Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen Episodes 3 & 4

Episode three was a very dramatic one. At the end of episode two, we saw Konatsu come out of a black car with her baby with an older man. We didn’t know who he was but the easiest guess we could make was that he was possibly the father of the baby. It turns out, that’s true.

Most of this episode was all in one scene, which was Yotaro talking with the mafia boss. Yotaro presented himself to the boss and spoke respectfully and explained what went through his mind when he was supposed to take the jail time for the boss. Everything started off fine but gradually became much more awkward and tense. It became much worse when the baby got involved. Yotaro could see that the baby shared a same appearance with the boss, and I could see it too. Telling off the boss in the only way he knew he could, Yotaro shouted the same long line of insults from the rakugo piece he was practicing before. He also made it loud and clear that he’s the father, even if the baby doesn’t look like him, and he never wants the boss to ever get near the baby or claim it. And thankfully after all that, the matter was settled peacefully. This was such a strong and amazing scene. I was so proud of Yotaro! After all of that, Yotaro admitted to Konatsu that she was terrified, but he spoke his mind clearly. Rakugo is so important to him that he used it to tell someone off, and in that moment he was able to figure out the meaning of the old-school insults that he and Higuchi didn’t understand.

Now, when it comes to Konatsu I’m not entirely sure what happened between her the mafia boss. I know that the mafia boss is the owner of the place where she works, and I know the boss has a thing going on with the owner. So why Konatsu? Did he rape her, or did she just sleep with him because? Was she forced to sleep with him or else something bad would happen to all of them? She mentioned before she wanted a baby and didn’t care who it would belong to, but the mafia boss? That’s a big deal. Konatsu admitted that she was afraid that she was becoming just like her mother, so now I don’t know what to think. The boss has the power to do something bad to them all if he doesn’t get what he wants so why get close to him unless she was forced to? Yotaro asked Konatsu a few questions but he didn’t ask anymore as he said that things would be better off left unsaid, so we never got a clear answer. We have to use our imagination as to what happened, but luckily everything ended all peacefully.

The very end of the episode Yakumo performed Inokori, the rakugo that the late Sukeroku was known for and it was a great scene with lots of emotion, but the very last second we see Yakumo clutching his chest in pain. The…death flags are really bothering me. I know he’s very old but I don’t want him to leave us just yet!

While episode three was tense and emotional, episode four was very sweet and cute. We have another time skip, I’d say about five years now as the little baby is now in kindergarten, and lots of bittersweet smiles from me learning his name is Shin-chan. He’s an adorable little boy who everyone loves. He’s energetic but he has lots of manners, and we see him approach the theater to watch his father Yotaro perform. We see the theater is so packed that some people have to stand in the back, so we know that his reputation has been fixed and all is really well. He’s gotten lots of jobs and even appeared on TV.On th We also learn that Konatsu left her previous job and is now taking on playing accompaniment for the rakugo shows, so now it’s a huge rakugo family. Yakumo enters and gives Konatsu a hard time for bringing Shin inside, but Shin apologizes for his mom. Yakumo was cold but he shows a very caring and warm spot for Shin.

After all the performances, we get a very interesting conversation between Yakumo and Higuchi. What makes something a classic? I think anyone that’s taken any literature class probably hears this question, or maybe they just think it on their own. Higuchi goes on again about his writing and basically he asks Yakumo advice. He wants to revamp rakugo without changing it completely, but he also wants his work to be passed down like all the other classics. But what makes a classic? If he wants to make something new, it’s can’t be too flashy or else people are going to hate it. But if he keeps it too safe, it won’t be remembered either because it just won’t resonate with people, and it’ll never become a classic. Any writer thinks about that, like I do because I’m a writer and I understand what he was saying. Every writer out there thinks how they can make their own writing a classic, because they want their stuff to be passed down and talked about in the future. But, Yakumo just doesn’t care. As usual, he doesn’t really want rakugo to continue and it all ends at that. Higuchi doesn’t sit with me that well either. Just like Yakumo said, he makes me uneasy, especially when he took his picture without his permission. Still, the conversation was great.

But the star this episode was Konatsu. Yotaro was invited to perform at his son’s kindergarten. They’re both really excited and just like all parents, she tells him not to embarrass their son. On the way there Yotaro mentioned that Konatsu should do rakugo but she tells him to quit it. When they arrive Yotaro greets the kiddies and has them all recite the long piece from the Jugemu story he was going to perform for them. But instead, he ran off the stage and grabbed Konatsu and made her perform for them. It was all a very sudden moment and she was embarrassed, but all the children cheered for her, and also her son was right there too, and she was the one that performed Jugemu. First off, the story was actually really funny so it made me laugh a few times. Second, just seeing Konatsu tell the story so well and seeing her have so much fun doing what she loved made me smile like a goof the entire time. It also reminded me of when she performed rakugo when she was a child. We knew that Konatsu always loved rakugo but never took it on because it was only an art for men. She delivered a successful performance, but she still remains adamant that rakugo is an art only for men, because it was men that created it, to which I 100% disagree with. I’m just happy to see that Yotaro, and even her son, are there to support her and give her little pushes when she needs them. I would be really happy if Konatsu could perform rakugo with a bigger audience, she was so good I’m proud of her! Also shout out to her seiyuu, she did fantastic.

It was just a very good and happy episode! This time we could really see how loving Yotaro and Konatsu are with each other. They hugged, they laughed together, they pumped each other up for their show, they’re both supportive. They are a great couple and they have a great son and the house is full of sweet family laughter and joy.

Except Yakumo is still so sour. We saw a figure sitting behind him as he held Sukeroku’s fan, and it was most likely Sukeroku’s ghost. Even when it was such a pure and happy episode, of course it would have to end with a chilling note. Still, I enjoyed this episode a lot.

And now that I’ve finally caught up to the show, single episode reviews will continue from now on. :)


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2 Responses

  1. bedmonds says:

    I truly love this show, but even by its standards episode 4 was just extraordinary. The entire scene at the kindergarten was emotionally overwhelming. I was definitely laughing and tearing up at the same time. I was genuinely moved by Yotaro’s love for Konatsu; he pushed her to do a thing she cares most for in the world. And watching Konatsu just absolutely shine was fantastic. They make a good pair.

    I also cracked up at Konatsu’s line while they’re on the bus: “It may be work gained through family connections, but an invitation like this is a dream come true.” I wonder if that’s a quote from something…

    • Berry says:

      Oh hurray another fan. Finding other fans of this series makes me so so happy. :D

      But yes this episode was amazing. Konatsu is usually scowling and serious, so it was a nice change to see her a lot more loose. You could tell that she was having so much fun, and even if just for a little bit, she was living her dream. Maybe the kindergarten will call her again so she can do more performances for the kids. And if not, a couple more pushes from Yotaro can maybe move things ahead in the future. She could become the first woman to professionally perform rakugo!

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