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Gekiga Yose: Shibahama

Gekiga Yose: Shibahama

Alternative Titles

English: Fallen Words
Japanese: 劇画寄席 芝浜


Type: Manga
Volumes: 1
Chapters: 8
Status: Finished
Published: Jul 3, 2009
Authors: Tatsumi, Yoshihiro (Story & Art)
Serialization: None


Score: 7.141 (scored by 68 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet published' titles are excluded.
Ranked: #72352
2 based on the top manga page. Please note that 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #16441
Members: 170
Favorites: 1
Ranked #7235Popularity #16441Members 170
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Volumes: /1
Chapters: /8


In Fallen Words, Yoshihiro Tatsumi takes up the oral tradition of rakugo and breathes new life into it by shifting the format from spoken word to manga. Each of the eight stories in the collection is lifted from the Edo-era Japanese storytelling form. As Tatsumi notes in the afterword, the world of rakugo, filled with mystery, emotion, revenge, hope, and, of course, love, overlaps perfectly with the world of Gekiga that he has spent the better part of his life developing.

These slice-of-life stories resonate with modern readers thanks to their comedic elements and familiarity with human idiosyncrasies. In one, a father finds his son too bookish and arranges for two workers to take the young man to a brothel on the pretext of visiting a new shrine. In another particularly beloved rakugo tale, a married man falls in love with a prostitute. When his wife finds out, she is enraged and sets a curse on the other woman. The prostitute responds by cursing the wife, and the two escalate in a spiral of voodoo doll cursing. Soon both are dead, but even death can’t extinguish their jealousy.

Tatsumi’s love of wordplay shines through in the telling of these whimsical stories, and yet he still offers timeless insight into human nature.

(Source: Drawn and Quarterly)


Gekiga Yose: Shibahama was published in English as Fallen Words by Drawn & Quarterly on May 8, 2012.


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More reviewsReviews

May 23, 2016
Rakugo(落語) had always been an art form that was considered untranslatable to an audience outside Japan, and even there its popularity has plummeted in the last decades, seeming to go the way of picture dramas.
In the past decade though, two mainstream anime have brought the medium to the attention of foreigners and more casual viewers, always carrying with them this quintessential Japanese sense.
While Joshiraku is genial, watching the subbed anime meant that most people felt left out of the jokes, mainly relying on the intricate wordplay usual of the author and references too obscure for ~90% percent of the people watching it.
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