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Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen – 06 »« Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen – 04

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen – 05

「#05」

I’ve loved this season of Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu, but until last week there wasn’t an episode that matched the highs of last year. The previous episode was the most joyous and rewarding to watch because it allowed Konatsu to get the time in the spotlight that she oh so deserves, but this episode was a whole other level of quality storytelling. This was grim and foreboding and the last few minutes were among the best I’ve ever watched, from this series or any other. It was literal perfection in anime form.

I suppose the best way to tackle this goldmine is to start from the beginning. Yakumo brings Yotaro forward to tell him he’s going to perform alongside him at a family performance at the Kabuki-za, which is a pretty big deal. The audience is massive, Yotaro’s popularity is sky-high, but as is pointed out, he hasn’t quite found his rakugo yet. It’s amazing that even after 10 or so years have passed in five episodes, Yotaro still hasn’t reached his goal. Very few series tackle timeskips with the grace of Rakugo Shinjuu – here it feels natural, like we’re flipping from one chapter of these characters’ lives to another without missing out on the important moments. It’s that scope and scale that sets this series apart, along with its intimate direction, its brilliant ensemble cast, and performances that take the wind out of me every week. It just keeps getting better and better and I don’t want it to ever end. In an ideal world, we would see Yotaro and Konatsu grow to Yakumo’s age, we could witness Shinnosuke inherit the future of rakugo, we’d see the boom of its return and popularity in the modern age, as it expands beyond the island of Japan and attracts audiences around the world, as Shinnosuke has his own children, and they starts to grow old, and the cycle goes on and on. But those moments far ahead are all to be left to the imagination; this show has already spanned at least 60 years (if I’m counting correctly) from Bon’s childhood to this very moment, which is remarkable in and of itself.

I loved approximately 101 things about this episode, but one thing that has to be touched upon is the importance of every scene; every moment was vital, delivered with such confidence that not a single second was wasted. This was like a well-trimmed yet packed to the brim novel come to life. Through so many smaller scenes and quieter moments we progressed just about every continual storyline without wasting energy or feeling like it was aiming for a specific quota. Scenes like Shin watching his father perform, falling more in love with rakugo. Or Yotaro trying to find his own self in his upcoming performance. Or the interactions between Konatsu and Yotaro, which are gradually softening as months and years go by. Or Yotaro finally finishing off his tattoo because he wants to finish everything he starts, which brings us back to the future of rakugo in the modern era, which Yakumo seems so adamant to fight against, even though he knew this was coming when he brought Yotaro along for the ride. Even indications of Yotaro’s ill-health, quiet conversations about characters behind their backs, the boom in popularity of rakugo as it adapts to new age technology. It all comes together so perfectly, through a few minutes of scenes that aren’t even the main focus of this episode.

It’s quality crafted storytelling like that prove the worth of this medium, and show that Rakugo Shinjuu could never reach this level in any form other than anime. And it sure does help that the directing and artwork in this week’s episode was among the best we’ve seen. Some weeks it does dip ever so slightly, but this was a polished production through-and-through. Every pan had a purpose. Every lingering shot made you feel something. The composition of the characters, the playfulness in their smiles, the slight hand and leg movements when it came to performing on stage – perfect. This isn’t a serious that needs sakuga after sakuga to prove it’s the best of the best. It’s more of a painting, a classic piece of art that lends to perfectly to the medium. All those who worked on this episode in particular – from the episode directer to the key animators to the inbetweeners – should all be so proud. I’ll be looking into the details of that shortly, because this was nothing short of exceptional.

