I was going to start this off with a clever anecdote, but who has time for a semi-relevant story when there’s an anime with so much heart and soul to watch?!
Kakushigoto is an anime that has a little bit of everything, and it sticks with you long after its last episode. The characters are lovable; the story and relationships are heartwarming; the anime’s adorable little girl is just the cutest kid ever; the comedy will have you laughing right from the get-go. And the tale of love, loss, grief and anxiety is something that many of us have experienced in one way or another.
This is an anime of many genres—each one executed nigh perfectly. And with gorgeous art and wonderful music, there is just no way you can go wrong with this one. You absolutely need to experience Kakushigoto.
What is Kakushigoto?
The story follows a man named Kakushi Goto and his 10-year-old daughter, Hime. A mangaka by trade, Kakushi has a much bigger fanbase than he likes to let on. Great, right?
Well, the only issue is that this isn’t quite a cute, wholesome, slice of life manga. See, Kakushi draws raunchy comedy, and he’ll do absolutely anything to make sure it stays a secret from his sweet, innocent daughter.
On the other hand, the adorable Hime is a quiet, sweet little ray of sunshine. And with each episode, Kakushi pushes the envelope on just how far he’s willing to go to protect her from his career, with one increasingly ridiculous situation after another (usually fueled by his own paranoia).
Each episode of Kakushigoto is another day in the life of this two-person family. But it’s this combination of comedic errors, hilarious misunderstandings and desperate attempts at being the Coolest Dad Ever™️ that make the genuinely heartwarming moments of this series sing.
Though a comedy, this series is very much scattered with the afterimages of grief and loss, touching on themes of anxiety and being a single parent. It’s truly special.
The most adorable dynamic duo
Hime is just all-around a great kid. So it’s no wonder why her father is terrified of her discovering he draws erotic manga. But aside from that, Kakushi is just trying to be the best dad he can be. He’s at every school event and is always ready to spend time with her when his work schedule allows.
This pair clearly think the world of each other, and it is adorable. Each episode is filled with heartwarming goodness showcasing their wholesome relationship. And like many relationships, it isn’t always perfect. Hime and Kakushi both make mistakes and face their fears as they grow and learn to be the support each other needs.
They’re by far one of the best father/daughter duos around. You just can’t help but to smile while watching them! There’s more than enough cute to squee at in this series.
A comedy of errors!
OK, so maybe all of the adorableness isn’t your thing. Maybe you’re looking for a more comedic take on family life or a look at what it’s like to work in the manga industry. Don’t worry, Kakushigoto is still for you.
Kakushi sweeps his assistants, friends, editor, neighbors and Hime’s teachers up in his wild, convoluted attempts to hide his true career. After all, what would Hime-chan think of a father drawing something so scandalous!?
This is where Kakushigoto shows off another of its successes—the supporting cast. Each of the side characters, from Kakushi’s manga assistants to Hime’s teacher, have their own personality. They serve to further Kakushi’s absurd lengths, sure, but they’re also a voice of reason and positive role model to Hime.
As chaos continues to mount, the story shows Hime growing up, now older and wiser. The stakes are at an all-time high. Or at least, that’s what Kakushi thinks. In reality, Hime is trusting. She doesn’t question her father, even when her own classmates do, so it only ends up more absurd that Kakushi goes to the lengths he does to keep it a secret.
But it’s that comedy of errors loop that keeps Kakushigoto wild and fun throughout its entire run.
Yes, there’s even more beyond the slice of life, comedic onslaught of Kakushigoto. This series masterfully straddles the line between comedy and something that, at times, is more somber than you might expect.
You might think Kakushi’s plots are bit irrational, but they’re actually founded in his own insecurity. The deflective, self-depreciative comments that Kakushi gives himself serve to illustrate his terror at Hime finding out the truth.
There’s a very real fear from him that—as her only parent—he won’t be enough as a father that he’ll lead her astray. The anxiety is palpable.
It’s also something that his assistants pick up on. These amazingly supportive fellow artists understand his fear, even if they don’t always agree with his reasoning. They’ve got his back, not just because Kakushi’s their boss, but because they genuinely like him and don’t want him breaking down.
In their own way, they help to sooth his parental fear and help to break his paranoid tendencies.
A close look at grief and loss
Kakushigoto is a bright kaleidoscope of color; a celebration of the love this happy little family has. But there’s a line of duller, quieter color and tone here that cultivate a sense of loneliness. It’s intentional, and it works.
The one-floor home the two live in is in the middle of the city, and it somehow feels out of place, at once both too big and too small. And ever-present in the background is Hime’s late mother, who left a rift in the family after her death.
Kakushi is doing everything he can for Hime to make her the happiest little girl he possibly can, and he does a particularly great job in circumstances he feels are overwhelming. But the loss is still there.
Even if Hime herself isn’t always feeling that loss, Kakushi feels it for the both of them. Beyond the paranoia of hiding his job, Kakushi is at his core a father terrified of more loss.
Kakushigoto is so many things. It’s a comedy. It’s a slice of life. It’s a heartwarming examination of grief, loss, anxiety and perseverance. It’s every bit as funny as it is meaningful.
And if you haven’t watch it yet, well, you’re in for something truly special.