Frazzle-haired middle schooler Inari Fushimi is less than average; she's painfully shy and horribly clumsy, but despite all this, she is undeniably kind. Running about the winding streets of her hometown, she takes a shortcut through the local shrine and stumbles upon a small fox pup in a river. After rescuing him, she continues on, but from this moment on, her life takes a drastic turn.
Grateful for rescuing the pup, the shrine goddess Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami, "Uka-sama," grants Inari a fragment of her power. Now, Inari has the ability to transform into anyone by shouting the magical phrase "Inari, konkon." Could this power also grant her the courage to convey her feelings to her crush, Kouji Tanbabashi? With her new heavenly ability and the fox spirit Kon, Inari forms a sincere friendship with Uka-sama, encounters more of the supernatural world, and learns that true love knows no bounds.
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is the type of show where you’d come in expecting what you’ll get. The thought of ‘typical romance with a cute middle school girl’ is what most people will come into mind. And you would be right because this show is about a middle school girl named Inari Fushimi, a clumsy character with an innocent personality and heartwarming crush on her fellow classmate, Koji Tanabashi. In essence, this show is what a classic shoujo would offer – a spirited series of cuteness, fun, charms, and shape shifting. Wait, stop there. Shape shifting? Now, that’s something to take notice. Of course, Inari
doesn’t obtain that ability after she recuses the spirit fox Kon from falling into the river. She has no idea that her life is about to change forever.
Based off the manga of the same name, Morohe Yoshida crafts a work with traditional shoujo tropes but adds in additional elements. These elements ranges from the spiritual God Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami (aka. Uka), dealing with personal issues, and other life conflicts that can be relatable. By this standard, we can learn from Inari as a girl who is bound for discovery. This is because her ability now allows her to transform into the physical form of any human being as she wishes at will. With an ability like that, there’s no limit to how much she can discover into another person’s life. Perhaps more importantly may also be Inari’s curious mind to discover herself with these new powers. Indeed, a shoujo series taking the concept of an identity license to not formulate it into a crisis but rather as a device should be something to think about.
To take this series to heart will take some patience as we get to know our main character, Inari. Because the show only adapts 10 episodes from the manga, the story may not expand to a point where complex plot holes will come together in packages. Rather, take the story like an anthology where each episode depicts a story involving Inari and her friends. This comes with the supernatural elements such as her ability to transform into the physical forms of others. It’s a fun gag to think about considering the possibilities you can do with it. For Inari, it might be a dream come true because of her crush on Koji. What better way than become the most beautiful girl at the school that almost everyone wants to be friends with? Despite having these possibilities, she quickly learns that her powers has limits and is not as simple as it seems. Throughout each episode, we learn that Inari uses her power not for personal gains but rather as a way to help others. This is evident in particular episodes to protect certain people from danger. We see her maturity from a clumsy girl to a young woman capable of taking responsibilities. Despite her initial self-doubt, she also begins to learn how to utilize her powers with success and praise. In retrospective, Inari’s powers gave her more than just the ability to shapeshift but also a way of discovering people both inside and outside. The show captures moments where this is explicitly well done with its performance with other characters that Inari forms relationships with. It explores various human emotions that fulfills themes such as jealousy, doubt, regret, insecurity among others. With great power comes great responsibility and Inari becomes the centerpiece of that.
As a show that focuses on romance, expect that abstraction to take on a more innocent form. Inari is a shy young girl that causes a rather embarrassing scene with her crush in the gym through her clumsiness in the first episode. It’s funny how this can be relatable since love can be blind and make people do silly things. For Inari, it’s can be more than just silly because her powers allows her to make possibilities and dreams into a reality. In fact, her dream is want to become someone special, a person of admiration, or as in the classic Yamato Nadeshiko. The character that would most closely resemble such an icon would be Akemi Sumizome. She has a pretty face, kind personality, and marvelous figure. In essence, she is both a character of admiration and envy for Inari. Yet, deep down, she has her own insecurities including her attraction to someone that makes her very insecure about herself. Despite seemingly existing in the opposite side a world, the duo forms a close relationship through discovery. Relationships are important in this show whether it’d be romantic, platonic, parental, or between siblings. It’s valuable to notice how relatable the show can be despite its fantasy elements as we see realism between certain characters.