Now, onto Yakumo’s performance at the end. Yotaro warmed up the audience for him, and even though so much attention has been on him finding his own style of storytelling, it was all about Yakumo as he told a story that related so personally to him that it made his delivery that much more engrossing. As always, the camera work and exaggerated theatrics of it all is what makes you feel like you’re watching from the front row, but the final scenes are almost beyond words. Even after sleeping on it and mulling over the meaning of it all, I don’t know how to tackle it. It’s almost too good to touch, I want to just admire it without dissecting it. The scene where the wisps of the smoke gathered around Yakumo, as he began sweating profusely, and we got uncomfortably close, and then finally, when talking about the dead wife of the man within the rakugo story, Miyokichi appears. I stopped breathing, just staring at the screen, transfixed as Yakumo himself.

I wholeheartedly believe that Miyokichi is the lynchpin of the series in many ways; at the very least when it comes to the personal drama of the main cast. Even in death, her presence is felt through near enough every important character other than Yotaro. He’s a total outsider who has his own journey, but even so, being Yakumo’s master he is affected by Miyokichi’s effect on him in a way he has limited understanding of. Back in the first season she got a lot of hate for essentially ruining everything good that was happening to Yakumo and Sukeroku, but even if she served as a device in that regard, she was still the character that made the most sense to me. She, like the rest, had suffered, but in her own ways. The war had affected her, made her loathe men with a passion, yet long for their compassion. You could argue she was wicked, but what Yakumo did to her was cruel. Sukeroku never gave her what she wanted, and so she became bitter and resentful. And as she said to Yakumo back in episode 9 (which this episode matches in quality), she promised she would haunt him in death and she would wait for him in Hell. Those words sent shivers down my spine when they were first uttered, but seeing the control she has over Yakumo even now, many years later, is truly haunting.

The imagery and flow of the final minutes was utterly gorgeous, from the falling curtains, to Yakumo mistaking Konatsu for Miyokichi, to his interaction with Sukeroku, who finally speaks back after decades of silence. The first assumption to make is that Yakumo has indeed died, or as at the doors of Hell, which is why he can finally hear his friend who has already passed. One of the first things he asks is where Miyokichi is – which cement the love he had for her, which is why she haunts him to this day after his many bad decisions and regrets of the past. But Sukeroku doesn’t have that familiar smile, instead he pushes Yakumo over the edge just like what happened to him and Miyokichi. The preview is full of dark tones and indicates that Yakumo may indeed have had his last performance, but that could be a red herring. If Sukeroku manages to push him back to the world of the living, perhaps this isn’t the end of this old man. It would be powerful and fitting if he died like this, but I also want him to live a little longer. Even after 18 episodes of watching his entire life play out from one tragic act to the next, there’s still feels like so much more to learn.

 

Preview

February 4, 2017 at 8:56 am
22 comments »
  • February 4, 2017 at 10:19 amZ88

    Something to think about between Bon and Miyokichi’s relationship:-

    https://karice.wordpress.com/2017/01/07/p554/

    • February 5, 2017 at 6:26 amSamu

      Thanks for sharing that link! I’ve read the interview before but it’s very insightful. Seems both VAs have different views on their characters’ relationship which is interesting.

  • February 4, 2017 at 10:35 amPanino Manino

    Did you notice Sukeroku with red eyes in the OP?
    Earlier DEEN played with us suggesting in the next episode preview that Yakumo would suffer a heart attack, but in reality it was just him performing Rakugo. The previous for this episode suggested nothing big, so when I saw Sukeroku’s red eyes… “Sukeroku will appear something will happen!”.
    But who could expect had happened at the end?

    It’s a surprise see that after all Yakumo laments so much Miyokichi’s death. Miyokichi had her revenge thus she hadn’t a motive to appear to him like Sukeroku, but he on the contrary even if he didn’t wanted to assume still hadn’t forget her, he still wanted to see her.
    As for Sukeroku, until now he only existed in Yakumo’s mind, the one that showed at the end was the real Sukeroku ghost. For what I understand he want that Yakumo go back to the living.

    I agree with everyone that exceeding expectations Shouwa Rakugo keeps getting better, unbelievably.
    This episódio was so filled with dramatic irony, it’s poetic.
    Yakumo likes to “bully” Konatsu. Maybe he choose that story to annoy her? I have to laugh when I think that the daughter lit the incense that brought back the mother.

