Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 6, 2012 to Sep 28, 2012
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.621 (scored by 9123 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Oct 30, 2012
Joshiraku is not the typical moe anime due to the fact that it was created by Kohji Kumeta. For those who are not aware of Kohji Kumeta, he is the person behind Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. This work is different from SZS because the girls of Joshiraku are just cute rakugo girls, unlike the students at SZS, where everyone has a certain disorder, if you can put it in that way.
There is this notion hanging above my head once I watch Joshiraku:
"This anime is full of ordinary dialogue so that the viewers can fully enjoy how cute the girls are."
In fact, that sentence can summarize how many people would view the anime, but the hidden genius of the anime lies in the dialogues. A hodge-podge of references, parodies, and comic reliefs have given Joshiraku the atmosphere of watching Lucky Star blended into SZS. Be warned though, many of the puns are Japanese references, so if you're watching a subbed episode, go for gg Fansubs, for they have translation notes (you can just google it).
What is the Story? A typical person may ask after taking a glimpse at Joshiraku. As I stated earlier, Joshiraku is about five rakugo girls discussing random topics, which typically drifts away until the original topic is buried. Though, this must not deter you from watching it, for it is hilarious nonetheless.
Art & Sound: 7/10
J.C. Staff has somewhat neglected it, though it should be noted that they're putting a lot of effort in Little Busters! ( three episodes of LB has been released as of the time of writing of this review), but the art used in the anime is quite similar to the manga.
As for the sound, I find it lacking in the way that it needs more than just dialogue and background noise. Overall, I have no major criticism of the Art and Sound.
The standout character for me is Kukuru. Even though the rest have those moments of brilliance, I feel that Kukuru's dark humor and paranoia has twisted the series in a way that it is genuinely enjoyable.
Some characters which appeared only as a part of parody can only be described as awesome. Case in point, in episode five, where there is a parody of Japan's former PM. Also, the way that the characters bash their own producers is brilliant, like how Marii made a pun about J.C. Staff and their rivals (KyoAni).
So, another work of Kohji Kumeta gave me the sense of humor not usually found in many comedy-themed anime. For those who enjoyed Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, don't worry about the overall appearance, for it still has the great humor found in a work of Kohji Kumeta. Also, this is a must-watch for those who are looking for anime which reflects the dark and humorous side of life. read more
Oct 15, 2013
-Story is what you expect from an SoL comedy.
-Art is basic fair with basic character art and pretty good backgrounds. Nothing less from J.C.
-Sound is great. I fucking love the OP, if that means anything...
-Characters are characters
-I enjoyed this series as much as a baka gaijin such as myself can. A lot of the humor is the miss due to culture differences. It's the type of anime that doesn't really need popularity outside of Japan.
Overall I can recommend this anime to anyone and I can highly recommend it when you have some actual knowledge of japan outside of using choice words like "Kawaii" and "desu" and only really knows what they do from anime and dramas. read more
Sep 30, 2012
Story: The story really isn't linear whatsoever and is more like random pieced together small stories (as it was in the manga), something that I would say is akin to Nichijou's story. I find it hard to really judge how to review the story other than by looking at each 1/3 episode as an individual story. From this perspective every mini story has an effective tale that never feels cut short (unless the humor is that the story is cut short) and everything in them has a purpose (even if that purpose is to have none). 9/10
Art: My only complaints that I really have with the series is that it is obvious that J.C. Staff didn't put a lot of effort into the artwork of this show. Which makes sense because with Little Busters! coming out the next season (A show that could literally make or break that company) the logical conclusion is that this show was just put on the back burner. It's not bad per say, it just doesn't have that same artistic flair that the other Kouji Kumeta's adaption had (although not every show can be animated by SHAFT). 6/10
Sound: I thought that the OP does it's job, in that every week I heard it at the beginning of the show I got excited to watch the show. It doesn't necessarily have the stand alone value as a good song that I'd put on my iPod , but it is catchy nonetheless. The ED is also hysterical if you know the story that is behind the lyrics of the ED. If you don't know I'd suggest that you go look it up (Valeraku, gg's translator for the series, actually has pretty good translation notes). Finally the backdrop music throughout the show seems very fitting to the series and at times can add to the comedic depth. 9/10
Characters: The main pinnacle of any of Kouji Kumeta's work, beside the sea of references, has always been his characters and the characters of Joshiraku are only a brilliant illustration of that. Kukuru and Marii are both two characters that I feel have absolutely no character archetype I can pin them to and it helps solidify their originality. I thought that Kigu was just there to actually be one of the "cute girls" at the beginning of the series, but the depth that gets added to her later in the series (listening to death metal music and going on malicious explicit rants in her head) made her one of my favorite characters of the Summer 2012 season. And that perfectly illustrates what makes these characters so fantastic is that they are so unpredictable that their humor can get you from literally anywhere. 10/10
So you're not Japanese: One of the biggest problems that many people have had with this series is the fact that if you aren't from Japan then most of the humor will go right over your head. And to be honest that isn't a false statement because Kouji Kumeta's audience is Japanese and he doesn't really care to internationalize his work (and why should he?). However if you feel like you're getting lost then just pick up the translation notes that Valeraku posts and learn them. This isn't a series that you can come into without willing to put in a little work, but I guess in today's anime community people are too lazy to do that. I think it's kind of like reading Beowulf, even if you speak English you'll still need a comprehensive study book just to be able to understand half of it. I really am thankful to gg for making this great work accessible to other people, but if you want to have the full experience you have to put in a little bit of work.
