As kids, we’ve all wondered what our parents do for a living. Some are teachers, others wear suits to work, and some stay at home. How would you feel though if your Dad drew ecchi manga? That is the problem we have before ourselves as father Kakushi Goto tries to shield his daughter Hime from his profession. Admittedly had it not been for AgeOfBoredom, I might not have given this title another look. Kakushigoto is currently released digitally by Kodansha, but with an anime adaptation, we may get a physical edition in the future. So let’s find out, is Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition worth reading? Find out in our Kakushigoto volume 1 review!
The story unfolds
As I mentioned in my introduction, the basic premise is that of a father, Kakushi wanting to hide the fact that he draws dirty manga from his daughter, Hime. We start the story with her having just turned 18 and travelling to a beachfront town to find out what her father was trying to avoid. From here, we jump back in time and are introduced to Kakushi as he explains the situation and how he tries to hide his profession. Every morning he sends Hime to school dressed in a suit only to later get to his studio and change into the loosest fitting clothes he can find. He really goes to extremes which in some cases is ridiculous but in a humorous way.
Being a slice of life, gag manga, it follows the same pattern. You’ll have Kakushi go into a situation that involves Hime, whether that’s letting her go to a beach retreat or taking her to a festival, it varies by chapter. What helps to make this series stand out from other pure gag manga, is that you can see Kakushi clearly cares for Hime. As ridiculous as his actions may be, they are solely to make sure that she’s all right and happy. Though it may be somewhat subtle at points, it helps to add to the overall depth of the story. It shows what parents go through to protects their child’s innocence.
I’d also like to add that there’s a chapter in here that is absolutely hilarious. While it may not tie directly to Hime, I still found my self having some good laughs. Let’s say that Mangaka store some odd items in their studios. It just helps to show how bizarre the manga process may seem to those who stumble their way into a studio without warning.
A Father and Daughter
Ironically while there may feel like there are many characters, the focus is only on Kakushi. Even though it’s a gag manga, the book’s core is about the relationship between a father and his daughter. For Kakushi to want to keep his profession secret and to go to the extremes that he does shows how much of a caring father he is. After all, I would imagine as a parent; you’d want your kid to be proud of you and be able to have you as a role model. It’s about preserving your kid’s innocence while you still can. So while he may seem overbearing and crazy at points, underneath it all, it’s because of the love he has for Hime. Of course, that being said, some of the things he does are just ridiculous in the best way possible.
The only other character I can talk about is Hime. She is cute as a button, and her naivety is quite charming. She loves her Dad without caring what he does, and all she wants is for Hime to be happy. As the beginning of the story sets up her endpoint, it’ll be interesting to see how much she starts to poke into on her own.
The manga assistants are fun in their own right. However, they are yet to progress past being minor supporting cast. Some get a one-page highlight, but currently, they support Kakushi’s antics.
Simple but clean
Jumping over to the art for this series, I have to say that the first few coloured pages were lovely. They make me wish that the whole volume was in colour due to how stylized it feels. It’s very vibrant, with a lack of shading, which makes the contrast between the colours stand out that much more. This type of art direction even translates onto the black and white panels as there is also no shading. It’s an immaculate art style that makes the pages feel less cluttered. It lets the situations and characters stand out much more.
A peek behind the curtain
Worthy of mention are some of the fun little details spread out throughout the volume. At the end of each chapter, there are little authors notes similar to those that appear in Shonen Jump. Kakushi-sensei himself does these himself. It’s a nice little touch, which usually relates to something that happens in the chapter. Also, at the end of every chapter are some author notes from Kōji Kumeta (the mangaka himself). These give a neat little look behind the curtain and into the mind of the mangaka himself.
Kakushigoto’s anime adaptation
An anime adaptation by Ajia-do Animation Works premiered on April 2nd, 2020. The first volume covers roughly four episodes, even if the chapters are slightly reordered. The art style is just as clean as the manga and looks particularly great in the intro and outro credits. AgeOfBoredom has been watching and reports that below the humour of the series, there is a melancholic undercurrent. Not to mention a few mysteries to solve!
Is Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition volume 1 worth reading?
Yes. Going into this, I was certainly expecting more ecchi; however, underneath all the humour, there is a sense of genuine innocence. That’s what I get for trying to judge a book by its cover. If you’re looking for good humour with some emotional depth, this could be a good fit.
I want to see how this keeps evolving as I feel that if it stays with the gag route, it might start to feel stale. Although I think that won’t be the case here. I look forward to picking up this next volume as this was an unexpected joy to read. So have you read Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition, or seen it’s anime adaptation? If you did let us know what you thought and drop a comment down below.
Kakushigoto: My Dad’s Secret Ambition volume 1 was provided by Kodansha for review.