    • February 5, 2017 at 1:09 ammiraishiika

      I was also thinking about how coy the ep previews were. I never thought episode 5 will be that intense because of the preview.

      Because of this, I already have trust issues with next episode previews.

    • February 5, 2017 at 6:29 amSamu

      I did notice the red eyes in the OP, was a nice touch. Was going to take a screencap of it but there wasn’t enough changes in the OP to warrant it.

  • February 4, 2017 at 11:34 amPyon

    I have watched quite a lot of anime in recent years, but in terms of storytelling, I cannot find too many shows that would get even close to the level that Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu presents. I was nervous about how this season is going to match the first one, but with this episode all my doubts pretty much fell apart. The ending was phenomenal, one of the most intense scenes I have seen overall. So well executed, so well written, what a wonder this show is. And with KonoSuba, Studio DEEN just owns this winter.

    • February 4, 2017 at 12:57 pmPanino Manino

      “And with KonoSuba, Studio DEEN just owns this winter.”
      DEEN character designer went too far with his “I don’t care”.
      First season had his charm with the way the drawings were crooked, but now they’re just ugly and out of character.

    • February 5, 2017 at 6:30 amSamu

      Agreed that few anime are at this level of storytelling. I find it hard to imagine another anime this year matching this episode alone, nevermind the series overall. But it’s nice to be surprised, I suppose!

  • February 5, 2017 at 1:07 ammiraishiika

    This episode is suoer awesome I needed to stare for 15 mins at the wall to comprehend what has happened.

    This is an awesome review and it captured the things that i was thinking regarding this show, especially the point that Miyokichi is the linchpin of the series.

    Miyo is my fave character next to Kikuhiko so I was so happy when she came back haunting him. It made me remember the scene in episode 9 where Miyo angrily declared that the next she’ll see Kiku will be in hell.

    The next episode will be a heavy one, for sure.

    • February 5, 2017 at 6:31 amSamu

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed it! Miyokichi is also my personal favourite character (I’d still say Yakumo is the best written character, no doubt about it). I have a lot of empathy for her and everything she went through. She was a product of her time and her unfair circumstances, and it made sense. That scene in episode 9 was the best of the series for me, but this one just about matched it.

      • February 5, 2017 at 8:11 amZ88

        She’s a vile cry from a feminist point of view. Correct me if I’m mistaken but I believe she appeared in the timeline during the early 20th century. Women’s rights and beliefs has come to a realisation in that era even in Southeast Asia. She couldn’t fend for herself let alone be independent. Her revenge is a lifetime and the scars she left is half in comparison to a heartbreak. That’s the feminist in me that dislike that part of her character. She’s the tame version of Shae.

        I understand the angle the mangaka set up for Miyokichi – hell hath no fury like a woman scorned (or a woman’s in love). I understand her plight, I understood her place in the story and why she’s there. I sympathised her in conjunction of how women were being treated in the past, but I can’t give her excuses for her circumstances. You are only liable for your own life. It’s nothing more than a romanticized of a lover’s suicide. I’m not against it by all means, just that other literature has portrayed women of her kind in a different vein of framework which are more fulfilling.

        If I have to be honest I really do want to like her. No doubt about it, she is alluring but the scale of her deeds pale in comparison no matter how beautiful a woman can be.

      • February 5, 2017 at 12:43 pmSamu

        Discussing Miyokichi from a feminist point of view is certainly an interesting conversation to have. As someone who identifies as feminist, and someone who adores her character, I can see why you’d be turned off by her. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t think she was written with the intention to be a feminist character. I don’t know how Kumota Haruko herself identifies, but it should be noted that plenty (and likely the majority) of BL authors write women pretty horribly, that much isn’t hard to argue. Kumota does seem much better than others in that regard, but I think that is worth noting.

