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Manga / Kakushigoto: My Dad's Secret Ambition

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"Hime must never find out!"
Kakushi Goto

Kakushigoto: My Dad's Secret Ambition, frequently shortened to just Kakushigoto, is a manga series by Koji Kumeta that was serialized in Monthly Shonen Magazine from December 5, 2015 to July 6, 2020.

Kakushi Goto is the single father of the precocious Hime Goto. While Kakushi loves his daughter dearly, there's one secret that he will never reveal to her. He tells her that he's a salary man and dresses the part, but once out of sight, goes to his real job — as a manga artist known for mature manga. Hijinks ensue as he tries to juggle keeping his secret and being what he considers a good father to Hime.

An anime adaptation by Ajia-Do began airing in April 2020. Funimation handles its English release and localization.

Kakushigoto provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Played for laughs with Yuma Ato. He's an assistant who appears in episode 3 and is so good at his job that he graduates to his own manga by the next scene.
  • Adapted Out: The anime left out the little plotline about Hime's mother's loss of ability to see color and thus the explanation on why she disappeared in the first place.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Hime tries to be this when she thinks that the Goto family is poor, going out of her way to save money. Kakushi outright likens her behavior to a grandma's.
  • Adults Are Useless: Every single adult acts like a cartoon, to the point that Hime and her friends come off as more responsible most of the time. Kakushi's workplace in particular seems to be entirely staffed by weirdos.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Rokujo, Hime's teacher, seems to have feelings for Kakushi but he doesn't pay her any notice. He does, however, unknowingly lead her on.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Hime's grandfather asks Kakushi if he would approve of his daughter dating a manga artist known for drawing Balls of Fury, and he quickly says that he would never. An instant later, he realises why his father-in-law doesn't like him.
  • Ascended Extra: Naru, the high schooler who wants to be an idol singer. She was introduced as one of three new women that Kakushi accidentally wins over, in addition to the already established Rokujo, and has gone on to appear in more episodes since than the others, with a larger role than them to boot.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Played for laughs when Ami tells the story of Kamakura Fever — a recurring issue with manga artists when they want to work by the beach — in the style of a horror story. After moving, the manga artist will find that the locations are too far for their assistants to travel, the convenience stores close early and the sea air rusts their equipment. All of this forces them to leave and the result is an abundance of vacant beach-side property.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Tomaruin acts nice most of the time, but he seems to dislike Kakushi for his constant demands — which are relatively minor, and amount to "don't promote me too much or tell my daughter my job" — and even takes a potshot at the entire manga industry... which he works in.
  • Brand X:
    • When wondering how to be a more popular manga artist, it's suggested that Kakushi create a dark fantasy series, such as Tokyo Gruel and Attack on Gremlin.
    • When Kakushi needs to go to a signing, the store he goes to is called Books Quinokuniya, meant to be an allusion to Books Kinokuniya.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Episode 3 has Kakushi accidentally wooing several women. Three of them are adult women. One is a high schooler who, when he asks why she's there, says "fan service".
  • Bumbling Dad: Kakushi, when directly interacting with Hime, is actually a good father. However, it's all the stuff that he does behind her back for her benefit that puts him in this realm, from the extreme lengths he goes to keep his job a secret to how he prepares for her school activities.
  • Casting Gag: Nadila was casted by Risa Mei in English as she's an Indonesian voice actor.note 
  • Cheerful Child: Hime is always happy and nothing seems to bug her. While Kakushi thinks she may be a bit too dumb to notice some things that should upset her, Rokujo says she seems to go out of her way to not let these things get her down, such as when some of her classmates ask if her mum didn't teach her how to wash rice — while Rokujo wanted to step in, Hime blows it off and says she'll learn after her pause is emphasized.
  • Clark Kenting: Invoked in-universe by Kakushi's clothing friend, who calls him Clark Kent in reference to how he changes from his suit to his more lazy work clothes. It actually works when Kakushi ends up saving a stray cat and becomes a local hero while in his work clothes... and people are apparently unable to recognize outside of them. Later on, Hime is unable to recognise him in his manga clothes as she's so used to the business suit.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Episode 3 has Kakushi woo four women without even trying.
  • Disappeared Dad: There’s a second storyline that takes place 8 years into the future, where Hime is a high schooler and there’s no sign of Kakushi, with implications that his daughter is now all alone. One of the greater mysteries is what exactly happened to him. It’s eventually revealed that after an accident, he fell into a coma and has been unresponsive since.
  • Emotionless Girl: Kakushi's assistant Ami constantly speaks with a deadpan voice, with very few exceptions.
  • Expy:
    • Hime's friends looks very similar to Itoshiki Nozomu's students. Their names are even anagrams of said characters. In the final chapter, Hime is in the same art class with a Harumi lookalike.
    • In one scene where Hime is wrapped up in a blanket, surrounded by snacks, she looks like a young Komori Kiri.
  • The Faceless: Hime's mother is rarely seen, and when she is, her face is never drawn — when she's not hidden via camera angle or because of some obstruction, it's a long shot where the detail is left out.
