Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episode 5 Notes

February 6th, 2016.

Role Reversals and Tragedy

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju anime Episode 5 - Miyokichi excited over Yakumo being cross-dressed

Is this show a drama, or a tragedy? It just might be both, but knowing which it is is going to play a part in trying to see how things shake off eventually. I mean, Bon in the “present” spoke about how Shin-chan is “haunting” him, and the couple of Bon and Miyokichi, which seems like a done-deal at this point? If she ended up carrying Shin’s daughter, then something certainly happened. Or, in case this will go more the super drama route, what if Konatsu isn’t actually Shin’s daughter, but Bon‘s? I certainly started to wonder after this episode, and there just might be some surprises coming up.

Well, there’ll certainly be surprises, no matter what. Even if Shin and Bon truly do fall apart, which they’re “destined” to, if we trust the premiere, it’d still be surprising if we look from where we are this episode.

Anyway, Bon and Shin’s relationship, if you’re trying to look for yaoi undertones you’re going to fail, because it feels so much more pronounced than just undertones, eh? :P You do see a reversal of roles from last episode where Bon is involved, where Bon is the “older brother”, which Miyokichi even said, this episode Shin brings back women he hired in order to alleviate Bon’s despondency, and even with Miyokichi, she rubs his legs and he leans on her, as if he’s the little boy and her the older sister, or the mother. Because it’s hard being the responsible adult non-stop, especially when you know you’re not older than those around you. You end up resenting them for getting all the careless and free moments.

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju anime Episode 5 - Cross-dressed Yakumo/Kiku/Bon is embarrassed

But thankfully, friends know how to step in and try to help. And how much aid is needed anyway, when it’s one preferred nature? You just want to feel like you have a choice in the matter.

Speaking of reversals, last episode Bon was told “eroticism comes from flaws,” and “you’re too perfect.” And here he was perfect, not at all flawed and coarse, but it was still considered erotic, a “racy” performance. Not because of how he performed, but because of the what. A man acting like a woman, with all the mannerisms, here, was in itself the draw. Him being prim and proper is exactly the sort of dissonance that led to eroticism and attraction (not saying “sexual”) on part of the viewers.

And it’s also nice, that a few episodes back Bon finally found an internal reason to love Rakugo, and now he’s had what he really needed, a dose of outside affirmation, not by those who’d tell him he’s great just because they love him, when he was at his lowest point. And that’s what his “brother”, Shin-chan, knew he needed, and strove to provide for him.

It’s a performance of Rakugo, so all the characters in this show have flaws. And from flaws flow emotions, and from those emotions, tragedy. And this inevitability is the essence of tragedy, and why we find it dramatic.

Return to the Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Episodic Notes page.

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