I WAS NOT EXPECTING TO BE THIS STRESSED OUT WHILE WATCHING THIS EPISODE! Every warning Aoi was given, I was like, “SHIT. She’s gonna see Umi Bouzu!” and sure enough, that appears to be what just happened no thanks to Chibi going inside and casually greeting Umi Bouzu, brazenly asking for a cucumber and then got his belly rubbed. But then something happened which forced Aoi to have to lift the screen she was specifically instructed told not to so—- FFFFF!!!!! AHHHHH CHIBI YOU AND YOUR STUPID CUCUMBERS ADDICTION!!!!!!!
The reason why they say not to lift the screen to much is because supposedly those who make see Umi-Bouzu’s form on the island, will be cursed with misfortune. This is mainly why I am so worried about Aoi, but at the same time, at this point, I have been accustomed to how things don’t always play out as severely as they are made out to be, (Raiju is probably the only exception given how accurately Hatori described him to be). It’s hard to say whether or not Umi-Bouzu would end up ‘cursing’ someone just by setting eyes upon him, especially when nobody has ever seen him, or actually knows who he is. On top of that, nobody (not even Ginji or Ranmaru) understands why and how the ceremony became a solution when despite needing to provide offerings that he never brings back to sea. The only thing Umi-Bouzu does is watch the Kagura performance, drink liquor and eat.
Also can we take a moment and talk about Umi Bouzu, because holy smokes that entrance from the ocean was hella creepy. It blows my mind how this guy got this enormous and terrifying body that was seen in the ocean, once it settles onto the island for the ceremony, it seems to shrink significantly. Just like Aoi, I was shocked by how tiny Umi Bouzu’s hands were! I wonder if Umi Bouzu breaks down into a bunch of small “people” (for the lack of a better word), which might explain the tiny hands and perhaps why Aoi freaks out.
That being said, I would say this has to be my favourite cliffhanger of the entire series, because I litterally have no idea what to expect from this! Given the nature of the series, I probably don’t have to worry too much about Aoi being cursed with misfortune. It’s probably just going to turn into a funny scene, especially given how startled Ranmaru and Ginji were, ahahaha!
It was good to see that Raiju wasn’t done with attempting to interfere the ceremony, but his plans were foiled when Oodanna and Ranmaru agreed to put aside their tense rivalry and work together to deal with the overwhelming flow of customers flooding to Orio-ya from Youto, including Tenjin-ya guests (who they are taking care of through Tenjin-maru lodging facility). So it’s a major co-op as and it absolutely gives me life!
I also think it is important to acknowledge Ranmaru made a lot of progression today by putting his trust in Aoi’s ability to pull off the dishes, sucking up his pride and bowed his head to Oodanna to allow him to let Orio-ya borrow Aoi for one more day. Even Oodanna was impressed he actually did it, even when he was already committed to helping ensuring the ceremony is a success.
It was absolutely hilarious to see Oodanna play dumb as though he hasn’t been there the entire time, perhaps he did this mainly to save Ranmaru’s pride. Whether or not he knows Oodanna heavily contributed to the gathering of of the national treasures or not, it would probably be a tough pill for Ranmaru to swallow because he considers Oodanna and Tenjin-ya his ultimate rival.
And some people may not be a huge fan of it, but I absolutely love how Oodanna doesn’t shadow Aoi every step of the way when it comes to doing what she needs to do. They each have their own responsibilities, and so (I probably said this a million times now) it’s so nice to see him have absolute faith in Aoi, even when she’s in such a terrible situation of losing her taste. Anyhow, I wonder what Oodanna gave Aoi, we didn’t see it, but I have a feeling it might be matcha? It was also sweet to see he prepared Aoi a new kimono she usually wears when she works at moonflower for the ceremony. (Also the way he came jumping off the boat was so badass~, I cheered, “AOI’S HUBBY IS BACK!”)
