When it comes to unnerving ghost stories, “Shinigami” has got nothing on Rakugo Shinju.
Not content to simply kick me in the feelings every week, Rakugo Shinju decides to ratchet up the tension and stress me out as well. Right from the opening theme, which sees the return of Sukeroku’s (friggin’ terrifying) shinigami eyes, there’s the promise of impending disaster lurking right around the corner; a sense that we’ve reached a breaking point and something is going to have to snap before we can go anywhere else.
I mentioned last week that we’d entered a kind of narrative twilight between past and present, “saved” and “lost,” as we waited to see which direction the characters (Yakumo in particular) chose to travel. This week we may have taken a step away from that crossroads and into a specific direction, and it may ultimately be a positive one. But it comes at a steep cost, and I ain’t just talkin’ about my poor heart.
One thought on “Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 9”
I’m pretty sure this is going to be The Episode of season two for me. In season one that was probably episode 5, but man… you’re not alone in needing something for your heart. I think I nearly stopped breathing there for a minute.
Something I especially noticed during that extended hand scene (and it’s even more apparent seeing the screenshots in this post) is how small and pale and… well, frail, Yakumo’s hand looks in comparison to Yotaro’s. He’s a smaller guy in general of course, and a great deal older, and he’s also been unwell for some time, but the contrast really helps bring the moment home when you see those two hands clasping each other.