        As for Miyokichi, I would argue that characters like her that fit in and adapt to the inherently sexist environments they are a part of/forced into doesn’t make them any less feminist. You mention Shae, though I don’t know if you mean book Shae or show Shae. Book Shae is largerly underwritten and is a complete mystery in every way, whereas the show at least tried to humanise her before sticking with the same storyline. At least we know MIyokichi’s story and can feel empathy for her. If we’re talking about GOT, then I have to bring up Sansa Stark, who is beloved by feminist viewers of the show (myself included, being my all-time favourite fictional character), even though she is feminine and does not fight or even challenge the patriarchal society of Westeros. It’s the writing and the perspective that makes her a feminist character, as well as her character arc from pawn to player and someone with no agency slowly gains it through what little opportunities she is allowed and puts to use after watching and witnessing what it takes to survive.

        While I think Sansa Stark is a much more fully realised and better written character than Miyokichi, there is that similarity in girls being thrust into a situation where they have little to no power and have to put all their energy into merely surviving. That doesn’t make them weak characters from a feminist point of view, just because they don’t challenge their situation. A woman who embraces her role can be feminist, if she has agency, is proactive in her arc, and is treated with decency by the author.

        In hindsight, it’s easy to pin all the blame on Miyokichi, because in essence she is the closest thing to a villain/antagonist for the majority of the cast. But let’s remember that she didn’t come into the story with the intention of ruining everything. She moved with her famly to Manchuria and lost them during the war, was left with nothing in a foreign state, and had to sell her body to survive. She worked her way up, became a mistress and a geisha. Her journey could be a story of its own, and after learning her story I empathised with her 100%. She hates men for all the lies they have told her throughout her life, yet she is so alone and has no real connection that she ends up seeking true love from a man.

        She was absolutely head over heels for Yakumo. But she didn’t care much for rakugo, which is amusing since neither does he. You think they’d be a match made in heaven, but the first season showed both Sukeroku and Yakumo making one bad decision after another. Yakumo treated Miyokichi like garbage in the end, and she only got the vengeful streak because of what he did to her without much care for her wellbeing. Now, what she did with Sukeroku wasn’t exactly healthy or real, but I get why she did it after having her heart shattered by the one man she thought she could rely on.

        Even if you think of Miyokichi as a villain/antagonist embodying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, I don’t think that’s necessarily anti-femininst? She is a woman who lost everything from a very young age in a time of war and unrest, she used her body to get to a place of comfort, and wanted to find love despite everything that had gone wrong. She was a smart, cunning woman who knew what she wanted, and just because she took the story in a dark direction that doesn’t make her a bad character in my eyes. She was proactive in her goals, and above all else she makes sense in this story – more than some magical woman who would come along, defy all expectations, destroy all the barriers that stop her from equal treatment, and win in the end.

        Miyokichi is a product of her time and her place, and I love her for that. I love female characters that feel authentic and true to the stories and world they inhabit, from Sansa Stark to Miyokichi, more so than just wishful thinking. There are thousands of Sansa Starks and Miyokichis in their respective series who suffer and don’t have the privilege to be the feminist ideal by defying all expectations. Their imperfections and contradictions make them more human, and I love those characters most of all.

      • February 5, 2017 at 4:44 pmZ88

        Overall, interesting interpretation. Made me want to warm my heart to her a little bit.

        1) I agree to disagree. Although I haven’t read much BL I think women are the best authors when it comes to writing female characters. For instance, Miyokichi’s revenge from a woman’s POV is spot on. From the tales we’ve heard through rakugo where men experience, desired sexual relations with women are embedded – love and revenge wasn’t a step away from the narrative. The moment she appeared I got a tight feeling in my throat of the possible phycological damage she may/may not incur to some of the other characters. Authors such as Asumiko Nakamura, Ikuemi Ryo, Nishi Keiko, Nananan Kiriko, Natsume Ono depict women who are victim of love, tragedy in unequal environment with a spiel of new outlook of other types of women imaginable thus as readers we can take from.

