Floating Words

Musing about Storytelling in Anime

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

The Death and Rebirth of Rakugo

The second season of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is upon us, and it’s like this wonderful gem of narrative craftsmanship never left. After patiently waiting for us during the nine month intermission (did Yotaro never leave that stage?), time is traversed in the simple flip of a name. Yotaro, now Sukeroku III, invites the audience to partake in the story’s second act. Tearing down the fourth wall in a way similar to a rakugo performance, he turns us into collaborators… Continue Reading →

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Episode 13 (Season 1 Finale)

Today, the curtain fell on Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju for the last time. Or so we thought. As it turns out, the show will be renewed for a second season, continuing the story of Konatsu, Yotaro and Kiku in the present-day timeline. While I would never have expected this show to get a continuation, I am glad and grateful to see more of these characters, Kiku in particular. But before returning to the present, we still need to examine the… Continue Reading →

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Episode 12

The innkeeper was careful to explain to them just what kind of show this was, so they listened without getting overexcited. Today was the day. The day Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju set out to break our hearts and bring its story to its inevitable tragic conclusion. Yotaro and Konatsu knew what kind of story awaited them when Kiku took off his coat to tell them about the unfulfilled promise between him and Sukeroku in episode 1. And we knew it,… Continue Reading →

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Episode 11

The execution of this week’s Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju wasn’t without its flaws. With the bar being set so high, this doesn’t mean it couldn’t still be a very good episode, even though it sacrificed some of its trademark subtlety in favor of making sure to get its important point across unmistakably: Kiku, having metaphorically died in his first Shinigami performance last week, being brought back to life through interacting with Konatsu and reviving Sukeroku’s rakugo. Narratively, this was all… Continue Reading →

Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, Episode 10

In a world full of falsehoods, the charm of a child remains the one consistent truth. This is a line from Yuki no Kowakare, the final rakugo told by Yakumo. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the master perform, but given that he will pass away shortly afterwards, it’s time to reflect upon the choices he made in life, both on and off stage. Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju sends him off with a story about a father and mother’s… Continue Reading →

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