The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House – Episode 3 “Taboo” Recap & Review


Episode 3 of Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House starts with Kiyo waking up one morning to a surprise: a stranger is at the door. Ms. Yoshino is a former geiko who has come back for re-employment. She chats away and greets Ryoko, the non-maiko girl that lives at the main house. Ryoko, maintaining her sullen character, does not return the warmth.

Meanwhile, Tsurukoma, one of the maikos, opens the fridge to find the pudding she bought has been eaten and sadly grumbles about it. The setting suddenly changes, and we see Momoko, a geiko, and a man named Iwai watching a zombie film. Iwai has to take a break from watching because the film creeped him out. Momoko playfully pretends to walk like a zombie, and Iwai runs into another room. Their relationship is unclear.

Back at the maiko house, Yoshino dramatically pleads with the house mothers to be a geiko once again. After accepting her gift of tasty lemon cake, they agree, despite the fact that rehiring a former geiko is taboo.

At mealtime in the maiko house, there is a rumor going around that one of the maikos has a cellphone, even though it is against the rules. Ryoko, always the bearer of bad news, cautions Mother Azusa that if she isn’t careful with the restrictions she places on the maikos (no phones or convenience store visits, etc.), then she will get sued by someone one day.

Later, Momoko is putting makeup on Sumire when we find out that Sumire likes someone—Kenta. However, in a previous episode, Kiyo expressed his loneliness in the absence of Kiyo. So, a love triangle might be brewing.

On the rooftop, Yoshino’s character is shining through when Kiyo is inspecting some pickled plums. She denies eating some of Kiyo’s plums, but we see her spitting out the seeds. She then proceeds to demonstrate sumo moves to their maiko neighbor. Later, trouble ensues when Yoshino corrupts the beginning of the ozashiki (geiko performance) by playing charades. After this, the maikos behave coyly toward her. Yoshino also not so subtly hints to Mr. Tanabe, a man that we saw walking with Mother Azusa in the previous episode, that she knows he has a crush on Mother Azusa. He nervously fans himself, giving away that he does indeed like her.

The episode ends with a tender dish that Kiyo creates. Kiyo whips up a beautiful bread pudding for Tsurukoma, whose pudding was eaten (most likely) by the plum-stealing Yoshino and it brings her immense joy.

The Episode Review

Yoshino adds a lot of liveliness to the maiko house and the show, too. And there was a little bit of humor in this episode, which added some charm to it.

Momoko is a character that is just now coming to the foreground, and we predict that she will become a more steady character in the remaining episodes.

The mild drama in this show is broken up by the close-up cooking scenes with gentle music playing in the background, and it’s really quite enjoyable. There are some really long single-shot scenes, and the actors do a really fantastic job. Let’s hope the next episode is just as good!

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You can read our full season review for The Makanai here!

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