Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

September 27, 2014

Name an anime that deals with a school girl having deity powers and a fox familiar. If you answer Kamisama Hajimemashita, it is probably that show is perhaps more popular than Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. (I wanted to mention Gingitsune too but I didn’t see that series). This show too has the same concept just that you take away the forbidden romance part between the human and deity and replace it with the forbidden friendship. Yup. If you are not into such glittery comedy romance genre with a hot looking fox familiar but something that explores the meaning of friendship and also a cute looking pet mascot fox familiar, you might be suited for this one. As the story girls, our protagonist is a shy middle school girl. Like many girls her age, it is pretty normal she has a crush on some popular guy. That’s why he is popular, right? One day after unknowingly helping a familiar of a deity, she is given part of her power that allows her to transform into a different person. Of course as a person new to such powers, you would be in awe and use it the way as you want it. But often, the outcome doesn’t necessarily equate to how you want it. And that is where the journey of understanding and exploration of her newfound power, friendship, the people she loves and ultimately herself begin.

Episode 1
Inari Fushimi is already late for school but she sees a dog on the verge of falling into the river. She tries to save it but she herself trips and gets wet. At least the dog is safe and dry. But the teachers and friends, Chika “Maru” Marutamachi and Keiko Sanjou don’t believe this dog excuse for her tardiness. She even used her handkerchief to tie its wound. During gym, Inari watches the guy she admires in basketball, Kouji Tanbabashi (which girl doesn’t?). Because she is clumsy, this stroke of luck has the teacher made Tanbabashi teach her how to play the basics of basketball. Unfortunately her clumsiness is also like a double edged sword for she trips and accidentally pulls down his shorts! Luckily he wears another pair of shorts underneath but he is so embarrassed. Inari hates herself but her friends cheer her up. She remembers kids used to tease her lame name which is the same as the local shrine. But Keiko thinks she is lucky because it means the deities are looking out for her. Inari feels better and wants to go apologize to Tanbabashi but every time that guy avoids her or makes his escape! Then she sees him handing some sort of letter to the cutest girl in school, Akemi Sumizome. Her heart breaks thinking he likes those kind of girls. She seeks refuge at the shrine when a couple of fox familiars lead Inari to a secret place where the shrine’s deity, Uka No Mitama No Kami resides. The dog that she saved is actually another of her fox familiar. As thanks for that and her love for this shrine, she will grant a wish for her. Inari wants to be like Sumizome. The next thing Inari knows, she looks exactly like her. That’s good, right?

Unfortunately it isn’t because now her parents think she is missing and all her friends begin searching around. Keiko confronts Tanbabashi and accuses him of not wanting to accept Inari’s apology that has led to this. He is shocked to hear she is missing and starts looking too. Meanwhile Inari is hungry and no money. A couple of guys want to treat her but she quickly runs away. Don’t want to be hit on if she knows what is good for her. Surprisingly Tanbabashi finds her but thinks ‘Sumizome’ is looking for Inari. As he treats her for dinner (because her stomach is growling so loud), he blames himself for avoiding Inari. It is not that he is mad but just embarrassed to look her in the eye. Inari feels bad and promises to pay him back. At the shrine she starts crying and the fox familiars are baffled she is not happy with her wish. Inari wants them to take her to Uka to reverse the wish. She catches her in the act of playing a dating simulation video game! Holy sh*t! However Uka cannot reverse the wish because granting more than one wish to a human would violate the Celestial Plains rules. And there are lots of humans coming to the shrine to pray for wishes so she just can’t cut the queue. But all is not lost. Uka gives her eat some magic peach which contains her power. This allows Inari to change her shape to any real live human at will. And so with a magical girl chanting and transformation, Inari is back! The fox she saved, Kon will be her familiar onwards and no other human would be able to see him. Oh, palm sized for convenience. She gets permission to visit her any time she wants. Inari is reunited with her friends. They call Tanbabashi to tell him she is alright. Her big brother, Touka brings her back. Next day, Uka notices Touka staring at her with this mean look. At school, Tanbabashi is absent and Inari is worried because tomorrow is his big game and she has got a charm for him.

Episode 2
Uka receives a letter from Amaterasu Oomikami. Inari is nervous outside Tanbabashi’s door so she transforms into his friend, Hajime Hashimoto. He lets her in of course. And also into his room. They’re guys, right? Seems he was absent because he had to take care of his sick mom. Inari is happy when he is able to play tomorrow’s game. Inari gives back the money as pretence it was for last night’s treat on Sumizome. Seeing Tanbabashi nurse his mother made her realize she doesn’t know much about him. She remembers he is the only guy who helped her when she was hurt and late on the first day of middle school. She might be taking this too far because in reality she is hugging his back! Looks so gay! As she takes a breather at the shrine, Inari comes to her but with a frown on her face. Suddenly weird masked men surround Inari. On orders of Amaterasu they are to escort them to the Celestial Plains. She thought Amaterasu is going to be some beautiful goddess. Let’s just say this ugly aunty didn’t match up to her fantasy… Anyway he is the sun goddess that rules over Celestial Plains and she is not pleased Uka has given part of her divine powers to Inari. As she cannot take away those powers, Inari must spend years here training as a new deity. Uka will also be married off as punishment. But Amaterasu will test Inari. She cannot transform into anything for tomorrow. Easy, right? So off she goes to Tanbabashi’s basketball game. Along the way she meets Sumizome who is also going there and she finds her quite friendly. Of course Amaterasu and the rest of the deities are partying and watching them. To make things interesting, several deities have gone down to stir things up. Because if Inari transforms, one of those deities will get to marry Uka.

