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~First Impressions~ Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits

Back in April my daughter and I were looking for a new series to watch together and came across “Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits” (also known as: Kakuriyo no Yadomeshi) on VRV’s Crunchyroll simulcasted series and liked the look of the cover right away. We began watching it and immediately liked the animation and the story.

This series is filled with many different Ayakashi (spirits/demons) that show up in many of Japans historical fables and stories. Once you hear what someone is you can go and look up more information to learn about that spirit which I always find interesting. The show has a very “Spirited Away” feel and story with the added aspect of that good ol amazing looking and sounding food that many anime series have lately.

The show follows a human girl Aoi who is spirited away to the world of Ayakashi to marry the Ogre god Odanna (that is in charge of a well respected bed and breakfast called: Tenjin-ya) as payment for her grandfathers debt to him. She is thrown into a cast of interesting and fun characters including but not limited to: a young hostess Snow Woman, a Kitsune nine tailed fox best friend, a eerie blond Zashiki-warashi, Tanukis, Kappas, and many more characters and ayakashi.

Aoi quickly becomes more comfortable in this hidden realm as she learns more about the different beings around her. She uses her skill of making delicious food with flavors from the apparent realm (human world) that also suit the tastes of the Ayakashi. She quickly gains admirers for her wonderful food and her caring nature for other beings.

My daughter and I very much enjoyed this series and waited less than patiently for Mondays after school to watch the new episode. Since this last week all 26 episodes are out to binge watch and enjoy.

Have you watched this series? What did you think about it? Who was your favorite character? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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~Promise not to look back~ (Spirited Away Fanfiction)

It had been 9 years since she had had that dream, the dream that seemed so real but it wasnt…was it? In her mind it was a mere dream but if it was just a dream why was she keeping that promise she made? She never looked back she kept going forward and kept growing. She was a fine young woman now, 19 years old. Her hair was now long enough to pass her waist but she kept it in a pony tail tied with a sparkling band that was of great importance to her, she always felt confident when wearing it. Instead of going to a University she managed to open a small shop where she sold charms and offerings to spirts, she was always quite fond of spirits. Some people didn’t believe that they exsisted but she did, she didn’t know how but she knew they were there watching us.
It was late in the evening when she locked up shop and walked back to the back where she lived, it was a nice cozy apartment that she could read and write in peace in. It was always hard when she was living with her parents but they could be obnoxious and incensitive at times so it could be difficult.
She sat at her kotatsu and began drawing in her sketchbook, for years now she would draw a dragon, not just any dragon but a particular one. She was fond of the dragon and part of her felt like she was waiting for the dragon to come for her. When ever she would feel this she would shake her head and tell herself that no such thing would happen…yet secretly she hoped.
She must have dozed off in her dreaming because she was awoken by the sound of the bell above the entrance door. “I thought I had locked that door…oh well maybe I forgot.” Chihiro stood and tidied up her appearence by brushing away the wrinkles of her dress. She walked through the hallway and into the store. “I’m terribly sorry but we’re closed no…” she gasped and held onto the counter for support. There was a man standing there in the center of the shop, his hair was fine and long tied back into a braid, he wore black pants and a matching top that had the top buttons undone showing his smooth ivory skin. His eyes seemed to look into her very soul, he gazed at her and their eyes met, in an instant her dream became a reality, it was real. She really went to that bath house 9 years ago and met all those spirits…her friends, and most importantly she met him though not for the first time there.
“Ha…Haku?” she asked her voice wavering.
He smiled and gave a slight bow. ” Chihiro it’s been awhile. I must apoligize that it has taken me this long.” She just stared at him, it was so much to take in she didn’t know what to say. She opened her mouth but nothing came out, against her will tears sprang up in her eyes and began to fall to the ground. She buried her face in her hand and lowered herself to the ground as she sobbed.
He chuckled and walked slowly over to her kneeling down and placing his hand on her back. “You can still be a cry baby I see.” She cried and he comforted her. “Hey there, shhh…shhh…it’s all okay now.”
She turned to him and threw her arms around his neck burrying her face into his shoulder. He looked over at her with a loving expression and wraped his arms around her gently cradling her.
After a few minutes her tears dried and she pulled away so she could look into his eyes, she kept her hands on his shoulders thinking that as long as she held him he wouldn’t go away again. ” Haku, I’m sorry…i’m so sorry.” she said almost bring herself to tears again.
He gave her a warm smile. “For what?”
“For forgetting…” she looked away ashamed.
He released her and grabed her chin pulling her face back to his. “You didn’t really forget, you were waiting for me, all this time. I made it to where you couldn’t remember but you never forgot.” he cupped her cheek in his soft hand.
She closed her eyes and put her own hand over his. ” You came…you came…”
He kissed her forehead, she opened her eyes surprised, a slight pink showing on her cheeks. ” I promised didn’t I, im just sorry it took so long. I watched you grow, I watched you and wanted to be with you but I knew I couldn’t until…” he trailed off.
“Until what?” she asked looking up at him with those large eyes.
“Until I became human.” He gave her a smile that seemed to melt her very soul.
“Haku…you mean your…? But…why that means you will…” she searched his eyes.
“Die? Yes I know, as will you one day. Chihiro I don’t want immortality if it means I have to live forever, a forever where your not there. I love you Chihiro I always have.” he gazed upon her with such sincerity and adoration she wouldn’t have minded if time had stopped right there.
She blushed and closed her eyes for a moment thinking over what he had just said, after a time she opened them and smiled. ” I love you too Haku, I was waiting for you.” She slowly leaned forward and placed her lips on his. He put one hand on the back of her head and the other on her lower back pulling her in as they shared their first kiss. An eternity seemed to pass before they parted and gazed lovingly into one anothers eyes. Haku stood pulling Chihiro up with him, he kneeled back down and grasped both of her hands. “Chihiro would you live this life and many more with me as my wife and partner in all I do?”
Tears filled her eyes again and she nodded. “Yes…Yes! Of course I do!.” a wide smile crossed his face and he picked her off the ground and swung her around happily.
“Thank you Chihiro, you’ve made me the happiest man alive, it will be an honor to live and die with you by my side.”

Many many years later
They lived happily for many years, had children and then they had children of their own. Haku and Chihiro always honored the spirits and each other. They grew old together and shared the experience of life with one another. The sad times, the happy times everything they managed to be strong through it all. They never once looked back.
Haku lay on the white futon that was on the floor, the sliding doors were open letting in the spring air , the sounds of the nearby river could be heard. He gazed out at the greenery, his face withered and old, his eyes held such wisdom. He coffed and was joined by Chihiro who was being helped by her grand daughters, once they set her next to him she shooed them away.
She looked down at her husband with calm eyes. She could feel him slipping. She sighed and gazed out to the swaying trees. ” I wonder…if you ever regret giving up your life as a spirit…” her voice was aged but wise.
Haku lifted his hand to her face and held it like he always had before. “Not a day has ever passed where I felt regret, I have lived a full and happy life.”
She smiled sweetly and lay down next to him holding his hand to her heart. “Thank you for loving me.”
They both lay there gazing outside then as if on cue they turned their heads towards each other gazing into the eyes of their life partner. Chihiro closed hers and sighed. “No matter how many lives we live promise you will always find me…”
He turned her head to look upwards and closed his eyes. “No matter what I will always find you…promise me that you will never look back.”
She inhaled and exhaled slowly. “I promise…see you soon…” they intertwined their fingers and held onto each others hand tightly. After a few fleeting moments both of their grips loosened but they still were intertwined. Their last breaths left their earthly bodies and they slipped away…together, like it always should and would be till the end of time.