I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cast of Joshiraku -- Never Give Up/Jigoku no Gyuudon (地獄の牛丼)

"Joshiraku"(じょしらく)has been one of my favourite anime since I first saw its run back in 2012. In fact, I'm currently seeing it again on my computer for the 3rd or 4th time. And before I go any further, I should give credit where credit is due and list the main cast of the 5 rakugo comediennes, something that I didn't do when I wrote the article on the super-catchy opening and ending themes back in 2013:

Ayane Sakura(佐倉綾音)as the aggressive Mari Buratei
Nozomi Yamamoto(山本希望)as the lucky Tetora Bohatei
Kotori Koiwai(小岩井ことり)as the cute (if secretly scary) Kigurumi Harokitei
Yoshino Nanjo(南條愛乃)as the bespectacled Gankyo Kurubiyutei
Saori Goto(後藤沙緒里)as the ever-blue Kukuru Anrakutei

In any case, as much as I still love those bracketing themes for "Joshiraku", there were also a couple of songs that intrigued me as well but didn't know they were actually on a CD that came with the Blue-Ray of the series. One was "Never Give Up", a cutesy AKB48-friendly tune concocted by Kohei of SIMONSAYZ and sung by the rakugo ladies for Episode 3 of the series when they were coerced to put in a song-and-dance (I think they were trying to emulate the 90s group ZOO) element to their performances....much to the audience's fury. The song still works on its own, though.

Then, there is "Jigoku no Gyuudon" (Gyuudon of Hell) which has the troupe going into death metal territory (Kigurumi's genre of choice) as they rock out the joys of that dish of flavoured beef and onions on hot white rice. I forgot which episode it was but it was one of the later ones in the cour when Kigu and the gang suddenly transform into their own version of KISS for a couple of minutes. Anime director Tsutomu Mizushima(水島努)provided the lyrics, half of which are "gyuudon", while Masaru Yokoyama(横山克)came up with the headbanging melody.

Strangely enough, in all my time in Japan, I never really ate gyuudon at Yoshinoya or at the other franchises all that much despite how inexpensive it was. I can only surmise that karaage, sushi, hambaagu and tonkatsu had to come in first.

As one last piece of trivia for those who are not all that well versed in the seiyuu (I'm still trying to get a handle on all those names and characters), Ayane Sakura who plays the caustic Mari also played the much more adorable Cocoa in "Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka"(ご注文はうさぎですか?)in which she also performed the opening theme with the cast.

Yoshinoya last year

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