So the deities come up with lots of tricks but Inari can tell it’s them thanks to their horrible face mask! She knows they are baiting her just to transform into something else but she doesn’t give in. The best one has got to be a man who is dying and wants to see his wife’s face the last time. So transform into her! After all that running around and dragging Sumizome with her, they find respite in the school’s storeroom. However the deities lock her in and Sumizome collapses. Nobody is around. There is a small window above that the size of a small kid can only go through. Inari weighs about transforming but decides to do it anyway to save Sumizome. She transforms into Tanbabashi’s little brother to crawl through the window and run to the court and yell for help. Although the game is called off, Sumizome is now fine as Inari gives him the charm. She hopes his love will be fulfilled. On the way to see Amaterasu, she laments what is going to happen but on the bright side, it gave her the chance to give Tanbabashi the charm. Still, she can’t help cry and the deities feel bad for going too far. Uka hugs Inari and is glad she is fine. She cheers her up that she used her powers to save a friend in need. Uka will take the punishment and hopes Inari will be spared. Amaterasu passes her. This is a test for her because had she blamed Inari, she would have punished both of them. This means they can continue to be together. In actual fact, Amaterasu can’t say she was bored and was just killing time. If this didn’t go down well, her approval rating would have dropped! Back in school, Inari sees Sumizome having her answer ready for Tanbabashi and will accept it. To her surprise, it is to be the manager of their team. How did she jump to a conclusion that they’re going to date? Tanbabashi thanks her for the charm and believes it really works. While Inari is with Uka, suddenly Touka pushes Uka away and wants her to stay away from his sister! WTF?!

Episode 3
Uka turns into some evil being as she fights out with Touka in a power battle! Actually that is just his delusion so don’t think too much about it. He brings her back as she wonders why Touka can see Uka. Flashback reveals he could already see Uka when he was young. He was made to bring Inari to the shrine when she wanted to visit it so much. That’s when he saw Uka and got freaked out thinking she was a ghost. Inari must have eaten something bad as she needs to go to the toilet. But she is stopped by some handsome guy asking about her transformation powers. Too bad her stomach can’t wait. Thankfully those bouncer girls stop him from entering the girls’ toilet. Once she is done, she is appalled to see this guy transformed into her and impersonating her lifestyle. Inari has no choice but to transform into the assistant principal and to ‘call herself out’. Before Inari can find out anything, this imposter gets the urge to chance into gym clothes since this is the next period. This time the assistant principal got stopped by those bouncer girls from entering the girls’ changing room. But the imposter looks disappointed that he couldn’t see girls changing as they’re being defensive and playing safe even when there are no boys around. Then he goes to hit on several teacher ladies in school before showing his true form. He is Ootoshi No Kami AKA Toshi and is Uka’s brother. He was away on a mission only to find her sister’s power had been ‘stolen’. From the way he paints his love for Uka, looks like he is a stupid siscon! Maybe that is why Uka didn’t like him and stayed away from him. He then takes Inari away to celebrate the welcoming of a new deity.

Meanwhile Touka is typing his fantasy novel when he hears sounds in the attic. Could it be a mouse? Yeah. A big mouse. Make that a fox. Inari is sleeping there?! Turns out she is trying to escape Toshi and end up here thanks to Inari’s smell. Touka wants her out but she wants to try out his video game. He lost. Then she sleeps on his bed and sleep talks about Inari and divine power. This makes Touka suspicious as he tries to get her to spill the beans. Oh, so now she wants to leave? Because he gets a little rough with her, she takes it the wrong way that he’s some perverted beast. At Celestial Plains, Inari is surrounded by other deities when Oomiyanome No Kami AKA Miya shoos them away. Inari is so glad to see a sane deity. Yeah. Everyone is cuckoo ever since she arrived. Miya explains that she is one of the few deities at Uka’s shrine. She views Uka’s fleeing from Celestial Plains as a right decision. Because she is a first rank deity, other common deities used to hound her with marriage proposals just for her position and title. This made her lose faith and lamented she doesn’t know how to have fun anymore. Miya introduced her to a dating simulation game and she got hooked. She never knew such gentlemen existed. Those words really took her heart. And now she’s a prisoner of 2D dating games. At the party, other deities pester and egg on Inari to transform. Although she hates it, she does so just to get them off her back. Her power is so great that it causes Uka to collapse. Touka is visiting the shrine at the same time because mom asked him to give some offerings, he sees Uka down and then for odd reasons she hugs him and wants to unite with him! Amaterasu dispels Inari’s power and then warns her about beginners trying to use it so casually. She still hasn’t figure out a way to return Uka’s power so it is suggested to wait till the power within Inari stabilizes before taking it out. Inari wonders if she can still be friends with Uka then. No way. Once the power is out, she’ll revert back to before and can’t see or hear her anymore. Uka is fine now and thanks Touka. He too apologizes for being rough. She has a favour of him. Can she drop by to play some games? He’ll think about it. Also, he doesn’t want her to tell Inari about this for she doesn’t want her friend to worry. She won’t know what to do with herself if she finds out. This makes Touka seeking answers but she still won’t tell and flies away. Back home as suggested by Kon, Inari should transform and see how long she can hold to see if the power is stabilize. She transforms into her mom when Touka walks in.

