After a great first two episodes, Kemono Jihen (“Monster Incidents”) continues strongly this week. We will be examining the events of this week’s episode, so beware of spoilers. At the end of Episode 2, we glimpsed a red-haired, lipstick sporting women during a phone conversation with Inugami. This week, Kemono Jihen Episode 3 reveals her as a potential antagonist. At the beginning of the episode, we learn her name is Inari Yoko, and she has influence with the local Police.
Inari is a kitsune Kemono, a different ‘type’ of Kemono than Inugami. However, it seems the two of them have worked together to prevent stress on the human world. Her specialty seems to be illusions and mind manipulation.
At Inugami’s instruction, Kabane, Akira, and Shiki head to the Police station to meet with her. However, when the group arrives, they are met by a different girl, one named Kon, who seems to be an assistant to Inari. Even if you haven’t watched the intro, the fact that she has ears on her hoodie should clue you into the fact that she’s also a kitsune.
When Kabane arrives to meet with Inari, it becomes clear that her motives for the meeting are anything but pure. She explains that Kemono needs humans because they feast on their energy; this makes a coexistence with humans necessary. However, if Kemono no longer felt that hunger, they would no longer have a need for humans. The Lifestone can eliminate that need, so Inari incapacitates Kabane and takes the stone for herself.
Alright, I know what you’re thinking, ‘This Inari lady sounds pretty bad. How is she a ‘potential’ antagonist?” My thought as to why she may not become the main antagonist is because of her history with Inugami. By this point in time, they have worked together for a while. Inugami even reveals that Inari created the sign that draws in customers for his detective agency. After he shatters Inari’s scheme, Inugami doesn’t even seem mildly concerned about her. He compares this contest between Kemono to negotiation for boundaries on the territory.
Whether Inari plays a temporary role as an antagonist for a few episodes or directly opposes Kabane and his group for the series, one thing is clear. She seems to be absolutely dedicated to achieving her goal; even a child doesn’t deserve easy treatment in her eyes.
Although Inari shows potential for being an antagonist in Kemono Jihen, her assistant does not. At the end of the episode, it does seem that Kon may be joining the Kemonoists in episodes to come. Her responses to some of Inugami’s comments along with her fixation on the fact that Inari called her a ‘good girl’ once lead me to believe that she has not had a carefree life so far. I believe it likely that she will develop an attachment to the much nicer and caring Inugami over the antagonistic Inari.
Catch up on Kemono Jihen Episode 3 on Funimation before next Sunday’s episode!