Yakumo somewhat accepts her. I say somewhat as I am not certain as to his exact intentions. I think that seeing her current state awoke guilt in Yakumo and he felt that if he accepted her feelings then perhaps he might be able to bring her back together with Sokeroku and Konatsu. Sadly Miyokichi looks to have lived up to her curse promised before and attempts to drag Yakumo into a lovers suicide. So stopped by Sokeroku who bursts in promising to give up Rakugo and focus on her and Konatsu. Considering Sokeroku just returned to what he truly loved this felt like a betrayal to me and I would like to think his words were simply to keep her from the edge of the balcony. I think he knew that Miyokichi truly didn’t want to die as he noticed her shaking when he caught her in his arms. What also surprised me was that this actually looked like it worked as Miyokichi started to get shook up by his words. I still believe their relationship came about out of necessity but it is possible that in the years spent together some love could bloom. After all, Sokeroku actually knew her first name when Yakumo did not and is that a sign that maybe they held a special connection that Yakumo didn’t have with her? Perhaps if Sukeroku put work into finding a job and supporting them things wouldn’t come to this. Fate however, is a cruel mistress and if you tempt her then she will ruin you gladly. That or maybe one shouldn’t install tiny balconies made of cheap flimsy wood because it breaks to drop Miyokichi to her doom. Sadly Sokeroku managed to catch her but with Yakumo being the only one holding him up it just ended up being a lovers suicide just as Miyokichi intended. Just with the wrong lover.

So did Sokeroku truly mean what he said to Miyokichi? Could he shape up and get a job? Truthfully I think not. Sokeruka was a man made for Rakugo and even if he tried his hardest I fear he will fall into old habits in time. To take Rakugo from him is like taking his heart and without it he is but a lazy neet. But I certainly seen he had no intention of returning with Yakumo to inheret his masters title. He knew better than Yakumo that nobody would allow him to have the name. We finally know how he died and the reason Konatsu caused him of killing her father. I would say that Miyokichi is the main culprit in this mess as she was the one to cause this whole situation. From this it looks like we will be returning to the future and with this story we finally know just what Yakumo intends with Yotarou. He wants him to take up Sukeroku’s mantle and provide the Rakugo he cannot. To be the guide to help Rakugo survive to the modern age.

Posted on 23 March 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Even without the aforementioned grudge it looks like Yakumo and Konatsu get along like oil and water. She changes her tune fast once she finds out he is a Rakugo performers but their relationship remains stiff and awkward. Something which based on the first episode doesn’t look like it’s going to change. One particular aspect I find interesting is how Konatsu views her mother with disgust. From Konatsu’s perspective it’s certainly understandable. After all Miyokichi sleeps around with other men and actively discourages Sukeroku from performing Rakugo again which Konatsu truly loves. Though having seen what we have seen this is perfectly logical. Her Parents relationship, sad though it may be, was born out of necessity. Miyokichi needed a man to depend on and Sukeroku needed a goal. However Miyokichi didn’t expect that Sukeroku without Rakugo is a worthless bum who can’t gain the drive to look for real work. So she returns back to the only way she knows how to make a living. As for her stopping him from performing Rakugo it’s obvious that it’s because it reminds her of Yakumo and she’s not over him yet. So the situation is that Yakumo has to convince Sukeroku to perform Rakugo again which is rather interesting when this situation was reversed before.

Sukeroku makes his problem clear. He can no longer see the audience and this was the problem Yakumo faced once before in the past. Before he polished his Rakugo but neglected to view the audience when performing which made his performances lacking. It was Sukeroku who taught Yakumo to see the audience and learn to pull them along with his flow. Now Yakumo must teach this again to Sukeroku though the solution isn’t as simple as it was with him. With Yakumo he was simply ignorant of his problem but Sukeroku is aware. Is it strange that I was reminded of the tale of Amaterasu when Yakumo managed to lure Sukeroku out by performing Rakugo in front of Konatsu? Perhaps I am looking too much into that but this did illustrate the difference between Yakumo and Sukeroku’s styles. When Yakumo tells the tale he starts scaring Konatsu by placing emphasis on the darker parts of the story. When Sukeroku jumps in and lightens it up with his style and we have our first duel performance by Sukeroku and Yakumo. Truly the dynamic between them is marvelous and rather than performing solo perhaps it would be better to combine their talents. At the end of their performance Yakumo begs Sukeroku to take up the name which personally I see no way that can possibly turn out well. Though it seems for now that Sukeroku’s problem is cured. For even if he can’t see the audience, perhaps he can look past them and perform for his daughter.

