Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei!
|Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei!|
|Written by||Hiroko Reijo|
|Original run||2003 – 2013|
|Illustrated by||Eiko Ōuchi|
|Original run||2006 – present|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Mitsuyuki Masuhara|
|Written by||Michiko Yokote|
|Music by||Takeshi Hama|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original run||April 8, 2018 – September 23, 2018|
|Directed by||Kitaro Kosaka|
|Written by||Reiko Yoshida|
|Released||June 11, 2018 (Annecy International Animation Film Festival)|
September 12, 2018 (France)
September 21, 2018 (Japan)
Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei! (若おかみは小学生！, transl. "The Young Innkeeper Is a Grade Schooler!") is a series of Japanese children's novels, written by Hiroko Reijo and illustrated by Asami. Kodansha released twenty volumes between 2003 and 2013 under their Aoi Tori Bunko imprint.
A 24-episode anime television series adaptation produced by DLE and Madhouse which aired from April 8 to September 23, 2018 and a feature film produced by the same companies, titled Okko's Inn in English, premiered on June 11, 2018 at Annecy International Animation Film Festival before being released in cinemas on September 12 in France and September 21 in Japan. It has been licensed for the United States and Canada by GKIDS and was released in cinemas in the United States on 22 and 23 April, 2019. The anime will be released on DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory on July 2, 2019.
- Oriko Seki (関 織子 Seki Oriko) / Okko (おっこ)
- Voiced by: Seiran Kobayashi (Japanese); Madigan Kacmar (English)
- Makoto Tachiuri (立売 誠 Tachiuri Makoto) / Uri-bō (ウリ坊)
- Voiced by: Satsumi Matsuda (Japanese); KJ Aikens (English)
- Matsuki Akino (秋野 真月 Akino Matsuki)
- Voiced by: Nana Mizuki (Japanese); Carly Williams (English)
- Mineko Seki (関 峰子 Seki Mineko) / Obā-chan (おばあちゃん)
- Voiced by: Ichiryūsai Harumi (Japanese); Glynis Ellis (English)
- Etsuko Tajima (田島 エツ子 Tajima Etsuko)
- Voiced by: Ichiryūsai Teiyū
- Kōnosuke Minoda (蓑田 康之介 Minoda Kōnosuke) / Kō-san (康さん)
- Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma
- Suzuki (鈴鬼)
- Voiced by: Etsuko Kozakura (Japanese); Colleen O'Shaughnessey (English)
The parents of Oriko "Okko" Seki are killed in a car accident on the family's way back from attending a festival at the town where Okko's grandmother Mineko runs a ryokan, the Hananoyu Inn. Okko herself survives, seeing a vision of a boy floating in the air before she loses consciousness. Once she's recovered, she moves into the inn. There she discovers that the boy is a ghost named Makoto Tachiuri, nicknamed "Uribo". Uribo was a childhood friend of Mineko who died shortly after she moved away. He goads Okko into committing to take over the inn from Mineko when she grows up. Mineko then makes her the "junior innkeeper", giving her a kimono of her own to wear.
At first, Okko finds the training to be an innkeeper exhausting, but Uribe keeps her spirits up. One day they notice a disheveled man with a feverish son looking for lodging. Uribo goads Okko to invite the two to the inn, since Hananoyu Inn "rejects no one". The staff learn that mother of the boy, Akane, had recently died, leaving him hostile to everyone around him. He wishes he could eat cake like he used to always share with his mom. The inn has none, but Okko feels inspired to invent a new recipe for a "hot bath" pudding that resembles hot spring water bursting from the surface. The pudding turns out delicious, and Akane and his father find comfort in eating the pudding alongside a shrine for his mother. It's here that Okko finds much fulfillment in making people happy through her service. Later on, Akane's father writes a magazine review of the inn that makes Okko a celebrity.
At school, Okko meet Matsuki Akino, whose family runs the huge Harunoya Inn. The aloof Matsuki wears pink colored elegant gothic lolita fashion all the time and constantly quotes from literature; her alienated classmates deride her as "Frilly Pink". She immediately runs afoul of Okko. Uribe tries to make fun of Matsuki by painting her face, but then a blond girl ghost retaliates by painting Okko's face. The girl ghost eventually introduces herself to Okko as Miyo, Matsuki's older sister who died when Matsuki was very young. She mocks Okko as a "sillykeeper", something Matsuki eventually does as well. But since Okko can see her and talk with her, Miyo decides to live at Hananoyu Inn instead of Harunoya.
Okko also comes upon a monstrous bell left by a former guest. She rings the bell, releasing a young demon named Suzuki. The low key Suzuki also befriends Okko, but he has a bad habit of stealing food. Nonetheless, Suzuki, Uribe and Miyo form a team that help Okko with her Inn chores. As Okko becomes cheerier, though, Suzuki notices that she is less able to see the ghosts.
One of the guests is a young woman named Glory Suiryo who works as a fortune teller. She warms up to Okko, inviting her to a shopping trip. During the drive, Okko is paralyzed by a flashback to the accident. But Glory and the ghosts comfort her. They continue with their trip, where Glory buys incredible clothes for both herself and Okko.
All through the film, Okko has dreams of her parents that prop up a belief that they are somehow still alive. But one evening, the Kise family stays as guests at the inn. They include a little boy named Shota and a father who had just left the hospital. The father can only eat bland healthy food, but he finds the food the inn staff unsatisfying. Okko then remembers that Matsuki was working on a menu of healthy food. So, setting aside her rivalry to please a guest, she visits Matsuki at her huge inn to ask for help. Matsuki gives her a sample of her inn's beef, as well as many tips on how to cook food that Shota's father can eat which doesn't taste so bland. Shota's father is overjoyed at how tasty the new food is. But then the Kises reveal that Shota's father had been in a coma for many months due to an accident where he crashed head on into a family's car, killing the parents of a little girl. Okko realizes that it was her parents that were killed in that accident. The reality of their deaths finally hits Okko, and she runs away crying. She runs into Glory, who does her best to console her. The ghosts try to help her as well. Just then, she sees the Kises leaving the Inn; they feel they should not be staying there because of the accident. But Okko gathers herself back together and tells the Kises that they are welcome to stay. All are welcome at the Hananoyu Inn, and Okko is glad that she was able to make the Kises so happy.
Months later, Okko and Matsuki perform a ritual dance at that same festival where Okko went with her parents. The ghosts tell her that they will now transision to their next lives. But they vow to eventually visit the Hananoyu Inn as living guests.
The novel series has over 3 million volumes in print.
- "若おかみは小学生！ : 作品情報" (in Japanese). eiga.com. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Okko's Inn'". Fathom Events. Retrieved February 7, 2019.
- "Waka Okami wa Shōgakusei! Children's Book Series Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- Official website (in Japanese)
- Okko's Inn in GAGA international sales catalogue (in English)
- Okko's Inn USA and Canada official website
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