Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 03

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To a certain extent, that episode certainly defied my expectations.

Here’s my tip for the day: if you’re someone who suffers from chronic back problems, don’t tweak your back with a seven-bagger sneeze (I never sneeze singles, though seven is high even for me) and then, an hour later, cough while tying your shoe.  As anyone with back issues can tell you sneezes are the work of the devil, but the timing on that cough has left me effectively immobile and unable to sit for more than two minutes without seizing up like a wooden board.  I’ll type as much as I can but my thoughts are going to be a little briefer than usual until this calms down a bit.

With that, on to Inari Konkon, which certainly projected a very different tone this week than it had previously.  Most of that was due to the influence of the two Oni-san characters, Inari’s Touka – who we’ve already met – and Uka’s Ootoshi-no-kami (Koyasu Takehito).  And with their arrival as major players this episode is a whole lot less obsessively cute than last week’s, but altogether more zany and even slightly edgy.

Only time will tell if that’s a mode that works for this series, but so far I’d say the screwball comedy is a mixed bag.  The show is definitely trying too hard with some of it – the distorted faces, the sound effects, the wacky music – it all feels like it dropped in from another series.  On the other hand, I like the strange dynamic between Touka and Uka-sama.  As for “Toshi”, he’s a power brocon of the first order, with all that implies plot-wise.  He enters the scene scoping out Inari at school, trying to find out about the girl who “stole” some of his beloved sister’s power.  He transforms first into a male middle-schooler, than into Inari herself – which forces her to transform into the Vice-principal.  It’s like a little To LOVE-Ru mixed in with your Konkon.  Also joining the cast is Ooimiyanome-no-kami (Mikami Shiori) – call her Miya-chan – one of the five “pillar” Inari Kami, who takes on the role of Inari’s guide in the Celestial Plains.

I’m still on the fence about that side of the series, and about Toshi himself.  But I like the stuff with Touka a lot better, overbearing as he is.  He could clearly see Uka even before Inari could (perhaps implying he has even stronger spiritual powers) and to top that off, he’s a chuunibyou.  It doesn’t take a genius to see that offers a certain natural connection to Uka, who’s a bit of an otome and hooked on 2D herself – and indeed, despite his suspicion of her the two of them do sort of bond over the Wii in Touka’s bedroom.  It seems that Touka’s feelings towards his sister are (thankfully) strictly protective rather than siscon, and we even get some hints about possible sparks between he and Uka.  She certainly enjoys her time gaming with him, and even asks if she might come back again (he says he’ll think about it).  Needless to say, any development on this front is going to complicate things in a big way.

Complicating all this is the revelation, courtesy of Miya (in hindsight, an unsurprising one) that whenever Inari uses some of the power Uka loaned her, Uka grows weaker.  This has Amaratsu-sama and the gang in the Celestial Plains trying to figure out a way – so far fruitlessly – to take that power out of Inari and put it back in Uka.  This would apparently allow Inari to remain in her own form, but take away her ability to see Uka and the fox spirits.  How all this works I don’t really know – nor do I know why Touka could see Uka in the first place and whether it’s his childlike fantasy life that’s kept him from losing that ability.  What’s clear, though, is that Uka feels out of place in the world of the Gods – where her brother constantly macks on her and legions of losers try and marry her to get at her “first tier” powers – and more comfortable with her 2D men (whom she’s convinced are an accurate sampling of what human males are like).

Where does all this leave us?  Well, I wouldn’t say I’m on the fence – I like this series, it airs on a slow day in a bad season and I’ll certainly cover it.  But we’re definitely not firing on all cylinders yet, and with only seven more episodes to go there are limits to how far Inari Konkon can go with this premise and these characters.  We’ve really seen three different shows in three episodes – the wistful Shinto homage, the innocent and hyper-kawaii romance and now the broad and somewhat mainstream comedy.  That makes it hard to guess exactly what we’re going to get from this series next, but the fact that I’m still interested in finding out is a good sign.

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Inari Konkon - 03-14 Inari Konkon - 03-15 Inari Konkon - 03-17
Inari Konkon - 03-18 Inari Konkon - 03-19 Inari Konkon - 03-20
Inari Konkon - 03-21 Inari Konkon - 03-23 Inari Konkon - 03-24
Inari Konkon - 03-25 Inari Konkon - 03-26 Inari Konkon - 03-27


  1. t

    this is kinda sucks…

    1 st half was really OK and all. but after that…those guys adapting the series got it all wrong.
    I don't know why but they skipped 2-3 chapters to the small trip in heavens in which Inari lose control of her power, instead of following 2-3 events which are related to secondary characters. that omission suck the felt like they are more busy with moving ahead than in actually convey the feeling of the manga. they still trying and it's still Inari..but it didn't feel right to me.

    as for the omissions that has been made. well there were 2-3 events. one was suppose to come as a result of Inari confronting the god-siscon in front of Tanbabashi. not to mention that they didn't explain why Inari changed to the principle-assistant (because he went home sick) and then she entered the class as the assistant and stayed there the entire class.
    I guess both events will returned later on(or at least I hope so)..but that is messing up with the order and may lead to changing things…that's a shame.

    I still love Inari Konkon and I think it has some great atmosphere and feeling with the shinto and all. but first, messing with the manga correct order is a mistake. period.
    second, even though this episode indeed follow chapters in the manga (THO not the correct order)..a change was felt. a bit strongly.
    I hope this is one-time slip and that they can take a deep breath and resume the right feeling and pace.

  2. f

    Ouch! Hope your back's feeling better…

  3. Thanks, -kero. When it goes out this severely, I'm in for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of hell.

  4. m

    take care of your back! your thoughts are anything but brief though, you're still giving us your usual thoughtful reviews

  5. R

    A lot of important character development was cut out of the middle of this. A good 3-and-a-half chapters worth, in fact. Growth in Inari's part, interactions between Touka and Uka which would have helped explain WHY it hurt her so much when he said he hated her, the beginning of a long-running plot involving Sumizome which will in a few chapters help show how much Inari has grown since the series began (except the anime hasn't given her TIME to grow…), and a more gradual yet detailed revelation of the problems caused by Inari having some of Uka's powers (the event that happened this week was supposed to be the culmination of a series of smaller events, not the first one that happened).

    Many anime-only viewers won't notice these issues specifically, but the truth is that many of the events in this episode (pretty much everything that happened after the beginnign where Touka yelled at Uka) should have had a lot more "weight" behind it, more emotional impact, and it didn't because they didn't take the time to develop it properly. I find that worrying.

  6. R

    Oh, except for Uka's crazy Onii-chan. He's just a disgusting, perverted, womanizing siscon who isn't worth anyone's time. Pay him no mind.

  7. n

    Incests are everywhere in Shinto mythology, but I couldn't find a source that said Ootoshi had a thing for Uka-no-Mitama. Guess we could condemn the author for the annoying onii-chan.

    But truth be told, I liked this episode. The comedy mostly worked for me.

  8. w

    I laughed a lot during this but I can see why it wouldn't work for you. You can have that kind of comedy in any series. Though I did love kawaii-vice-principal.

    Also, looks like Touka's a fan of Blood Lad, nice seeing that series referenced.

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