Supernatural creatures and budding romance.
Kakuriyo tells the story of Aoi, a girl with the extraordinary ability to see Ayakashi creatures. She is adopted as a child by a older man she calls grandfather and after his death she burdened with repaying his debt by being betrothed to the Odanna, a leader in the Ayakashi world. She refuses to simply be married and instead proposes to pay the debt back on her own by working in the Ayakashi world, which proves to be difficult as Ayakashi would rather 1. Eat her and 2. Her grandfather had many enemies who do not want to offer any help to his relatives.
In the second Volume of Kakuriyo, Aoi is still searching for a job while in the Tenjin-ya Inn. She ends up coming to the aid of an elderly man who reminds her of her grandfather and carrying his drunken form inside, cooking for him and giving him somewhere to rest. He knew her grandfather and speaks fondly of him, even though they didn’t have the best interaction. Later that day Aoi goes in search of work but is stopped by Genji who pulls her to the inn. There it is revealed the man was actually retired Lord Tengu, Matsuba and her kindness toward him has convinced him to forgive the Odanna for an altercation the night before. He also gives Aoi a Tengu Fan for her kindness, which is a very powerful gift.
The Odanna thanks Aoi by taking her on a night out to the capital, giving her a beautiful kimono and taking her to a fine restaurant. Here we meet his friend Suzuran, the sister of the Inn’s general manager and an up and coming geisha. The Odanna rescues Suzuran and brings her back to the inn with he and Aoi after a cruel, rich Ayakashi tries to pay off her guardian into marrying him, and subsequently, announces his betrothal to Aoi to the world in the process of their escape. There’s also a story with the young proprietress of the inn and her jealousy toward Aoi impeding her ability to work, and we learn more about the history of the inn and how the staff came to work there. Many of them were rescued or taken in by the Odanna, and Aoi begins to soften up in regards to him after learning of his kindness.
In volume 3 Aoi continues taking care of the young proprietress out of the kindness of her heart and also finds herself in the middle of an argument between Suzuran and her brother, the general manager. They fight over Suzuran wanting to move back to the human world in order to live out her life goal of visiting the grave of Aoi’s grandfather, whereas her brother is hesitant to let her go. They battle verbally and physically and during their arguing and Aoi’s attempt to reconcile them, it comes to light that Aoi’s cooking is actual special in that it restores the spiritual power of Ayakashi. This is why they’ve been so drawn to her for her entire life, and why her cooking seems to quell any threat against her. To help her, the Odanna gives her a beautiful bowl to cook in and the opportunity to get her restaurant off the ground as long as she gets Suzuran to the human world safely. Once she does, she has the choice: She can return to Kakuriyo with the Odanna or stay in her own world where she has nothing left.
This series is cute. I like it. There’s nothing groundbreaking or must read about it, but I find it to be very fun and I am invested in Aoi at this point. She has a backbone yet she tries her best to be kind to everyone, whether they deserve it or not. I find it endearing and I will keep reading this whole series and probably seeking out the anime!
Title: Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
Author: Midori Yuma
Pages: 200 // 208
ISBN: 9781974703739 // 9781974703746
Three Descriptors: Supernatural, Folklore based, Budding romance,