Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: Episode 8 – “Izumo, Arranged Dates, Kerfuffle”

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 eight sees Touka and Inari going to Izumo to find Uka, because Touka wants answers from her about the power that she has given Inari. They find Uka, who is being dragged by her mother to her arranged dates. Unfortunately, Touka is unable to talk to Uka, and Toshi is made to escort the two humans around until dinner. While talking with Toshi, they learn that Uka is being forced into the arranged dates and potential marriage because of their mother’s rivalry with Kushinada-Hime. This angers Inari, and she decides she’s going to find a way to stop this from happening. Touka, meanwhile, wants nothing to do with it.

When Inari and Toshi arrive at the dating venue, Toshi is suddenly whisked away by a bird; this leaves Inari to go through with a plan alone. After Uka leaves for a break, Inari decides to use her power to transform into Uka. Kon tells Inari that she can only transform into other humans, but she’s able to do it after she taps more power from Uka. Uka collapses. Inari, disguised as Uka, tries to sabotage the arranged dates, but only succeeds in angering Uka’s mother. Uka’s mother decides that this is due to Inari and Touka’s influence, and she orders the gods to find the humans and apprehend them.

While he’s on the run, Touka finds Uka collapsed on the ground. During a conversation, he learns that if Inari keeps using that divine power, then Uka’s divinity will move into Inari and turn her into a god. If this happens, then Uka will fade away. This is actually a very tender scene, and Touka does something rather unexpected: he grabs her in a hug. He claims that he did because he feels guilty about Uka letting herself have these attacks because of his sister; however, it’s pretty clear to the audience that it was more than that.

Inari ends up getting help from an unexpected ally and is able to bring Uka’s arranged dates to an end. However, after Inari and Touka leave Izumo, the audience learns there are unintended consequences…

What happens to Uka at the end of episode eight will definitely have some ramifications for the remainder of the series. There’s a scene with Inari after Uka has been handed down a consequence from Amaterasu for getting too close to humans that almost made me cry. Inari is making all these plans for the time she’ll be spending with Uka, and yet the audience knows from what they saw prior to that scene that those plans won’t be happening.

I was riveted throughout the entirety of episode eight, and I’m really interested to see what’ll happen in episode nine and how Inari will react when she discovers what’s happened to Uka.

I can’t believe we’re down to the last few episodes of Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. I’ve gotten to the point where I look forward to watching this on Wednesdays, and it’s going to be weird not watching this series after the season is finished.

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