Yuzu and Satsuki’s date in the previous episode was incredible, but can the third episode live up to that? Well, the focus this time is on Natsume and Ren, and I can tell you, it is a real treat. Let’s take a look at episode 3 of KONOHANA KITAN.
The episode begins with Natsume teasing Ren, which results in them causing trouble for Okami. Natsume seems to find the whole thing amusing, though they doesn’t seem to be the case for Ren. In fact, Natsume’s behaviour annoys her enough that she goes to Kiri to ask to switch partners.
Ren suggests that she partners up with Satsuki, but Kiri tells her that she wouldn’t want two capable workers partnering up. Kiri then suggests that Ren partners with Yuzu instead – Ren would prefer to stay with Natsume.
Whilst the girls are relaxing in the hot spring, Ren thinks back to her first encounter with Natsume.
Ren didn’t know whether Natsume was a boy or a girl when she first saw her – however, when Natsume stripped down she was surprised to discover she was a girl. Ren was covered in dirt, due to being bullied by a boy, but Natsume was there to help her wash herself. Ren’s initial impression of Natsume was that she was more beautiful than any creature she had ever seen.
Safe to say, Ren’s present day thoughts on Natsume don’t match up with her first impression.
The following day, Ren goes to the well and just shouts her frustrations at Natsume down it. She then discovers Sakura was there the whole time, though Sakura seems to be far more invested in her game of hide-and-seek rather than what Ren had to say.
Later on, the inn hosts a group of youkai. One customer requests that Ren pours some sake for him, and then he gropes her.
Ren immediately regrets attacking a customer, and the customer tries to have a go at her. However, the other workers at Konohanatei stick up for their own.
The customer tries to appeal to Okami, but ends up getting booted out of Konohanatei. Yuzu and Natsume then lighten the mood, whilst Ren watches on. Kiri just tells her to do whatever she is able to do.
At this point, we’re approaching the end of the first half of the episode, and it only gets better. Ren and Natsume turn in for the the night, with Ren being thankful for everything.
Moving onto the second half of the episode, and an elderly couple check into Konohanatei. They bring their great-great grandchild – or great-great-great granchild, who knows? – to accompany them.
Ren gets incredibly jealous, and she once again appeals to Kiri about it. She doesn’t directly say why she is upset, but Kiri knows.
Later on, Natsume and Aoi go into town leaving Ren to feel low by herself. Yuzu talks to her about it, and Ren tells her about the situation ‘her friend’ is going through.
Yuzu then goes on to say that Ren should just share her true feelings with Natsume. Yeah, Ren isn’t very good at hiding her affection for Natsume.
When Natsume and Aoi return, Ren discovers that Aoi is actually a boy. Aoi is equally surprised to discover that Natsume is actually a girl. Turns out the two went into town so Aoi could get advice about becoming a sumo wrestler. Whilst there, Natsume also picked up a gift for Ren.
Natsume tells Ren that she is happy to finally see her smile again, especially after she seemed to be so moody before. Natsume was sad at not being able to see Ren’s face. When Ren hears that, she recalls what Yuzu said about sharing her true feelings.
After that, Ren goes back to being herself, including scolding Yuzu for not dressing properly. However, she also thanks Yuzu for everything.
Finally, Aoi finds himself attracted to Ren, but Natsume has only one thing to say to that: ‘No’. She doesn’t say why, but I would say the reasons are pretty obvious to the audience.
KONOHANA KITAN is amazing. We got to see what the relationship between Ren and Natsume is like here, and it is truly wonderful. It sure feels very good being a yuri fan when we get shows like this, of that I have no doubt.
Ren’s first encounter with Natsume, Natsume defending Ren, that forehead kiss… everything about this episode was so good. I particularly liked seeing Natsume telling Aoi to back off – not exactly in those words, but that was heavily implied.
It was also amusing how everyone at Konohanatei seems to know about the relationship between Ren and Natsume. Yuzu even offered sound advice, though letting slip she knew about the pair of them may have been something she regretted.
Whilst it is evident that the guests are Konohanatei are valued, it was nice to see the workers sticking up for each other and dealing just desserts to the customers who cause trouble.
I absolutely adore this show, and I eagerly await for more.