Posted on 16 March 2016 with categories: Currently Watching:, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

His master reveals that he knew Sokuroku’s mentor and that by using his blood ties to his father he managed to steal the title of Yakumo from Sokuroku’s which caused him to leave the art in disgust. This does put his uncertainties with his right to the name into perspective as he never truly earned it. Teaching Sokuroku may have been his method of atonement but ultimately his pride could let him give him the name. He even reveals that he doesn’t want Yakumo to take the title either which does make his desires rather petty. His contradiction in manner is interesting in how he feels he is unworthy of his title yet has too much pride to hand it over to another. When a young upstart began begging for Yakumo to take him on as an apprentice in front of his master, his master snided at how the child chose Yakumo over him. As a performer I respect that he hid his poor condition until his act was done. Though it became apparent near the end that he was struggling to finish.

Yakumo’s reaction to his master’s confession was rather surprising in that he admitted that he had seen his faults but still respected him for taking them in. I wonder if Yakumo held any grudge against him for kicking out Sokuroku as his reaction to his death was rather cold. Yakumo has hardly been one with an emotional demeanor but one would think he would be affected somewhat during his master’s funeral. Perhaps his words about being grateful to him were but sophistry as he neared death’s door. His master was a flawed individual, blinded by his own prejudices; however he did treat and refer to Yakumo and Sokuroku as his sons. So is a man forgiven for his failings if he himself recognises them in the end?

So the master dies and everyone is pushing for Yakumo to inherit his name; though there are certainly those who sneer at his success behind his back. His performance after the funeral was quite telling as he thought before he began about how people would thinking he was going to tell a sentimental Rakugo story. Instead Yakumo tells a story which is about a man meeting death, making a deal with him and then dying as he attempts to prolong his life. To me it felt like Yakumo was saying a lot with this piece; perhaps highlighting Rakugo itself and the hesitation to let it grow with the times. Or perhaps to show that his passion was dying out without Sukeroku to be his rival. He does still enjoy Rakugo but he has a clear disdain for the backroom policies of the art form. So much so that he dissuaded a potential pupil from dirtying his hands with it Or perhaps it was an ode to his now deceased master who made his own dirty deals and now has met with death. At the end of the episode we see a return of a character not seen since episode 1, though now in a younger form. This looks to be the beginning of the time which caused Konatsu to refer to Yakumo as her father’s killer. So I wonder, did she mean that metaphorically or literally?

CHANGE USERNAME
SuperMario
@anon877854: just finished ACCA episode and I agree that everything getting really interesting now. Review will come up soon.
Anonymous877854
Well I thought ACCA would dance around the truth for a few more eps but they had a bunch of big reveals this ep. Will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, Not too fond of really old vn games like those. They put up a presence of being point and click adventures. I have a hard time enjoying the stories when the "Gameplay" keeps killing the pacing. Big offender was Eve Burst error. Really couldn't enjoy that one at all.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And policenauts, how about that one?
Kaiser Eoghan
Honestly I really don't mind all the side drama/romance in rakugo...in the longest time its been an anime that gave me feelings worth feeling.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Would you in any way recommend snatcher (I think that counts as a visual novel) or is it a dated product of its time. On a side note I love the soundtrack.
Kaiser Eoghan
Case in this point I was blown away by utawerumono and chaos head when I was a less experienced viewer, nostalgia keeps poking at me to watch the sequels, but I just know chaos;child will be awful as will utawerumono 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hate when this happens, keep getting this itch to watch the followup to something I liked in the past but no full well I'd hate if I went back to it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Hopefully I'll make time for Irae and subahibi, don't know anything about clockwork. Ended up getting involved in what will likely turn into a business course soon.
