Kakushigoto episode 8 was surprisingly emotional. Previous episodes have, of course, featured emotional moments – how about that gut punch at the end of episode 4, for one? – but this episode felt a lot more centered around those emotional moments, with comedy taking a back seat for the most part. Given the strength of the characters, this works well – and sets up nicely for the finale in a matter of weeks.
Two main thematic beats allow Kakushigoto episode 8 to deliver its emotional content. Firstly, there is the conflict between dreams and reality: this is explored initially in a comedic manner, with Kakushi stressing about how he can’t match the quality of his rough drafts in the finished chapter, but quickly becomes something more serious as Kakushi heads back to Kamakura to drop off the painting from the last episode. Here, he discovers another mysterious painting (presumably drawn by his father-in-law) depicting Hime, himself, and Hime’s mother eating dinner together in a composition tentatively titled “Ordinary Future Plans.” He vows to make those plans come true, turning their dreams into reality, which is a wonderfully emotional moment that speaks to the strength of Kakushi’s character – even if it is followed by a gag involving a train crossing swiftly afterwards.
The second main thematic beat in Kakushigoto episode 8 comes in the idea of celebrations. Again, this is introduced in a comedic manner, as it turns out that no one remembered or cared about Tights in the Wind passing the 100 chapter milestone, but quickly turns more serious as Hime worries about what the consequences of her going to a friend’s birthday party may be. Kakushi vows, however, to practice his cooking as much as possible so that he can handle all the preparations on his own, saying that it is important to celebrate when you can – a day may come when ‘you may not be able to celebrate, even if you want to,’ clearly calling back to the previous painting.
Kakushigoto episode 8 does, however, benefit from the structure of the original manga by Koji Kumeta somewhat. It adapts a run of chapters that follow a core thematic beat rather well, as opposed to the more comedy-centric chapters that previous episodes, such as episode 2, were forced to deal with. That being said, it does make several changes: starting with chapter 43, it misses out chapters 45, 49 and 50, as well as cutting out the last part of chapter 52. Given that these chapters are mostly comedic asides, we can only assume that Ajia-Do took this decision because they did not contribute to the overall theme of the episode’s two halves – not a bad decision, even if it does deprive some characters of screen time and the audience of some potential laughs.
At this point, it is perhaps important to say that Kakushigoto episode 8 is still quite funny. As mentioned, most of the episode’s more ‘serious’ ideas are introduced by way of a comedic intervention, which keeps things light-hearted for the most part. There is also the conflict between Kakushi and Tomaruin, which comes into play on two separate occasions: the first when they hatch a dastardly plan to have Kakushi simply submit his rough drafts for publication (it fails), and the other when he makes yet more asshat comments about how Kakushi’s manga sucks upon passing its 100th chapter milestone.
That being said, it may have been nice for Kakushigoto episode 8 to have included chapter 52, as it functions as a coda to Kakushi’s desire to celebrate anniversaries properly. But there is only so much time to spare each week, so I understand why the team decided to cut it – this is not a return to the cutthroat approach of episode 1. Furthermore, I have been thinking about how the fact that the anime adaptation misses out so much of the original manga might not be such a bad thing: it may allow anime viewers to switch over to the manga upon the series’ imminent conclusion and still find some enjoyment in reading content that they’ve already seen, as so many of its constituent parts have been skipped over.
In any case, Kakushigoto episode 8 was yet another surprisingly solid episode for a series that disappointed me so much upon its premiere. It manages to get across several compelling ideas with regard to how to best live life, while also still managing to be funny in the process – what more could you ask for?
You can watch Kakushigoto episode 8 via Funimation.