Hello, yes I’m back on to the fully-fledged blogging once again. There’s many subjects I’d like to get to in a short while, but in reverse order chronologically I’d like to start with the simplest.
I’ll make no bones about it, I was not looking at the summer 2012 anime carnival and leaping with sheer joy. In fact after Spring’s lineup, which to me was an amazing powerhouse, Summer’s offerings seemed a bit anemic to my tastes. A filler until Autumn when once again we will feast at the table of Hidamari, if you will… But I digress. After taking a sampling set of what I surmised as the least likely to be shit out of the lot, I was actually genuinely surprised when I found a show in the sampling which rocked my socks – Joshiraku.
For those not familiar with the finer points of this, it’s a show about a rakugo club. More interestingly, the show is in effect a sort of rakugo itself. Rakugo is a Japanese comedic performance, generally consisting of a lone performer, no props, telling long-format humorous stories, generally culminating in a literary punch line. I guess the format of the punchline could be considered a pun, or a play on words, but that gives puns too much credit and rakugo not enough. The format of rakugo finds its’ way into a lot of comedy and slice of life shows, the latter and former owing greatly in the more cerebral moments to the theatrics and formulations of the historical stage presentation. Shows like Azumanga Daoih and Nichijou both play on the format extensively, for example.
In any case, as with most comedy I love Rakugo. Up until now however I was entirely convinced that there would never be a show dedicated to it. For one, it’s static performance, it doesn’t lend well to dedicated animation. Joshiraku proves me wrong, and what’s more, it’s apparently been given ludicrous amounts of animation budget for a comparatively simple show. For a show that is 5 characters talking for 24 minutes, and that’s it, it’s been given a CRAPLOAD of character and money. I really can’t stress enough how impressed I was by this show. The writing was tight, the colour and character was vibrant, the animation was above and beyond, and holy shit was the ED theme catchy.
If you’re looking for a reccommendation out of me for the currect season, Joshiraku. I highly reccommend it. If they keep up this momentum, it’s definately goinfg to be i nthe top 5 of this year for me.
On the other end of the spectrum, Tari Tari was a complete let down. What I thought was going to be the one I liked was the one I felt fell right flat. It’s a slice of life, again, about a club, again..a music club… again. With excellent backgrounds.
That’s about it. The characters weren’t endearing or interesting, except maybe the German kid, none of the characters seems to emote, and the plot seems to get lost amongst itself. Given that that was episode 1 only, I have concerns.