Looking pretty cool, Inari.
The second episode of Inari Konkon rolls around, but unfortunately this time it brings mixed feelings. I wouldn’t say the episode was bad, but it was a bit of a step down from the previous.
Hashimo will never live this down.
Let’s talk about what’s good about this episode first. Namely, the continued portrayal of Inari as a naive girl. Which is just fine, because she’s only in middle school so we can’t expect her to deal with her crush with any more elegance. And fortunately this naiveté also results in some hilarious situations. Inari transforming into Kouji’s friend because she was too shy to give him handouts herself was silly enough. But then Kouji invites “him” into his room for some “guy talk,” which clearly Inari was not prepared for. And then there’s that moment when she reminisces about their first meeting. Yeah. I feel sorry for Hashimo. On that note though, one has to wonder if and when the show will bust Inari for her abilities. She’s only taking the appearance of others, so surely when the people she impersonates are questioned about the actions she takes on their “behalf” and discrepancies arise, she will be ousted pretty quickly. At least, they’ll realize something is terribly amiss even if they don’t identify Inari as being behind it all.
Inari and Uka-sama’s relationship is so sweet.
Now for the bad stuff. That’s pretty much the entire second half of the episode. Going to the Celestial Plains and meeting Amaterasu-sama was fine and all. In fact, I rather liked the introduction of more gods and their various ways of seeking entertainment (playing otomege for Uka-sama and screwing with humans for Amaterasu-sama). But the whole “test” was so cookie-cutter generic that it left a bitter taste in my mouth in spite of its arguably well-done presentation. The moment Amaterasu-sama uttered the words “no transforming for a day,” all of us could have already guessed that Inari would fail due to some extenuating circumstances. And furthermore we could have predicted that the real test was of her human character, so she would pass anyway (though to be fair the addition of judging Uka-sama as well was a nice twist). Sometimes shows can get away with being trite, which is something I’ve championed many times before. But I really just didn’t get a good feeling out of what Inari Konkon did. Hopefully the next episode doesn’t repeat this sentiment.
Despite the unfortunate genericness of half the episode, I don’t think Inari Konkon is down for the count just yet. I really like Inari in spite of all her flaws, though I admit I can see this getting old pretty fast if she doesn’t get smart even a little. But the way she’s presented makes you want to cheer her on. Probably, she strikes a fine balance between honest, good nature and clumsy naiveté. If she could just work on that shyness and clumsiness, it would do wonders for her character and the show in general. For one, she should stop relying on transformation gimmicks (for everyone’s sake) to approach Kouji. Which is what she needs to start doing if she seriously wants a genuine relationship with him. We do see a potential beginning sign of this though, with her gathering the resolve to give Kouji the charm (ignoring the part where she lied to herself that it would be best to give up on him), so the prospect is looking good.
Onii-chan to the rescue?