The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House – Episode 9 “Passage” Recap & Review  


Well, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House, a heart-warming manga-based foodie drama, has come to an end. A year has passed since Kiyo and Sumire arrived at the maiko house, and Sumire is preparing to be officiated as a maiko. In the midst of this, Kiyo tells Tsurukoma that she has found her passion in cooking.

This helps Tsurukoma realize that being a maiko is not her passion, and she needs to find out what is. She tells Mother Azusa that she is quitting, and Kiyo and the other maikos make her a special send-off soup.

As Sumire is getting her first maiko-style makeup done, Momoko offers some sisterly advice: keep Kiyo close to her because Sumire’s stoic nature will deter other friendships.

After Sumire is fully dressed, she goes to the kitchen, where Kiyo has finally prepared the tiny bite-size sandwiches that she asked her to make when she becomes a maiko. We see the pride and sense of accomplishment Sumire possesses as she chews the tiny sandwich.

That evening, Sumire makes her maiko debut, walking through the street outside the maiko house, cameras flashing all the while. Her father is there, and he gives her a wordless nod of approval.

When she gets back after a long night of greeting people as an official maiko, Kiyo is in the kitchen waiting for her with a plate of crispy sugar-coated bread rusks.

The Episode Review

Well, this was a little disappointing. The show started with Kiyo being the main focus, but she stepped out of focus several episodes ago, and even though this is the season finale, she still isn’t in focus. It is a little bit unexpected.

There have been many artful scenes throughout this show, but the ending scene wasn’t one of them. It’s just Sumire and Kiyo chatting while having a late-night snack. There is confirmation that they are both happy, but there is no glimpse of what lies ahead or any reflection of what has happened so far.

The attention on Tsurukoma, a side character, took away from the story. That time might have been better dedicated to Kiyo, to whom viewers are more likely to feel any attachment. It also feels like there are a lot of loose ends. Mr. Tanabe didn’t even propose to Mother Azusa and it is uncertain about what lies ahead for Ryoko.

Yet, there doesn’t seem to be any indicators of a continuation. Overall, this last episode is not a favorite in this series.

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

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