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Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu follows an ex-convict named Yotaro. Hearing the traditional tale 'shinigami' done in 'Rakugo' by a Yakumo Yuurakutei, a master in the Rakugo craft, Yotaro is inspired and seeks to become his apprentice.
Rakugo is a type of comedic storytelling where the performer takes on multiple characters and does sort of a one man, comedic monologue. Yotaro narrowly convinces Yakumo and begins to learn the craft and has some talent for performance as well. But Yakumo might have some dealings in his past that are less than savory and his relationship with Konatsu, daughter of his old friend Sukeroku, a fellow Rakugo artist, is highly strained
Similar Anime to Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Jul 6, 2012 to Sep 28 2013
Joshiraku follows 5 main girls, Kukuru Anrakutei, Tetora Bouhatei, Marii Buratei, Kigurumi Haroukitei and Gankyou Kurrubiyuutei. The girls don't do much but sit down and talk to one another, often having the topics they set up to discuss going wildly off the rails on one tangent or another. Thus there isn't a plot like more traditional narratives and this is essentially a SOL show about girls performing Rakugo.
Rakugo isn't portrayed much in anime and Joshiraku is one of the few shows, along with Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu to portray it. But the series feels like all of its dialogue was meant to sort of honor Rakugo as a whole. Character go off on wild tangents, which ends up in all sorts of crazy stories being told by the characters, many of them having sort of a dramatic point underlying it which seems emblematic of Rakugo storytelling. If you like Rakugo, and if you like cute girls doing cute things, definitely watch this show
2. Sakamichi no Apollon (Kids on the Slope)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 13, 2012 to Jun 29, 2012
Sakamichi no Apollon follows Kaoru Nishimi who recently transferred from Yokosuka all the way to Sasebo in Kyushuu, practically the extreme southwest of the country. Nishimi, quiet, shy and a bit of a bookworm, forms an unlikely friendship with Sentarou Kawabuchi, a boisterous and brash bad boy after the two find out they have an interest in music, with Kaoru taking a love to Sentaro's passion, jazz music. Kaoru also makes friends with, and develops a crush on, Mukae Ritusko, Sentarou's childhood friend.'
Sakamichi no Apollon has a special place in my heart and is probably one of the most deeply felt and emotional drama's I've seen in anime. It's similar to Rakugo in a number of ways, the first one is the setting, they're set in a similar time period, Sakamichi in the late 60's and Rakugo in the early-mid 70's. They also feature characters whose passion is a performance art, and in both series the reason they're drawn to perform often relates to their underlying personality or because it relieves a certain negative emotion or stress that pervades there lie
KIDS ON THE SLOPE -NoitaminA Animation- 【Fuji TV Official】
3. Hyouge Mono
- Episodes: 39
- Aired: Apr 7, 2011 to Jan 26, 2012
Hyouge Mono follows Sasuke Furuta, a daimyo and vassal to Oda Nobunaga, one of the most influential persons during Sengoku Jidai, Japan's warring states era. Sasuke is a man dedicated to art and beauty and some of the more aesthetic pursuits in life. Despite focusing on Sengoku Jidai and featuring huge historical figures like Tadakatsu Honda, Masamune Data or Ieyasu Tokugawa, the series does not follow the wars of the time and instead is a character driven show, based on the relationship of characters to tea ceremony and it's importance to the social life of Japanese feudal lords.
Hyouge Mono and Rakugo are both period pieces that really focus on the atmosphere of the setting. Hyouge Mono for example focuses on Sengoku Jidai, but on an atypical part of Japanese history when that's typically depicted in media about the era. Rakugo and Tea ceremony are both interesting parts of the Japanese cultural and artistic tradition, and seeing well-written characters and their relationship with the artform and with each other is definitely a treat
Any Animes Like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu ?
- Episodes: 25
- Aired: Oct 5, 2011 to Mar 28, 2012
Chihayafuru follows Chihaya Ayase, a cheerful and forward girl who develops a passion for Karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry. She grew up playing with her two friends Arata Wataya, who introduced her to the game as well as Taichi Mashima who is another one of Chihaya's childhood friends. The two part ways in their adolescence and due to circumstances, end their partnerships. But when they all meet together again in High School, things change.
One the surface it's easy to see the similarities with Rakugo, they're both josei series around a somewhat obscure and somewhat antiquated piece of Japanese culture. But Karuta is a game, not a performance art and that's one of the parts of Chiyafuru that make it unique. The actual matches are very intense, and almost unfold in the way a sports anime does. But it's very similar to Rakugo in the way the characters relate to the game, and all of the main characters are well written and well developed.
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 6, 2014 to Sep 28, 2014
Seishuu Handa is a calligrapher, he's good looking, confident and skilled... maybe a little too confident. Seishuu get's a bad remark from a well respected calligrapher and blows up on him, which leads to Seishuu's father punishing him by sending to live in the Goto Islands, far from Seishuu's comfortable and urbane living in Tokyo. But rural living, and rural neighbors can be as colorful as anything you'd find in the city, and Seishuu's art starts to thrive through his relationships on the Island.
Barakamon is another anime about an artform and a character trying to excel at it. Barakamon, compared to Rakugo is more comedic and almost slice of life at times, but definitely touches similar nerves as rakugo in terms of the characters it presents. It has the depth of characterization that becomes the overarching plot which is a hallmark of great slice of life shows, and definitely merits a try by everyone
6. Saraiya Goyou (House of Five leaves)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 16, 2010 to Jul 2, 2010
Akitsu Masanosuke is a ronin but he's timid and unable to really stand up for himself. This leads him to losing a variety of bodyguard jobs and forces him into manual labor for money. Eventually he becomes a bodyguard for Yaichi, the byronic leader of a gang called the 'five leaves.' Yaichi sees something in Masanosuke, who he calls Masa, beyond his timid appearance. And the more Masa learns about Yaichi, the more he's intrigued.
House of Five leaves is another great drama series with complex characters and webs of motivation that are slowly untangled episode after episode. It has a somewhat less lively feeling it than rakugo, feeling sobering and almost dream-like in comparison but this definitely adds to the appeal of the series. House of 5 leaves is also a period piece, set in Edo in the 17th century, but features a part of life you don't see typically depicted during the time period.
Hopefully those of you enjoying Rakugo will enjoy something on this list. I think it’s diverse enough for everyone to find something they like. Let us know in the comments what you think and what other series fans of Rakugo would like! Also, let us know if you like any of these series as well and plan on watching Rakugo next!