First Look: My Master Has No Tail


Alternative title(s): Uchi no Shishō wa Shippo ga Nai Rakugo
Manga adaptation by LIDEN FILMS
Streaming on HIDIVE


Mameda is Tanuki who wants to live with humans, but fooling people these days (the Taisho era) is not easy. After meeting a mysterious woman and seeing her perform rakugo, she becomes determined to learn the art as means to keep tricking humans.


Jel’s verdict: Another Good Rakugo Anime (maybe)

This episode was fun and charming. There’s a colorful cast and silly gags, but also wistful musing on coping with the fast pace of the world we live in. I liked it a lot, although I feel like there were a few things holding it back from being great.

To start, I don’t think rakugo translates well to anime, let alone getting past literal language translation, cultural differences, and the evolution of humor over the past several hundred years. This is coming from the guy that thinks Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is the best anime of the last ten years or so (please watch it). Rakugo is an acquired taste, and this episode devotes a lot of time to it. Aside from the rakugo performance, there’s an odd post credits segment that explains in unnecessary detail what happened in that performance. They probably could have found a better way to use that time.


I’m also concerned that the premise may be too simple. Mameda’s devotion to her dream and the memory of her father is endearing, but I feel like we saw everything we’re going to see out of her by the end of the episode. She is, after all, a playful tanuki and not a human. Will they find other avenues of her character to explore and, more importantly, new jokes to make? I’m not so sure.

And so my anime critic brain is telling me that My Master Has No Tail is not funny enough to be a good comedy and not deep enough to carry any real emotional weight. It will probably drag us through some long, dry rakugo segments. Even so, it has appealed to my heart with it’s charming characters, colorful art style, and general good vibes. I’m willing to give it a chance to grow.

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