Episode 4
Thankfully he believes she is mommy since he didn’t see her transform. But when he sees mommy downstairs, he puts on a serious face and tells his parents that Inari may have gotten divine powers. They laugh it off! Too funny! Considering daddy is a manga artist… So Touka becomes like a stalker and watches Inari so close even during sleep! What the hell?! So she runs to confide in Inari about her recent trip to Celestial Plains and the power thingy if she is stripped she won’t be able to see her anymore. Uka reminds her of the festival tomorrow and that Tanbabashi will be there since his family always visits the shrine. She will tell Touka nothing is going on so she can live a normal life again. Inari dons her yukata and meets up with Sumizome. Along the way, they feel somebody watching them. Can you believe it that Toshi is about to pound on them? If not for Keiko’s flying kick, they could have been his rape victims. And I think he is a masochist too because he likes the kick. Oh, because that flying kick reminds Sumizome of a character from a manga she reads, she starts taking a liking for her. At the festival, Sumizome could guess Inari has a crush on Tanbabashi because the way she says her lines is pretty similar to a manga she reads. Fear the true power of shoujo manga! Speaking of which, here he is so Inari goes off to join him. Keiko wants a watch at the shooting stall but accidentally shoots the bunny toy. This is what Sumizome wants. She thought she could have it since Keiko didn’t want it but decided to give it to Inari.

Inari is having a nice time with Tanbabashi. Because she is fantasizing, she got lost in the sea of crowd. Before she can press the panic button, he grabs her hand and that’s how they walk along for the rest of the journey. Uka could feel Inari’s happiness but at the same time felt a little jealous. And then this scene… Touka watching and stalking them. He is just like her brother. Speaking of which, here comes that siscon hugging her! He is nose bleeding too?! She is shocked that her barrier didn’t kick him out and wonders if her divine power is declining. When Touka sees this, she accuses him that he also does the same thing with Inari! When Inari’s sandal straps break, Tanbabashi carries her and it reminds her just like that time. Only now he is taller. I don’t know how but thankfully Toshi is tied up. Yeah, he is into this kind of play too… And he’s telling Touka off not to lay his filthy hands on his sister! Look who is talking. Touka wants to know if Uka has given powers to Inari so she admits just to make friends with a human. I’m not sure if Touka is satisfied with that answer but he leaves her alone. Toshi reminds her about trying to be friends with humans. Do humans deserve to be friends with deities? As deities they must treat all humans equal and she knows it herself. He doesn’t want her to be so close to Inari. Uka thinks she has chosen the right path and only wants to look in on their happiness if it’s only for a moment. Likewise, Inari is grateful for meeting Uka because none of this would have happened. She feels it is her turn to help her find happiness.

Episode 5
Happy Inari goes to the shrine. But her enthusiasm takes a dive when she sees Toshi still tied up… Anyway she is here to tell Uka that she will be away tomorrow. She will be going to the beach with her friends and parents (Touka passes because he is more of an ‘indoor’ person). Hot girls like Sumizome and Keiko attract attention of other guys but luckily Keiko is there to fend of those muscle brains. And the not so hot girls like flat Inari and fat Maru go swim together. Maru reveals that she doesn’t like Sumizome because they are in different leagues. On the other hand, Sumizome could also tell Maru doesn’t get along well with her. She noticed during the festival, Maru has never looked at her in the eye. As Sumizome reveals she never had friends who invited her along on trips, Keiko explains Maru never had friends before till Inari talked to her. It didn’t take long for Maru to open up and before they know it, the 3 of them became friends. But Sumizome notes she’ll never become like Inari. During their stay in the cabin, there is an awkward silence between Maru and Sumizome. Keiko is tired and goes directly to bed so it’s all up to Inari. Not even her sunshine spunkiness can cast away their gloom. After Sumizome goes out to buy drinks, Inari talks to Maru. They argue and this causes Inari to be upset and leaves. Meanwhile that same muscle brain tries to bug Sumizome again. Inari sees this and transforms into Keiko to scare that bugger away. Sumizome hugs her in her relief. Meanwhile Keiko talks to Maru and believes Inari will never let anyone feel left out. Maru just realized Sumizome can be quite a pretty nice girl too. Inari realizes the problem of heading back to the cabin with Sumizome. Keiko’s there too, right? Don’t want to be seeing twins. So she rushes off with pretence to go to the toilet. She comes back as Inari who then tells her that Keiko went back because she was dead tired. This causes Sumizome to fall into depression. She can’t go back and face her. When she helped her earlier, she felt like they had finally become friends. But she misunderstood and is embarrassed. Sumizome explains she doesn’t know how to interact with others as she is always alone. Furthermore, Keiko always talks about Inari. She feels jealous of her. Inari is shocked because she thought she was the one who was jealous. Even shocking, Sumizome wishes she was her! Inari’s power starts to go berserk.

