Kakuriyo -Bed & Breakfast for Spirits- – Anime Preview
Synopsis: To pay off her grandfather’s debt, Aoi begins working at Tenjin-ya—a bed and breakfast for spirits! (Official Funimation Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Kakuriyo feels like a cookie cutter reproduction of the ever popular trope in (Shoujo) anime where the sweet and innocent heroine is forced to marry/live/work for some overbearing guy she deems to be an utter and complete jerk. Aoi is promised to one, Oodanna (a powerful Oni in the spirit world) in order to pay off her late grandfather’s debt. Aoi can’t stand him, and instead pushes to find work within the inn he owns in order to pay off the debt that way instead. But we all know that eventually she’s going to find out he isn’t a jerk at all and end up falling for him and living with him happily ever after. If you’ve watched a fair amount of anime or read a fair amount of manga, you’ve seen this all play out before and the good news is if you LOVE that plot line, Kakuriyo, for now, seems destined to follow it beat for beat.
Tom: To be fair, Kakuriyo doesn’t list itself as a romance, yet it really feels like that’s the progression this narrative is going to follow. It feels like that to a T, hitting all the classic beats associated with an anime of this type. The only way in which Kakuriyo diverges is through its overuse of cooking. It becomes clear towards the end of the first episode that mixed into this fantastical forced marriage narrative is a heavy cooking/food component, capitalizing on the growing obsession with food-based anime series. Pandering to both crowds, Kakuriyo does little else to offer broader appeal, such as suffering a bland lead. Tsubaki Aoi rarely exhibits exciting character quirks, or a personality that stands apart from other head strong, determined girls who typically refuse these forced marriages.
Linny: Kakuriyo uses its supernatural setting to introduce and feature a few adorable supernatural beings, like a shy baby tanuki and a shape shifting nine tailed fox who can turn himself into adorable forms. This adds extra cuteness for those taking to the show but is likely not enough to redeem it for anyone else.
Tom: Kakuriyo is based off a light novel series spanning already eight volumes, making it likely that Kakuriyo will act more so as an advertisement for the series than its own stand alone property, potentially ending on a “go read the novels for the rest” conclusion. To be fair Kakuriyo doesn’t feel awful to me, just generic. It doesn’t feel as cynical in its pandering as Pretty Derby, yet continues to capitalize on popular trends, sadly doing little to elevate its material otherwise. For fans of either ‘genre’ however, it seems like a series poised to please.
Linny: Kakuriyo boasts of competent animation and enough tropes to appeal to that specific group that enjoy the forced marriage story lines. Seeing how proactive our heroine is makes for a likeable female lead, one who isn’t just weeping and looking to be rescued by someone else. The cooking element of the story provides anime food appeal and should please those who love seeing anime make everyday food look like manna from heaven. Kakuriyo’s biggest flaw for now is that it all seems a little too generic, like a story you may have seen too often if you are familiar with its tropes. However, because of its adherence to the tropes it also should satisfy anyone fond of them, ultimately becoming a show that may never rise to anyone’s all time favourite but an enjoyable watch all the same for the interested.