With its fascinating supernatural storyline, memorable characters and swoon-worthy love triangle, it’s no surprise that Fruits Basket has such a dedicated fan base. Fruits Basket is the epitome of the shojo genre, and even though the series has concluded, fans just can’t get enough. They can certainly enjoy their comfort series through countless re-watches, but there are many other romance and supernatural anime that can scratch that Fruits Basket itch. among such anime, Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits is the perfect series for Fruits Basket fans. While Fruits Basket follows the story of ordinary school Tohru Honda befriending members of the Sohma family and helping them break free of the curse that binds them each to a zodiac animal, Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits has a different supernatural focus: ayakashi.
In this supernatural shojo title, Aoi Tsubaki inherits from her grandfather both the ability to see ayakashi and a great debt to Odanna, an ogre innkeeper. As payment, Odanna asks that Aoi marry him, but she refuses, working at his inn to pay off the debt instead. Using her culinary skills to cook up dishes that ayakashi love and gain energy from, Aoi opens a restaurant at the inn, and in doing so, she befriends a number of ayakashi and gets caught up in their antics and dilemmas. Because Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits is both reminiscent of all the things fans love about Fruits Basket and unique in its own right, Fruits Basket fans will surely enjoy Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits from start to finish.
The Supernatural Storyline
One thing that makes Fruits Basket such a fun and engaging series is its supernatural elements. While the series is centered in a modern, semi-rural area of Japan, at the core of its plot lies a supernatural curse that possesses 13 members of the Sohma family with the animal spirits of the Chinese zodiac and binds them to the head of the Sohma family, much as the 13 members of the zodiac are bound to God in the old tale. While the supernatural elements in Fruits Basket are confined to the Sohma’s curse and their ability to turn to their zodiac animal when embraced by a person of the opposite sex, Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits has a much more supernatural storyline. Fruits Basket fans will enjoy the traditional Japanese lore that Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits explores.
College student Aoi feeds the ayakashi she has the unique power to see, and after giving a bento to a hungry ogre, he takes her to the Hidden Realm intent on making her his bride as compensation for her grandfather’s debt to him. Other than the very occasional brief visit to the human realm, most of the series’ storyline takes place in the Hidden Realm, where ayakashi reside. Here, Aoi meets various kinds of ayakashi, from ogres, nine-tailed foxes and tengu to tsuchigumo, kappa and tanuki.
A Colorful Cast of Characters
Fruits Basket fans also adore the series’ wide range of characters. From the aggressively tsundere Kyo to bubbly, happy-go-lucky Momiji, each character has a distinct personality and gripping backstory. The series explores the stories of Tohru’s old and new friends alike, presenting complex and fully fleshed-out characters that viewers can’t help but love. Although Tohru is the main lead and Kyo, Yuki and Shigure also form the core group of protagonists, Fruit Baskets is known for the beautiful development of all its many characters. Because Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits likewise presents a colorful cast of characters, Fruits Basket fans will enjoy watching the various characters’ stories unfold.
While running and serving delicious dishes at Moonflower, Aoi meets many ayakashi, listening to their stories, helping them with their problems, feeding them rejuvenating meals and ultimately befriending them. While her relationship with Odanna starts on a rough note, trust, friendship and affection grow between the two as the series progresses. Odanna appears to be a harsh and merciless innkeeper at the beginning of the series, but viewers can watch his kindness unfold as they and Aoi get to know him. Viewers will also become acquainted with the cheerful and caring Ginji — who has a personality akin to Yuki Sohma — the cold but loyal snow woman Oryo, the disowned tengu Hatori and the tough but brotherly Akatsuki. As Aoi gets to know each of the surrounding characters, their complex stories and personalities come to light.
A Strong and Lovable Female Lead
A quintessential shojo protagonist, Tohru Honda is a prized gem in Fruit Baskets. Fans love her for her unwavering positivity, endearing nature, selfless care of others and sheer strength in the midst of her own difficulties. Even if she is a bit airheaded and clumsy at times, Tohru exhibits a resilience that captures the hearts of fans. Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits‘ Aoi Tsubaki greatly resembles Tohru in her capacity as a strong and lovable female lead.
Similar to Tohru, Aoi has a heartbreaking trap. Just as Tohru endured the heartbreak of losing both of her parents and then being forced out of her grandfather’s home, Aoi was abandoned by her mother and left alone to starve, surviving only due to the benevolence of a kind ayakashi. After she was adopted by her grandfather, he eventually passed away, leaving her with a compassion towards ayakashi, culinary skills and a debt to an ogre innkeeper. When Aoi is whisked away to the Hidden Realm, she meets the change head-on, making the most of her situation by using her talents to help those around her, going as far as she can for those she cares about.
A Swoon-Worthy Love Triangle
A trademark of many shojo series, Fruits Basket is known for its love triangle. Although this love triangle doesn’t keep fans guessing too long and does have a final resolution, fans debate whether Tohru should end up with the gentle and kind Yuki, who was there for her from the start, or the short-tempered and fiery Kyo , who opens up to Tohru and quietly shows his care for her throughout the series. Tohru certainly cares deeply for both Yuki and Kyo, and they for her, but viewers can see how Tohru’s relationship with both guys develops differently and what each of them means to her. Audiences can watch a similar love triangle develop in Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits.
Although Aoi rejects Odanna’s request for her hand in marriage as payment for her grandfather’s debt, she gets closer to him throughout the series, growing comfortable with him and developing feelings for him. While she corrects Odanna whenever he refers to her as his bride at the beginning of the series, she stops correcting him as they grow closer.
However, Aoi also develops a close relationship with Ginji, who appears to her and brings her food on her first night at Tenjin-ya and then encourages her to open a restaurant to pay back the debt to Odanna. Throughout the series, he is a kind and loyal friend to Aoi, much like Yuki is to Tohru, and Aoi’s closeness to Ginji can easily be interpreted through a romantic lens. Fans who loved watching the love triangle unfold in Fruits Basket will also appreciate the similar situation in Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits and enjoy choosing a favorite love interest to root for.
With so much to offer, Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits is a perfect anime for Fruits Basket fans binge. The series is not quite as long as the three seasons of Fruits Basket, but its twenty-six episodes are sure to enchant and entertain. A second season has yet to be officially announced, but it does have an ongoing manga for fans who are left wanting more.