Episode 6
Uka starts feeling the pain. Inari feels the need to do something. Should she change Sumizome into her? Experience dictates it won’t solve anything. Once she is more composed, the power simmers down as she reveals she too wanted to be like her and has everything she doesn’t have. Since they’re the same, they should talk to each other if they have something on their mind. Kon wonders how she dispelled the divine power. She didn’t. It went away on its own. She figured Sumizome wasn’t asking a deity for a favour but merely opening up to her. When all the friends meet, they save for Keiko start apologizing and blaming themselves as the one at fault. Maru and Sumizome made up and become friends. Meanwhile Touka gives Uka some deity abuse because she has been following him! Lonely? Well, she just wants to come and play games. She might feel better. He tells her to come tomorrow since it is already late. Besides, Inari will be back tomorrow night. And here she comes ringing the doorbell at such an early hour… Since she is already here might as well invite her in. Back to Inari and co, when Sumizome watches how cool Keiko is as she plays badminton, she reveals to the rest that she likes her. It is a secret she has told no one. Maru approves because she is a big yuri fan! The girls later buy souvenirs to commemorate this trip and Maru teases Inari if she is going to get one for Tanbabashi. As for Uka, Kon says anything from her would make her happy. Meanwhile Inari is having fun playing video games with Touka. Really. He loses again so he quits and continues his novel. When he notices her sifting through the photo album, he takes away some suspicious photos before letting her browse. She mentions she is so close to him all the time and yet knows nothing. He might not remember that they have met before. When he was lost in the mountains, Inari changed into her human form to guide him back down. When Inari and her parents return, she is surprised to see Inari as her guest. She tells her about the fun trip they had but stops short of revealing about the power awakening as not to worry her.

Episode 7
Inari is praying so hard to land the role of Tanbabashi’s lover in the cultural festival play. And she gets it! Lucky girl! She tells Uka about it but Miya brings a letter from her mother, Kamu Oichi Hime. Seems she is furious that Uka has not attended many marriage interviews and wants her to do so or else she will burn all those video games!!! She doesn’t think there is anyone whom she enjoys with but visions of Touka flashes through her mind. Inari stays positive that if there is something she wants to talk about, she is always here. Hashimoto the director wants to add a kissing scene to have more impact although technically they won’t be kissing. This causes Inari to fluster and then when she sees Toshi flirting around with other girls, she ends up arguing with him and the other guys think he is her boyfriend. Uka talks to Touka about the gathering of all deities at Izumo in October and asks him about love, especially those who want to marry her only see her rank. This ends up with them quarrelling that they don’t know the respective heart of men/women. Inari seems to be screwing up that very same line. Always. When Kon tells her that she unconsciously used her power to pick that part of the play, she becomes drenched in guilt. Tanbabashi could sense her pressure and says that they don’t have to do the kissing scene if she doesn’t want to. More woes for her when a girl, Minami Momoyama goes up to her to request she send this love letter to Tanbabashi on her behalf. Geez, why not send it yourself? This causes Inari to feel even more guilt and think she has been shoving aside the love of other girls with her power. Tanbabashi is quite a popular guy, right?

And so Inari with a heavy heart decides to quit the play. At this time? Will there be a replacement? Well, some girl volunteers. So when her friends find out, they are not very pleased especially when they hear Hashimoto’s reasoning that Inari may not be able to do the kissing scene because of her boyfriend. This makes Sumizome snap as she corrects them Inari has no boyfriend. They are her friends and know better. Inari’s guilt reaches boiling point. And how convenient the letter got blown away by the wind. Or is it her divine power that makes it so? She transforms into Momoyama and is going to confess her love even if she knows this will not work out. And then here comes Tanbabashi but he is looking for Inari. However Inari starts confessing she likes him and ironically feels how easily those words come out when it is from someone else. Unfortunately Tanbabashi apologizes and even asks what love is. She explains from her experience but basically it is something like an obsession. He thinks that is quite spot on and reminiscing his times spent with Inari, he concludes that he might be in love with her. Inari tells Momoyama that she has been turned down and although disappointed, it was expected. At least she knows she needs to try harder. Inari talks to Uka that she has dropped out of the play but Kon reports the real reason that it is because she felt guilty for using her powers. Uka blames it was her power’s fault. Inari becomes part of the backstage crew instead and running around like mad. And this Touka… He can’t stop thinking about Uka?! It is just irritating him! On the night Uka is to leave for Izumo, she has decided to attend some marriage interviews (because she said she would show and prove it to Touka) even if she was so against it. Even if she gets married, they can still be friends as long as her power is still inside her. Touka heard it and accuses Uka of deceiving him that she didn’t do anything to Inari. Time is up and she is force to leave.

