It turns out opening a restaurant is harder than it seems. Who knew?
— Aoi is about to open her eatery, and she’s decided to name it Moonflower. Eh, I have no thoughts about the name. It’s not particularly important to me. What is important to me, however, are the minor details regarding the operation of the business. For instance, the show hasn’t quite explained where Aoi is getting all of her capital. Who are her suppliers? How is she paying them when the restaurant hasn’t opened and she has no customers?
— Also, who’s leading the front of house? Who’s going to bus the tables? Who’s washing the dishes? Is she going to hire any cooks to help her out?
— Has she even advertised the fact that the restaurant is opening?
— But of course, I realize that this show isn’t concerned about the logistics behind opening a restaurant, and that’s normally fine if the characters and/or the story were any good. Unfortunately…
— I would never consider mayonnaise to be mellow…
— I could definitely go for a curry riceball, though.
— So, uh, how do the ayakashi with no mouths eat? Do they even eat?
— Looks like the inn’s chefs are not happy that Aoi’s new place is about to open. Maybe they’re afraid that her restaurant will steal their customers. Eh, it really shouldn’t. Both places can coexist by targeting different clienteles. But that’s another thing we haven’t discussed: I’m sure Aoi’s homecooking is very delicious, but do the people in the area really need it? Maybe the homey, rustic market has already been conquered by another restaurant.
— The inn’s chefs have decided to litter the place with banana peels in the hopes that the girl will slip and fall on them. Yo, this ain’t Mario Kart.
— Oh well, this means Aoi has more people to win over.
— Aoi has at last one fanbase: the tengu. She’s gonna need a whole lot more than that, though.
— She tells the darumas to clean up the mess, but they obstinately hop away. The girl ends up doing it herself. Couldn’t she complain about it to Odanna, however, and get them punished? You might think this is petty or vindictive, but hey, they’re messing with her business and livelihood.
— Really? There’s a ninja after Aoi’s life? Then another ninja shows up to save the girl. Man, she’s got so many fans.
— Oh wow, it is Mario Kart. Unfortunately, the assassin gets away, so we don’t even know why someone is after her life. Nevertheless, the good guy ninja is also a bishie. In fact, he works as a security guard at the inn. Imagine undergoing all that fancy ninja training to guard an inn.
— I don’t think Aoi takes anything seriously. Someone made an attempt on her life. Shit, this isn’t even the first attempt on her life (remember, Oryo tried to get her eaten). And yet, Aoi is as cool as a cucumber. Dude, you wanted to come back here. You don’t normally have assassins coming after you in the real world! First things first, I’d high-tail it the fuck out of the Hidden Realm. Sayonara, Odanna, ’cause fuck ninjas! But assuming I couldn’t do that, I’d at least alert him and the authorities (assuming that the Hidden Realm even has anything akin to a police force). You can’t have assassins running around!
— But of course, this is fantasy for a boring, white bread audience. They’d never honestly choose this life for themselves, but they wouldn’t mind fantasizing about it from time to time.
— Aoi wonders who would even go after her. The ninja dude begins to answer, but then his growling stomach interrupts him. As a result, the conversation is dropped entirely! God, it’s such an anime thing. We’re discussing something really important, but gosh, let’s table it for hours and hours, because….
— A loco moco bowl with a ring of potato salad around the edges… I have never seen potato salad presented like that before.
— Bruh, where are your table manners?
— Man, ninja dude’s name is even Sasuke.
— Apparently, the color of an ayakashi determines its strength. Green ayakashi are supposedly weak and fragile. The more you know…
— Ayakashi do not age at the same rate as humans, so Sasuke is actually 80. And of course, he and Shiro used to be best buddies. The show continues to treat Shiro like a superstar even though the more I hear about him, the worse he seems to come across. He sold his granddaughter, abandoned two ayakashi after taking them in, and now we hear that he used to peep on women as they bathed. This is a two-cour series, so I’m sure the list will grow steadily.
— Aoi tells herself that she needs to practice waving her pot leaf… ’cause that’s hard.
— Dude, she’s doing all the prep work by herself. That’s not viable if she intends for Moonflower to become busy and profitable. Nevertheless, Aoi still finds the time to visit the city with Odanna. The place should probably also open for lunch.