        2) Book Shae.

        3) “As for Miyokichi, I would argue that characters like her that fit in and adapt to the inherently sexist environments they are a part of/forced into doesn’t make them any less feminist.”

        “While I think Sansa Stark is a much more fully realised and better written character than Miyokichi, there is that similarity in girls being thrust into a situation where they have little to no power and have to put all their energy into merely surviving. That doesn’t make them weak characters from a feminist point of view, just because they don’t challenge their situation. A woman who embraces her role can be feminist, if she has agency, is proactive in her arc, and is treated with decency by the author.”

        I absolutely have no arguments as I do agree with your statement, however it backfires againts your other point regarding Miyokich:-

        “She moved with her family to Manchuria and lost them during the war, was left with nothing in a foreign state, and had to sell her body to survive. She worked her way up, became a mistress and a geisha.”

        Unfortunately her vengeance was her downfall. She got her revenge, reduced Shin to nothing, had a daughter she never wanted (only as tool for her revenge) and she still turned to prostitution. In that timeline (after she had Konatsu), I am very sure most women got the memo and knows better. It cements how much she only rely on her looks to get by. And I am baffled how this does not deem her as a bad character. When the gender is flip, people will flock him as a shitty father who yet joins the infamous Gendo Ikari memes.

        Her revenge was whats between her legs, if we want to use GOT as reference here, which female character use the same tactics, only to fail miserably?

        “She hates men for all the lies they have told her throughout her life”

        With her line of work, most of her customers are undoubtedly married men. Of course they whisper sweet love to her where we know better were mere instance gratification. A straight lace/pure men would never approach her and alas, Kikuhiko appeared (and he never did).

        4) “Yakumo treated Miyokichi like garbage in the end, and she only got the vengeful streak because of what he did to her without much care for her wellbeing. Now, what she did with Sukeroku wasn’t exactly healthy or real, but I get why she did it after having her heart shattered by the one man she thought she could rely on.”

        This is 50/50. If Bon didn’t care for her wellbeing he wouldn’t have said those encouraging words about being independent as his final parting farewell to her. My statement above ingrained it further more, she should have known better to not rely on men considering her experiences with them.

        5) You can argue she was being proactive in the story but to my knowledge in terms of feminism POV, she was created as a narrative crutches, as I mentioned in my initial point – to inflict phycological damage which tend results in more complex, flawed characters – affected by her bad decisions.

        Mie from Shigurui is the best representation of what we are discussing. In the Sengoku Era nonetheless. She was deceived by the person she thought she loved, everything she had and her family name was taken in one night. Despite the overall main story focused on two men, Mie’s existence played a central part to the theme of the series (a lynchpin). With no powers and fighting ability she was like the water mill – slowly whilst intelligently maneuvering her way toward her goals.

        For the shounen demographic, Tomoe and Kenshin on a very minuscule similarity. In the end Tomoe changed Kenshin for the better.

        As for my last argument, if we take feminism out of the equation, this or that what have you and left with heartfelt human decency – no men/women or any human being should have resorted to her scheme. Like I said in my last comment, she is alluring but behind the curtains are nothing more than a pitiful person due to her loneliness and insecurities.

      • February 5, 2017 at 4:57 pmZ88

        Another female character I just thought is Benten from The Eccentric Family. The amount of sympathy and empathy you have for Miyokichi is the same amount I have for Benten. Talk about cunning and alluring, she’s the epitomize of it.

      • February 5, 2017 at 5:26 pmPanino Manino

        @Samu
        May I add an observation?
        When re-watching first season I think I noticed something in episode 6.
        in this episode Kiku perform a more sensual Rakugo following Sukeroku’s advice and he understands he was right, he finds the Rakugo with which he is comfortable. Miyokichi is among the audience and she seems to not like what she watches there. Why? In the previous episode Sukeroku goes to Kiku’s room with a bunch of girls and Kiku scolds and lectures about mingling with vulgar woman, that he takes inspiration in them and thus his female characters seems ridiculous.
        From who Kiku takes inspiration for his female characters then?
        I suspect that he took a few clues from Miyokichi and she noticed, she identified herself in his performance. If this interpretation have a bit of truth then like all other men before he too used her, and in a more intimate way. No surprise that she gets angry.

