First Impressions – Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

A magical story about love and… shape shifting?

Hey guys, sorry for the delay on Inari Konkon (this one also unfortunately has no official shortening). This should be the last of the First Impressions, so let’s get on with the show.

 

Short Shows

I love that Inari has a close friend to lean on.

Inari Konkon is one of this season’s slightly shorter anime, having only 10 episodes in total. The other being Maken-Ki, but no one cares about that show. It looks like Kadokawa has been going for this type of format more recently with Mondaiji in Winter 2013 and Blood Lad in Summer 2013, so it’s possible we might continue to see more 10 episode shows from them. Although from those previous two examples the sales have been pretty much abysmal, so one wonders if the trend might continue after all. Or perhaps Kadokawa simply isn’t too concerned about sales to begin with, so it might continue making shows that are technically unsuccessful regardless.

Make a Wish

At least the fox is dry.

But enough about boring numbers. Let’s talk about the show. For a premiere, Inari Konkon is pretty decent. What sets it apart from the other shows immediately is that everyone, absolutely everbody, in the show speaks in the very distinctive Kansai-ben (well, the humans, at least). I don’t think I’ve seen another anime in which the entire cast spoke with a dialect different from standard Japanese. Kimi no Iru Machi had the potential with its Hiroshima dialect. But the first arc was never fully animated beyond a bunch of flashbacks in the anime, so there goes that. Anyway, Highway described Sonico’s life as “charmed” in SoniAni. And if that’s true, then I don’t know what that makes Inari’s life. Because she’s quite literally charmed thanks to the favor and protection of a Goddess. In all honesty, I don’t know if her clumsily falling into the river and then catching the fox pup whom we now know as Kon (yes, another fox familiar named Kon) should give her all too much favor in the eyes of Uka-sama. Perhaps the lesson is that it’s the little things that matter? But I think the bigger point was that Inari had loved and frequented Uka-sama’s shrine ever since she was a little girl. So I take it the way it goes is Uka-sama had always favored Inari, and this latest act gave her an excuse to reach out and grant the human girl one wish to alleviate her troubles.

A crush… and a rival?

Of course, being the clumsy girl that she is, Inari goes ahead and wishes to become another girl all because of what I suspect to be a misunderstanding. Akemi may be pretty and outgoing, and more importantly speaks freely with Kouji. But there has been no real indication that the two have more going on between them than just friendship (Kouji might like her a bit but there’s no suggestion that she reciprocates those sentiments). Plus, you can’t seriously expect to confess your feelings when you’re not even in your real body. A problem which Inari thankfully realizes after running into her crush. But despite these fumbles, we can’t brush Inari off as a silly girl completely. It’s important not to forget that she was really hurting at the time due to her belief that the guy she’s always loved now hates her. Having such problems preoccupying her mind can certainly compromise her ability to think properly. Fortunately though, this turns out to be yet another misunderstanding. So there’s hope for her to end up with Kouji yet.

Extra Wishes

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This was a nice, strong start for Inari Konkon. I can see people laughing the show off due to Inari’s absurd wish. But I think those people are ignoring the profound influence that love can have on a person’s actions. It can make people do the most peculiar and drastic things without realizing how crazy they were until in hindsight. Which, is really exactly what happened here. I will admit I found Uka-sama’s solution to Inari’s predicament rather amusingly strange though. You can’t grant more than one wish per person because that would be favoritism (which we all know the Goddess has for the human). So the solution is to bestow said human with some of your own divine powers so that she can transform herself back to her original form, and into any other human form she so wishes from now on? How does this not violate more divine rules than granting her one more wish?

Can Inari’s brother see Gods as well?

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10 Responses to “First Impressions – Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha”

  1. Highway says:

    I know I go on about ‘authenticity’ a lot, but I think it’s a very important characteristic for tv characters to make them believable. And this show has it. Inari’s spur of the moment wish was something that you can believe every single 15 year old girl would make, having experienced what she’d recently gone through. I was just amazed that Uka-sama would go along with it. Maybe gods don’t really care, but you’d think that she’d be wise enough to realize how terrible a wish that is to grant. At least she helped make things more right at the end.

    I think the real reason she caught Uka-sama’s eye is that she could see Kon in the first place. She had enough spirituality and belief in the shrine to be able to see the familiars (a little different narrative from Gingitsune, but I think it works enough). It also felt like Uka-sama was pretty happy that someone new could come see her, and I liked inviting her back again.

    • skylion says:

      Uka-sama is crazy like a kitsune.

    • HannoX says:

      I think you don’t give Uka-sama enough credit. I think she granted Inari’s initial wish because she knew that was the best way for Inari to learn the way forward was to change herself, not to become someone else. But we’ll have to see what Inari does with her ability to become other people. I’m guessing she’ll learn another life lesson each time she does.

      • Highway says:

        If the point was to have Inari learn a lesson about quick fixes, then when she came back to get the wish canceled, I would have expected the response to be more along the lines of “have you learned your lesson?” and a way back to her old self that didn’t require a workaround. Maybe even with a bit of “are you sure this is the wish you want” before granting it. The fact that there was none of that, plus Uka-sama seemingly sincerely worried about a second wish for Inari, and that it really did seem like her transferring some of her essence was a last-ditch kind of response, leads me to think that it wasn’t some teaching moment on Uka-sama’s part, just lack of foresight on everyone’s part.

      • Sumairii says:

        I have to agree with Highway on this. Uka-sama isn’t exactly presented as the kind to give roundabout lessons. So far she seems more of the spur of the moment type.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    KitsuneStation 2. Supernaturally powered.

    Cannot understand sales statistics… like non-nononononobiyori. UNLESS they are planning to amberize the BDs and keep it for millions of years instead of watching them. Non non biyori H-doujinshi more insteresting. At least I am 1 of the Mondaiji/Illya-chan/perverted cats :3

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Yet another anime FUNimation is simulcasting this season. Like you said, Sumairii, it’s a strong start. trangely enough, I’m eager to welcome almost any anime that has shrines concerned in it. I like how earnest Inari is and her clumsiness just makes her cuter.

    Uka-sama’s solution contradicts her very for not granting another wish. No matter what way you twist it, granting a human supernatural is still showing favoritism, basically exploiting a loophole in a supposed iron clad contract. “Can’t grant wishes to her so give her the ability to do it herself at will”.

    Again, a good start and it may prove to be more entertaining than Gingitsune. Not that there was anything wrong with it because it’s not case. It’s just that there simply wasn’t much about that series to talk about.

    • Highway says:

      I think that was kind of Uka-sama’s point with the solution. Everyone wishes for things, and it would be extreme favoritism to grant two wishes to the same person so close together, even if wish 2 is ‘please undo wish 1′. But Uka-sama’s power is hers to share, at least it’s not forbidden to share, so it’s something completely different. I think it’s pretty obvious that she’ll get in trouble for it at some point, but that’s just another story arc.

  4. zztop says:

    The direct English translation of the title is ‘Inari, Yelp Yelp, The Color of Love’.
    ‘Konkon’ is the sound effect of an animal yelping.

    For Japan-only viewers, Inari will have a bonus OVA included with a limited-ed vol 8 of the manga this June.

  5. skylion says:

    Charmed. Fascination. Words of warning when one deals with the kami.

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