Title: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life, Supernatural
Summary: Fushimi Inari is a shy, not-so-bright middle school girl living in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. She has a crush on her classmate Tanbbashi, but cannot express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the deity Ukanomitamanokami grants her the ability to change her form.
Review: I’m not a huge fan of this style of anime for one particular reason: it never amounts to anything. A lot of the time the series will start with one plot line, then dramatically switch to another. With only ten episodes given to Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha it simply didn’t have enough time to become a solid anime. It’s always a difficult thing to judge whether an anime was truly stopped before it reached its prime or cut its losses. In this case I want to say that it really was cut before its prime because there were a lot of ways to keep this anime entertaining. However, all that being said I wouldn’t want to watch a second season because of the way it ended. I really don’t think they have the necessary writing and plot development to create a meaningful story without scrapping the supernatural idea all together.
There were a few good things about the series, but most of it can be considered average. Let’s take the art for example, there wasn’t much for eye candy. It kept things to the basics in order to not look like 360p and nothing more. That isn’t always a bad things, but with all the other art giants out there anime like Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha definitely get left in the dust. There were some sweet moments with some nice sunset backgrounds and transformation scenes but even those got old quickly. The simple character designs, reused scenery, and typical facial expressions kept the story moving along but can be summed up as mediocre.
Speaking of the story, I’m a little surprised with the path it decided to take. One of the main categories was supposed to be romance but there was hardly any. The opening couple episodes made you believe that the deity helping Inari was going to play a major role in advancing her relationship with Tanbbashi. I was expected it to have this “You never needed me all along” message at the end (which I suppose it did?) ending in a happy summers day after a good 13-14 episodes. However, the anime quickly turned from a romance to a drama with tidbits of comedy mixed in. I can’t say that I was too happy with the change, though it did make for a far more interesting story than originally thought. I actually was dreading watching middle school kids come to an understanding that they both like each other but were just too afraid to say anything. It was such a cliché story that any change was good. So why did I give the series such a low rating? I felt like the story they did manage to conjure felt more like a final arc than a progression. It was something you would watch after you witnessed the relationship between Inari and Ukanomitamanokami blossom. Instead the anime spent most of the time with Inari trying to save face amongst her friends and love interest. In fact, she didn’t even realize what was going on till the final episodes. This made the interaction between the two very rushed and forced making it very difficult to feel any emotional tug despite the desperation of the situation. The only reason I didn’t decide to drop it to an avoid watch is because I truly did want this anime to succeed because the premise was there; unfortunately the execution wasn’t. The only thing that could have really brought this anime up was strong character development for Ukanomitamanokami and Inari. Sadly I saw more support character development. Again, I want to blame most of this on the anime being only 10 episodes. Will I watch a second season? Possibly. Will I watch a remake? Definitely. I’ll especially watch if it is a continuation story between Ukanomitamanokami and Touka.
The opening “Kyou no Koiiro” by May’n did fit the fun loving atmosphere. The ending was far more relaxed and offered some beautiful sounds. The music compensation in general was quite lovely to listen to. The main theme in Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha can be credited to Takeshi Senoo who surprisingly doesn’t have that many anime under his belt. I’d be very happy to see him appear in a lot more anime in the future. I also happened to run across an amazing piano cover in my search for the OST which I think everyone should give a listen. It really brought out the best of the series.
Final statement: I didn’t want to knock this series completely in the dust because it did have a great foundation. I’m sure if the series was given more time it could have bumped up to a preferred watch at least. However, the lack of character development and annoying middle school drama dropped the series down on my list of things to watch barely scraping by as a low priority watch. It’s so unfortunate when a series finally gets an anime debut and it ends up flopping.