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 "Yotarou."
As Yotarou 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.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu won the Excellence Award in manga category at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival, as well as the the 38th Kodansha Manga Award for best general manga. It was also nominated for the 17th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize and placed fourth in the 5th Manga Taisho award, second on the 2012 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! rankings for the female division, and seventh in the 2013 Comic Natalie's Grand Prize.
The series has been published in English as Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju by Kodansha Comics USA; digitally since January 17, 2017, and physically since May 23, 2017.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu has turned into the sleeper hit of the winter 2016 anime season. However, its dry-sounding historical premise has caused this gem to struggle to be seen by more than just the hardcore anime fanbase. Here's how to convince your friends to watch this great anime.