Inari Konkon Koi Iroha
Animation Company: Production IMS
Genres: Comedy, Romance, School, Supernatural
Airing Date: January 2014
Number of Episodes: 10
Trailers: PV 1 | PV 2
Summary: Fushimi Inari is a shy, not-so-bright middle school girl living in Kyoto’s Fushimi ward. She has a crush on her classmate Tanbabashi, but cannot express her feelings. One day, as thanks for helping a fox pup, the deity Ukanomitamanokami grants her the ability to change her form.
It is always nerve-wracking when it comes down to one of your favourite manga series being animated. I am happy to say that Production IMS’ team did a fantastic job handling the adaption, which is a great way to debut their new studio! One of the main things that tend to turn shoujo adaptions into train-wrecks is the overwhelming focus on romance (such as Kamisama Hajimemashita that ended up as a train-wreck!). As I have mentioned in my first impression: “Inari Konkon Koi Iroha’s romance serves a lot more as a sub-plot. It’s not (and it shouldn’t be) the main focus on the storyline. As one should expect, Inari has to learn and take responsibilities of her newfound powers that Inari had bestowed her with good intentions in mind, and face the consequences that comes with it when she uses it on the whim.” Luckily for us, that’s exactly what they did. They were able to successfully balance the two elements of the story without overshadowing one over the other. Even though they skipped over a few chapters, the flow was natural and I didn’t even notice until I went back to re-read the manga. Yes they certainly did change a few things here and there, such as settings where certain scenes occurred, but that didn’t effect the story at all. Even when they switched over to the Original Anime Contents, they made it work. They adapted the small tweaks and changes so well that it didn’t throw anything off. In fact, they even made some of the Original Anime Contents’ scenes (which connects to the Canon-Manga Materials) even MORE emotional than it was in the manga and in some cases, I actually enjoyed over the manga material (in particular the event in the finale).
Characters & Development: 8/10
I am so happy with how they handled the entire cast. Everyone (with the exception of Uka’s mother) were true to their characters. There are a few annoying characters, but they play only minor roles. When it comes down to fights within the circle of friends, sometimes the characters’ behavior will annoy you- but that’s the part that adds that layer of realism, so it is actually something I appreciate. As for character development, of the entire cast, it’s really Inari and her brother Touka who has the most noticeable character development. Uka was relatively the same as she was from the beginning, but the only thing that really developed for her was coming to understand a bit what being in love is like. Uka does get some character development in the manga, but given where this adaption has been wrapped up, they simply hadn’t reached that point yet. Rest assure the lack of Uka’s character development in this adaption doesn’t ruin it (and like I just said: doesn’t affect it at this point).
Animation Quality: 8/10
Major props to Production IMS who did such a fantastic job adapting the manga’s character designs, and maintain the quality of the series from start to finish! I must say I was quite a fan of their CG Foxes in the finale, they were absolutely stunning. They didn’t stand out like a sore-thumb at all. That said, that was pretty much the only CG in the entire show.
Original Soundtrack: 8/10
For most part of the series, the Original Soundtrack didn’t stand out to me too much. However all of that changed in just one episode, and that was the finale. It is a bit funny really because this is the last episode, but it made it even stronger because of how much it was standing out. Without a doubt the finale contained the most powerful compositions of the entire soundtrack that helped deliver the emotions.
Overall Score: 8/10
Although Production IMS did stray a bit away from the canon materials in the manga, and made some tweaks to scenes or events, I felt they did Inari Konkon Koi Iroha justice. They have renewed my faith in studios capabilities to adapt manga series and make some tweaks and add a bit of original content without screwing up the entire adaption. One of the things that I was so grateful and happy about was the fact they highlighted and stuck to the core element of the show, and that is friendship between Inari and Uka. Too many shoujo adaptions overlook the heart of the show and prioritize romance as if the series revolves around it (when it actually doesn’t). They have done such a beautiful job delivering that story. Even with the tweaks and original anime content- I was satisfied, and that my friends, is a rare experience for me (and I am sure for many others as well). In fact, I really would love to see a second season just because they have done such a great job. That said, it was a very smart move to have only ten episodes because that was all what they needed to cover the first major arc.
Inari Konkon Koi Iroha is a lighthearted show that will warm your heart. It’s fluffy and adorable, but not over the top. If you missed out on it, be sure to watch it at some point. I do also recommend reading the manga, it’s a bit slow but it’s still extremely enjoyable. If you liked the anime, you will definitely like the manga
Inari Konkon Koi Iroha