Rakugo is back-ugo!
My pick for Best Anime of 2016 wastes no time in this Season 2 premiere reminding me why it’s so special. Right from its opening monologue, Rakugo Shinju is a masterclass in storytelling, every element of the production accomplishing multiple tasks at once.
Take that brilliant Season 1 recap, which not only does the obvious job of summarizing what happened last season, but also reminds us what a rakugo performance looks like, ingratiates us to Yotaro (a character we’ve spent relatively little time with), and sets the general tone for this second season. It’s exuberant and honest and warm, a stark contrast to the quiet melancholy of the first season, and promises us that following Yotaro is going to be a unique experience compared to the time we spent with Kikuhiko.