Inari Kon Kon – Review
Inari Kon Kon:
Original Air Dates: January 15th, 2014 – March 19th, 2014
Synopsis: Inari is a sweet and shy middle school girl with a HUGE crush on Tanbabashi, one of the cutest guys in her grade. She’s not smooth enough to tell him how she feels, and every time she tries, things just keep getting worse! But when a beautiful goddess grants Inari the power to shape-shift, Inari uses her newfound powers to attempt to win over Tanbabashi. (Official Funimation Synopsis.)
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Inari Kon Kon bears similarity to other anime about cute girls befriending Japanese spirits or gods. Typically these anime are fraught with problems: anything from unengaging characters, go nowhere plots, to a lack of tangible drama, as if the mere idea of a young girl befriending a spirit or god is enough to keep the show afloat. Thankfully Inari Kon Kon avoids all of these pitfalls, offering strong characters, relationships and most importantly a solid through plot.
Linny: Inari, our heroine is extremely likeable from the get go. Yes, she is adorable like most anime girls but the show makes it a point to highlight her genuine kindness and also show her as an average girl in other aspects that makes her feel like a realistic character, maybe even relatable for some as we watch her pine for her crush. The situations and comedy that arises from her new shape shifting ability could be called predictable, but often play out in an amusing manner nonetheless. And it’s not just Inari, as almost every other character in the show brings something to the table, providing viewers with a cast rife with potential entertainment value.
Tom: Inari Kon Kon uses its premise to its fullest, making sure that Inari herself gets into all kinds of trouble, but at the same time reminding us that her powers come at a price. But Inari isn’t without its flaws. While the main focus of the anime is Inari’s relationships, particularly her attempts to be with Tanbabashi, some of that arc falls a bit flat. For example, once the audience is made aware of Tanbabashi’s feelings concerning Inari, the story wraps itself up, killing a lot of the mystery and suspense surrounding their relationship. You’re no longer asking yourself, will they or won’t they, but rather ‘when?’ Thankfully Inari Kon Kon has a few other love stories to keep the suspense going, introduced through its sub-plots, to make up for the burgeoning predictability of Inari and Tanbabashi’s romantic escapades.
Linny: The unexpected pairings do indeed help to resurrect the excitement and surprises once Inari and Tanabashi’s relationship becomes somewhat established and predictable. That said, the show does ultimately have a fair share of cliches, even throwing in a generic beach episode. It even features the sibling love cliche in the form of Uka’s older brother who bears an extremely possessive and completely unrequited love for her. And at times, the negative consequences of Inari inheriting Uka’s power feel artificially aggravated for the sake of drama. Fortunately, the lively and likeable cast keep these incidents and flaws from being completely offputting and show ruining.
Tom: Inari Kon Kon, perhaps surprisingly, maintains a generally steady quality through its ten episode run. While episodes such as the Beach Trip do border on generic and overdone, that’s about as low quality as the series ever gets. This is in part due to Inari’s focus on its primary cast members and building on them week to week, rather than introducing an increasingly larger cast that only muddies the focus. For example, Inari’s initial love rival, Akemi, isn’t dropped after her relevance to the main love plot is at an end, but rather built up as her relationship with Inari changes and grows. Other minor characters introduced early on, are given more screen time and built up naturally. It’s refreshing to see a show make do with the characters it has rather than constantly bombarding us with new ones.
Linny: Continuing on about what is great about the show, Inari Kon Kon features this beautiful art style, especially in its credit sequence that should have viewers conjuring up visions of a dreamy, springtime haze. It really adds to the feel good vibe of the story. While Inari Kon Kon may sound like yet another generic school romance with a dash of comedy and supernatural, how it handles its characters and builds them up through the story is what makes it truly shine. There’s a high chance that viewers will find themselves relating to or growing invested in one or several of the characters, making for a show that’ll have you eager for every episode.
Tom: Overall Inari Kon Kon is a real treat thanks to its animation, well formed plot, and fun characters. While Inari Kon Kon isn’t perfect, and is perhaps hampered slightly by a cliche clingy brother, it’s still an incredibly fun and enjoyable ride. The only shame is that the rest of the manga was never adapted.