AidanAK47
Some really great Visual Novels localised this year. Muv Luv Alternative, Sharin no Kuni, Dies Irae, SubaHibi and clockwork key line. It's good year to be a VN fan. Now I just need an update about Baldr Sky.
AidanAK47
Subarashiki Hibi is getting published by Front Wing. Hell goddamn yes. Finally I can read it and be traumatised for life.
Anonymous870083
mm okay thanks!
AidanAK47
@Anon1, Think you might just have to go with a torrent. It's pretty hard to find direct download anime these days.
Anonymous870541
the latest episode of rakugo just made my heart sank. i didn't think it would get better than it already is. i thank god that i didn't read ahead
Anonymous870083
does anyone know where I can download the remastered version of the Utena series? without torrent?
SuperMario
the same very thought here Lenlo. What I considered the weakest part turned out to be so layered. Sorry for ever doubting you, Rakugo.
Lenlo
And that smirk at the end, beautiful
Lenlo
The weakest plot point of S1 has just become the best part ever.
Lenlo
OOH MAN. I was not ready. The entire first season was all a setup. I cant. What. HOW DOES IT GET BETTER
Lenlo
Cant wait to watch Rakugo tonight, just got home and im lookin forward to it,.
AidanAK47
I think before grabbing the protest signs it might be worth considering if the thing you are demanding be uncensored is even worth it. Oh yeah, now you can see genitalia in crap sex scenes that were crow bared into the plot. No more need to use your imagination.
AidanAK47
Some protest because they want there porn. That I suppose I can understand even if I think they would be better off buying some nukige. But then there are those who demand it just for the sake of standing against censorship. They don't give a crap about the game or the fact we are getting the exact same thing the japanese got. What? Censorship of sexual organs? DOWN WITH CENSORSHIP!
AidanAK47
There are people actively proclaiming they won't buy the game, because they can't see dicks. That is not hyperbole. This is literally exactly whats happening here. And they just act so goddamn self righteous about it. Porn is not the goddamn point of these games. Shouldn't even be in them in the first place.
AidanAK47
So another Sekai Kickstarter is up for a trilogy of Visual novels called A Clockwork Ley-Line. Chipped in my bit as I am going to be buying this regardless but like goddamn clockwork you get the idiots yelling for Mosaic removal. No matter how I try to rationalize it, this just sounds stupid.
Kaiser Eoghan
Just whenever I think Rakugo may be dragging its feet it comes out a gives me three big strong moments in this weeks episode, you will know them when you come to them.
K-Off
Dubbing in more subdued performances work fine. It just becomes unbearable when it involves shouty dialogue, which idescribes most of the Japanese games I play.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I think at the time it allowed Bagel (where did he go?) to find some exploit/gap in the sites security too.
SuperMario
I mean the spoiler code in the comment section. ^^. Like I don't mind if readers give (potential) spoilers but I don't want to ruin the fun of other readers as well
AidanAK47
After all it wasn't a intended feature of the old shoutbox. We were pretty much hacking the thing.
Kaiser Eoghan
I seem to remember all those old html codes stopped working on the old shoutbox too at one point.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was also originally an ability to animate text too of the shoutbox and have gifs appear in the message box but not as links.
AidanAK47
I remember some HTML code worked with the old shoutbox but nope. But I suppose you could change the colour of text to white...though that would effect everything you write.
SuperMario
Btw, do we have spoiler tag here Aidan?
SuperMario
@anon861679: Agreed. They have big ambitions, but they seems unsure on what to do next. I mean engaging your readers to give their thoughts is good, but if it is a mean for you to get inspiration to write essay about isn't that great. Well, give them say 6 months until they can settle down (they just launched this site for 3,4 months only)
Kaiser Eoghan
Despite being fine with anime in English, I've almost always felt that voice acting in videogames isn't as good.
Anonymous861679
Hey mario, that anime feminist blog was well, kind of awful. While they're well intentioned, it felt like they were pushing tumblr stuff onto chan stuff and that always ends up in a smoking mess.