Episode 8
Touka has said nothing since but out of the blue he wants Inari to follow him to Izumo so that they can ask her directly about everything. Uka is still against Kamu’s wish to attend marriage interviews. They struggle so much that Uka accidentally hits Touka. Toshi’s presence makes it even worse so mother forces him to babysit the humans instead of stalking his sister! At the cafe, Toshi is ranting how mother is forcing Uka into this just because of her rivalry with Kushinada Hime. Inari doesn’t think that is a very good reason and is bent on stopping this marriage. While Toshi will help her, Touka doesn’t give a damn about it all. He just wants to know the divine power inside Inari. But Inari has to go it alone since Toshi’s crow familiar brings him back by force to spend time with the family. When Uka goes out for a while, Inari transforms into her to take her place in the meeting. Unknowingly this causes the real Uka to collapse somewhere. I thought she could only transform into humans? She tries to put an end to this marriage interview but each time those deadly stares of Kamu makes it so impossible. Now you know why Uka can never run away? Just when she is able to blurt out to hell with the interview marriages, Kamu becomes so mad that you can feel her aura is more demonic than of a deity! She blames Uka for spending too much time with the humans and orders the deities to bring Inari and Touka here now! Touka is being chased by deities when he stumbles upon the real Touka. He deduces her exhaustion has something to do with giving her power to Inari. She admits that she grows weaker each time her power is used. For every time Inari uses that power, eventually she will become a deity. She brushes off what will happen to herself if Inari becomes a deity so Touka hugs her! He wants her to tell him everything. Doesn’t she trust him? Or is it because he is human? Uka feels so happy that she starts crying. She doesn’t want to fade away. Although getting her power back would solve everything, but not being able to see Inari anymore would be even worse. Touka lets her know Inari is trying to stop the marriage interview. Uka doesn’t want her to worry and mustn’t let her know about her diminishing power.

Inari is hiding and couldn’t believe she has stumbled upon Susanoo No Mikoto, Uka’s father and Amaterasu’s brother! This punk looking guy is a deity???!!! WTF?! He won’t help her out unless she convinces or do something to stop it all. What is she afraid of? Is she afraid of the thing that they will do to her if she gets caught? When Kamu and the deities find her, Inari questions her if this marriage is so important. Is it more important than Uka’s feelings? If they are this clueless, how could they appreciate her? The deities blame Inari for being too long with Uka and thus making her so human-like. But Inari fights back. They can’t do anything unless they marry someone with power. Doing nothing on their own and letting others handle things without trying for themselves. She will not allow her beloved friend to get hurt. Susanoo is convinced with her courage and suggests they hear her out. He works his charms that send Kamu and Amaterasu flustering like a high school girl in love! Because Susanoo says the marriage interviews must stop, so be it! Yeah, the happiest one has got to be Toshi. He is so deranged. Uka thanks Inari and notes her life has been nothing but happy ever since they became friends. After Inari and Touka leave for home, Amaterasu speaks to Uka and knows she has found a way to get her divine power back. When Uka felt Inari’s hatred and desperation to return that power, she felt the sensation it had returned. In that instant, Amaterasu locks Uka in a cave mountain in the Celestial Plains. She will be staying here for a while and will only bring her out if the time calls for it. If that ever comes. This isn’t to pull them apart but to give them a cool off period.

Episode 9
As Amaterasu adds, she needs to do some soul searching to remember who she is. Don’t want her to just suddenly disappear, right? Inari still thinks Uka is in Izumo when she isn’t back at her shrine. When Hashimoto could guess Tanbabashi likes Inari and the latter wants to keep this a secret, Momoyama heard it. She apologizes to him but is shocked to hear that he never got the letter. She sinks into depression and it is very obvious. Touka must be thinking too much about Uka that it is affecting his grades. Seriously. On a day when the school is to clean the shrine grounds, Tanbabashi gives Inari a charm in return for those she gave him. The friends are cleaning up the areas as usual but they notice several girls ignoring them when spoken to. It is revealed that Momoyama’s friend, Kyoko Kangetsu told them to. Wait a minute. Without a valid reason and they just obeyed it like that even though they don’t want to? I don’t think this Kangetsu girl is as scary as Keiko. So Inari confronts Kangetsu and her friends and whatever grudge she has against her, please don’t involve her friends. Inari learns about Momoyama’s letter that they mistakenly thought she had thrown away and is accused for doing so to hog Tanbabashi for herself. Inari feels bad that because she recklessly used her power, others close to Momoyama got hurt. When they get rough with Maru and she gets hurt, Inari’s power starts to work up. Once she feels how much she hates them, the place starts to tremble that everyone thinks an earthquake is happening. Uka could feel Inari using her power. She too felt some power surging inside her as her spirit bursts out from the cave to Inari’s side. She calms her down that she will protect her. The quake simmers down and Inari returns to normal. Uka is shocked to see she is gradually fading.

