The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House – Episode 8 “Carnival” Recap & Review


Episode 8 of Makanai sees the maiko house introducing a new aspiring maiko apprentice, Riko. She arrives like a storm and eagerly and loudly introduces herself to everyone with excited interest.

It turns out that the scene in a prior episode where Momoko and Iwai see a zombie movie was a foreshadowing of Momoko’s zombie obsession. So when she is put in charge of planning the performance for the obake (a kind of performance carnival thing for collaborating geiko/maiko houses), she gathers the Maikos to give a zombie performance.

Riko can’t really partake in it yet, so hilariously, they put her in the corner with a black, see-through cloth over her head while she holds a desk lamp on the performers. Yoshino’s husband makes another futile attempt to take Yoshino home. But Yoshino, forever the free spirit, insists that the maiko house is her home and flees his desires once again.

Sumire accompanies Momoko to her first dine-out with a customer and is overwhelmed by the fancy and expensive food. She wishes for deep-fried oysters, and like magic, when she gets home, Kiyo has already prepared some. It’s like they can read each other’s minds. Riyoko observes this with jealousy.

It turns out that besides Mr. Tanabe, Mother Azusa has another admirer. Ryoko, ever the observant, tells the local bartender, Mr. Ren, that she is sorry for him and that Mother Azusa and Mr. Tanabe might marry. He responds in surprise that Ryoko knew about his crush, and Ryoko confesses she is a fellow heartbroken person.

The episode concludes with Kiyo’s grandma opening a photo of Sumire in zombie/maiko makeup, her arm around Kiyo.

The Episode Review

This episode was really humorous and perhaps the most entertaining of the season. The fact that someone like Momoko, who is kind of like a geiko princess and is completely obsessed with zombies, is funny in itself.

It’s not clear who Ryoko is heartbroken over. Is she referring to someone she likes romantically, or is she referring to the general loneliness she feels?

Let’s hope the season finale will tie everything together (although finding out Kiyo’s backstory probably still isn’t going to happen).

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4 thoughts on “The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House – Episode 8 “Carnival” Recap & Review”

  1. Sorry Meghan, I am not sure. I was wondering about that too, myself. I figured it was perhaps a reference to some zombie-related thing that I’m not aware of. If anyone else knows- please comment and tell us!

  2. Do you know why Kotono was wearing a blue helmet on her head for about half her scenes in this episode instead of her usual Maiko hair? I’m imaging everything from part of her zombie-priest costume (she was a priest or something right?), to some sort of hair therapy to help with the damage caused by all the pulling to get the traditional styles.

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