SuperMario
Okay I'm going to erase my memories right now
SuperMario
I swear I'll stay off reddit for good. Have been spoiled by the development of ACCA by one of their "theory". As soon as I realized it's freaking spoiler I stopped but what done is done. Ahhhhhhhhhh
K-Off
Christ Fire Emblem Heroes is pretty addicting, micro transactions are not necessary at all. Though it irks me that I can't get Japanese voices. Dubs just make me cringe every time.
SuperMario
@ckspike: Hand Shakers, the very quality that makes you brain cells die while watching it. Well, I actually think the music is one of the best part of the show, now that you mention it like that...well...*slap my forehead*
ckspike
... my roommate just told me the background music when I'm watching Hand Shakers sounds like a bad porno... Now I can't unhear it. Fuck!
Lenlo
I havnt kept up with Academia, for some reason it just didnt catch me as well as the movie first did.
AidanAK47
You know what's funny? I thought little Witch Academia would be the hardest one to blog. Yet halfway into the current season and it's the one I write the most about.
Lenlo
I actually dont read many blogs. Mostly just this place and the occasional pop on reddit
Anonymous859067
I'd like to present to one of my favorite blogs, A work I just created: Greed Island! https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tc2r.greedisland
AidanAK47
I go to Reddit anime myself but I don't really like the upvote system. Basically the majority rule opinions get put to the top which more often than not are jokes.
HelghastKillzone
I listen to podcasts on youtube and others places as well as going on Reddit Anime to hear a thousand people yammering away.
Kaiser Eoghan
I irregularly follow the episode reviews on ANN and sometimes read standing on my neck. I fell out of the habit of following random curiousity.
SuperMario
Anime Feminist (animefeminist.com), while sounds ambitious on paper, hasn't been too hot unfortunately. I know they aim to be "big" so they're still figuring out how to do it best. Well, good luck for them!
SuperMario
Oh, I know I've mentioned this site before but you guys should read it (blog.sakugabooru.com), this site is one of the only few blogs that I actively subscribed to read their post. They have some insights to the anime industry that is very informative and inspiring
SuperMario
I also think that this chatbox here plays a great role to keep a fair amount of readers for the site, as many sometimes just come here to give their two cents on certain anime.
SuperMario
I just checked out rabujoi blof for the first time, (https://rabujoi.wordpress.com) and I think they're in pretty good shape. Content-wise are solid (as far as I read), and they update their post pretty regularly (comparing their amount of posts last month (80) to ours (28), ouch)
SuperMario
Just really wonder, what are other anime sites that you guys follow beside this? Well, ANN and RandomC are a given, but I found myself haven't bothered to read ANN's episodic reviews lately (mostly due to time constraint)
AidanAK47
Don't tell me this is gonna be a regular thing.
Lenlo
There we go
Lenlo
Oh god JSON objects. I thought that nightmare was over
SuperMario
Mine is working probably as well. Thanks a bunch K-Off and glad to hear back from you.
K-Off
No problem.
K-Off
I really need to figure out how to get those damn tooltips working again on the sidebar thumbnails. It'd be useful to have the descriptions popup.
AidanAK47
Cleared my cache and it looks to be fixed. Thanks as always K-Off. I would be completely screwed without you around.
K-Off
Alright I think that did it. Let me know if it pops up again. If you still see it, clear your browser cache and let me know if its still there.
AidanAK47
Messages still get sent. You just might have to reload the page. We are working on getting it fixed.
Vonter
AidanAK47 I can't get into Fate since like with Nanoha there's a lot of stuff with those names in it. Zero was the most straightforward, yet the buildup was very dragout but the payoffs where very worthy.
HelghastKillzone
testing message.
AidanAK47
This is what I get for updating the bloody plugin.....
AidanAK47
He finished it and was telling me what he thought of Saber defeating Gilgamesh. Minute he said that I was like "OH GOD..." He watched the Deen 2006 adaption. Sadly it loos like he's not going to bother watching UBW TV despite me showing him part of the berserker fight. With Fate/Extra, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, Fate/Oath under the snow and all the rest this problem will happen again.
