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Kakushigoto Episode #09 Anime Review

6 min read
Kakushigoto was light on themes this week, focusing instead on comical industry insights.

Tomaruin makes a case for main antagonist in this week’s Kakushigoto

What They Say
As December rolls around, Kakushi and his assistants prepare for the year-end grind. Tensions are high, but there’s hope on the horizon – and that hope is a big, shiny chandelier at the year-end publisher party. Knowing there is a chance his secret may be revealed, Goto-sensei still chooses to bring Hime to the holiday celebration. But thanks to his reckless editor Tomaruin, Sensei will learn that you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

The Review
Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The end of the year can be signified by a general change in mood, as clouds of merriment and joy sweep over those eagerly awaiting the holidays and a break from their busy work schedules. But for the poor saps working in manga, December is an intimidating foe. The year-end grind sees mangakas and their assistants working tirelessly to make strict deadlines and finish special holiday edition manuscripts. By the time Christmas rolls around, all that holiday cheer has been sucked dry. Normally a very demoralizing situation, Goto’s assistants have an air of confidence about them. That’s because beyond the December slog lies a truly special event – the Godansha year-end party! Attending their publisher’s big party amongst the other manga big wigs is sure to give meaning to all the work they do. There’s only one problem. Due to a lack of funds, the publisher is cancelling the big year-end party in favor of a humbler celebration. And just like that, Goto-sensei had another big secret to hide: in order to keep his assistants motivated through December, he can’t tell them about the party being cancelled!

Despite Goto’s efforts, the ever-timely Tomaruin lets the cat out of the bag. The assistants are momentarily devastated, but Rasuna suggests a counter-offer – they’ll go to Chugakukan’s year-end party instead! Goto is hesitant to attend a party for his old publisher, especially since his former editors have probably moved on. But Rasuna is persistent in scoring that year-end motivator, so she plays her trump card (lets just call it the Hime Flush). Since it’s likely that no one will recognize him, Goto would be able to bring Hime to the party and show her the big holiday chandelier he mentioned to her. Earlier, while setting up holiday decorations, Hime mistakenly placed a disco ball above the Christmas tree, thinking it was a chandelier. With Rasuna’s new plan, Goto would be able to motivate his assistants and impress Hime by showing her a real chandelier.

As an aside, there’s an interesting subtext about the word ‘sensei’ in this episode. Goto tells Hime that December used to be called “Shiwasu”, signifying a time of year where even sensei’s are in a hurry. Goto’s fun fact would come back to bite him. Hime discusses the topic of Shiwasu more with her classmates. This leads to a rabbit-hole discussion about what a ‘sensei’ is exactly. The term is used broadly for a lot of people’s titles, including teachers, doctors, politicians…and manga artists. The conversation continues at Goto’s studio, where his assistants ponder the significance of being called ‘sensei’ as a manga artist. But Goto and Rasuna flip the word on its head, proclaiming that sensei is often used as a sarcastic insult by elitist editors (as Tomaruin walks in with his impeccable timing). Tomaruin is stuck going to the Godansha karaoke party, but that won’t stop him from screwing Goto over. Per Tomaruin’s request, Nadila and Hime show up at the Godansha karaoke party, thinking it was the same party Goto was at. Goto makes a mad dash for the karaoke bar, and as Hime sees him running by, she equates him to the Shiwasu and calls him sensei. For a moment Goto thought the jig was up, but lucky for him, his secret is safe for another day.

Kakushigoto, or as I like to call it, ‘Misunderstandings the Anime’ continues as the gang make their way to the Chugakukan party. Despite the chance that he’ll get his ass beat for sneakily working at a rival’s party, Tomaruin sees this as a chance to scout some artist talent. But picking a manga artist out of the crowd isn’t easy. Goto’s assistants deduce that a manga artist will always be accompanied by their editor, the former in their normal, shabby clothes and the latter in a suit. But with the surge in women manga artists nowadays, they’re likely to wear frilly dresses that don’t match their age. And with his devilish luck, the first victim to fall under Tomaruin’s gaze is Hime (Goto is concealing his mangaka aura by wearing a suit). To Goto’s surprise, Tomaruin isn’t the only one to have approached Hime with a business card. Only then does Goto realize what he had done: this party was a den of wolves, starved for work and talent, and Hime was the prime rib they were looking for.  But before he can make his escape, some Godansha attendees find Tomaruin’s business cards scattered on the floor and a manhunt for the rival editor begins!

Although Tomaruin is constantly a thorn in his side, Goto does his best to sneak him out unharmed. To do so, he would need a new disguise. Goto and his assistants grab every piece of otaku merch they can get their hands on, and before they knew it, Tomaruin looked like a bonafide manga artist. Unfortunately, Goto doesn’t get away unscathed. A Godansha employee accuses him of being Tomaruin, further confirming it with the business card Goto had in his pocket (the card he had taken from Hime earlier). And of course, because he’s dressed in a suit, there’s no way he could be a manga artist! Goto is nearly skinned alive before an old colleague from Godansha clears up the misunderstanding. Once again, Goto’s secretive games backfire on him, but at least he and Hime get one last wholesome moment. As the two head home from the party, they come across a giant Christmas tree made purely out of lights. In the end, Hime got to see something even prettier than a big chandelier, and Goto protects her smile for one more day…

The after-credits scene is just as brief as the rest but leaves us with something to think about. Goto’s assistant Aogu is working at a bookshop, where he is handed a book by a customer. The title is “Manga Artists Who Disappeared”, with Goto-sensei’s name on the cover. It’s still unclear what happened to Goto at this point, but Aogu’s final line of the episode only muddles things further as he says, “That’s a lie.”

In Summary:
Kakushigoto was light on themes this week, focusing instead on comical industry insights. Not many heavy moments or deep reflections either, just another day of Goto-sensei almost failing to keep his secret. With only a few episodes remaining, it feels like there is still so much of this story yet to be told! I expect that soon enough we’ll get an entire episode focusing on the future timeline.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Funimation

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