Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 08 – METANORN

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 08

Sometimes love hits you unexpectedly.

Looks like it’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for this week’s Inari Konkon.

 

 

Saving the Day

Best marriage interview ever.

Last week we were set up for some drama thanks to Uka-sama being forced into marriage interviews by her mother. Turns out all this is for the sake of reputation, as Uka-sama’s mother has some sort of rivalry going on with another Goddess. Forcing your daughter to get married because of petty vanity sounds pretty stupid, and thankfully Inari picks up on this fact. Her first attempts to break things up might have been pretty infuriating; after voicing her resolve to put an end to Uka-sama’s suffering, a simple glare from Uka-sama’s mother is enough to intimidate her? But in the end Inari pulls through thanks to a bit of prodding from Susanoo, Uka-sama’s father and Amaterasu’s brother (those familiar with Japanese mythology will know this). I’m still a bit put-off by the need in the end for Inari to have a helping hand from a third party in the form of Susanoo, but I’m not so upset that I won’t accept all’s well that ends well. Thus ends the sily marriage interview business.

“Friends”

dawww

The next matter of concern addressed is Touka and Uka-sama. Last we left off, things were looking pretty bad between them because Uka-sama hid the fact that she’s given Inari some of her powers from Touka. I thought that the root of this dispute was Touka’s concern for his sister. And it’s not entirely false, but it turns out I was more or less mistaken. Instead, he’s more upset because he thinks Uka-sama doesn’t trust him for being a human, even after all the fun times they’ve spent together in his room. Basically, he’s throwing a rather roundabout and tsundere fit about a “friend” not trusting him enough to share her problems with him. And by “friend” he really means “romantic interest,” because we all know that Touka pretty much likes Uka-sama. And vice versa is almost certainly true as well. Anyway, those two certainly made very good progress this episode once Touka confessed his unease to Uka-sama and they came to an understanding that she’s not just being standoffish because she doesn’t trust him. Cue the waterworks.

Divine Troubles

A tearful heart-to-heart.

Now for the final and most important development. So we’ve been seeing that there are complications from Inari using Uka-sama’s powers. Mainly, it is revealed that by continuing to use the divine powers, Inari will eventually “steal” them completely from Uka-sama. Side effects include the Goddess fading away into nothingness, which is pretty extreme. So why aren’t they making progress to return said powers to their rightful owner? It’s not like Inari really needs them now that she’s solved the original problem of being stuck in Akemi’s form. Well, turns out the issue lies on Uka-sama’s side instead of being an insurmountable problem as we had been led to believe. It seems that once Uka-sama takes back her powers, which she knows how to do, Inari will no longer be able to see or interact with her. And the thought of “losing” such a near and dear friend is intolerable to the Goddess.

Inari stands up for Uka-sama.

Now, that all sounds slightly fishy to me because I’m pretty sure Inari was able to see and speak with Uka-sama that one time just before she obtained the divine powers. But perhaps that was a special case or something and what usually happens is she’s unable to perceive the supernatural (the flashbacks of Inari’s childhood certainly affirm this). Even so, I’m pretty sure Inari won’t be happy about causing Uka-sama to disappear, and the Goddess knows this deep down. So Uka-sama just needs to be more honest about acknowledging that her troubles are not just her own. Her learning Touka’s concerns this episode is a good step forward, but it doesn’t seem his bringing up Inari’s feelings was enough to make Uka-sama open up and tell the girl the truth. Now that the truth is known to Amaterasu though, we can be sure that something will be set into motion. Case in point, her locking Uka-sama in the Ama-no-Iwato of legend.

I recently read that Japanese viewers ranked Inari Konkon seventh out of their top ten Spring anime. This was pleasantly surprising because I honestly haven’t seen too much buzz or talk about this show around the internet. That said, these are the opinions of the Japanese viewers and there is usually a clear disconnect between them and us western viewers (and perhaps even other Asian, non-Japanese viewers). Anyway, I’m glad that the show is at least well-received over there. It’s a very nice and relaxing story about love, friendship, and the hardships that can accompany them; all very human concepts in spite of the supernatural nature of the show. In fact, the latest developments demonstrate that the very Gods the show features are in need of a little lesson about how to treat each other from a “lowly” human like Inari. But I digress. Here’s looking forward to the last two episodes of the show.