AidanAK47
You know I wish the Fate series did a better job naming it's series. I was introducing a newbie so I gave him Fate/Zero first. He loved it so I specifically told him to watch the UBW TV Series and don't mistake it for the movie. He then went and watched the movie. I told him to watch the TV series regardless and brought up the MAL page to show him which one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, there's definately no harm in doing further reading on more arthouse stuff before reviewing it/watching/after watching, it extends our understanding and is pretty much required.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Go for it, you might sell me on reading it.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah, I generally only write reviews every now and then, and they tend to be kept simple and to 200-300 words. My writing ability only really works when I write in stream of consciousness.
Anonymous855550
Zestiria is such a feast for the eyes... The colors and backgrounds are so vivid and magnificent. Story has improved on the game's weaknesses too!
Lenlo
Given enough time, im sure I could write something, but as I writer I tend towards quick, decisive statements of what I think and why. Engineer, so technical documents are like the only thing I know how to write.
Topgavin
@Supermario ah, I'd say I'm the opposite in that I sometimes don't know why I like something so much, and when I read a review about it I can relate my own experiences and put it in my own words pretty well. Can thank Highschool eco for that
SuperMario
But to tell you guys the truth, I never think that I'm cut out as a reviewer (even now), because I'm a type of viewer who more perceive (I know why I like/ don't like stuffs) than express (just can't never explain stuffs well)
SuperMario
@Topgavin: it's depending on what grabbing you really; as I always find shows with heavy symbolisms like Penguindrum or Flip Flappers the easiest to dig deeper. But those are always my kind of show to begin with
Topgavin
I'd find it really hard to write something about a show without reading about it first; watching it one time by myself I usually only notice the big things. Stuff like Flip Flappers I had no clue what half the episode's hidden meanings were, can't imagine reviewing a show like NGE or penguindrum.
SuperMario
that's exactly how I write my reviews anyways
Lenlo
I cant imagine writing a review, id just repeat myself with different words but the same intended meaning over and over again
AidanAK47
Wonder if I should write a review of this. Might be hard without giving too much away.
AidanAK47
(Finishes Sweetest monster Visual novel)
.....well....fuck.
(Buys all authors visual novels on steam.)
Lenlo
Sadly, I doubt Nioh will get a PC port. Sony is pretty stingy on their exclusives, like Bloodborne. But I am so very happy with Nioh. I love technical combat like this
Kaiser Eoghan
I suppose this means I'm looking into this rpg maker game thing now isn't it? Might aswell.
Kaiser Eoghan
I remember the word animerican used to describe things like avatar last airbender. Filthy word =P
Anonymous853606
God no. Jiro Taniguchi died.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I have been hearing very good things about Nioh. Really hoping it gets a PC port.
@Topgavin, No real surprises there.
Topgavin
I'm sure most of you have heard, but looks like New Game is getting a season 2 out of all things. Apparently they had good sales, and I can certainly see why. CGDCT with yuri undertones and clean animation is hard to get wrong, let alone not sell.
Lenlo
Just started with Nioh, and oh my goodness do I love it.
Anonymous852887
anyone play resident evil 7? its so good.
AidanAK47
Thought that's because the term American Anime just feels wrong to me on all levels.
AidanAK47
@Anon, they do not. They are cartoons.
Anonymous852775
DO people call D.C. Comics animated movies American anime?
AidanAK47
@Anon, I am certainly interested in seeing the next episode. Those minisodes were pretty good too. One thing I thought the writting faltered on though was the comedy. It really was a little too slapstick considering how serious the drama was.
SuperMario
@Lenlo: ah remind me the time I went to Texas (Corpus Christy) before X-mas time and I was wearing short pants and thongs (nice!!!), then went all the way up to Niagara Falls and I was almost freezing there.