Oh and we absolutely cannot forget about the precious Crane Twins! I love them so much, they are so cute and funny, and it was so sweet of them to have so much faith in Aoi’s ability and pride as a Chef to tackle the challenge. Better yet, I love how in the end, while Aoi is playing a big role of helping them select and prepare the dishes for Umi-Bouzu, she isn’t accomplishing this on her own. It is a group effort, and most importantly she absolutely has to rely and trust the Crane twins to make sure the flavours are on point.
Another thing we really need to appreciate is the genius move of providing a menu with options for Umi-Bouzu to choose from. They never tried this approach before, and so far they have received a positive response. I also like how Aoi is simply being herself, and cooking as she would at Moonflower, because that’s the kind of flavour and dish she wishes to provide Umi-Bouzu. perhaps it might not be particularly extravagant, but it will certain change it up, as Princess Iso had advised her to do. Good thing they did too, because they were surprised to see Umi-Bouzu chose the Yellowtail Teriyaki, Stir-friend shrimp in miso-mayo paste, kiseki beef garlic steak, instead the of the Kiseki Beef.
Overall this was a really good episode and was super exciting to watch. It was very nice to see the animation look pretty this week, bonus points for making Ginji even more beautiful and Oodanna getting the handsome treatment he deserves, and we finally got Ranmaru’s Character Song! THANK GOD! It was so worth the wait because as expected, it’s full of feels and absolutely beautiful as the rest of them! Seriously they can all sing. I’m so glad I bought both CDs! (The first one hasn’t come in yet, and the second one comes in next week!)
But man, I can’t believe next week is the final episode. Honestly I can’t tell you how badly I am hoping we will see “To be continued” next week because holy crap, there is still so much to cover! When are we going to get the chance to see Aoi have a proper discussion with Ginji and Oodanna about the Mystery Ayakashi? Will the curse sealing her taste something ever be resolved, or will she have to live with it for the rest of her life? What about Aoi’s feelings towards Oodanna? What about Raiju? etc…
Of course my main concern right now is how much time will be spent on the ceremony in the finale. This weeks’ episode devoted the last five minutes to starting it off, ending with the main dish being served only for Chibi to cause problems, and force Aoi to intrude into Umi-Bouzu’s space. But as I mentioned earlier, there is a good chance this will probably turn into a comedic scene, it’s just a question of how will things play out from there on out. Needless to say, for the sake of time management, I hope they don’t use the OP next week, and make full use of the 23 – 24 minutes they have to work with! The last thing I want to see is a rushed ending! When it comes to trying to get an estimate of how much time will be spent on Umi-Bouzu, I would hope at least half of the episode, especially since we will need to see Aoi use whatever Oodanna has given her, likely to use for the desert. But as result, that leaves little to no time to deal with the rest of the loose ends that needs to be addressed, especially the matter of the Mystery Ayakashi, that has been built up from the very beginning of the show!
And this pretty much sums up why I feel like Kakuriyo is one of those adaptions that needs a second season. I am not saying that as a passionate fan who is craving for more, but from a critical standpoint of storytelling. I sincerely hope this was something that was possibly taken into consideration early on in production. I thought about it, it would only make sense (*not from a business perspective, mind you) for this show to have planned to have two seasons from the very beginning. Of course outcome of the sales and stuff may or likely heavily contribute to the outcome of that decision, and then there are of course the novels that are available for those to just pick up to read. The only ones with the short-end of the stick are really just the western fanbase and anyone else who can’t read Japanese, making us dependent on a second season to learn more about the developments (unless the novel were to be localized). While the manga has been licensed (and Vol 1 will be coming out January 2019, it is only up to five volumes at the moment which I think covers the events between Episode 6 – 9 (maybe 8 varying on the pacing, I haven’t received my copy hasn’t been shipped out yet as it just came out). So it’s going to be a while before the manga gets to the Orio-ya Arc, if it gets the chance to that is.
