The main character
The main character

Perhaps little known outside Japan, Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjū/昭和元禄落語心中 or Shōwa Genroku Era Comic Storytelling is an award winning manga series by Haruko Kumota which published by Kodansha for ITAN magazine since 2010. To this date, six tankubon volumes are already out and it is very popular especially among older female readers. It was nominated for 5th Manga Taisho (some sort of Oscar for manga in Japan), voted to second place in Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2012 poll in female reader category and 14th place in 2013 poll. It has won seventh place in Comic Natalie Grand Prize 2013 and claimed an Excellence Award in Japanese Media Arts Festival too. To round up the accolades, it also won Best General Manga in the 38th Kodansha Manga Award.

Last year, the publisher announced that they will produce two episode OADs which be bundled together with seventh and eighth volume of the manga. The first episode is due on 6 March 2015 and second episode will be out on 7 August 2015. By factoring in the release dates of the OAD, it is generally believed that the anime series will be an Autumn 2015 fixture. Up to now, no confirmation of release date for TV series yet.

The official synopsis of the story is “about a mature prisoner who was released on good behavior during Japan’s Showa Genroku era (1960s to early 1970s). He is called Yotarō by others, a term that means an “anti-hero” or a “dim-witted man.” When he returns to society, he starts a new life in rakugo (comic storytelling). Touched by Yakumo’s role as the “grim reaper,” he asks the master to take him in as an apprentice. ”

Studio DEEN (Fate/Stay Night, Log Horizon Season Two), a veteran in the  anime industry will be producing the series. Director is Mamoru Hatakeyama (Sankarea: Undying Love) and writer/series composition will be Jun Kumagai (Kakumeiki Valvrave, Nobunaga the Fool). Music will be scored by the debutant Kana Shibue. However, what is very striking is the casting for the upcoming adaptation. Names like famous veteran Tomakazu Seki (G Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam Victory) , Akira Ishida (Mobile Suit Gundam Seed series),  Yuu Kobayashi ( Saki, Sekirei) and Rei Ayanami’s voice actress, Megumi Hayashibara. To ensure the authenticity of the rakugo, a real life storyteller master, Shinpei Hayashiya was brought in as voice actor for one of the character and the consultant of the production.

On a glance, it seems like a very Japanese show like Hyouge Mono (2011) which is very insular and almost inaccessible to foreign anime watchers due to the topic of the story. But if it is handled properly, it can be as good as Barakmon (2014) despite the Japan-centric subject matter.

So what do you think of this, comment below and let us know.

Source: AnimeAnime & Official Site

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