Taking on the fantasy trope comes forth spirits, apparitions, and Gods. Uka stands out on the fantasy side with her abilities to grant wishes including giving Inari the will to transform. Possessing a kind spirit, she blurs a bit between fantasy and reality with her characteristics. She holds wisdom but is also curious about the real world with her fascinations. This is evident by her interest in otaku game (otome genres seems to be her favorites), manga, and cultural norms that often pertain with the younger people. Her relationship with Inari’s brother Toka is also quite amusing as the duo is incompatible but seems to get along through curiosity. Unfortunately, despite the insight that Uka brings into the show, she suffers a bit of characterization. We only know a little about her past and most of it is connected with Toka rather than with Inari or the others. Seemingly, she acts more like a character to test others (humans) because of her origins. Other supporting characters with fantasy attributes such as Miya and Kon suffers from personification of their selves. Most of the humans gets more insight to their relationship dynamics while the Gods features less emphasis.
Being labeled as a romantic comedy means the show should have a mixture of both. The romance aspect actually covers more than just Inari. It expands to characters including Sumizome, Koji, and even Toka. It brings a charm to this show that is innocent. There’s no extreme jealousy or complex love triangles that spans out of control. Rather, it’s simplistic and feels natural. However, some of the results of these romance angles might not satisfy fans. Bring a show together with a composition of only 10 episodes also means a suffering from development. Most of the relationships are only explored on a basic level with perhaps Inari getting the most spotlight. A more complex problem involves Sumizome as her feelings seems to rush out too quick that shows a lack of development. There’s also less emphasis on the way drama are resolved. It feels more like soap opera at some points rather than a fantasy love story. There’s less focus on dynamics but more on the drama, some which makes little sense. The strength of the comedy though does make up for this. Dialogues may feel cheesy but holds values of interest. We know that the characters are serious about their feelings and it’s easy to understand where they come from. It mixtures it in with humorous scenes such as delusions, symbolisms, and fantasy elements. It comes together in a tolerable way with fun laughs. The show also doesn’t rely on fan service to deliver its message. Instead, it’s out in the open and straight forward on most parts. Oh and how can we forget when Inari transforms into someone else to fool others?
The first word that comes to my mind to describe this show’s artwork is fantastic. It’s fantastic no just in the way of being beautiful but rather as a credible way of portraying its settings. The background reflects a charming atmosphere with the temples and shrines. Transformation scenes matches well with consistency. Additionally, the Gods all have their unique designs with their hair styles, outfits, and distinctive features. Inari’s design also captures her character as a clumsy girl who is walking steps to adolescence. Sumizome reflects exactly as a pretty girl with her figure. Even Toka is noticeable with his face expressions that defines him as a concerned brother. Elegance decorates this show on various levels and artwork fits with that title.
Soundtrack mixes on a traditional scale with its fantasy vibes. More noticeable however is the character voices as some of them adapts a kansai accent. Main characters such as Inari and Sumizome speaks in Kansai-ben, rather than traditional Japanese. It’s a distinctive trait that is quite noticeable yet can take time to get used to. Otherwise, there’s a good mixture of voice mannerisms in the show such as Inari’s spontaneous energy or Uka’s curiosity in the human world. The OP & ED songs are decorated with colorful features that depicts exactly how a fantasy setting can be when mixed with modern values.
Taken for granted, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is a charming show with innocence, values, and elegance. The story itself will feel a bit predictable and lack depth in characterization. However, its attributes in presenting human relationships between Gods and mortals is something hard to take eyes off of. Inari’s life of discovery is fascinating that leads to various results between many characters. Its straightforward humor isn’t rocket science but instead has its elements that will bring a keen sense to laugh. On the other hand, the romance aspect can feel a little childish. Yet, it defines innocence in not a strategic but effortless way. Sometimes, not everything needs to be complex even if you can take on the form of anyone you want. This show is simple just like how it should be.
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is a sort of feel good anime. After every episode I watched, I just had this feeling of content that felt very relaxing. But of course, that doesn't mean this anime doesn't have any exciting moments. It very much does.
Inari is a normal middle school girl that lives in Koyoto's Fushimi ward. Like many girls her age, she has a tough time liking herself, which leads to her envying her good looking and friendly classmate Sumizome. Inari has a crush on her other classmate Funbabashi, but she can't seem to work up the nerve to talk to him, as compared
to Sumizome who has no problem with that. The plot picks up when, after seeing Sumizome give Funbabashi a love letter, Inari finds herself at the Inari shrine, a shrine for the god Inari.
