Supernatural creatures and promised marriages!
Kakuriyo tells the story of Aoi, a girl with the extraordinary ability to see Ayakashi creatures. She was originally an orphan, adopted at a young age by an older, single man and that he has just passed away at the start of the book. As the tale unfolds, we learn grandfather (what Aoi calls him) was known for being a rogue and a vagabond who held great powers. Aside from also being able to see ayakashi, he had the ability to walk between their world and the human world, which results in consquences Aio must deal with. Aoi’s ability to see and speak to these creatures results in most other people assuming she is insane and talking to herself, so she spends all of her time alone. She feeds the Ayakashi even though grandfather warned her several times against it. She remembers hunger pains from being an orphan, so she often cooks especially to have extra food in case she comes into contact with ayakashi.
On her way to school one day, she encounters a masked ayakashi who asks for food. She gives him her lunch, and he removes his mask to reveal he’s a young, handsome man. She goes to class and asks him to leave her lunch container in the front of school so she can bring it home. When she returns, he’s included his hair ornament and hand towel. However when she attempts to read the characters on the towel, she is transported to another world.
Here we get the central plot for this manga. We the reading and Aoi quickly learn that this ayakashi was more than he seems and is actually the ogre owner of a popular inn in Kakuriyo, the ayakashi world. Grandfather came through once and ate him out of house and home, promising Aoi to be Ōdanna’s bride in exchange for not being able to pay and for destroying part of the inn. Aoi refuses this and after a bit of arguing, Ōdanna agrees that she is allowed to stay and work to pay off her grandfather’s debt, but due to her not being his bride, he cannot offer her protection. She must try and find a job and earn her keep, but as she is a human in the ayakashi world, no one will hire her. She does however meet Ginji, a nine-tailed fox ayakashi who also works at the inn, and he shows her kindness and gives her a place to stay while she tries to figure things out.
I really liked the character of Aoi because she stands up for herself and doesn’t simply shrug and agree to get married to a stranger like sometimes happens in situations like this. Aoi seems to have her wits about her and the manga hasn’t yet exploited her sexuality or anything like that, so I have good vibes. Ginji is also SO GREAT and easily my favorite character so far, but I’m also super interested to learn more about Ōdanna and figure out what his story is and how he came about owning the inn. I recently heard that this story was an anime first and is now being turned into a manga and I think this is the first time I’ve encountered that with the series I’ve picked up, so I’m excited to check out the anime to go along as I read!
Title: Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
Author: Midori Yuma
Three Descriptors: Supernatural, Folklore based, Budding romance,