Well, if Aoi wants to open an eatery, she’ll need to drum up some hype for the grand opening. Let’s see how she goes about doing just that.
— I honestly kinda dig the OP. It’s by no means original, but I enjoy the mix of old and new. I also like the flute. Fun fact: the singer is also the heroine of the show.
— At Aoi’s grandfather’s funeral, people badmouthed him but in a teasing way. I guess he was a complicated man — neither a saint nor a devil. Then again, if it’s true that he offered his own granddaughter up as collateral, maybe he was a devil after all.
— Still, Aoi has adapted to her predicament real quick. Maybe a little too quick. If it were me, I’d be raging. What about my life back in the human world? Who’s going to pay my rent? Who’s going to feed my cat? How can she be so calm? No, you can’t just hand-wave it off with cooking.
— Aoi tells Ginji, the nine-tailed fox, that she can’t simply run an eatery, and she’s right. Yeah, she cooks good food. But you also need to be a boss. You need to hand-pick a bunch of competent chefs as well as a solid front-of-house team. You need to have business sense. Let’s assume she doesn’t have to worry about getting a liquor license or meeting safety regulations. Even then, she still has to advertise and market her restaurant. She has to develop relationships with her purveyors. She needs to plan out a menu that retains an authentic feel without being too complicated. It’s not as easy as it looks, man. There’s a reason why a good percentage of restaurants close up shop after just one year. Not only that, this location is apparently cursed or something.
— I’m an Asian-American who’s been eating with chopsticks for most of my life, and you know what? I still hate eating rice without a spoon.
— Oh yeah, one more thing about opening a restaurant: just because you like to cook, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll also like to cook in a restaurant. I read an interesting article a while back about this very topic. Basically, an amateur home cook decided to risk his office job to open up a restaurant without adequate research. To be fair, this guy was definitely short-sighted, and not everyone will make his mistakes, but still, it’s a very interesting read. And I know, I know — Aoi won’t fail because this is a feelgood anime at the end of the day. Plus, it’s just a cartoon. Nevertheless, I think it’s worthwhile to keep things in perspective.
— Anyways, Aoi returns to the inn to find that a huge fight has broken out. Why? The tengu found the food to be boring, so they got drunk and started flipping tables. How nice. But look, they want good food, and Aoi apparently cooks good food! It’s like a marriage made in heaven! I mean, what a golden opportunity for her to show off her skills and generate hype for her soon-to-open eatery!
— Kasuga, the tanuki girl, seems nice, at least.
— Odanna eventually shows up and starts insulting Aoi for being curious about the situation. He threatens to eat her or feed her to the tengu if she doesn’t leave right away. Wow, what a peach. And the worst part? The show’s going to do its darndest over the next two seasons to convince us that he’s a worthwhile partner. Naturally, the poor girl runs off in frustration.
— Later that night, she finds an unconscious old man outside the empty eatery. I bet it’s the tengu elder. I bet she’s going to feed him!
— All I know about the tengu is that they have high AGI in the Shin Megami Tensei games. Honestly, that’s also true for pretty much the vast majority of Japanese folklore and mythology.
— She offers him some food, but I’m thinking that those dishes have got to be cold by now, aren’t they? They’ve just been sitting there on the counter, covered by some cloth. That’s also not very hygienic. But since it’s fiction, the food is perfectly fine for eating. It’s also super delicious. But y’know what? How funny would it be if this ends up being a better cooking anime than Shokugeki no Soma?
— The old man was apparently close to Aoi’s grandfather.
— Why would you fight over food? Like shit, the more I learn about the hidden realm, the more immature these ayakashi appear to be. And what’s ironic is how they like to look down on Aoi for being just a human.
— The old man eventually introduces himself as Matsuba, and he proceeds to tell Aoi a thing or two about her grandfather. Shiro had a lot of friends here, but he also had a lot of haters as well. And when they hate you in the hidden realm, it also means they want to kill you! Yay! Aoi just chuckles in response. LULZ that’s my grandfather for ya!
— Shiro also saved Matsuba’s life. Look at this clumsy idiot. Aoi’s grandfather jumped into the river to save the old man, but he followed this up by demanding a reward. So yeah, Shiro was simultaneously good and scummy. It’s amazing that he had enough heart to adopt Aoi. But then again, he did use her as collateral.
— That green tea is very green.
— Hey, some of us can!
— And just like that, he takes off: “I have to go now. My planet needs me. (Note: Matsuba died on the way back to his home planet.)”
— It’s now apparently Aoi’s turn to praise her grandfather. C’mon, he saddled you with a giant debt!
— Are there really faucets shaped like this in Japan?
— The next day, Ginji abruptly drags Aoi to the inn where she finds the inn’s staff as well as the tengu waiting for her. Matsuba then runs up and thanks her profusely for feeding him. He then gives her
some pot a very treasured fan that should’ve gone to Shiro. So, uh, what does it do?
— Dude, you have wings.
— The old man then claims that the tengu would gladly pay off Aoi’s debt… if she marries one of his sons. Yeeeeeah, how ’bout no.
— The nine-tailed fox kneels before Matsuba, apologizes, then says that Aoi can’t leave. After all, she is engaged to Odanna. The old man correctly points out, however, that they’re not treating her very well here. Just look at Odanna stewing in all his salt.
— But of course, the girl turns Matsuba down, because her grandfather’s debt is also hers. She’ll do everything she can to correct his mistakes. Dumb. Just dumb.
— Also, she totally promised that manchild ogre over there that she’d pay off the debt.
— Aoi then tries to reject the treasured fan too! Man, these anime heroines are so lame.
— Matsuba alludes to some bad blood between Shiro and Odanna, but because this is a two-cour series, we’ll probably have to sit tight if we wanna know what happened between them.
— Then right before he leaves, the old man encourages her to open up that eatery. The inn’s staff, however, immediately voices their objection.
— Afterwards, Aoi has made her decision, so she asks Odanna directly for permission. For some reason, he drags her onto an airship before finally giving his okay with a smile. Um… yeah. Moody bishies are so exhausting.