Review: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu s2 #2

On this episode, is discovered that Yotaro was, on previous times, a yakuza member, and that even has a large criminal history, causing a big scandal that ended up on the descent of his popularity and he, incapable of resist the pressure, showing his Irezumi tattoo (A tatto style traditional of Japan, associated with the Yakuza] on the back during a live performance.

This episode use Yotaro’s past to treat the already old topic of “More Fame, More Problems” of a new manner, focused on Japanese culture and media, and how a little mistake can kill your career if the people don’t forgive you, we have been present on these cases on real life, being the most publicized case the one of Aya Hirano, that caused a big scandal between Otaku of all the world, in her case, was a sexual scandal, on the occident, that normally would mean a big boost of popularity and publicity for a artist around the premiere of his new movie or music album, but on this case, Aya Hirano’s career take a huge hit, being his roles everyday more scarce since then, incapable of maintain a full-time acting agency, and everyone stigmatizing her since then, in her case, her pituitary gland tumor also didn’t help, and with time, she has been forgotten by the people, almost without receiving main roles since then, and almost disappeared out of the industry at this point.

In this case, Yotaro’s past as a Yakuza threat with end early his career and also kill the career of his master, Yakumo, that was dishonored by that fact on the eyes of the news, since he was the one that give a career to basically, a criminal, and both he and his master now are in the eye of a unforgivable japanese society and news, that never forget or forgive anyone, Yutaro takes the extra mile on demonstrating his tattoo on public on the middle of a live performance, that is something brave, but is also something that can directly kill his career definitely, or the society learns to forgive or he learns to forget his past and move along, demonstrating that is something more than a criminal that copies Sukeroku, that he is something unique, not that the unique difference between him and Sukeroku is that he was previously a Yakuza, he has to do his Rakugo to escape of that shadow and rise his career.

The theme is perfectly managed, with enough deepness and emotion to make you understand Yutaro on the position that he is now, a rising star with his career pending from a really, really, stretch thread, that can break in any moment, and ends his career, he wants to give a future to Konatsu and her kid, he’s just trying to do the best, but between the press and his past, he’s pressured to do the best, and not disappear and be forgotten from the story, along with the Rakugo art in general.

At the same time we have the desire of Yakumo to carry off the Rakugo along with him when he dies, but with Yotaro and this new character that i forgotten his name [lol], wanting to modernize Rakugo and don’t wanting Yakumo to carry off Rakugo with him, wanting to write his story on books and create new Rakugos to future Rakugokas to recite on the future, they want the art to keep advancing and not becoming another lost art, as many other Japanese arts that not supported the end of the imperialism, if Rakugo has survived over 300 years, why die now?

On the technical side of the things, Shinichi Omata SB’d the episode, was pretty reserved on direction, not a lot of flashy direction, very functional, with a impressive focus on feets and hands to represent emotions on this episode, that’s pretty much a standard of the series already, the trademark of the series for saying it on a way. Hirofumi Morimoto, Yumi Nakayama and Mayuko Kato were the sakkans, while Tomomi Kimura was the Chief Sakkan and the Top KA of the episode, pretty average animation, mostly functional, some nice moments of character animation and good faces here and there, nothing off-model, in general, nice-looking, like almost all of the series.

Another good thing about the episode was the music, fantastic as usual, Kana Shibue is a pretty new talent to watch out, expecting more series for her, her music is perfect for this series.

Also, we have new opening, marking the directorial debut of animator Tomomi Kimura too, that was also the Top KA of the opening, while Atsuko Nakajima was the Sakkan and Shinichi Omata was storyboarder, in general, is a very good ass opening, later i will expand about its meaning on a entry of Let’s Talk About Openings!, wait for it. By the way, there was a mysterious animator on the episode using the name of “Mai.”, someday i will discover who is.