Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits (かくりよの宿飯)
Created By Midori Yūma
I started this anime while it was currently airing last year, but I finally completed the series now.
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits is about a human girl, Aoi Tsubaki, who gets kidnapped by an Ayakashi, an Ogre god named Odanna. She is forced to live in the Hidden Realm after it was revealed that her grandfather used her as collateral for the amount of debt he owed to Odanna. Rather than being forced to marry Odanna, Aoi decides to work at the inn, Tenjin’ya, where she runs her own restaurant called Moonflower.
I was a bit surprised that this series didn’t turn out the way I was expecting it to. I thought the show would primarily focus on the relationship between Odanna and Aoi but it turns out that their relationship was just a minor subplot in this series. In fact, the main focus was Aoi and her adventures in making delicious food for the spirits. The first half of the series focused on Aoi’s startup food business, Moonflower. The second half was about Aoi and Ginji helping the innkeepers and employees of Orio-ya with their special ceremony that appeases the Umi-bouzo.
Every episode consists of Aoi making some delicious dish to cheer up a spirit. However, my favorite episode in this series was the last episode because it basically sums up the importance of food and community which has been constantly talked about throughout the series. Yet, this one was more touching because Aoi saw herself within the Umi-bouzo. The Umi-bouzo is this childlike spirit that only wanted to eat delicious food with others because it has been isolated from the rest of the world and it is only every one hundred years when the Umi-bouzo can be in contact with others. When Aoi was younger, she was abandoned and starving until an Ayakashi came to comfort her by feeding her an onigiri. She felt connected to the Umi-bouzo because she understands what it feels like to be truly lonely as a child. It was Aoi’s involvement in the ceremony that saved the southern land from the curse. Aoi’s presence in the Hidden Realm was a predetermined destiny that was created by the spirit she met long ago who is suspected to be Odanna.
So I actually like the second half more than the first half of the series because there was actually a solid storyline. The first half of the series felt more slice of life and episodic. There were moments where I felt bored because the pacing of the series was a bit slow and the storyline was a bit formulaic, but the ending of the series was nice. I hope that there will be a second season because there’s still much to explore with Aoi and Odanna’s relationship.