Joshiraku (じょしらく, lit. Rakugo Girls) is a 2009–2013 Japanese comedy manga series written by Kōji Kumeta and illustrated by Yasu, telling the everyday lives of five young female rakugo comedians. It was serialised in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine and compiled in six volumes. An anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired in Japan between July and September 2012, with an original video animation episode released in February 2013.
All of the girls' surnames end with the character Tei (亭), which is often used in stage names for performers.Marii Buratei (蕪羅亭 魔梨威, Buratei Marii)
Voiced by: Ayane Sakura
(Anime), Kana Asumi (CD)
The substantial protagonist of the manga, who has long red hair. She behaves like Edokko and speaks in a masculine tone of Edo speech, but she is actually from Tokushima Prefecture. Despite her good looks, the way she talks and her flat chest tend to lead the others into suspecting her as a boy cross-dressing as a girl. She acts tsukkomi
and often says "Don't ask a trifling question! (つまんねー事聞くなよ！, Tsuman'nē koto kiku na yo!)
". Her name is a pun on Bloody Mary
Kigurumi Harōkitei (波浪浮亭 木胡桃, Harōkitei Kigurumi)
Voiced by: Kotori Koiwai
(Anime), Erena Ono (CD)
A girl with cream-coloured hair who is the youngest girl in the group. To match her childlike figure, she often pretends to be cute in front of others, but her internal dialogue shows her true thoughts to the audience; cynical and manipulative. Her name is a pun on Hello Kitty
Tetora Bōhatei (防波亭 手寅, Bōhatei Tetora)
Voiced by: Nozomi Yamamoto
(Anime), Ikumi Hayama (CD)
A ponytailed girl with purple hair who is a lucky girl and leads a carefree life. She often leads the stories to other subjects. Kumeta introduces her as the true protagonist of the manga. Her name is a pun on bōhatei (防波堤?, "breakwater")
Gankyō Kūrubiyūtei (空琉美遊亭 丸京, Kūrubiyūtei Gankyō)
Voiced by: Yoshino Nanjō
(Anime), Kana Hanazawa (CD)
A girl with glasses and green hair who is a smart, cool-headed, yet violent girl. She is a childhood friend of Tetora's. Her name is a pun on cool beauty
and gankyō (眼鏡?, "glasses")
Kukuru Anrakutei (暗落亭 苦来, Anrakutei Kukuru)
Voiced by: Saori Gotō
A girl with straight black hair who is very good at acting, but is an unlucky girl and is very emotionally unstable. Her name is a play on several words, all of which have to do with things that are very negative in nature. The pronunciation of her name refers to Anrakushi (安楽死?, "Euthanasia")
and kukuru (括る?, "to hang")
. Her name could also be read alternatively as kurakutei kurai
, which is very similar to kurakute kurai (暗くて暗い?, lit. "dark dark")
also sounds similar to the word unlucky
. Also, the kanji in her name minus the character Tei (亭)
could be read very literally, as falling into darkness
and coming of anguish
Mask (覆面, Fukumen)
Voiced by: Aoi Yūki
A girl in a luchador wrestling mask who just happens to be in the scene at certain points.
Uzannu Uzattei (宇座亭 ウザンヌ, Uzattei Uzannu)
Voiced by: Ryōko Shintani
A girl who has short blonde and pink hair. She wears a strawberry-patterned hakama and a large ribbon on her head. Her only appearance is in the last episode of the anime. True to her name, Uzannu is annoying with her fast-talking, condescending attitude, and mimicry of the other girls. Uzannu purposely tries to upset the character balance of the show with her obnoxiousness and make the show her own, even going so far as singing her own version of the opening theme song with personalized lyrics. Nonetheless, the girls manage to drive her away.
The original manga series written by Kōji Kumeta and illustrated by Yasu was serialized in Kodansha's Bessatsu Shōnen Magazine between the October 2009 and October 2013 editions – from September 9, 2009, to September 9, 2013. The complete series has also been released in six volumes under the Wild KC imprint, from May 17, 2010, to November 8, 2013. A limited edition of the fifth volume was bundled with an anime episode on DVD disc.
A 13-episode anime adaptation by J.C.Staff aired in Japan between July and September 2012. An original video animation episode was released on DVD with the fifth manga volume on February 8, 2013. The opening theme is "Oato ga Yoroshikutte...Yo!" (お後がよろしくって…よ!, Thanks For Your Appreciation!) by Ayane Sakura, Kotori Koiwai, Nozomi Yamamoto, Yoshino Nanjō and Saori Gotō whilst the ending theme is "Nippon Egao Hyakkei" (ニッポン笑顔百景, Hundreds of Japanese Smiles) by Momoiro Clover Z and Yoshida Brothers.