Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha. | Seem Familiar?
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. This show is about a middle school girl named Inari Fushimi, a clumsy, and innocent character and her 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 she has the ability to transform into the physical form of any human whenever she wants. 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.
To take this series to heart will take some patience as we get to know our main character, Inari. She has an ability to transform into the physical forms of others. 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. 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. 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 and like all things, being shy makes it hard for you to approach people. It’s funny how this can be relatable since love can be blind and make people do silly things. In fact, her dream is want to become someone special, a person of admiration. The character that would most closely resemble such an icon would be Akemi Sumizome. She has a pretty face, kind personality, and marvelous figure. 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.
Classified as a romantic comedy, you can expect a blend of both genres. The romance part covers all characters and it brings a charm to this show that is innocent. There’s no extreme jealousy or complex love triangles that spans out of control. It’s simplistic and feels natural. Most of the relationships are ‘basic’ and barebones. There’s also less emphasis on the way dramas are resolved. It feels more like soap opera at some points rather than a fantasy love story. 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. The show also doesn’t rely on fan service to deliver its message. Instead, it’s out in the open and straightforward on most parts.
To put it simply, the artwork is fantastic. The background reflects a charming atmosphere with the temples and shrines. Transformation scenes matches well with consistency. The Gods all have their unique designs. Inari’s design also captures her character as a clumsy girl who is walking steps to adolescence. Overall, the art is definitely on point!
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.