Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi Episode 4
This week we learned about about O-Ryo, and amazingly she and Aoi actually have something in common, namely both having suffered from hunger. (Having found a connection with O-Ryo, it triggered Aoi’s memories of the day her mother abandoned her. She had been ordered to not open the door, even if someone were to show up. All I could think of was, “What the hell woman?!”)
O-Ryo comes from a poor village in the north, and was sent to serve as a live-in maid for a mistress. Although it was not a pleasant place to live and was scolded often, it was still better than being hungry. A few years later, she and the mistress went to visit Tenjin-ya Inn, but while doing so O-Ryo had accidentally broken the lady’s china plate, that was a gift from the apparent realm, and faced abusive punishments for it. It was Oodanna who saved her, treating her wounds and made all the arrangements for her to be employed at the inn. But over time, Oodanna stopped paying attention to her, and when Aoi showed up, it made her even more jealous because she wants to be recognized by him.
And it’s not just O-Ryo who was taken in by Oodanna, but also the Spider Siblings as well.
Which Spider Sibblings you may ask? Why it’s Suzuru and Akatsuki!
Oh my god, I wasn’t expecting them to be spiders. (I am incredibly impressed by Aoi’s ability not to be freaked out by two giant spiders duking it out with one another, and even stuck around to watch. But seeing ayakashi on a daily basis, I can understand to some extent of her getting used to it, ahahaha…). And goodness, those two made quite a mess, but Oodanna didn’t seem to mind too much, in fact he appeared entertained. The two were arguing over Shuruzu wanting to go to the Apparent Realm to be with Shiro, and her brother was adamantly against it. Funny enough, she whooped his butt so bad that he was stuck in the gardens overnight until Aoi found him, and tended his wounds.
But as it turns out, the two are originally from the Apparent Realm. Fourty years ago, Shiro was traveling between the apparent and hidden realm, and there was a disturbance, where a wandering spider ayakashi was attacking Humans, while looking for shelter in the apparent realm That spider was Akatsuki. And Shiro showed up, and took care of them. Eventually he asked Oodanna to take them back to the Hidden Realm, and life pick up from there, Suzuran started her geisha training in the capital while her brother worked at the front desk of the inn.
Like most ayakashi, Akatsuki didn’t particularly like serving Shiro, but there is no doubt in my mind that he is grateful for him having saved him. He is just tsundere about it, especially since he stubbornly refuses to eat food made by his granddaughter. Funny enough, Aoi dragged him inside to treat his wounds very much like her grandfather would, and that is threatening to cook him.
And with that we learned a fascinating secret about Aoi’s dishes. The real reason why Aoi’s dishes are considered delicious to the ayakashi has something to do with her cooking having a special effect that can restore an ayakashi’s spiritual power. (Much like how Humans would consume food to restore stamina). Aoi had no idea her cooking had this kind of effect, so it makes me curious as to how it works. In theory, I would guess the methods which she does it has something to do with sharing or channeling a bit of her own spiritual power, or something of the sort. And boy, once the word gets out, her restaurant will surely be a hit. I just wonder if she will be able to handle all the customers that are bound to flood in? So far, Aoi has only prepared dishes for a handful, but what will happen will she has to prepare many meals? Furthermore, since it’s her cooking that provide this “side-effect” as O-Ryo says, that means it is possible she is the only one who can prepare the meals. And in order to achieve that, she will probably need she need assistants to take care of the rest.
This is of course where it starts to get fun, because today Aoi has made yet another (reluctant) friend. It’s hilarious really because Aoi didn’t volunteer to take care of O-Ryo, Kasugu dumped it onto her saying, “Frankly speaking, everyone hates O-Ryo-sama, so no one will look after her. Well I’m off to work!” God damn it Kasugu, you can’t just do that! Either way Aoi takes care of her, but not without unapologetically throwing some jabs of her own.
She manages to win O-Ryo over by making tofu ice-cream and through that, she is able to get to know her better. By the time she recovered, O-Ryo feel refreshed, and ready for more food. Of all the bunch, she is certainly going to become Aoi’s first regular customer. I wonder if she will be the one to spread the news about the perks of Aoi’s dishes, especially since she said it to the stubborn Akatsuki in order to encourage him to eat.
Today we also saw Aoi be a bit careless, but it mostly had to do with her letting her guard down. When Oodanna had told her it’s time to return to the annex, she said she can’t sleep there because O-Ryo is there, and wonders where she should sleep. At that moment I burst out laughing because I couldn’t believe she said that in front of him. “DID SHE JUST SAY THAT OH MY GOD AHAHAHA!! GIRL YOU JUST SENT HIM AN INVITATION!!” Of course as expected, he offers to let her sleep in his room, and she immediately declines. In the end, she camped out in the annex’s closet.
And I must say, it is quite a relief to see Oodanna has more or less stopped treating Aoi so coldly as we had seen in the first two episodes. I really do enjoy watching the two of them converse with each other, along with Oodanna’s friendly banter. So it makes me wonder if perhaps the cold side of him we had seen in the first two episodes after she had blatantly rejected him was really just him recoiling from it (not that it gives him any excuses for it), and maybe Matsuba really did set his head straight to stop with his petty behaviour. Only time will tell.
It was also nice to see when she once again what his favourite food is (since Aoi is not one to want to be in debt of others, so to even out the gift he had given her) instead of teasing her, he gives her a roundabout answer of having a policy of not telling anyone so easily, because he feels it could become his weak point. I was pleasantly surprised how he stopped there, because I honestly expected him to follow up with saying along the lines of: If she were to marry him, he would tell her, but he didn’t. Despite it being a vague respond, to some extent, made it feel like a more earnest answer.
Better yet, it was great to see Oodanna bring up a serious question that has been on our minds since he brought her to his world: Does she want to return to the Apparent Realm? Despite having no one to return to, does she still harbour attachment to that world?
Although Aoi felt it was a mean question, I for one am glad that Oodanna had finally brought it up because it shows that it is something that has been on his mind. Furthermore, we are able to see his perspective of how returning to a world with nothing to return to doesn’t seem reasonable. If anything, it would be a lonely decision. Aoi countered by saying it is because she is a student in the middle of her studies (which is a fair point, and it’s hard to say how much time has already passed in the apparent realm). But regardless of having no one to return to, it is mainly because it is her origin world, that she is still attached to it.
Oodanna was also surprised to see how Aoi was more excited about being able to use his matcha to make Matcha Tofu Icecream than she had with the Youto Cut Bowl he had gifted her anyways (truth to be told, I thought it was going to break today, but I am pleased it did not). Heck, even I was taken aback how ecstatic she was.
There is another important piece we learned about Oodanna’s character this week, and that is how his greatest wish is for his employees and others to have the ability to thrive by being independent and ambitious at their jobs. That is why the Tenjin-ya Inn is a place where anyone can win a job by proving themselves. However on the flip-side, he dislikes those who don’t have that fire in them, or acts out inappropriately. O-Ryo was scolded and punished because she not only failed to do her job, but was choosing to cling onto him. We later learn how Oodanna is aware of O-Ryo’s feelings, but draws the line by saying regardless of being perceived as a father-figure, she must decide whether to be an independent young hostess, or someone who can rely on him. It has to be one or the other, and that is something she needs to figure out on her own.
I am certainly enjoying the easy-going pace of Aoi getting to know everyone before she really launches her restaurant. Actually now that I think about it, I wonder when she will finally open it? If not next week, I am going to guess she will start actively putting it together within the next three to four episodes.