Momoyama confronts Kangetsu to chide her for telling everyone to ignore Inari and co when she clearly did not ask her to. Inari apologizes that she threw away her letter and seeks her forgiveness. Momoyama can forgive her since she did tell him how she felt as he was flattered upon hearing the letter. In a way she is impressed because most people couldn’t tell someone they like that another person has feelings for them. Sumizome’s cute but creepy smile forces Kangetsu and her friends to apologize to Maru. Touka then rushes to Inari since he had a hunch that earthquake was Inari’s doing. She confirms the divine power within her surged out then. Miya comes down with distressing news. This is when Inari learns Uka is fading and Touka further confirms it with the talk he had with Uka at Izumo. Obviously she didn’t tell Inari because she didn’t want her to worry. All she wanted was her to become a normal girl. Learning that she is locked in Celestial Plains, how will she get there? The fox familiars start howling till the pathways are lit. Inari makes haste and didn’t know Uka was protecting her all this time. Now it will be her turn to protect her. She is going to give her power back. Amaterasu notes humans cannot handle divine power and Uka herself should know this well but in spite all that, why did she hold her mortal ties with such high regard? Does she think Inari can respond to her feelings?

Episode 10
Several fox spirits follow Inari and the fox familiars start running with them. The fox familiars turn into a giant fox to let Inari ride up to the Celestial Plains. You know, I thought they should have done this in the first place instead of making the poor girl run halfway up the stairs. Unless those foxes gave them the power to do so. Meanwhile Inari’s friends cover for her when the teacher takes a roll call. Toshi is cutting the ropes that bind the cave. Suddenly he is overrun by the pack of fox. Yeah. He thought he could be the first to see his sister, no? Inari beat him to it although they’re still stuck outside at the cave mouth. It might seem silly but what else is Inari going to do than try to pry open the boulder with her tiny bare hands till it hurts. She is not alone. Kon, the foxes and Toshi help to push it open till there is enough gap to see Uka. Inari won’t give up yet and everyone continues to push. Susanoo thinks they have shown their persistence enough so Amaterasu helps open it just a little so Inari can squeeze through. Too bad her bum couldn’t fit in. Touka could even quipped her top is flat but her bottom is fat! Haha! Too bad you’re not going to be the one to see Uka. When she finally gets through, they can’t even tough since well, she’s fading, right? Inari is mad she never told her everything. It was not to let her worry, remember? But Inari also never told her about that power surge. Why? Not to let her worry too, right? So in this case they are even. Inari says she has grown closer to Tanbabashi and can speak to her friends freely, all thanks to her power. However she disagrees because divine powers can’t move a person’s heart. She did it all on her own. Inari returns the power to Uka. They thank each other and the next thing Inari knows, she is back at the shrine. She can’t see the supernatural now. Her friends are waiting for her and worried to see her bruised. To make it even more special, Tanbabashi is waiting too and as worried. Inari can’t help cry. I guess it is okay for Uka to let Toshi hug her after he’s been holding it for a while. But wishing for a kiss is just too much. Back off! Uka sees Amaterasu and is being told the lesson this is why humans and deities cannot mix. Uka notes humans as an interesting species and she finds love to be of special interest and would like to continue watching over humans. Amaterasu gives her the green light but hopes she can drop by Celestial Plains once in a while. Inari resumes her normal life. Although she cannot see Uka now, she knows she is there and watching over her.

I think this OVA takes place before Inari loses her powers. Inari leaves some snack offering for Uka at the shrine. Toshi although criticizes it decides to have a bite but gets zapped by Uka’s barrier. Inari is looking for Kon but it seems that little fox is training in Celestial Plains. Because Inari is frolicking around dreaming of dating simulation games, the other fox familiars have to rush and go get them so he wanted to become excellent familiars like them. Miya thinks Inari hasn’t done any training in Celestial Plains but yet has excellent controls over her powers lately. Could it be her human virtue? This gives Kon an idea to disguise himself as a human being and copy her. However Kon bumps into Shiro, Tanbabashi’s little brother. Kon is going to be very bothered by him since he starts crying and using his tail as tissue. Seems he got into a fight with big brother. Similarly, Tanbabashi runs into Inari and explains Shiro ran away. It all began when he wanted to play fireworks with mom. Which is impossible since she is busy and he will play with him instead. He insisted and this led Tanbabashi to scold him and be patient. The rest is history. Inari offers to help find him. Kon is forced to be at Shiro’s whims and fancies from getting him a cicada and a cat. Or else his tail… Then at a store, he is going to buy a fireworks set but doesn’t have enough money. Thankfully Inari is here and uses her limited allowance to buy it. Kon panics. Would she recognize him? Kon’s panicking allows Inari to identify him. With Shiro hungry, they go to the supermarket to buy food. Does Inari have enough money to buy all those stuffs? Coincidentally, this is where Shiro’s mom works. Little kid bugs mommy to play with him and of course she can’t because there is a long queue at her counter. He starts crying. Tanbabashi comes by and scolds Shiro. He runs away. Inari wants to transform into their mom. Although it might not solve anything, if she can stop Shiro crying, she’ll do it. When she does, Shiro starts crying and apologizing. Tanbabashi wants ‘mom’ to return to work and will handle this. Shiro calms down. Inari notes Tanbabashi knows how to stop Shiro’s tears without using divine power. Later as they play fireworks together, Inari and Kon watch over them. They note her best virtue comes from her subtle generosity. Uka also notes if Kon learnt a lesson from running away, it would be good too. She knows because Inari was looking for him and Miya told her. Tanbabashi will pay back what Inari paid for the fireworks but she declines because she had fun too. Tanbabashi could feel his heart at ease each time he is with her. Their mom comes by since her colleague managed to relief her on her shift. They all have a good time. Uka adds that she didn’t make Kon as Inari’s familiar because of his skills but rather she thinks they could get along fine.