        @Z88
        I don’t get Benten, she is mysterious and alluring yes, and? I don’t get her nor can I sympathize.
        Second season is approaching, let’s watch what I brings of new.

      • February 5, 2017 at 8:45 pmsarasva

        I think Miyokichi is a bad, bad person, and to some degree is written as a narrative crutch – especially with the little narrative time we have with her when she’s not with Kiku or Shin, so she’s not a very well-developed character. Even so I still think she has some depth. We get a little of her backstory which explains her poor actions as a product of her time. We see she has some agency or freedom of choice that is fueled by her own desires for revenge rather than other people’s orders. We still see some vulnerability in her when Kiku leaves her or when she talks about her past. I think all that makes her a relatively stronger character that we can somewhat understand. She’s more than just a tool. She could’ve been better written, sure, but she’s not terribly written.

        “She should’ve known better to not rely on men considering her experiences with them.” Well, unfortunately a lot of women are taught that their worth only exist in their relationship with men, and Kiku has been using her emotionally to drive her to the point of “wanting revenge” instead of “I’ll find the next man.” She certainly made a moral mistake in choosing revenge, but that’s arguably more agency than just disappearing from the storyline. If Miyokichi is hated for using her sexual allure as a woman, hell, what else does she have? What else can she use? You can be mad at her for leaving her family and using Shin, absolutely, but if you’re mad at her for using her sexual allure, then you’re denying Miyokichi her own body. The flaw is in her emotional manipulation and intention to hurt, not in using her body. Some people use their intelligence to hurt others, some use their body as weapons. Different tools—same intention.
        Now, what if being a feminist consumer means seeing female characters as human? That means female characters get to make shitty desires, shitty decisions, have a shitty attitude etc. That means we don’t have to like them. That means we get to dislike them because they do bad things, not because they are a woman. As for how Kumota-sensei succeeds in creating a female character who’s more three dimensional than just crutch, well, we can argue on that. But in this view of feminist consumerism, you absolutely can hate Miyokichi and do so because she is human and as a human she gets to do terrible things. Because not all women are models of purity and kindness. Because not all women will use their agency or decisions as a force of good.

        Lastly, with regards to how women’s rights and beliefs are realized in that era “even in SE Asia,” heck, I’m writing in 21st century SE Asia and we still have so many women who are dependent on men by both choice and circumstances. Discussion about feminism in the 20th century in the context of SGRS has to consider (1) that this is Japan and they’ve got their own cultural notions of gender roles and norms, and (2) how that feminism is realized, e.g., whether through policy change or cultural shift, and in which aspect of life—which ties very much to point number one. We can talk about Western perspective feminist/unfeminist characterization and consumerism all we like, but we are all probably pretty limited in our knowledge of feminism in Japan and how that translates to how feminism is realized (or not) in SGRS.

      • February 5, 2017 at 11:37 pmZ88

        @sarasva
        Your explanation made me realised my disliking her is absolutely in the right place – there’s no wrong to it. For a long time I couldn’t put these unsettling feelings toward her character, and was searching for a justifiable reason than a mere “she is just a bad person because of her revenge” with no real depth to it. To some extent putting her in a box of “she was a product of her time” too, IMOH is an easy way of an excuse.

        “Miyokichi is hated for using her sexual allure as a woman, hell, what else does she have?”

        We were given the impression that one of her qualities is she’s smart. The VA for Miyokichi had called out “She is no idiot!”, because she has meticulously exact her plan the moment she sat on the bench with Shin. Hence in this regard she did not put her other asset to good use. Her persuasion in vengeance overwhelms any coherent common sense. This too, goes in-conjuction with your other point in regards to feminist consumerism in media. Shitty female characters does not equate they are weak but because they are human, and human being weather you are a men or women do terrible things.