What is Amaterasu plotting?

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8 Responses to “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 08”

  1. skylion says:

    Someone can correct me if I am wrong, I’ve read quite a bit on comparative religion and on the Shinto aspect of modern life. It seems that Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha is viewing the kami on the most human level they can.
    The kami have an eternal lifestyle, more power than we do, and that sets them leagues apart from humans. But boy, do they have some of the same longings, needs, abuses, and craziness that we have.

    It’s almost like a case of who created who, and that is a distinct part of modern Shinto mindset. It’s about archetypes. Which is odd in this show as Uta-sama has not been seen doing a lot of what her station is…which is the storage of rice.

    • Highway says:

      I haven’t done much study on Shinto, but (I think I’ve said this here before) I love the presentation that it gets, so much more than the omnipotent deity of other religions. The kami definitely have ‘more’ power than humans, but it’s nothing approaching ‘ultimate’ power. It’s more like local power, kind of a ‘big fish in a small pond’ kind of thing. And along with it, they have foibles, frequently ones that are all-too-human. To me, this puts them on a much more approachable and understandable level, because you don’t just handwave away the things they do with ‘oh, because god’. You can actually have them in shows like this, or like Kamisama Hajimemashita, or Gingitsune (well, heralds, but similar), rather than having to abstract them because they’re beyond understanding.

  2. Wanderer says:

    Well, turns out the issue lies on Uka-sama’s side instead of being an insurmountable problem as we had been led to believe. It seems that once Uka-sama takes back her powers, which she knows how to do, Inari will no longer be able to see or interact with her.

    Well, it’s not quite that simple. Uka cannot simply take back the powers. They addrssed that in this episode: she felt the powers returning slightly to her when Inari willingly rejected them. Inari needs to choose to give up the divine powers freely, by her own will. Uka simply doesn’t know how to tell Inari “you are killing me: could you please give me back my powers so I won’t die, even though it means we’ll never meet again?”

    • Sumairii says:

      I see what you’re getting at, but in the end the complexity of the situation is irrelevant. What’s important is that pretty much the only hurdle preventing the whole thing from being resolved is Uka-sama’s reluctance.

      She knows the conditions that must be satisfied, and I imagine she can easily figure out how to make it happen. But she won’t do anything about it because of her relationship with Inari.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Inari sure gave everyone an earful. Marrying someone else off just to satisfy one’s ego is a vain thing to do. They’re acting no better than humans. Touka is still being the hostile tsundere. He’s the one who needs a cooling off period rather than Inari and Uka.

  4. Highway says:

    I doubt it will do it, but the ending I want is the big switcheroo: Inari takes over for Uka-sama as deity, and Uka becomes human to be with Touka. I know she said she’d fade away, but maybe that’s not really what would happen. Unfortunately, I don’t think that Touka and Uka’s love for each other has become strong enough that that would be viewed as a solution. And I also don’t know if Inari would be able to handle that.

    Other than that, this is a fine mess. I kind of wonder whether it’s a case of “kamis can’t think outside the box” or just that there really isn’t anything that can be done about it.

    • Sumairii says:

      As you say, it’s highly unlikely. But I dunno if I would want Inari to become a deity anyway. Let’s not forget she still has her thing for Kouji, which would be unnecessarily complicated should she completely cease being human. How the supernatural is dealt with is still a bit fuzzy, but I would imagine that Kouji as a normal human would not be able to perceive Inari if she becomes a Goddess.

      Although it’s entirely possible for all this to be glossed over precisely because the “rules” of the supernatural element aren’t nailed down. There’s still the anomaly of Touka, for instance. But I guess that could be explained away with something as simple as saying he has the active imagination required as a chuuni to perceive the Gods…

  5. Cybersteel says:

    Time for Touka and friends to save Uka from Soul Society wait what…?

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