The Power Of Love Not From Magic But From The Heart
This is actually quite a heart-warming and simple series despite in the end it may seem Inari couldn’t continue to be with Uka again. But it is better for Uka to become invisible to her rather than disappear for good. Instead of continuing to become her physical friend, at least Uka can be her guardian angel or something like that. Watching and protecting her like always before. So I suppose this is considered quite a good ending because it would have really sucked should Uka just disappear. Unless they put in some twist like Amaterasu injecting and fuelling up Uka so she doesn’t disappear and at the same time Inari remains her power so that she could continue to talk and be with Uka. This one sounds like stretching it so I personally don’t think I would prefer that kind of ending. Either way, Inari and Uka’s close bond and friendship should pave a new way and thinking about the relationship between humans and deities and open up new possibilities. It is something that those gods should think about instead of sticking to the age old tradition of status quo.

Compared to Kamisama Hajimemashita, this one can be considered more down to earth although with the existence of deities and supernatural powers, at least when it comes to dealing with issues in life, it is more realistic in this sense. Inari is just a normal girl who just wants to live a normal life. Just like any humans given powers, they are at first in awe with what they can do and would experiment around. Some getting it to their head and misusing it but some like Inari trying to take great care to protect what she considers important. The power is both a blessing and a curse. A double edged sword. Had she not obtained it in the first place, the events like getting closer to Tanbabashi and her friends might not be possible and life would have been drearily the same. The power changed her in a way and for the better good. But sometimes she goes a little astray thinking what she is doing is for the best when it turns out the other way round instead. Something about her transformation power that still boggles me is that if she was told she could only transform into real live humans, how was she able to transform into Inari at the marriage interview? Unless she actually could but Uka didn’t want her to because it might take up a lot of her powers. As seen, Uka’s collapsed there was more serious than before.

Just like Inari herself, the other characters are not perfect and have their own issues to deal with. Like Sumizome whom everyone stereotypic will cast her as the perfect girl who can have it all. In fact she is no better than Inari herself when the truth about her is revealed. Or Maru who initially can’t bring herself to like Sumizome just because she has the looks and feel of a different ‘status’. Like they say, the grass is always greener on the other side. Once everyone is able to open up their hearts, the problem is seemingly solved. There wasn’t supposedly any magic barrier or any magic spell to lift it. It all boils down to your heart. Now everyone is great friends with each other. So you see, the power of friendship lesson as we can well learn indeed does come from our own hearts instead of magical powers bequeathed by deities. One thing that bugs me is about Touka’s ability to see spirits. Does anybody else know about this peculiar power of his? Is he the only one besides Inari who can see Uka? Unless you tell me that he is one of those specially born with ‘special veils over the eye’ who can ‘see things’. It is very rare for a guy to be tsundere. I wanted to call him a siscon but he acts more like a tsundere than anything towards Inari. Because if you’re siscon, you’d be acting creepily lovey-dovey like Toshi does for Uka. But I don’t know if he is also being tsundere for Uka because lately he seems to be thinking a lot about her like as though he can’t get her off his mind.

Oddly, I view the other deities in this anime as no different from human beings in terms of their attitude and workings. Only difference is that they have power, longer shelf life and live in a different plain than us mortals. And some looking uglier and funnier than they already are. Really. So when it is said that deities want to marry Uka just for her first rank power without regards to how Uka feels, I thought that was pretty similar to us humans because they only want to something for their own selfish reasons instead of thinking about the other. And having a middle school girl telling them off like that, well, it really puts the shame on them. They call themselves deities but yet have no power of such sort. No wonder Uka is so disappointed. No wonder she is disillusioned about love. Just like otaku geeks, she seeks solace in dating simulation games! 2D love is the best, no? I guess that is what makes Uka fun. Besides being trying to be a responsible deity and a best friend, she has this weird obsession of playing video games and it makes her funny and odd since you know, a deity taking a huge liking for something man-made. Now, you can’t complain if she starts playing the game and goes into God mode, can’t you? Haha!

