Bundled with the special editions of the manga's 7th and 8th volumes.
When a certain man is released from prison, he knows exactly where he's heading first. After falling in love with a traditional comic storyteller's rendition of the story called "Shinigami," he is determined to become his apprentice. The performer, Yakumo, has never taken an apprentice before, but to everyone's surprise, he accepts the eager ex-prisoner, nicknaming him "Yotaro."
As Yotaro happily begins his new life, he meets others in Yakumo's life, including Yakumo's ward Konatsu. Konatsu was the daughter of a famous storyteller, and Yakumo took her in after her father's tragic death. Konatsu loved her father's storytelling, and would love to become a performer in her own right—but that path is not available for women.
For anyone coming to watch this, having seen the 2016 TV series Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu.
This ova is just the first 2 [and a bit] episodes. And can happily be skipped, If you're seen the show. As it's just an [extended] pilot episode.
There is one difference between the two though, the [hard to find] released DVD version [or, rips of] is only 576p. Compared to the 2016 series which is readily available in 1080p. So this is a worse version of those starting episodes of the series.
And, imo, this first starting arc is the weakest part of the entire 2016 series. And misrepresentation of the
entire show. Another reason to look down upon this.
I was defiantly disappoint when I open up this file. I thought it was a completely different attempt at adaptation of the source material, or something similar. I can't rate the show badly based on my own expectations. But I can rate it badly based on how I hate the first 2 episodes of 2016, which I then go on to give a masterpiece rating based on the 13 episodes as a whole.
tl;dr: it's a less polished version, in a lower bit-rate of first 2 eps of the 2016 show.
I hope this was helpful to someone, and saved them the journey looking for a digital copy.
For starters I'll write down my emotional progress during watching:SPOILER!
hmmm... l'd see this a little bit, poster looked great; Hm? sound's real great sets the mood, looks it'll get funny; WoW such art and expressions on characters (main look a bit annoin'); Hey I don't know what Rakugo is lets Google it... hm looks interesting lets continue!! HAHAHAHA what was that last 15 mins_ it was sloppy performance, but laughed quite badly :DDD WTF ghost???
AAAAA I want to see this animated more, perform moreee!!!!
story: very promising! as I see it OVA is only prelude to main story so it's more like introduction of characters, Rakugo
and how those people met first of all. Everything is explained and put nicely together. Unfortunately You can't hear the professional storytelling, hope to see it further in the series which are to be released after second OVA. (look forward to it!
Music and art: I just couldn't put them separately as for real they are totally in sync. Beautiful, gougers, striking, funny and very expressive. Probably one of the best which I've seen since 2015 year started. And it'll most likely become this series "trademark".
Characters: At first we are introduced to "Yotarou"(nickname)typical happy go lucky character, who does everything on whim and halfheartedly. At least thats what it seems at first, there are some complicated past stories though. This airhead is influenced with Rakugo performance of Yakumo known as "shinigami" and totally falls in love (no BL subplot don't be mistaken!!!!!)... Again with his character he goes meeting Yakumo and and asks to take him and teach performing. Though Yakumo has a policy of not taking students he for some reason agrees(still unknown.) This sensei totally scary I must say, he really lives up to Shinigami. He really seems like deep character.Konatsu who was the daughter of a famous deceased storyteller also is interesting and quite fond of Youtaro, she is the one who gave him this nicknam. She and sensei has some common old ties and background story.
Enjoyment: yeah, just watch it no need for words. Enjoy