This show was a surprise addition to my Winter lineup for a very specific reason. Was it worth picking up in the end? Find out as I review Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.
Genres: comedy, romance, slice of life, supernatural
Themes: goddesses, gods, school, unrequited love, yuri
Number of episodes: 10
Plot Summary (Wikipedia): Inari Fushimi is a clumsy girl who has a crush on classmate Kōji Tanbabashi. One day, after rescuing a fox pup named Kon from falling into a river, Inari is greeted by the shrine god Uka-no-Mitama-no-Kami, who gives Inari a portion of her power, allowing her to transform her appearance to that of any other human.
Best way I can describe this show is a superior Tamako Market. The show has a strong emphasis on friendship and love so the “power of friendship” is strong in this one. Whether that’s a good or bad thing depends on whether the viewer enjoys watching these kinds of stories or not.
There isn’t much I can say about this show. It’s a very simple premise. Adorable, likable, clumsy girl has a crush on cool guy, doesn’t know how to approach him, gets help from a goddess, fun times filled with mild drama and good life lessons ensue. The show’s charm is not in its drama or the relationship between humans and deities, its strength is in its simplicity and beautiful animation style and setting. Getting the obvious out of the way, the show’s short length is an obvious “manga lure” though it didn’t have a cliffhanger ending. Having said that, there was definitely one part I wanted to see more of, which I’ll get to in a bit.
As I mentioned above the animation is really good. Whenever a wide shot of the city of deities is shown I am left in awe, despite it being nothing more than a rural Japanese city. The design of the inhabiting deities didn’t amaze me but were varied enough to be amusing. Inari’s “Inari Konkon” sequences are, like most mahou shoujo henshin sequences, awesome. Simply put the show’s pretty.
The music felt calm and soothing, like being in a less rural Japanese setting.
The music and animation point out yet another strong asset the show has, its relaxing atmosphere. Watching this anime filled my mind with ease, dramatic moments aside.
Short explanation about all the characters on the show, everyone except Inari’s older brother Touka are really cool. The reason being that Touka is a stereotypical “bad boy” character adolescent and teenage girls go crazy over. I personally felt indifferent about the guy because I find his stereotype boring.
Another reason why I liked this show more than Tamako Market, Kon is a much better mascot character than Mochiyukky. Plus she’s sooooooooo cute! I don’t know if anti-mascot animeniacs will like Kon but that’s their problem. I don’t hate mascot characters…most of the time. Mochiyukky’s funny but Kon’s superior.
Anyway back to Inari and her posse. Besides being adorable and likable, Inari’s strength lies in her determination to do the right thing and work hard to succeed. I’m a sucker for hard workers. I must say though that the guilt for some of her actions were unnecessary. She was only acting on her human instincts. She didn’t need to worry so much. Then again, it’s part of her character so it’s no big deal.
A very special thumbs up goes to the character of Maru-chan. I demand more cute, chubby, likable anime girls. The anime world should be not be described as one full of ONLY well-endowed high school girls, women and omnipotent lolis. Chubby people need love too! I NEED LOVE TOO! Respect to Maru-chan!
Before I get to the #1 reason I picked this show up, let’s talk about Inari and Lady Uka’s relationship. This relationship is where the more interesting parts of the show take place, the relationship between humans and deities and whether they are capable of coexisting with one another. The dynamic between Inari and Lady Uka made me forget that Inari liked a boy because they looked so cute together. Maybe their bond was seen as sisterly amongst casual viewers but as far as I’m concerned…you know.
Lady Uka also happens to be a fanservice character in more ways than one. Not only is she beautiful but she’s also very kindhearted, strong, feisty when needed and most important of all, loves video games. Thumbs WAY up!
And now for the main event and one of my biggest gripes with the show, the “developing” relationship between the bishoujo Akemi Sumizome and her beloved tomboy Keiko Sanjo. First of all, LOVE the fact this is not a stereotypical “Big and Small” yuri pairing. Second, despite being an innocent cutie admired by many for her looks alone, Sumizome-san is no weakling…after certain events developed of course. Third, Keiko’s one good looking superbabe and she has an attitude to boot, which thankfully is nowhere near as bad as Touka’s.
This also leads to my main gripe with the show…
INSUFFICIENT SUMISANJO RELATIONSHIP DEVELOPING SCREEN TIME!
I know they’re only a side-couple but COME ON! Oh well, at least they got more screen time than Yayoi X Shion…barely.
Overall, Inakon’s strengths lie in its simplicity, really good animation and mostly likable cast of characters. I had a lot of fun watching this one even though the yuri was insufficient. Despite its short length it did accomplish its purpose into getting me to pick up the manga if a second season does not air. Others who have seen the show can point out bigger flaws than what I mentioned but they aren’t bad enough to make this show any less enjoyable…unless the viewer loathes either Kon, Touka or any other cast member with a passion. Other than that, highly recommended to slice of life/ lighthearted rom-com enthusiasts.