The reason that this series is rated so high for me is the simple fact that it is so incredibly entertaining. Every week I got this show onto my computer I was literally splitting at the seams from the humor. I wouldn't suggest this show to everyone because frankly not everyone will like Kumeta's offensive style of humor, but people who are cynics like me will absolutely love it. If you're reading this review wondering if you should watch this show, then I highly suggest that you at least give it a try. read more
Jul 16, 2012
So far, this anime has been funny. The references they make are funny, even if I don't get it. As well, the Ending song will be stuck in your head. This anime does what the synopsis says. Its just girls talking about stuff really. The characters are cute too.
Jul 31, 2012
Joshiraku is the other manga Kohji Kumeta is writing... Assuming most of you have watched Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, this new manga/anime can be quite a shock on the first episode specially due to how cute everything is and how charming (if not moe) the girls are... but as almost everything Kumeta does, this traits are quite deceptive. If in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei every chapter had an steady progression towards the punchline or "the joke" at the end of the episode, joshiraku completely lacks this: the humour is quite smooth and everything is less progressive and more spread. In the end it does superficially suits that remark at the beginning of the series:
"This anime/manga is full of ordinary dialogue so that viewers/readers can fully enjoy how cute the girls are"
DECEPTION. Just like this statement, almost all the humour and social criticism is hidden and concealed. As everything it's treated in the same way as almost all of those "moe girls start talking" anime (Ex: Lucky Star, K-ON, etc) It's more atractive to the mainstream public than Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. This could be the main reason Kumeta went with this setting: to attract more readers... but don't worry, The core that made Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei such an innusual and genius work it's still there so you won't be dissapointed
There isn't much to talk about the art of the show: 90% it's on the backstage of a theatre in which the girls work as comedians. Besides, The animators mimic the drawing style of the original manga to the root.
Almost every other thing is irrelevant to the action onscreen. The only thing that can be considered aside are the opening and the ending sequences but I won't review those mainly because I'm not qualified to do it properly. read more
Jul 12, 2013
Anime fans out there. Have you noticed how many times the subtitle writer has had to put asterisks around the screen to explain some odd, weird, and convoluted Japanese joke or pun? Manga fans out there. How many times have you had to squint at the fine line between panels to read the direct translation from Japanese, and then sit back and wonder how that was actually funny?
Asian culture spins almost directly counterclockise to Western culture. Asians have different eating, sleeping, working, playing, and ultimately living styles. They have different values, different laws, different mindsets, different beliefs. Undoubtedly, they also find certain things funny that no American would ever dream of laughing at.
Japanese culture within other Asian cultures is like the taro in taro rice or the yam in yam porridge - it stands out. The Japanese, having isolated themselves on a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of years with limited cultural exchange with China and Korea, developed their own culture that was in part based on the preexisting cultures of Asia and in part their own unique flavors. Thus, even other Asians regarded Japanese culture as something quite foreign and strange, though it was also unusually attracting...
In short. True Japanese humor can only be understood by true Japanese.
Which is why this anime will blow your mind.
Joshiraku pays homage to one of the classic modes of entertainment in Japan: rakugo. Rakugo is the art of the stand-up comedian, only...kneeling down. By themselves, rakugo performers are required to spin yarns, tell single-sided jokes, make puns, act out scenes. Often times, rakugo performers will play multiple roles in a scene, distinguishing between each character only by a change in inflection and a slight tilt of the head.
Just so you know, this anime actually has as much to do with rakugo as Angel Beats has to do with actual angels.
This anime is not for the faint hearted. It is not for those who refuse to understand or at least try to comprehend Japanese culture. But for those of you brave enough (or foolish enough), Joshiraku can be one crazy joyride.
