Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen Episode 10
Even when we have a sweet and happy episode, it always has to punch me in the gut in the end. There were so many good things! Konatsu’s pregnancy, Yota crying in joy, the future of rakugo changing with radio shows and Yota looking for stories suitable for women to do, and most importantly Yakumo and Konatu reconciling. The candle at the end of the OP was always off, but this time we got no red eyes in the OP, and the candle for the first time was lit, and you’re telling me that Yakumo is probably dead?! The one time the candle lights up and Yakumo is maybe dead?!
Please…let this all be a dream.
My reviews probably sound boring as I always say the same thing each week, but this episode was fantastic. All the episodes have been fantastic. This show all-around is just a masterpiece. Characters, plot, drama, scenery, themes, just everything is done so wonderfully well that I can’t help but repeat myself each week. This show is just so special because it does every thing right. The drama isn’t too dramatic, the characters are complex but not too much that you can’t relate to them, the pacing is just right and we get invested in the lives of the characters, and just how they handle rakugo in general. This episode we did not have a usual rakugo performance but had one from Yotaro over the radio, so that meant we didn’t get any shots of Yotaro performing, but we got scenes from the bustling of the city to replace that and it was so nice!
The theater is gone, and so many of the performers there and the other staff are out of a job. It affected not just the performers but every single person that worked in the theater. And so now the question is, what will happen to rakugo now? A short time has passed and we find out Konatsu got a part time at a cafe and Yotaro is doing rakugo on the radio. Even though the theater is down they were able to find jobs quickly. That’s when we get the big reveal that Konatsu is pregnant with Yotaro’s child, and that scene was just so precious. Yotaro, as loud as ever, cries with tears of joy and hugs Konatsu and they hug each other and it’s just happy. A happy moment and I couldn’t help but smile and clap for them. Their family is growing bigger, and Yotaro is going to have a child that’s really his. Not like he’ll love little Shin any less. Also, doesn’t anyone else find it a little weird that Yotaro keeps calling Konatsu “Sis”? It might just be a little name of endearment, but the fact that they’re married and have had intercourse, enough to get Konatsu pregnant, I feel like he should call her by her name. But, ah whatever they’re happy. :)
Yotaro’s love for Konatsu shows again when he asks Higuchi if there are any rakugo stories that would be funnier of women told them. Looking out for Konatsu again, as usual. I hope he’ll push Higuchi to write stories for aspiring female rakugo performers such as Konatsu. Yotaro can bring a change to rakugo and I feel like later on he’ll just bring more change. He says he won’t be performing new works for Yakumo’s sake, but that sounds like he’ll consider new works later on.
But the most significant part of this episode was the long scene between Yakumo and Konatsu. Even though Yakumo survived with only a burn on an eye, his health still isn’t looking good, so Konatsu usually has to care for him. As they speak, Yakumo admits to quitting rakugo, that it’s too frightening for him. This leads back to Konatsu mentioning the ghosts of her parents, and we find out through this exchange that the night of Sukeroku and Miyo’s deaths, Yakumo had wanted to partake in the lover’s suicide with Miyo, but Sukeroku stepped in and took the hit of the knife for him. And then after that we all know what truly happened next. Yakumo speaks of many things he wish he had done before, he realizes as he finally doesn’t have to worry about rakugo. Konatsu muses if him raising her was a burden and whatnot, and finally finally she was able to say what she’s always been wanting to say. “Thank you for raising me”. The sunset, the cherry blossoms, just everything added to this scene and it made me so happy that they were able to have their own closure. Yakumo always loved Konatsu, and under all that anger and hatred, she really does love and appreciate Yakumo for loving her and raising her. I was so happy. I always wondered whether they should tell Konatsu what really happened that night of her parents’ deaths, but I think at this point it would just cause unnecessary and unwanted drama. This scene was just fine in cementing their loving relationship.
And then the happiness continues with the two of them listening to Yotaro’s performance on the radio, with little Shin throwing around cherry blossom petals for Yakumo, with all of them smiling and blushing. And, again finally, Yakumo takes on Konatsu as his apprentice, so now we know Konatsu is serious about pursuing rakugo in the future. Yay!
Everything started out so nice until the last minute of the episode. Yakumo is laying down somewhere with a row a candles and behind him appears Sukeroku, telling him that he’s in the Land of the Dead. Are…you kidding me? This kind of cliffhanger again?! And the next episode preview didn’t help at all! I’m terrified. I see people are thinking that Yakumo died right there on the chair and god I hope that’s not the case. Please Yakumo you have to stick around just a little longer! You have to teach Konatsu rakugo, you have to see the face of your next grandchild! Finally, when you finally have found some happiness, please stay! Throughout this season it’s just been me worrying about Yakumo, I’m getting exhausted. D:
I’m just going to take this as maybe a sort of dream, and this will be Yakumo’s time to finally have his closure with Sukeroku, the last ghost that’s been haunting his mind.