There, she meets Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami (or simply Uka-sama for short). As thanks for saving a fox earlier, Uka-sama grants just one wish for Inari. Her wish is to be Sumizome, which leads to her acquiring powers to change her form at will.
The story sounds weak, and even starts out a bit weak, but with each episode the story grows stronger with the series of morals and life lessons it presents with each segment. The show itself sounds like it's a shoujo, but love and romance isn't heavy, contrary to what the synopsis says. It may seem like the main part of the story in the first few episodes, but the romance takes a back seat to the rest of the plot once the show gets going. Plus, it's middle schoolers primarily, so the romance shouldn't be too overbearing to begin with.
A lot of people seem to think the art is decent or average at best, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. The character designs were slightly plain when it came to the human characters, but the designs for the gods were unique and quite nice, even beautiful when it came to Uka-sama. The art is rather easy on the eyes, as in it's soft and colorful. The backgrounds were pretty and had amazing detail put into them.
As for the sound, I don't remember much of the OST, so it's pretty easy to forget and doesn't leave that much of an impression. The OP was nice, but also forgetful and lacking when compared to the ED. The ED, on the other hand, was a beautiful song. I think it's the best ED of the 2014 winter anime season.
At first, Inari acts just how she's supposed to act for her age: prone to crying and whiny all around. It's easy to see how many would become annoyed with her in the first few episodes. But, her character development is truly remarkable! At first she starts off as an insecure girl that wants to be like her classmate, but at the end she's learned to appreciate herself for who she is. It was very sweet seeing her go through this transformation. Even a few of Inari's friends went through some character development, as well as her older brother Touka. This series had a surprising amount of character development for only having 10 episodes.
Overall, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha was an interesting take on the deity concept. It didn't need romance as the main idea, unlike a lot of other deity themed anime. I would even argue that the love between Inari and Uka-sama was the main relationship. They formed a loving friendship that was very pleasant to see and experience. The characters were all fun to watch, and I truly enjoyed all of them. The moral behind the series was refreshing as well.
So if you're looking for an extremely pleasant anime that also has exciting moments in it, then this is for you. If you're looking for an anime with a nice amount of character development, then this is also for you.
I like to compare "Inari Konkon" with a person's first love, it's beautiful but really awkward.
Story- 6/10 Inari is your typical slice of life RomCom with a dash of supernatural tossed in. The biggest problem with the story is it tries to have too many themes, is it a romance? A comedy? About friendship? Who really knows, and most of these themes don't really play out other than friendship. The romance element was very lacking, and for a series that I supposed to be centered around romance they didn't spend much time on the relationships at all. If you're looking for a slice of
life or romance, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Art - 9/10 the artwork was one of the only reasons I kept watching this series, it is very well done. All the shrine work and landscapes are absolutely beautiful. Character designs aren't anything special, but they're unique enough to be something special, especially since the story is so generic.
Sound - 8/10 lots of traditional japanese music played throughout the series and a very catchy op. Sometimes the sound tracks did get a bit repetitive but I like then enough it didn't bother me.
Characters -6/10 the characters of thinks series are kind of over dramatic, I really like Uka, but most of the other characters were simple and pretty forgettable.
Enjoyment/overall - 7/10 Inari Konkon was a little too short, and a little too shallow to be truly great. It's quite unfortunate because it's artwork it's so phenomenal that it almost hurts that it's wasted on such a mediocre plot. If you skipped this one you wouldn't be missing out on much, but if you're looking for a decently quick story about friendship with great art, give it a shot!
Most anime of today mainly put the focus on appealing to our desires to see someone rise to power, capture us in a romantic struggle, riddle us with epic plots, or fuel our desire to crack a good laugh. However, this tale’s focus is on something entirely different. Instead of focusing on any of these elements, it simply captures one’s heart and never lets up. Adapted from Morohe Yoshida’s manga, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha (Inari Kon Kon for English) is a heart-warming series that will have you intrigued with its innocence and charm. We all like to believe that there is some spiritual presence guiding
and watching over us, but Inari Kon Kon encourages its viewers to believe in themselves and create possibilities with our own power rather than depending on others. It’s a modern, old-fashioned shoujo story with supernatural elements and does a fine job at balancing the silliness, heart, and slice-of-life drama that flows well without being forced at all.
