April 10, 2016 9 Comments
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū is a show-don’t-tell masterpiece. In fact, I’m inclined to cut out the qualifying ‘show-don’t-tell’. Whether I write about it in more detail at the end of this year, or after the second half of the story has graced our screens, I have no doubt that the way I feel about this show will not change—I might just be far more effusive in my praise. There are so many things running through my head that I barely know where to start, but perhaps this one statement fits:
Rakugo Shinjū is the most Japanese anime series I’ve ever seen.
There are so many nuances in this show that I can make sense of only through what I know of Japanese language and culture. Some I did not notice until I started rewatching various episodes partway through the show. Others I only came to understand after some lengthy discussions with two different Japanese people, one a fellow Rakugo fan I met online, and one that I personally know. And still others I would never have noticed if the former had not pointed them out. So here, I bring you three language-related ‘show-don’t-tell’s that you might have missed in Rakugo Shinjū, even if you understand Japanese. Read more of this post