  • Flashback B-Plot: Inverted. Stories from the A plot are bookended by flash forwards, now following a teenage Hime instead of Kakushi, after Kakushi’s accident and subsequent coma.
  • Flash Forward: There are occasional flash forwards at the beginning and/or end of episodes that feature a teenage Hime visiting Kakushi's storeroom, which is a duplicate of her childhood home. They have a noticeably more dramatic and serious atmosphere than the rest of the show, and Kakushi isn't present in them.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The opening scene shows that Hime finds out Kakushi's secret by the time she's 18.
  • Gecko Ending: Averted. The anime ended roughly around before the manga did but Kumeta has already told the animation studio how it ends and for the most part, the ending in both remains the same.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kakushi gets a renowned Indian chef (and fan of his work) to season the curry that Hime is meant to season durig her field trip. Unfortunately, the curry is too spicy for everyone and she prefers Kakushi's curry.
  • Missing Mom: Hime's mum is only shown in flashbacks and is nowhere to be seen, but is still spoken of fondly. However, both Hime and Kakushi avoid talking about her. It is heavily implied that she died. It's later heavily implied that the ship she was on went missing.
  • The Nameless: We don’t find out the name of Hime’s mother or the name of her grandfather, who are referred to with pronouns exclusively.
  • One Dialogue, Two Conversations: When Kakushi follows Hime on her class's beach trip, he's caught out by her teacher. He says he couldn't resist and that "the cuteness" is undeniable. The teacher mistakes this for Kakushi confessing his feelings for her and keeps doing so.
  • Parents as People: While Kakushi's eccentricities and the lengths he goes to in order to "protect" his daughter are Played for Laughs, there are times when it becomes apparent that the lack of a mother figure in Hime's life weighs on him and he truly does want the best life for his daughter.
  • Pet the Dog: The Flash Forward has Tomaruin speak about Kakushi in a much more respectful, and he's offended at the suggestion that he broke Kakushi's trust. This is very different from his usual demeanour of outright talking shit about Kakushi at every opportunity.
  • Punny Name: Applies to nearly every character, as per tradition with the series author.
    • For instance, the name of both the work and the protagonist can mean 隠し事 ("something to hide") but can also be written as 書く仕事 ("writing/artist occupation"). It's also a Meaningful Name given Kakushi's efforts to hide his occupation.
    • Invoked on accident in episode 8. When registering her pet dog's name, Hime misinterprets ご登録 (gotouroku; "register") as a name suggestion, and thus names the dog Roku.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: Hime's friend Hina can't comprehend the Goto family living in a single story house (actually understandable, as it's noted that it's rare for the area), not having an auto-locking door (less understandable) or not having a concierge if they're not poor.
  • Riddle for the Ages: It was never revealed what happened to Hime's mother and is presumed dead.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Everyone at Kakushi's work does this 6 hours before a deadline by making Gyoza. It's explained that this is common for manga artists and that, if they didn't do this, they wouldn't have met the deadline at all.
  • Secret-Keeper: Most of the supporting cast know about Kakushi's career and not only keep his secret but actively help him keep it from Hime. One of his friends who works in a clothing store loans him a suit for his salary man outfit and keeps his actual work clothes in the store. His co-workers have an entire emergency drill in case Hime ever showed up at his work. Rokujo knows but keeps it a secret out of respect.
  • Self-Deprecation: Kakushigoto loves to make fun of manga artists and the manga industry. At first, it seems entirely contained to Tomaruin... then everyone else gets in on it too, such as an entire episode of the anime being dedicated to G-Pro attending a publisher party and mocking manga artists, which they all are.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In the dub, Kakushi mutters "Oh my god" in the same way as Serval.
    • Literally, within the first 5 minutes of the first episode, Kakushi screams “What if Hime ever found out?!note  in the exact same way Itoshiki Nozumu says his catchphrase.note  It’s amplified by the fact that they’re both voiced by the same voice actor, they both have punny names, and the art style is incredible similar to each other, which is inevitable considering both works are by Kouji Kumeta.
  • Shown Their Work: It's not a known fact, but there are Indonesian women who do work in Japan as hired housekeepers by families who can afford their services since the 1980s after Japan became economically prosperous.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tomaruin has a crush on Nadila but doesn't actually tell her, instead just... watching her.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Hime looks exactly like her mother did at the same age.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Hime's mother was losing her ability to see color and wanted to visit the island the family visited once for vacation so she can see the color blue for the final time. She went alone while Kakushi stayed home to watch over Hime on the same day she went missing and has never forgiven himself for letting her go on the ship.
  • Uptown Girl: Implied to be what Hime's mother was, given that her father has a personal driver and can spend money on things that he knows Hime never uses. This extends to art as well, with her family being proficient in more "mature" or "upper class" art — she was said to be a very talented pianist and her father is a very talented painter, in contrast to Kakushi's manga skills.

Alternative Title(s): Kakushigoto, Kakushigoto My Dads Secret Ambition