Lenlo
See, I love winter, but its almost non-existent in Texas
Anonymous852268
@Aidan: I agree. I loved To the Moon. It's so good seeing emotional drama that isn't centered around high-school kids. Seeing the ups and downs of a whole long life of a person gives everything that happens way more impact.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: An Australian friend put it as "A sunbaked rock in summer, a giant zoo, that actively tries to kill its population"
SuperMario
Not that I'm enjoying the winter either. Why autumn always go so fast?
SuperMario
Believe me but summer here is way too much. When it's too hot and dry it starts bushfiring really badly. And it's too hot that even a big fan straight in front of you don't do you any good
Kaiser Eoghan
What is this mysterious creature known as summer you refer to? =P My country is grey as a black and white film =P
SuperMario
I'm wondering how freezing you guys have to endure right now, but the place I came today in Aussie just reached 50 degree celsius this noon. So hot I felt myself burning
Lenlo
I think the part I liked the most, was just how satisfying those mud splatter sounds were. I dont know why, but its in my head
HelghastKillzone
Youjo Senki 6 subs came out at 11pm PST.
Lenlo
Atleast Rakugo didnt get held up. Still amazing as ever
AidanAK47
Well I spent my time waiting for it to come out by playing and finishing To the Moon. Got to say, it takes some real skill to make a game in RPGmaker that can make you really feel something. But maybe I am just a sucker for this kind of story.
SuperMario
Hey, I would be very frustrating if Hand shakers got delayed. But I agree this delay is caused by Being X. And Scum's Wish, haizzz, this is the show we love to get pissed at. Haha
Anonymous850298
I blame Being X.
AidanAK47
Sigh, Youjo Senki 6 is delayed. Why is it always the best shows that get delayed? If an episode of hand Shakers was delayed no one would give a crap but nope. Gotta be the show you want to watch right away.
AidanAK47
@Anon, in both anime and manga I never liked that character much.
Anonymous849783
Meh, dropped Masamune-kun. Seriously why do they always have to shove in these one dimensional characters with a crush out of f* nowhere. It never made any of these shows more interesting, it's always the opposite.
Vonter
@Kaiser Eoghan - I find it weird having the teacher being so unashamedly evil. In a way I like that, but at the same time I can't relate to the notion of people like that existing IRL.
Kaiser Eoghan
As I continue to watch scums wish, it becomes an anger inducing as much as it is engrossing experience.
AidanAK47
Or the UBW movie over the TV series. You just don't do that.
AidanAK47
That's like recommending someone to watch NGE death and rebirth instead of the TV series.
Kaiser Eoghan
Meh, I just got fed up with the padding in the tv version.
AidanAK47
Jojo has the kind of entertainment that clicks with you or doesn't so I understand if you didn't get into it. Though to give it a fair chance I would recommend trying the first episodes of Battle Tendency. It starts at episode 10 of the first season, you can jump to it. If that doesn't catch you then Jojos really isn't for you.
AidanAK47
Don't listen to Kaiser. The OVA is bad.
Kaiser Eoghan
....found out where a friend had been off to lately, making a movie and he ended up actually making and finishing and I got first dibs. Had a hard time commenting on it as I know the guy personally.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Totally with you on the academy thing.
@Lenlo: If you ever try jojo again and get onto part three go for the ova instead as it trims down an overly bloated arc.
Lenlo
For JoJos, I couldnt get through the first season. It just didnt hook me
Lenlo
What I dont understand is how anything other than Mob Psycho won best animation, cause my god.
Lenlo
I think Erased lost not because of the libido, but because Yuri was "gay" and "progressive" and most important of all, recent. Yuri had just finished airing so it was stuck in everyones heads. Of course it was going to win everything
AidanAK47
Erased truly deserved to win that category and it only lost because people voted with their libido instead of their head.
AidanAK47
If there's one thing that really makes me angry about these awards it's Yuri on Ice winning most heartwarming moment for "The Kiss". Because A) It wasn't a fucking kiss and B) Even if it was that isn't heartwarming. Oh I am sure something is getting warm but it sure as hell isn't your heart.
AidanAK47
Likely the main reason Kira didn't win main villain because Jojo has grown to a episode count which makes people hesitant to pick it up. Not to mention many would lose interest by Stardust crusaders midpoint.
