January 15th, 2016.
Come Back (Home)!
Man, that ED sequence is so gorgeous, even if the music is sort of forgettable. Also, while Bokumachi (ERASED :P) certainly has the cinematography, this show has art design (characters and backgrounds) in spades.
This episode wasn’t as good, funny, or enjoyable as the first episode. But that one was like perfect, and double-length. But it was still good, funny, and enjoyable. I think part of it was the matter, in the way of people, this episode covered. Young Yakumo and Sukeroku don’t have the polish that Yotaro and older Yakumo have. They’re still half-baked, which is what it’s about.
Of course, there’s what I noted last episode, that while Ishida Akira is good at the drama part, he lacks what makes for a good Rakugo presence. Which ironically enough, was helpful here. His performance was flat. But that’s the risk you run into. When you want to display a boring performance, it might end a tad boring. It was only a tad, because the director focused on his reaction, and the dismay of those around him, and it wasn’t all that long, but it was still there.
Likewise, young Sukeroku’s performance had a funny moment in the end, but not as funny as Yotaro’s story, but one had 2 minutes or so to the other’s 10, which makes a world of difference.
And yet, I smiled during the episode, and chuckled, and maybe even teared up once (you can’t prove anything!), and when it was over I went “Wait! We’re not done here yet! We’re only getting started on this tale of love and friendship (because yes, there’s clearly love here), this story of abandonment and making do, of passion and lack thereof! And after this tale is done we’ll still have Yotaro and Konatsu’s story! Where are you going?!” and here we are, when an episode ended where a lot happened, but it was over in a breeze.
I need more of this show. Of this show where the 2nd episode was noticeably weaker than the first, but was still strong, and funny. Here we are. With a week for the next episode.
I do wonder if they’ll pull a Tenjou Tenge, and have this trip down memory lane (where we’re getting the story told by a storyteller, so be wary of what you can believe) take up most of the show’s length, as the real story. And yes, I did notice how much they painted Sukeroku as “like Yotaro”, and so unlike Yakumo. And also, as performers who have to don and drop personalities at the drop of the hat, so too they have to be able to do with their own names.