"Welcome to Kakuriyo, my darling bride."
- Mangaka : Yuuma Midori
- Genres : Comedy, Drama, Romance, Shoujo, Slice of Life, Supernatural
- Published : Apr 30, 2016 - Ongoing
- English Publisher : VIZ
- Official Website : https://www.viz.com
Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits Introduction
This January 1st, VIZ released the first manga volume in English of Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi: Ayakashi Oyado ni Yomeiri shimasu—Kakuriyo: Bed & Breakfast for Spirits on this side of the world—under VIZ Media’s Shojo Beat imprint.
In Kakuriyo, Aoi Tsubaki has inherited her grandfather’s ability to see spirits as well as a huge debt to them. Aoi is then kidnapped and taken to Kakuriyo, the spirit world, to settle said debt. She is given the option to marry the ogre head of the inn her grandfather destroyed or get eaten by him. But Aoi is not a pushover, and she’s strong and clever. How will she deal with this outrageous situation without ending up an ogre’s dinner? Why, serving dinner to spirits, of course!
Who It Caters To
The series is based on a collection of popular Japanese light novels by Midori Yuma, was illustrated by Waco Ioka, and features beautiful character designs by Laruha. It is also rated ‘T’ for Teens. The supernatural twist, comedy, romance, and allusions to Japanese culture make it an interesting read for young adults and younger audiences alike.
This comedy shoujo slice-of-life manga will please anybody looking for a sweet and funny romance-in-the-making story with a touch of mystery and fantasy.
--- Spoilers Ahead ---
Chapter one introduces Aoi Tsubaki, the college student whose grandfather Shiro just passed away. Like her deceased adoptive grandfather, Aoi can see ayakashi (A.K.A. yokai/spirits). As she rummages through her grandfather’s belongings, she runs into a mysterious photo of her grandfather in front of a very old-looking inn named Tenjin-ya along with a group of people who seem to be the inn’s staff. After closer inspection, though, Aoi notices that the staff looks a bit off and wonders if they’re not human.
From there, we find out that Aoi doesn’t just see ayakashi, she usually feeds them to avoid getting eaten by them herself, as they tend to attack humans who can see them. She then runs into a starving masked ayakashi whom she also feeds, but things take an unforeseen turn when she picks up her lunch box where the spirit left it after school. As she unwraps a beautiful handkerchief and hairpin left by the ayakashi, she is spirited away to Kakuriyo, the spirit world.
Later on, we get to properly meet Oodanna, the orge master of the Tenjin-ya inn and masked ayakashi from before, as he announces that Aoi is his bride to be—much to his staff’s dismay. Oodanna’s handsomeness and promises of a comfortable life in Kakuriyo as the bride of an ogre don’t sway Aoi so she asks, why her? Turns out her grandfather Shiro used to party hard at Tenjin-ya and in one night of debauchery, he literally destroyed the place. To pay his debt, he promised Oodanna he could marry whichever one of his granddaughters had the most spiritual power.
Of course, Aoi is not ok being used as a payment chip and she can tell that she is not well-received by those around Oodanna since they don’t want him to marry a human—much less Shiro’s granddaughter—so she thinks up a solution; get a job at Tenjin-ya! And so, her search for work begins after Shinji, a sweet nine-tailed fox and young master of the inn, comes to offer her food and becomes her friend. However, the search doesn’t go well. Everybody hates her—which everyone warned her about—and nobody wants an “ugly human” around and taking care of guests.
Disparaged, Aoi is starving and sulking as she walks around wondering where she’s going to sleep that night when she runs into what looks like a shop of some sort. Turns out it’s a cursed restaurant that is about to close and Shinji the nine-tailed fox is in charge of it. Aoi finds out ayakashi eat food from Utsukushiyo (the human world) and quite enjoy it so she decides to cook for Shinji. Aoi and Shinji continue to bond as he helps her make herself at home at the shop and this prompts Aoi to ask: “Why are you so nice to me? Everyone hates me.” To which Shinji responds that he has known her since she was little. We get no more explanation but the plot seems to thicken as Aoi realizes her grandfather taught her how to wear a kimono and it is serving her well here. And then there’s also that hairpin she found with her lunch box. Shinji tells her the stone it’s made out of is very rare and valuable and has strong powers… Did Shiro know this was going to happen?
The volume ends with Aoi getting injured when she’s caught in the crossfire of a brawl between the head chef and a guest who is complaining about their food being boring. Then Oodanna walks in with the proprietress and everyone turns on Aoi for being disrespectful and not bowing; except for Oodanna, of course, who tells her she doesn’t need to do it. As she bows anyway, a drop of blood from her face drips on the floor and the proprietress loses it, screaming that Aoi stop getting her disgusting human blood on the floor. Poor Aoi runs off devastated as we see a concerned Odanna and then what seems to be a strong gust take down the brawling guests. Did Oodanna lose it too because he saw that Aoi was bleeding? Can she actually pay her grandfather’s debt by working? If you haven’t watched the anime yet, you’ll have to wait till the next volume to find out!
Kakuriyo is a well-balanced blend of comedy, romance, and fantasy and the first volume does a great job of introducing us to our core main cast, giving us exposition and background, and setting up the mystery that will have readers waiting for the next volume to find out just how Aoi fits into Kakuriyo and about all the mysteries surrounding her life. Does she actually belong there? Will she be able to leave? Does Oodanna actually care about Aoi? So many questions! We’re hooked...
Will you be reading the Kakuriyo manga? Have you watched the anime yet? Do you think the manga is better than the anime? Let us know in the comments!