Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju Manga Gets Live-Action Series
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
NHK announced on Wednesday that it has green-lit a live-action television series adaptation of Haruko Kumota's Descending Stories: Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju manga. The series will star Masaki Okada (seen right) as Yakumo. It will premiere on NHK on October 12 at 10:00 p.m.
Other cast members include:
Yuki Tanada, Makoto Kiyohiro, and Tatsuo Kobayashi are directing the series. Daisuke Habara is penning the scripts. Takatsugu Muramatsu (Mary and The Witch's Flower) is composing the music. Rakugo storyteller Kyoutarou Yanagiya is credited for rakugo supervision.
The multi-generational epic dives deep into this rich form of Japanese theater. Small-time crook Yotaro has never forgotten the rakugo tale "The God of Death," which the master Yurakutei Yakumo performed for Yotaro during his time in prison. After his release, he goes to Yakumo's theater and pleads to be made his apprentice. Yakumo reluctantly accepts, but Yotaro quickly finds the world of rakugo is complex and grapples with a growing bond with Yakumo's ward, Konatsu. Meanwhile, the two young people bring reminders of Yakumo's own inescapable past.
Kumota began the manga in Kodansha's Itan magazine in 2010 and ended the series in June 2016. The tenth and final volume shipped in September 2016. The series received the "Best General Manga" prize at the 38th Kodansha Manga Awards, was honored with the Excellence Award at the 17th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards, and nominated for the 17th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize, and won the New Creator Prize for the 21st Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. The manga was also listed in the top ten manga for female readers by Takarajimasha's Kono Manga ga Sugoi! 2017 guidebook.
The manga's television anime adaptation premiered on January 2016, and the second season premiered in January 2017. Crunchyroll streamed both series as they aired in Japan. The manga also inspired an earlier two-episode original video anime project.
Source: The Mainichi Shimbun's Mantan Web