For 4koma-esque anime and other slice of life anime, I change the "Story" criteria to "Content" to better fit the grading scheme. And the content receives a 7 because...its really exclusive content. As I spent an introduction saying, Japanese humor is a really elite type of humor. Some people won't get it. Most people don't find it funny. Just like Marii, they end up laughing at the wrong things (HAHAHA!! HIS TROUSERS ARE STRIPED!!!), though not a bad thing since people are laughing regardless. However, this definitely limits the possibility of a wide array of people from truly enjoying this anime. Fortunately, the anime makes it up with a strong cast of lovable characters. You may not understand the joke, but you end up enjoying seeing the characters engage in banter and saying some impossibly crazy things.
Some of the content is somewhat inappropriate, and other parts are downright creepy. The anime even starts off by breaking the 4th wall, which was completely astounding that left me totally bewildered. If you thought Nichijou was confusing, then you'll probably faint after a couple episodes of this.
Also, I was disappointed there wasn't any actual rakugo.
Good art, I especially loved the variety of outfits that the girls wear. They all look wonderful, and the artists really put time and effort into presenting them well.
MAL should have a Favorite OP and Favorite ED list. Because Nippon Egao Hyakkei is one of the most amazing songs of anime ED history. The beginning of the OP also set the mood of the anime really well. I found myself naturally getting hyped about watching each episode, despite knowing that I'd soon be eyebrows-twitching with a nervous smile on my face.
Character is where the anime really shines. Each character is living, bright, and vibrant. They have their own unique style, not fitting into any preconceived mold (tsundere, moe, loli, etc). And the way that they interact with each other brings the entire anime together.
I'd like to spend some time discussing each individual.
Marii is your typical tsukkomi. In English, this would be the "straight man", someone who is serious when others joke around. Marii plays a certain varient of the tsukkomi where the tsukkomi is actually no smarter or more serious than the others, but ends up being the butt (no pun intended) of the jokes or ends up reacting to them strongly. Yuuko from Nichijou plays a similar role in her relationship with Mai and the others. Marii is dumb, rash, red-headed (which, incidentally, means about the same in Japanese culture as it does in Western cultures), and a major klutz. Probably the most dull characterwise out of the troupe, but makes up for that with her fiery attitude. She's definitely the best at drawing out the facepalms.
Tetora is the angel. She's perfect in everything she does, and she's never on the negative receiving end. She plays the calm, quiet controller of the cast, sometimes leading them around by the nose. She does have quite a wild side, and she ends up showing quite a variable display of emotions and personalities.
Kukuru is the possessed spirit. The most unique character of them all, Kukuru is the polar opposite of Tetora - always unlucky, always unfortunate. I'm assuming Imagine Breaker is located on her forehead. Regardless, she's perfectly fine with being unlucky and often plays the role of the old, possessed hag. She's downright creepy, but really awesome in a creepy sort of way. A completely special and unique type of character I'd love to see more of. With regards to the cast, she completely stands out in a corner, surrounded by dark aura, but as the discussion heats up she's able to be an integral, albeit depressing, part of the conversation.
Kigurumi is the masked demon. On the outside she's cute, fluffy, innocent, and sweet. Behind that lies a swearing, angry, heavy metal-loving girl. Her switches between the two personalities are completely surreal, and seeing one side of her makes you almost forget about her other side. An interesting character in her own right, she's able to keep the viewer continually guessing about what her true opinions are.
Gankyou is not your typical glasses girl. On the contrary, she loves beating up Marii and isn't all that smart. Her personality is very cool, but she can equal Marii in terms of heat and passion. Her ideas are out of this world (I swear I'm not trying to make these puns) and are often backed immediately by the rest of the crew with the exception of Marii, which leads to collective teasing and torture of the poor redhead.
Basically, the cast is a wild bunch. Not only do they completely fly against everything that anime has shown up to now, but they also remain endearing and classic. Together, these girls become quite the unstoppable troupe of makeshift comedians.
To say that I didn't enjoy Joshiraku would be a lie. To say that I wasn't at times completely doubting my sanity in watching this show would also be a lie. Joshiraku is an anime that drives you to extremes, often at an extreme pace. I've never been so mindblown by a single anime.
Yappari wakaranai...Joshiraku read more
Dec 24, 2012
That quote pretty much sums up the attitude of this show. Joshiraku knows what it's about, and it has no problems flaunting it. It's about entertainment - and despite what the above quote says, its not the fanservice kind (although it does have some). This is a fourth-wall-breaking, satirical comedy/cultural lesson. If you're looking for anything else: 1) don't watch this anime 2) go find something else to watch 3) stop reading this review already, there's no point since you're not going to consider watching this anime anymore.
Now for those of you still considering the show, here's the lowdown.
