(Winter 2017 Sequel Reactions) Rakugo Shinju and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga

First, some business to handle:


Before I get started, I just want to tell you that this season really is weak compared to the sequel loaded spring season and whatever happens in the summer and fall seasons of this year.  There isn’t that much out that seemed to intrigue me, but that doesn’t mean that there is nothing.  With shows that I am continuing to watch from the previous season, these are the nine seasonal shows that I intend to continue watching for the time being:

-Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga
-Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
-Interviews with Monster Girls
-March Comes in like a Lion
-Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans
-Scum’s Wish
-Tiger Mask W

I’ve become a lot busier since the beginning of the year and these are the shows that seemed interesting enough for me to watch.  I am also watching some live action shows (SUPER EXCITED FOR THE EXPANSE TO RETURN), Dragon Ball Super on Toonami, Star Wars Rebels, Voltron season two that appears on Netflix in five days, and a few others.  I know that I usually start these first reaction posts after three weeks, but I feel like I can guess where each show is going after two.  Yeah, that’s the only explanation I have for that.  Now let’s talk about some anime more in-depth.

The actual material you came for:


(Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju)

I’m so glad that Rakugo Shinju is back.  I missed this show so much It’s storytelling and drama are just as good as they were one year ago.  There are some differences this time though.  This season is not a flash back and it focuses more on Yotaro’s struggles.  He is trying to accomplish quite a few things that I don’t think he’s ready for.  Yotaro’s mafia past is still digging into him, he lost his feeling on how he performs Rakugo for the time being, he is trying to be a good husband/father for Kontasu and her baby, and he’s trying not to let his master, Yakumo, kill off the art form of Rakugo.  That’s quite a lot of things on the plate of somebody who can be called a human Labrador.  These are all front loaded at the start of this show’s second season, so it predictable about where this show is going.  Not that predictability is a bad thing for this series, because this show’s execution continues to be stellar.

Rakugo is still excellent as a production stand point too.  The background designs are amazing and represent the time period that the show is taking place in extremely well.  The character designs and animation have been great as well with all the subtleties thrown into the facial expressions that make each character feel extremely human.  Lastly, there is the direction.  Even if you don’t understand what the characters are saying during the Rakugo performances, you know how the performer feels in each scene.  Vocal work plays an important part too, but subtleties like fidgeting feet help as well.  If you haven’t noticed by now, I highly recommend Rakugo Shinju, but only if you watch the first season then jump into this one.  It’s just all fantastic, so you aren’t losing anything by doing that.  Rakugo is of my favorite anime series that came out of 2016.

(Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga)

Now that we’ve talk about something that is amazing, let’s talk about something that is average at best.  While I did watch the first season of Blue Exorcist, it wasn’t very memorable.  Watching this series brought back some memories of watching it and a little about the show itself, but that’s about it.  I really wish that I re-watched the first series before watching this one.  Rin is a pretty basic shonen character, but the others around him are pretty interesting.  Sure, Rin is constantly at odds with his team mates and people around him because of what he is, but that doesn’t make him interesting.  I glad that the side characters are getting a bigger focus in this arc to flesh them out more.  The main plot itself, trying to stop these two eyes of evil from meeting, is standard and the show seems to have slowed down for the moment before getting back into the action.  Kind of an odd way to start a show, don’t you think?

Now let’s talk about the great things behind Blue Exorcist.  The visuals are stunning.  I’m not just talking about the solid action scenes that haven’t appeared too much yet.  The character movements are incredibly fluid and the character animation is fantastic because each person has their own set of movements that feel incredibly natural.  The backgrounds are unique and interesting as well.  In the end, Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga is alright and watchable.  Maybe it’ll get better later on, but if this wasn’t such a sparse season, I probably wouldn’t be watching it.  Not sure what that is supposed to be say.  Oh well.


As usual, thank you for reading everyone.  Hope you read the next reaction post.  Should be up soon.

2 thoughts on “(Winter 2017 Sequel Reactions) Rakugo Shinju and Blue Exorcist: Kyoto Saga

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