Speaking of the novel, there was something I wanted to address about last week’s episode. Through someone who has read the novel, I have learned the anime cut out the scene (that we had hoped we would at least get to see in the beginning of this week’s episode) where Aoi reflects and realizes what it meant to have seen Oodanna’s illusion. It’s frustrating to see and learn the anime has been continuously watering down or cutting out these romantic developments even the series is specifically labeled as romance. I mean for god sakes, I got Kyoto Holmes that doesn’t even have romance listed in the genre, and there’s more obvious romantic development happening in that than here! (Not to say there hasn’t been any development, there certainly has, but still it’s been watered down or the scenes have been cut out altogether!) I mean it’s nothing new to have adaptions water down the developments or events, but Kakuriyo has certainly turned into one of those cases where yeah, the novel is undoubtedly way better than the anime, which is frustrating to know had they not cut these things out, this show probably (along with being given better budget to put towards the animation quality) could have received a more positive reception, and become a big hit.
BONUS FEATURE: Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi BD 1 (Japan Import)
As you know I am a huge fan of this series, so I have been pretty much doing my job as a fan of buying what I can afford to support it. The novels, manga, merchandise, you name it. Importing anime however has always been something I was interested in but never actually got to do because one of region locks, and the costs. This situation was an interesting one because I have recently started taking formal Japanese lessons, so recently I have been listening to a lot of Drama CDs as one of my resources for studying, especially when on commute (because I get motion sick if I read RIP). So when I learned Kakuriyo’s BD are region free, and sweet bonuses, I knew I had to get it.
Also it’s super pretty, okay?! I MEAN LOOK AT IT!
I more or less built a Kakuriyo shrine at this point on my bookshelf. My ultimate motivator for my studies.
AHEM, anyways, the Drama CD was totally worth it because it’s super fun to listen to (23 minutes long), and the last 5 – 7 minutes are something else ahahaha! I also have a feeling it might be based off the image used for the beautiful wall scroll promotion (on AmazonJP, only for Residents of Japan, and you have to buy all nine discs from). The Drama CD features Oodanna, Ginji, Akatsuki, Sasuke and Byakuya.
- What’s Included: Episode 1 – 3, Alternative Sleeve, 23 Minutes Drama CD, Mini Booklet containing Short Story, Character Profile/Design Sheet (there’s a couple of expressions from Oodanna we haven’t seen, which is a bit disappointing since one of them is really hysterical. Maybe we’ll see it in the later discs, but who knows…) And if you had pre-ordered, you could’ve gotten the gorgeous A3 Clear File of the sleeve.
- Minor Additions and Adjustments: Surprisingly (or maybe not since this is only the first three episodes, so not a lot happens nor are they are the highest priorities) there were not not a lot of corrections. I thought they would touch a couple of things up, so I’m not particularly impressed on that part. The animation score for this series is definitely not going to be any higher than a 7/10 after seeing this, possibly as low as a 6/10, but I will need to think over it a bit. I am also able to confirm the Mystery Ayakashi appearing in white appears to have not been a colouring error, this remained the same even in the BD. So it must have been done deliberately.
- Where to Buy: AmiAmi, Amazon JP, CDJapan, *Animate International
(*Animate International Offers Bonus Goods if you purchase the promotion sets! Be sure to read the conditions carefully!!!!)
If you want to import Anime, it’s super important to know whether or not it is compatible with your region’s player. Previously DVDs were locked to Region 2, requiring a Japanese DVD Player to be played. Blu-Rays however are different, most of them are Region Free (*but not all, so it’s important to double check.) This is why I ended up purchasing the BD edition, which is something I don’t usually do.
Truthfully this was really more of a treat for me, so I’m not sure if I’ll import another disc unless there are bonuses I care about, such as an OVA or another Drama CD. Right now, the website doesn’t suggest there will be any unless they update it later on as it gets closer to the release its date. Still exciting nevertheless, but if I don’t get it, I will be getting the localization copy once it’s released.
PSA: If you guys are interested in getting the Character CDs, it was just announced the exclusives store benefits for pre-orders! (AmazonJP + CD Japan (AKA: Neowing) Benefits | Animate Benefits (*You may need to check with Animate International to make sure you get the bonus!)