The premise of the show is just following a bunch of rakugo performers (a kind of comedian) and their acts of randomness. Each episode of Joshiraku is organized into three skits. With few exceptions, most of the segments are standalone. While the lack of any central plot forces me to give this show a low "story score" on technicality, it is in no way a deal-breaker. You watch this show when you want a laugh, and the compartmentalized nature of Joshiraku lets you alleviate boredom at your leisure.
As for the animation and music, it's nothing special. The opening and ending songs are somewhat catchy, but I find this to be true of just about any anime song that isn't just plain irritating. The characters, on the other hand, are rather distinct and are what define Joshiraku. No, it's not just because they're cute. Their interactions with each other, what the show calls "ordinary dialogue," is really the driving force of the humor. And surprisingly, There's enough depth to the characters that every once in awhile the show pulls something you don't quite expect, only to realize that it completely fits the characters. It helps keep Joshiraku fresh while still establishing a rather coherent identity.
Just a warning though. The show is rather heavy on the outside references, although there's still plenty to enjoy even if you don't get any of those. Still, Joshiraku is a great time-waster whether you choose to marathon the whole thing, or watch it on and off. And yes... I meant that in a good way.
Jan 7, 2013
The show is about 5 girls who are studying the art of Japanese stage storytelling dubbed: "rakugo" hence the title of the show "Joshi (meaning woman/girl) raku".
When it comes to the story and art one character's line, Kukuru's: "Stop that! The animators are doing their best even though there's little to animate," pretty much sums it up. As well as a literal frame in the first episode: "This anime is full of 'ordinary' dialogue so views can fully enjoy how cute the girls are."
I quoted because ordinary, as much of what they discuss is chock-full of anime , pop-culture, and nonsensical humor and gags, which is the show's selling point. I often found myself smile and laugh unconsciously.
That being said, it can be difficult to understand the comedy sometimes as some rely on timing of the joke or make reference to an obscure topic. I can't say that I didn't have to pause a few times throughout the show and look up meaning of punchlines or nuances in wordplay, but it didn't distract me from enjoying the show's humorous banter.
Many of the tracks in the OST use Japanese instruments which compliments the traditional atmosphere a rakugo has.
Overall, I had a blast watching the show. I believe if you have some knowledge of Japanese pop-culture, a bit of knowledge in the Japanese language itself, a somewhat subtle sense of humor its not difficult to find this show an interesting watch read more
Sep 18, 2012
Yeah. Sure. The females who star in this show are cute, hot, moe, whatever. But they get under each other's skin rather quickly.
* Gankyou Kuurubiyuutei (Cool Beauty 4-Eyes): The Heather / Paniponi's Rei
* Marii Buratei (Bloody Mary): The "Holler Back Girl" and "Physical Punchline Receiver"
* Tetora Bouhatei (Tetrapod Bulkhead): The Annoyingly Lucky Girl / Mitsuko Ramuni
* Kigurumi Haroukitei (Hellokitty Bodysuit): Genki Girl on one side of the coin, Black Lagoon's Revy on the other
* Kukuru Anrakutei (Noose Euthanasia): the human female form of Decepticon's Dirge.
Surprisingly: The wardrobe change amongst these girls, during the middle of the episode where they travel around Japan, had been cranked to 15. They wear different clothes more times than the lot of regular animu that wave around cute girls to get your attention.
And also surprisingly: A lot more goes on during these episodes than during the small amount of time they're on stage. read more
May 11, 2013
Did it succeed? No. As presented _ragaku_ was an interesting premise but turns out to be hideously unfunny and one sympathizes with the occasional kid or person pointing out that 'once is enough' (and, as unkind an observation as this may be, one understands why there might be only four 'seats'/theaters left). The characters are decent enough (as promised by the self-description of cute girls talking) and aren't as 'archetypal' as in _Sayonara_, and would give the occasionally alluded to K-On! a run for their money. The animation quality held up to the end, I thought.
There were some bits that were quite funny (I loved the Christmas story with the oversized tree). Some bits were surprisingly reflective: episode 9 has an unexpected take on Chuang-tzu which was fast enough to leave an impact, while Mari's little time-travel to the bubble era evokes Lieh-tzu's pillow story. There were more allusions to Western material than I am used to (unless the fansubbers are really messing with me), and the fourth wall bits were not annoying.
But overall... this was, for me, a lot like _Nichijou_: a few good parts trapped in a lot of basically filler. The dialogues and analyses weren't as sharp as _Sayonara_, the backgrounds/scenes weren't as beautiful as _Nichijou_, the overall humor weaker than _Azumanga Daioh_... I don't regret watching it, but if this was the best comedy of the season, there mustn't have been any really good ones. read more