Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: Episode 3 – “Elder Brother, Pesky, Excess Love”

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha focuses on a middle school named Inari, and she’s in love with her classmate, Kouji Tanbabashi. One day, she overhears Kouji and a popular girl named Sumizome, and it sounds like they’re talking about a love confession letter from Kouji to Sumizome. Upset, Inari runs to a nearby Inari shrine that she’s loved and visited since she was a child. Uka, the resident god of the shrine, grants Inari’s wish, which is to be Sumizome. After physically turning into her but still having her own personality, she wants to return to normal. While Uka can’t return Inari to normal, she is able to give her a portion of her power, which is the ability to transform into other people. Uka also gives Kon, the fox that Inari rescued, to serve as her familiar.

Episode three picks up where episode two ended off, with Inari’s older brother, Touka, telling Uka to stay away from his sister. Later, we see Touka having a flashback of taking Inari to the shrine when they younger. She runs off while she’s there, and comes back with a cat she found. Touka can see Uka behind her. Frightened, Touka grabs Inari’s hand and tells her they need to go.

At school, Inari is in a rush to go to the bathroom, because she apparently drank too much milk at breakfast. She suddenly finds her path blocked by a boy who wants to see her use the power of the gods to transform. She tries to get away from him, but he chases her into the girls’ bathroom. A large girl acts as a bouncer and kicks him out; she and a couple of other girls nearby start beating him up. After Inari finishes in the bathroom, she comes face to face with someone who looks just like her. Just then, Inari’s friends come by and take the fake Inari with them to class.

Inari comes up with a plan to get the fake Inari out of class and confront this person. It comes out that the person giving her trouble is Uka’s older brother, Ohtoshi. He has a little sister complex, and it comes out that he is part of the reason why Uka left the Celestial Plains and stays on Earth at the shrine. He believes that Inari stole Uka’s power and is rather unhappy with her. Unfortunately for him, Ohtoshi was sent on an errand to fetch Inari for the New Gods celebration. When he takes her to the Celestial Plains, Inari meets Miya, the goddess of business prosperity. The two girls become friends.

The night before, Uka sensed that Ohtoshi was nearby, and she ended up in the attic of Inari’s house. Touka finds her, and there’s an awkward scene that takes place between the two of them.

Inari is in an uncomfortable position at the New Gods celebration, with almost everyone egging her on to do a transformation. As she’s starting into a transformation, Uka collapses down on Earth. There are a couple of surprise interventions for both Inari and Uka.

This episode finally allows the audience to get a true feel for Inari’s older brother. Prior to this, we just saw him briefly in a couple of scenes. As I saw the awkward interactions between Touka and Uka, I really got a sense that Uka may be starting to get interested in Touka. As I continue in the series, I’ll be curious to see if this prediction is right.

We also got a bit of character development for Uka in this episode as well. Not only was she having to deal with her older brother’s unwanted advances, but she was having to deal with gods who were only interested in her for her power and not for who she is.  In a flashback, we learn that it was Miya who introduced Uka to the visual novel games that she loves so much when she brought one back as a souvenir.

After watching episode three, I think I’m starting to like Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha even more than I did at the end of episode two. So far, the series seems to be growing on me with each passing week. I hope that trend continues after I watch episode four.

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