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I don’t want to say too much about Shōwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju at this point beyond noting that it has lived up to the promise of the opening episode. Rakugo Shinju may not appeal to everyone, but for those it does appeal to, Rakugo Shinju is utterly compelling.

I do however want to note that the institutions of rakugo as presented in the series may provide the cultural source for a key element of the idol anime AKB0048.

Specifically it appears that the names of master rakugo performers can be inherited, and the current holder is the Nth generation Famous Name.

For example, in the current sequence of flashback episodes, Kikuhiko has been informed that he will inherit the name Yakumo in due course, and become the 8th generation Yakumo.

For anyone that’s seen AKB0048 this will be sounding awfully familiar, and the phrasing in AKB0048 is almost identical “the thirteenth generation Acchan” etc.

Sometimes there are cultural elements buried in anime that aren’t immediately obvious, and that might remain hidden until some other series specifically calls it out. It took me a while to make the connection between Princess Kaguya and Sailor Moon, but this one leapt out me almost immediately.

To borrow from Artemis, here’s a question of the post: have you had any insights into a particular anime as a result of watching another? If so, which two anime, and what was the insight?

Obviously this is a post where spoilers may abound in the comments, read at own risk.