Original Run: April 2, 2020 - June 18, 2020 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life Based on the Series Created By: Kouji Kumeta
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Kakushigoto. Reader discretion is advised.***
Kakushi Goto (voiced by Hiroshi Kamiya) was over the moon when his daughter Hime (voiced by Rie Takahashi) was born. He could not have been prouder, that was until he realized that his job as a manga writer, and one who specializes in dirty jokes, might devastate his little girl.
To ensure that Hime never finds out his job, Kakushi goes to great lengths to hide what he does. So far, he has, somehow, managed to do just that.
Kakushi will do whatever he needs to do to ensure that Hime is happy and healthy, and his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. To Hime, her father is the person who she looks up to the most. Life might be a bit hectic, but at least these two have each other.
I’m slightly torn on Kakushigoto. On the one hand, the show could be an average anime comedy that employed many of the types of jokes (over the top explanations and Japanese-style observational humor) that I usually find irritating. On the other hand, this series had a few unique elements that helped reduce my irritation of those aspects. For instance, Mr. Hiroshi Kamiya, who voiced the main character Kakushi Gotou, is one of my favorite voice actors, and his delivery and performance were fantastic.
Plus, and I can’t stress this enough, Kakushigoto was often on point. And when it was really on point, my god it was good.
Let’s start with this series’s atmosphere. Kakushigoto felt a bit like a combination between Barakamon and Usagi Drop. It was light, down-to-earth, and calm.
This show, like Barakamon, could also be silly and wild; granted, not to the same extent or severity, but quite funny, nonetheless. And like Usagi Drop, there was a hint of melancholy; this story had a sense of tragedy. It was that impending sadness that made this show what it was.
Kakushigoto had two faces, something that was established in the first few minutes of the first episode. The primary bulk of this show took place when Kakushi was working as a manga artist, and his daughter, Hime was still in elementary school. Here was where this show was a comedy. The other half was set a few years later when Hime just turned eighteen. This is the part that grabs you because this series was great at slowly revealing its secrets.
I’m not sure how much I am willing to give away, assuming I haven’t already given too much. To nip it here, the last thing I will say about this subject is that the type of atmosphere which surrounded a ten-year-old Hime and an eighteen-year-old one couldn’t have been more night and day.
I suppose this does raise the question: Could Kakushigoto have stood better as a stand-alone comedy or a stand-alone drama? A quick answer to that would be a simple yes. I must also admit that it was this series’s more dramatic side that impressed me the most. However, that never could have happened if not for this show’s larger comedic side.
I’ve already said that some of the jokes in Kakushigoto were of my preference. By extension, there was a notable lack of laugh-out-loud moments for me. Be that as it may, it seemed as though the real purpose of this humor wasn’t to make characters who could consistently make you chuckle. Instead, it appeared as though this show was crafting characters you could yourself attach to and like. To that end, it was a mission accomplished.
If I had to pick my favorite aspect of Kakushigoto, it would have to be the relationship between Kakushi and Hime. It’s the same reason why Usagi Drop (the anime) was so good. It was Kasushi and Hime against the world; they had each other. Admittedly, Hime was one of those children characters who could do no wrong. Still, she was also adorable, so I’m going to overlook that. Kakushi, though, was the sort of dad I hope I can be should I ever have a kid of my own.
Kakushi cared so much for his little girl. From the outside, you might mistakenly believe he had given up his dreams to take care of his daughter. I don’t see it that way, and I’m willing to bet neither did he. Kakushi didn’t give up anything. His dream became Hime. If she was happy and healthy, that was Kakushi’s fulfillment.
The last thing I will say concerning Kakushigoto’s positives is this. Although this series didn’t get the heartiest laughs out of me, it did get me to tear up something fierce. Any show that can do that is worth a look in my book.
As a heads-up, this section will mostly consist of nitpicks. After all, I’ve already mentioned Kakushigoto had the type of humor that I am not the biggest fan of. However, as I also said, this series did an outstanding job of mitigating my annoyance. As such, if this form of comedy doesn’t bother you, then I don’t see why you should have any issues with this series in this area.
On to the nitpicks: There was a lot of information revealed at the end of this series. These details were revelations and not unexpected, lazy surprises. Kakushigoto gave context to many of the events that occurred earlier in the story. Therefore, I can’t find much fault about how and when this information got conveyed.
What does bother me is that this information was fascinating. It would have been interesting to see how things would have played out if they were an actual part of the narrative. For instance, it would have been enlightening to see the actual bridging between ten-year-old and eighteen-year-old Hime unfold throughout a dedicated story arc.
This is getting more and more difficult to explain. To go any further would require me to spoil so much, and there were a few moments that took me by surprise. I don’t want to rob you of that feeling. All I can say is why I am considering this to be a nitpick and not a criticism.
Kakushigoto was the story of a particular moment in Kakushi and Hime’s life. Since that was the focus, it made the ending much heavier. We knew what was going on and why it was meaningful to the characters.
Yeah, this series could have stretched the narrative out so that it could have covered years’ worth of content. I think that could have worked. Except, that wouldn’t have been Kakushigoto as we got it. This show would have transformed into something unrecognizable. Thus, why risk such a change when what was here was great?
I liked this show a lot.
From the opening minutes, this series managed to create an atmosphere that sucks you right into the story. Then as things progressed, we were given a full cast of characters to enjoy, a narrative to lose ourselves in, and a show worth remembering.
Without hesitation, Kakushigoto has earned a recommendation.
But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Kakushigoto? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.