First Impressions: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha

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I love when I’m broadsided by a show that wasn’t even on my radar. Something that snags me from the beginning until the end. “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha” has managed to pull that off even with only the first episode. Though, if it can continue to hold strong from this point forward remains to be seen. I have my doubts, but I’m also crossing my fingers.

konkon1Inari Fushimi loves visiting her local shrine. Most days she would cut right through the shrine to make it to school on time. One day she spots a small pup struggling to keep from falling into a creek. After saving the pup (and getting soaked), she mends the pup’s injured leg and heads to school.

At school, we learn that Inari has a huge crush on a boy named Koji Tanbabashi. Unfortunately due to her shyness and clumsiness, she accidentally ends up making a fool out of him in front of everyone. This leads her back to the shrine where her close friends Keiko Sanjō (a tomboy) and Chika Marutamachi (a fujoshi) console her.

The following day Inari tries her hardest to apologize to Koji, who seems to try his hardest to avoid her. Ultimately she ends up overhearing Akemi Sumizome, one of the prettiest girls in class, discussing a letter given to her by Koji. Which is assumed to be a love letter. This sends Inari back to the shrine once again in an emotional state.

Crying out for god, suddenly 2 fox spirits appear before Inari and lead her into a building within the shrine. There she meets the shrine deity named Ukanomitama-no-kami who has been observing Inari for some time at the shrine. For saving her familiar the fox cub, she offers to grant Inari’s wish. Thinking that Koji loves Akemi, she wishes to be Akemi to which the deity grants.

Shockingly, she looks exactly like Akemi. Although at the same time, her friends and Koji are desperately trying to find her. Through the appearance of Akemi, Koji reveals that he was just embarrassed and hopes for her safety. This sends Inari back to the deity to wish to be turned back, but unfortunately they can only grant one wish. Though truly caring for Inari, the deity offers up part of her essence so Inari can transform into any human at call.

konkon2This sparks off the series to what could be a fantastic story.  Sort of reminds me of something like Kokoro Connect, where friends end up seeing each other’s darkest secrets.  However due to the intro, it could take a completely different direction than what I see currently.  Being more about the deity and her decision to give up her essence without permission.

I’m enjoying a few of the characters so far, especially Inari’s friend Keiko.  Her friendship and protective attitude was awesome.  I’m sure there is an underlining thing between Akemi and Koji that should be revealed soon.  Then there’s the darkest secret yet to be revealed and that’s Inari’s brother’s angry look he gave Ukanomitama the deity.

The visuals are there to back up everything else.  The character designs are different and still good.  It almost has a K-On feel.  However not overly cute.  I especially like Inari’s look, being unique and pleasant.  Ukanomitama and the foxes were especially well done, down to the familiar pup’s chibi form which was adorable.

The big takeaway I had of this show was that I was hooked from the beginning of the episode to the end.  There’s a lot of promise in this show and I eagerly await the next episode.  My only real fear is that they take it nowhere from here.  Too many times have I been given a great first episode that doesn’t have deep background story, only to have it fall flat in the following episodes.  I’ll hold judgement though.

thumbsup

THUMBS UP!

FIRST IMPRESSION VERDICT:

THUMBS UP! PROMISING!

Goods:

  • Interesting premise
  • Good characters
  • Heartwarming out the gate

Fears:

  • Could go magical girl/bleach route
  • May have shown its cards too early

First Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.