        If I may go off topic, the show Girls (and Transparent) is another example here. I hated EVERY characters and their decisions in the first season. But as we get to spend more time with them I gradually grew to understand their behaviours through their perspective. That is the advantage of a long running series compared to a 10 manga volume.

        So, I’m ok to dislike her because she is a complex, manipulative, conniving person? Hence it is ok to call her a bad person? I hate to hate a character without a deeper understanding to why that is.

        As to your last point, I agree in a physical sense. Coming from someone whose born and raised in SEA, religion and culture plays an integral role to why many women’s rights and beliefs hasn’t progress much compared to other countries. Although if you get to know them individually, without realising, their contribution are creating a pathway towards a more stern gender equality.

        I meant to say TV Shae, not the books – I don’t know why I wrote that in the first place.

        @Panino Manino
        The little backstory we get from Benten is she was robbed of her youth. Let alone her family and friends. The scene where she had a conversation with Yasaburo’s father initiate a feeling of sympathy for her in me, and you can witness this through her body language, tonal of voice and her used of words.

      • February 6, 2017 at 2:25 amSamu

        Interesting discussion, and seems like we’re not that far apart. I stand by that Miyokichi is much better character than she may initially seem, and at the end it comes down to liking her despite her being a bad person (or an unfortunate person who does bad things). The whole point of S1 to me was that the tragedy was caused by all three of them. It wasn’t until episode 8/9 that Miyokichi started being just as bad/worse than Yakumo and Sukeroku. But her taking control of the situation, as horrible as it may have been, isn’t enough for me to write her off as an anti-feminist character. She’s vital to the story and her presence alone is powerful even after so long, which is testament to her last effect she has on both the rest of the cast and audience as well.

      • February 6, 2017 at 4:52 amPanino Manino

        @sarasva
        Have you thought about that notion that Miyokichi is a woman who interferes with a yaoi couple?

        @Samu
        She stopped being the one played by man to be the one who plays with them. Agency, ho!

      • February 6, 2017 at 8:01 amZ88

        @Panino Manino
        I wouldn’t say that, regardless whether there’s a woman in between. If Shin and Bon like each other in more than physical ways, no one can stop them. Especially Shin, knowing his attitude and personality.

        The mangaka know she’s a damn good writer. Judging from her other works I think she may have felt that what she need is to create a platform for a wider audiences. I’ve seen this a number of times for BL authors. Asumiko Nakamura is one of the few, I only got to know her through her published manga called Utsubora by Vertical Inc. There are heaps of great female mangaka out there but are hardly pick up by publishers or directors/anime company.

      • February 6, 2017 at 1:56 pmSamu

        I should clarify that when I mentioned BL authors tend to write bad female characters, that’s because they are typically secondary characters by nature and fall into the offensive tropes that many bad yaoi have. Of course there are other BL mangaka who are not like that, and it’s not controversial to say women tend to write women better than men because… yeah. That’s obvious.

  • February 6, 2017 at 11:28 pmonion warrior

    Miyokichi is euphoric and highly worship by fans because she is dead. Because we can no longer see her in the series, because her presence is everywhere in the show, because we will never see her “development” again, because shes still haunting Kiku and tormenting him with regrets. And thats why we are not allowed to forget about her as long as this anime runs.

    But dont get me wronged, shes still my most favorite character in this series and Konatsu second, right after Yotaro ^^. With that said, im so surprised and impressed with so many elaborated discussions about Miyokichi here. I guess we all are still mad about her just like how Kiku is (and i cant believe how i actually enjoyed both Kiku and Sukeroku tormented because of Miyo). And this episode, speaks everything how captivating Showa Rakugo is.

    Whatever may happen next, i am ready.

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