The setup for Inari Kon Kon does sound like your typical generic show. When high-schooler and the main protagonist in Inari Fushimi, saves what she thinks is a fox pup from danger, she's rewarded by a visit from the goddess Uka. Uka has a sweet, big-sisterly demeanour, and also a large soft spot for human beings as a whole—something underscored by her affinity for things like dating sims. To further show her gratitude to Inari, she blesses the girl with a smidgeon of her own power—enough to allow Inari to transform into anyone else she chooses. Thus, the stage is set for what is apparently going to be a low-brow comedy of impersonation, where Inari pretends to be her friends, her brother, or her parents and the messes that result from this require a goddess to disentangle. Surprisingly enough, there is more to it than meets the eye. It's also about how Inari finds, over time, that using her power is more trouble than it's worth—that you get a lot more mileage out of simply dealing with other people as people, and not as problems to be solved with the right degree of cleverness.
Uka, too, gets handled in a way that's out of phase with expectations. Her powers only go so far, for one, and her own desires and interests work against how they ought to be applied a good deal of the time. When she develops what could be described as a crush on Inari's older brother, Touka Fushimi, it's not a case of a dumbfounded human enjoying the pampering of a divine force. Instead, it's more about how Touka distrusts Uka deeply from the start and resents the way divine interference has made life difficult for both him and Inari. Gods belong with gods, and humans belong with humans—something Uka also gets scold about from her own fellow gods. Over time, the show becomes more about the responsibilities both Inari and Uka have to themselves and each other, and less about what specific situations can be cooked up. Sometimes, giving other people what they ask for, even if they really want it, even if you believe it would make them happy—only makes things worse. This last part hits home especially hard during a summer-camp sequence, normally one of those banal “Sine qua nons” of anime, but handled here with more smarts and sensitivity than I was expecting.
In a later segment, it underscores this point even further. When Inari is asked by a friend in Akemi Sumizome to deliver a love letter to Kouji Tanbabashi, she herself as an affection for, she doesn't deliver the letter—instead, she transforms into Akemi and tells Kouji herself, just so she can have the luxury of being able to say to him "I really like you!" But it means nothing for her to say that when it's not actually herself saying it. Inari didn't mean any harm by doing so which makes it feel meaningless. It's what happens, not what you intend, that matters in this world. As Shel Silverstein put it, it's that "some kind of help is the kind of help, that helping's all about, and some kind of help is the kind of help, we can all do without." The same goes for Uka. All she ever wanted to do was enjoy the company of humans, and conferring some small quantity of her power upon Inari was meant to be a way for her to express that affection. Like Inari, she has a great deal of enthusiasm and good spirits; like Inari, she has little idea of how short-sighted and dangerous her actions are. It all comes home to roost when Inari discovers to her horror that the use of her power comes at the expense of Uka's very existence. Inari realises that she lacks control over her newfound power as problems arise and her schoolmates become distant towards her. Even when all hopes are gone, it is Inari’s innocence and determination to make things right is what captivates the audience’s hearts in the end.
Production IMS really made Inari Kon Kon’s visuals look and feel like a Hayao Miyazaki film through their proficiency in capturing the essence of Japan’s beautiful scenery, architecture and culture. The beautiful artwork on the ancient temples and authentic landscapes is so defining that you can’t help but become immersed in its serenity and surrealism, it takes on a journey between two uniquely beautiful worlds. The human world is vibrant, lush, alluring and full of life, whereas the stylistic Celestial Plains is shrouded with a divine and magical atmosphere and heavenly elements and colour. The character designs are uniquely distinctive with a wide variety of flavours, especially the divine beings. The animation is smooth and fluid enough to bring out the best in the artwork. The soundtrack is more traditional with Japanese culture and had some nice orchestral ballads, in saying that, there were a few tracks overused and it is noticeable. Opening and Ending are lovely, fits the themes of the show and voice acting was fantastic.
Many anime, especially those aimed for a wide audience, prefer sincerity over profundity—the idea that a simple notion expressed with great emotional weight is as good as, or better than, a deep idea expressed elaborately. Inari Kon Kon is simply a sweet, heart-warming tale of self-discovery, relationships and bonds, and dipping a little into the world of the gods. It is family-friendly and only 10 episodes, although, I wish there were more, there is enough content here for an enjoyable viewing. It’s another example that It's always the simple that produces the marvellous and while you won’t find any complex story or crazy action, there’s still a clean and entertaining tale to be experienced.