Then there is her brother Toshi who feels like the joker of the series. If such siscon behaviour even exists among the deities, I figure there are even worse behaviours. The funny thing about this guy is that despite he loves his sister so much to a point he doesn’t want others to lay a finger on her, this guy womanizes others! And look, he has his own deity harem if I am not mistaken. So is he a hypocrite? Does he consider Uka to be a possession? I believe this deity must one day learn the true meaning of letting go. Amaterasu tries to be fair but sometimes you need to crack the whip a little. Susanoo may not look like it but he is superbly cool. But wait a minute. He smokes? Another lesson to learn: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Amidst the drama between the friends for friendship, humans and deities, there are some decent comical moments that break the tension. Especially with Inari becoming a little joker herself when she panics. Looks a little cute too. There is also Touka’s online fantasy novels. He might not look like it but his imagination is damn creative. Hollywood film makers might want to buy his script and adapt it to the silver screen. Of course as said, Toshi is like the joker of the series with his siscon ways so seeing him around is like a cue that something funny is going to happen and most probably at his expense. Uka’s passion for several human stuffs makes her funny especially how she loves to play video games. Look at it this way, she’s cooked up in the shrine and doesn’t want to go back to the Celestial Plains where she’ll be bugged by annoying and useless marriage candidates so what else better than to lose some steam by indulging in human fantasy? What did I say about deities and humans being so alike?

Romance wise, I don’t think it is strong in this department since we are more focused on the friendship thingy. From the looks of it, despite Inari making some progress with Tanbabashi, they’re just being friends. Because if they do end up as a couple, it will bring more trouble like jealous b*tches. But that is another story. Another interesting love development is Sumizome and Keiko but this is just mostly a one-sided crush. Needless to say, they might be trying to hint all sorts of love because like I have said for the third time now, Toshi’s siscon and unholy-cum-unhealthy love for his sister. Yeah, there is that kind of love too. There is a hint that Uka may have something for Touka. Remember that hugging scene? Something about that feels very curious. Unless it is just one of her delusions from playing too many dating simulations. But there are a few instances which may prove that it is more than just that. I’m sure she isn’t hanging out at his place just to play his video games. She even confides in him in topics such as love and marriage. So what does this hint?

The art and drawing of the series feels fine and but the designs of the shrine location looks detailed and certain sceneries do look good. The characters look decent too and in a way better than Kamisama Hajimemashita because despite both shows having good looking bishonen, the latter feels a bit cartoonish. As there are many deities and gods, some look funny while some look ugly. To a certain extent that you wonder if this is some sort of a horror or freak show. It makes you think that if the producers are just throwing all their creativity in the designing department into this area. I know they are gods of something but I thought they should look better than say, an insect. But then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I’m just probably saying it based on my personal stereotypic likes and dislikes. Therefore Uka stands out from the rest with her pretty looks since the others look somewhat ‘ugly’ with Miya coming in at second place. As for Kon and the foxes, they’re like the animal mascots of this show. I can’t help feel that in certain angles when Kon perches on Inari’s shoulder, he sometimes remind me of Pikachu! Just turn it all white instead!

In the voice acting department, everything sounds okay. Veteran Houko Kuwashima lends her voice as Uka (Sango in Inu Yasha) while newbie Naomi Oozora plays Inari (Suzy in Genshiken Nidaime). Other casts include Youji Ueda as Touka (Usui in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), Takehito Koyasu as Toshi (Kururu in Keroro Gunsou), Masako Isobe as Amaterasu (Company President is Koisento), Hiroshi Okamoto as Tanbabashi (Wataru in La Corda d’Oro Blue Sky), Iori Nomizu as Sumizome (Haruna in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka), Kumiko Ikebe as Keiko (Tamao in Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzuu), Kaori Sadohara as Maru (Tamae in Date A Live), Takaya Kuroda as Susanoo (Capricorn in Fairy Tail), Asami Sanasa as Kamu (Kanako in Maria+Holic), Shiori Mikami as Miya (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin) and Sayuri Hara as Kon (Rhythm in Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream). I am not sure about the kind of accent the characters speak because if they speak long enough or sometimes if they get mad, you’ll hear them in a funny accent tone.

The opening theme is Kyou Ni Koiiro by May’N. It is a lively piece and those who recognized May’N’s style in anime pop would definitely find this familiar. The main ending theme is Saved by Maaya Sakamoto. It is a slow and lovely piece befitting the calming pace of the series very well. I am starting to form a stereotype that Maaya Sakamoto is best suited for such slow and calming songs after hearing her perform in the Tamayura animes although she does perform faster ones like those in Kobato and Linebarrels Of Iron. Dare Yori Mo Taisetsu Na Hito E by Houko Kuwashima is the special ending theme for episode 9 and is yet another slow lovely piece although I still prefer Saved. There are a number of nice background music but the main theme is still the better one to my preference (and perhaps played too much in the anime).

So perhaps that is why humans are not given powers to begin with since we usually end up abusing them. Not to say Inari did that but another moral of the story is be careful what you wish for. Very often it is not what we expect and we find ourselves regretting what we wished later. And I don’t need to remind this superhero quote that with great powers comes great responsibility. Tired of that line? Even so, humans don’t need such deity powers to grant wishes. Because each of us have that little miracle power within our hearts to make it come true. That itself is already power. Now do you not think that humans are especially an interesting species that even fascinates the gods?

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