Title: Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits Vol. 1
Author: Midori Yuma (Story), Waco Ioka (Art), Laruha (Character Art)
Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Volume two of Kakuriyo opens up with Aoi coming across Lord Matsuba, a tengu lord who has passed out from drinking. He wakes up and is stingy at first, not wanting any food prepared by a child or a human at that. Aoi makes food anyway and he eventually eats it and falls in love with her cooking. Word spreads about Aoi’s kindness throughout Tenjin-ya. The entire staff is shocked when Lord Matsuba gives Aoi one of the tengu’s prized and treasured fans: a fan that can control the wind. The Odanna admits that if she were to sell it at a pawn shop, it would be more than enough to pay off her grandfather’s debt but the risk isn’t worth the reward as she will, most certainly, get eaten before she even makes it to the pawn shop.
The Odanna wants to take Aoi somewhere so they board an airship and visit a restaurant where they meet a geisha named Suzuran who became forcefully engaged to someone she has no interest in marrying. Oryo, the young proprietress of Tenjin-ya follows them to the restaurant when a scene breaks out thanks to Oryo trying to, quite literally, put Aoi on ice. The Odanna brings them both back to Tenjin-ya where punishment will be dealt out for Oryo for abandoning her post at the inn. Oryo ends up catching a fever and Aoi needs to take care of her and our volume comes to a close.
Another non-cliffhanger ending which is making me believe that this isn’t the type of series to utilize a hook to get readers to buy into the next volume. This is a bit troublesome as it makes the stopping points feel abrupt and come from out of nowhere.
The story all-in-all didn’t really go anywhere. It, more or less, built up Aoi’s reputation within the spirit world and introduced some new characters and that’s about it. Aoi is still in the same place as she was at the end of the first volume. It’s kind of an odd pacing that I haven’t really seen much of but to be this stagnant on a second volume is a bit worrying. Despite my issue with the story’s pacing, I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t find it interesting. I did enjoy watching the world react to Aoi through her actions… I just wish they went somewhere with it. They’re still teasing Aoi becoming a chef but I incorrectly guessed that she would be the chef at the inn. Now, they’re teasing her becoming the chef at the cottage along with Ginji as the owner of a Japanese-style restaurant.
Aoi, honestly, didn’t get much in the way of development. She got some indirect status upgrades from her interactions with Lord Matsuba, who also has a connection with Shiro, Aoi’s late grandfather. Suzuran also had some encounters with Shiro which makes me wonder who in that spirit world DIDN’T know him?
Heck, while on their trip, The Odanna announced that he planned to marry Aoi and the fact that he wants to marry Shiro’s granddaughter made the front page of their local newspaper. Just what was the extent of Shiro’s popularity in Kakuriyo!?
We got some backstory on Oryo and how she used to be abused until The Odanna rescued her. She also reveals that the Odanna rescued everyone else that works at Tenjin-ya. Coupled with the fact that the Odanna is constantly trying to shower Aoi with gifts, it confirms that he has a kind and gentle side to him even though his demeanor speaks otherwise. Despite telling everything about her past to Aoi, Oryo still hates her simply because the Odanna chose Aoi over her. Everything she worked hard for was to gain the favor of the Odanna and even though it’s not directly said, you can read between the lines and see that Oryo likes him. This is a basic love/jealousy hatred that Oryo has for Aoi. It’ll be interesting to see if they can overcome that jealousy and become friends in the long run.
Even though the pacing continues to be a bit weird for this series, I’m still enjoying it. While the story didn’t really move forward for Aoi, the volume continued to build the world of Kakuriyo and did so vicariously through the kind of lifestyle that Aoi’s grandfather Shiro led. It’s quite obvious that Shiro was quite the celebrity in Kakuriyo but I never expected him to be known by nearly every single person walking the streets. The fact that Aoi got mixed up in all of this because of him must be the worst kind of luck a person could have!
The characters are beginning to come into their own which is making the story a bit more interesting. I’m hoping that Aoi’s story gets pushed forward in the third volume as she didn’t progress at all here. She’s still looking for a job and they’re still teasing the fact that she will become a chef. By now, we know it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.” I hope this isn’t the kind of plot point that drags on forever and ever. It’s painfully obvious now where the story is heading so I think it’s best for volume three to just pull the trigger and have The Odanna give his permission to turn the cottage into a Japanese food-themed restaurant.
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This item was provided for review by Viz Media