— The girl quickly learns that she’s infamous, but not for the right reason. A recent newspaper has let it be known that she and Odanna will soon get hitched. Yo, what about the soon-to-open restaurant? You might want people to know about that as well. But like usual, Aoi’s not remotely perturbed; she looks mildly annoyed at best. Aoi’s biggest weakness is that she’s as careless as her late grandfather. He, however, was blessed with a weird ability to beat ayakashi up with just his bare fists. Our heroine can’t make the same bold claim.
— The girl eventually sees a mask that resembles the one she had seen in her youth, so she goes chasing after it. When she gets a closer look, however, she realizes that she’s dead wrong. I’m like… they don’t even look remotely similar. But thanks to this little stunt, Aoi finds herself in danger again. Yeesh. This time, Odanna has to save the day.
— This old man apparently makes the cherry juice that Aoi likes. Well then, there’s one supplier.
— On the one hand, the Hidden Realm strikes me as a rather dangerous place. I’d never live there. You can’t even walk down the streets without the fear of being eaten. On the other hand, Odanna is showing off some rather controlling tendencies. I’m not gonna call him abusive yet, but you should always be wary of any red flags that you come across. But if Aoi is truly as careless as Shiro, well, she’s in for harsh real world lessons.
— They’re having cassowary tempura… I don’t even know what a cassowary looks like.
— Ginji has been working for Odanna for the past 50 years, but to the ayakashi, this isn’t a significant amount of time at all. So, uh, what is their average life span?
— And now, our trio visit a shrine for establishing business connections and relationships. Ooh, foreshadowing. You know that this is exactly what Aoi lacks. At the moment, however, she’s too lost in her own world to give it a serious thought.
— God, why do they write such pointless lines like “I’ve met many ayakashi up until today. I’m sure I’ll be meeting many other ayakashi, too, in the future.” Okay…? And…? Is that it? Is that all you have to say? I’ve lived my days up until today… and I’m sure I’ll live many more days, too… knock on wood. It’s such an anime sort of line, y’know? It’s like how anime is full of people uttering other people’s names during serious moments: “Goku… Vegeta…” What? What the fuck do you want to say to them?! Nothing. They just wanted to utter the other person’s goddamn name!
— The eatery looks full on its opening night, but you’ll notice that only the tengu are in attendance. That’s not a good sign.
— Plus, the eatery looks a lot smaller on the inside. I was expecting a larger restaurant.
— God, look at all those dishes. I was gonna ask who would do them for Aoi, but then they all magically disappeared! Is this why she doesn’t need to hire more staff? Because Ginji has magical dishwashing powers?
— We also gotta remind ourselves that Aoi’s a home cook. Maybe the show won’t touch on it, but there’s always a danger in falling out of love with one of your hobbies when it suddenly becomes your job. When you have to do it day in and day out, your passions stop being fun. The fastest way to hate something is to make it obligatory. Luckily, I’ve never enjoyed programming or analyzing data, but why do you think I suddenly started blogging again? I needed a creative outlet to balance out my crappy job.
— Not surprisingly, the eatery hasn’t gotten a single customer for an entire week. And to make matters even worse, the accounting office wants to have a talk with Aoi. Looks like we have yet another bishie to win over!
— But honestly, we all saw this coming. The girl may have worked hard, but that doesn’t mean she worked smart. She came up with dishes that the ayakashi would like, but she didn’t advertise the business at all. The only thing she’s known for is marrying Odanna. Plus, she hasn’t done her homework. Would you open a restaurant without ever working in one? Yeah, yeah, she’s been busy; she’s had to make ice cream and mend a broken relationship between two stubborn spiders. But Aoi also needs to learn how to talk and establish relationships with her suppliers, balance the books, and maybe drum up excitement.
It’s getting to the point where the best part of this show is your snarky reviews… That’s not a god sign. :)
I wonder if Aoi’s carelessness is an intended trait or an oversight. Given how generic this anime is, it’s probably the later. But it’d have been interesting if they explored her carelessness and its consequences.
I think it’s probably intended. She inherited it from her grandfather, so while she took a lot of great things from him — like his courage and all the useful ayakashi stuff that he taught her — she also needs to transcend him as a descendant. I don’t think the show is compellingly telling this story, though. It’s there, but it’s not done in a thought-provoking way.