Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 2

It’s two steps forward, one step back.


If Season 2’s premiere felt like a rebirth, this episode reminds us that karma still carries from one reincarnation to the next. The weight of the past clings like a–well, like a tattoo to the backs of all of our characters, reappearing through old faces, names, memories, and tales. And our new writer friend Higuchi is bound and determined to document all of it, even if he has to withstand the full-force of a Yakumo stink-eye to do it.

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Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Season 2 – Episode 1

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.

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