Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

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Descending Stories:  Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is a drama historical anime series.  It was based on

a manga series which was written by Haruko Kumota and published by Kodansha for the magazine ITAN.  It originally ran from March 25, 2010 to June 7, 2016, for 10 volumes in total.  After that came a 2 episode OVA series.  It was directed by Mamoru Hatakeyama, written by Jun Kamagai, musically composed by Kana Shibue, and produced by Studio Deen.  It originally aired from March 6, 2015 to August 7, 2015.  After that came the first season of the anime.  It was directed by Mamoru Hatakeyama, written by Jun Kamagai, musically composed by Kana Shibue, and produced by Akiko Yada, Yoshihiko Yamazaki, Hiroshi Kamei, and Studio Deen.  It originally aired from January 9, 2016 to April 2, 2016 with 13 episodes in total.  After that came the second and final season of the anime series.  It was directed by Mamoru Hatakeyama, written by Jun Kamagai, musically composed by Kana Shibue, an produced by Akiko yada, Yoshihiko Yamazaki, Hiroshi Kamei, and Studio Deen.  it originally aired from January 7, 2017 to March 25, 2017 with 12 episodes in total.  

Plot

A man is released from prison and becomes the apprentice of a famous rakugo performer. The story focuses on the backstories of the performers and their struggle to gain popularity. Whilst learning he befriends another performer who has a completely different style.

Why It Rocks

  1. Great voice acting.  
  2. Excellent soundtrack.  
  3. Very appealing art style and character designs.  This series, unlike most anime, takes a more realistic approach regarding its character designs, which is refreshing.  
  4. Good animation.  
  5. Unique premise which you almost never see in anime.  Very centric to  Japanese culture.  
  6. An intentionally theatrical tragedy, staged something like a rakugo performance itself.  
  7. Strong underlying narrative to gorgeous direction and top-tier performances.  
  8. Amzing, interesting, complex characters.  
  9. Tones of character development.  
  10. Incredible, well-written drama.  
  11. The main theme of the series is, not the Rakugo itself, but the fact that Rakugo is falling out of favor among the public as an art form.  Therefore, the elder practitioners have to either find away to keep it thriving, or come to terms with the fact that their passion may die out entirely.  

Bad Qualities

  1. The only real problem with this series has nothing to do with the anime itself, but with the fact that it won't appeal to very many people, at least at first glance, due to its premise which is most definitely not universal, it's very centric to Japanese culture.  It's for this reason that it sadly fell under the radar of typical anime fans when it originally aired.