Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen Episode 7
I’m speechless. I’m depressed. I want to scream because the truth hurts so much.
Yakumo’s version of that night: Miyo tried pushing Yakumo off the balcony. Sukeroku comes in and tells Miyo he’ll quit everything so he won’t lose his family he loves. The balcony under Miyo breaks and Sukeroku runs after her and falls with her. Yakumo grabs onto his hand and tries to pull them both up, but knowing it would be impossible and just result in Yakumo also dying, Sukeroku lets go, and he and Miyo end up dying. The deaths were to be believed as just a freak accident, and Yakumo lived in depression in losing the two people important to him and partly feels blame for ruining them.
The real version of that night: Miyo stabbed Sukeroku. Yakumo holds Sukeroku’s body as Miyo is in a corner, saying “I’m sorry” over and over. There’s blood everywhere, on the mats and their clothes. Matsuda and Konatsu see this bloody mess, and Konatsu is frightened at seeing her father like this. She thinks he’s dead, asks Yakumo if he killed him. Miyo hears this and crawls over to her daughter, and tells her that she stabbed him. Konatsu freaks out, starts hitting her mother, pushing her off the balcony, telling her to die. Sukeroku runs over to try and save Miyo but he falls along with her. Konatsu almost falls with them but Yakumo pulls her away in time and she passes out in his arms. This version was told by Matsuda, as he saw everything. It was not an accident, as Konatsu really did push her mother to her death, causing her father to die as well. To spare her feelings, Yakumo shoulders all the blame for himself so Konatsu never learns the truth.
I felt like I’ve been hit by a truck. I mean holy shit. This episode was mostly bittersweet. Yakumo was talking about losing his passion in the beginning, we saw old tapes of young Yakumo and Sukeroku’s performances in that inn from the second to last episode. Brought lots of great memories, made me happy, but also made me sad. But then we got that bombshell in the end. And now I demand to know what happened. What made Miyo stab Sukeroku? Was it like Yakumo’s version, where Miyo tried pushing Yakumo off the balcony in a lover’s suicide, but instead with a knife, and Sukeroku took the hit for him? That’s most likely, but…god. I know Miyo had her problems, and she lived a bad life and I felt for her. But she was really awful. She was just too broken and I don’t think either Yakumo or Sukeroku could help her. Mentally she was so broken that she wanted to commit a lover’s suicide, but with a knife? If she wanted to commit a double suicide, falling off the balcony would suffice. But with a knife, she’d have to stab Yakumo and then herself. Makes me question if she would. Either way, this is awful.
And it just makes me feel even worse for Yakumo. Because to spare Konatsu’s feelings from the truth, he’s been putting up with her hatred for ALL of these years. So many years. All of this depression and guilt and lies. No wonder he’s so broken.
But now I feel extremely bad for Konatsu. And Yotaro’s hug for her in the end, with her not knowing the reason. And now we finally understand when Konatsu said that Yakumo murdered her father. The only image of that night that she can remember is Yakumo’s bloody body and scary eyes as he holds her father. If you only had that memory, then it’s no wonder you would think murder. It makes sense. But as Matsuda said, probably due to the shock of everything, most of the events of that night are hazy for her. And ever since then, she held hatred towards Yakumo for killing her father (and not giving a shit about her mother either way). I’m torn with whether the characters should tell her the truth. But we know Yakumo doesn’t have long in this world, I think it’s only right that they tell her the truth so she can at least have proper closure with him before he passes. But then…there’s going to be so much damage. Knowing the truth before Yakumo passes, she’ll be hurt but maybe have a different mindsight on this man that raised her. Or, if she finds out after he passes she’ll just feel regret. But there’s no way around it, she needs to know one day. It’s just so heartbreaking to imagine what her reaction will be.
Well, other than all this, the reason why Higuchi knew Miyo’s name is because he visited the same village a lot as a child and met Miyo in that same soba noodle place we saw little Konatsu. And the reason why he was pestering Yakumo so much was because he wanted to learn more about Miyo. That’s basically it. Nothing too huge, but it served as something important since the people at the inn knew him and could show him and the others the tapes.
But damn. This twist really hurt me. Looking back at the conversation Konatsu had with Yakumo at the bench, about karmatic retribution or whatever is even more painful, and a lot more mean than she meant it to be. Why…Why did things have to be like this?