Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha: Episode 1 – “Inari, First Love, First Change”

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is an anime based on a manga series by Morohe Yoshia. The anime is produced by Production IMS, and is directed by Toru Takahashi. As of this writing, FUNimation Entertainment holds the North American streaming rights for the series.

The first episode begins with a middle school girl named Inari, and she’s running late to school. She decides to take a shortcut through a local Inari shrine, which is a place she’s loved and visited since she was a child. As she runs through, she finds what she thinks is a dog that is scared and stuck on a riverbank. Inari saves the animal, but ends up being late for school.

Inari is then in gym class, and she sees Tanbabashi, the boy she has a crush on, as he plays basketball. At one point, she sees popular girl Sumizome walk by him, and Tanbabashi looks embarrassed. Inari ends up so lost in thought that she ends up getting hit in the head with a basketball. The teacher tells Tanbabashi to work with Inari. Inari asks Tanbabashi to teach her how to dribble; however, instead of paying attention, she gets lost in her thoughts. When Inari gets the ball from Tanbabashi, she can’t get a hold of it, and ends up tripping and falling. In the process, she accidentally pulls down Tanbabashi’s shorts, which causes a lot of embarrassment for him.

Whenever Inari tries to apologize to Tanbabashi for the rest of the school day, he keeps running away from her. After school, as she follows Tanbabashi, she overhears Tanbabashi and Sumizome talking about a love confession letter that Tanbabashi had given to Sumizome. Crushed, Inari runs off, crying.

When Inari arrives at the shrine, she calls out for the gods to help her. A couple of foxes appear and lead her to Uka, the resident god of the Inari shrine. Uka thanks Inari for resucing her familiar that morning and says she will grant one of Inari’s wishes. After a moment, Inari blurts out that she wants to be Sumizome. Inari looks just like Sumizome, but her personality hasn’t changed.

Some events take place at this point that drive home the moral of “be careful what you wish for, because things may not happen as you expect.” The most important event is running into Tanbabashi and realizing that even with this change in outward appearance, Inari still can’t say what she wants to say.

Inari returns to the shrine and cries. The two foxes take her back to Uka, but Inari is told that Uka cannot return her to her normal form, because a god granting multiple wishes for a single human would violate the rules of the Celestial Plains. However, Uka is able to give Inari a portion of her power, which is the ability to transform into other people. Uka also gives Kon, the fox that Inari rescued, to serve as her familiar.

The main reason I was interested in watching this series is the fact that it’s another series that features a shrine as a major setting. After watching last season’s Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods, I was curious to see how this series would compare.

Even though both series may feature a shrine to a fox deity as a setting, they are very different shows. Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods is a serious drama, whereas Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha is much more on the comedic side. Also, Inari is simply a visitor to the shrine and not someone who lives there. After watching this first episode, I have to say that it’s not a bad show, but it’s grabbing me as much as Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods did at the end of its first episode. I’ll give this series some time, and hopefully it’ll grow on me more as it continues.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed at first when Inari was transformed into Sumizome; however, after I saw the consequences that happened to Inari because of the transformation, I didn’t mind that development quite as much.

Animation-wise, it’s rather typical. It’s not bad animation, but it’s not anything spectacular that stands out from anything else, either.

At this point, the main thing that keeps me interested in watching the second episode is seeing how Inari will utilize her new ability to transform into other people.

Additional posts about Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha:

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