AidanAK47
When it comes to judging quality you have to leave it to the people who have experienced enough of the medium to truly be able to critical judge it. Pretty darn sure most who voted didn't even bother watching everything worthwhile each season and just gravitated towards whatever they were exposed to.
AidanAK47
Lets not forget someone voting multiple times and bot voting. Because yes, people really do that. As you two pointed out, a public vote was never truly going to be a accurate gauge of quality. For you are not only opening the vote to anime lovers but also newbies and those who simply haven't refined their tastes yet.
SuperMario
so they either abstained their votes (which actually was reasonable); voted for something popular or even voted based on what their kids liked the most (which was flat out unforgivable).
SuperMario
This from my own frustration mostly when it comes to awards like this. But I've been following the Academy Awards for way too long now and every now and then you heard something that really disheartened about their voting process. Like for example many of the Academy members admitted that they don't care to watch anything animated because... it's kiddy stuff
SuperMario
TL;DR: my point is I have mixed feeling about the whole Crunchyroll awards. One more thing that I noticed about the nomination is that the pool was dominated by shows from the first half of last year.
Lenlo
I dont think public voting is the way to go is the thing. Popularity contests are horrible. With popularity contests moe is going to be near the top every time, while shows like Rakugo never really have a chance. And I think there is little doubt that Rakugo was one of the best shows last season
SuperMario
@Lenlo: there is an issue with the first thou, because reviewers like us don't actually represent the whole public opinions. So it's all come down to the very reason they create an award in a 1st place (your second point). But with voting we can't really reason why the winners win the trophy, right?
Lenlo
The problem with awards like that is for them to mean anything they need 2 things. 1) A board of voters who are actual reviewers who have watched a large portion of what was on shelf that season. 2) Reasons for why each thing won its award. An award without reasons means nothing
SuperMario
Other issue about voting for these awards is that the nominating body and the voting body aren't always the same. Usually the voting body is broader and more generic in taste, so I'm not at all surprised when shows like Rakugo couldn't win. Too art-house for their liking. Well, at least it got nominated which for me is good enough.
SuperMario
That's the thing. When it comes to awards, they are more 'popularity' contest than actual quality, since people tend to vote for the safer choice (the one that are both popular and mildly critical success), YOI fits the bill here.
Lenlo
Those awards were not the best and little more then a popularity contest imo.
SuperMario
Actually with that line-up I had no problems with YOI taking the top spot
SuperMario
I actually forgot about the Crunchyroll Anime Awards so I came to check the winner. Guess which show won AOTY huh? Alright, at least it wasn't Kabaneri or Jokers Game
Kaiser Eoghan
But the best one was Mask of Phantasm.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: And return of the joker also.
Kaiser Eoghan
It has aged admittedly very poorly, but I always got a great kick out of that old 1994 spiderman cartoon.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: I think its fair to use the term K-anime or C-anime for the Korean and Chinese influenced stuff, or maybe just anime would be just as appropriate. If some Argentinian guy can write/draw a manga for a Japanese manga magazine (big comic superior thats the magazines name) and have it actually be called a manga, it should be the same for China/Korea.
Lenlo
Mhmm. Marvel had the movies, but DC had the animated series
AidanAK47
Man, I loved the villains of Batman Beyond. Inque and Shriek had such interesting powers. The DC animated shows tended to be the one that didn't treat you like a kid while watching.
Lenlo
Well, they released a trailer for Samurai Jack S5, so its coming. Batman Beyond I also enjoyed
AidanAK47
Ah Samurai Jack. Wonder how that Adult swim revival is going? Batman the Animated Series as well didn't need Batman to crack off jokes every minute to be great.
Lenlo
Agreed. Samurai Jack was one of my favorite cartoons for that very reason. It ran the gamut of genres, each episode being something different.
Also I used Nichijou cause it was the first to come to my mind as a "Kids Show", though Love-Ru works as well
AidanAK47
One thing I think Cartoons could do to move away from the stigma of being for kids is having more genres than Comedy and Action adventure. Or at least stop putting comedy in everything.
Total users: 22

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