Inari Kon Kon is an animated adaptation from Production IMS of the manga by Morohe Yoshida. The series centres around Middle School girl Inari Fushimi, an ordinary and somewhat unremarkable kid with a crush on her classmate Tanbabashi and a small circle of friends in classmates Keiko and Chika. While taking a shortcut to school through the local Inari shrine one morning, which she just so happens to share her name with, she rescues a young fox from a riverbank.
Inari struggles to catch the attention of her crush, and after embarrassing him during gym class and witnessing what she thinks is him receiving a declaration of love from the pretty and popular Sumizome she retreats, defeated, to the shrine. It is there she meets the resident Goddess, Uka-no-Mitama-no-kami (aka Uka), and learns that the fox she saved, Kon, was a divine familiar. As thanks, Uka grants Inari a wish of her choice. When she wishes to be transformed into the popular Sumizome, and when nothing good comes of that beyond a lesson learned for Inari, she is instead granted a small piece of Uka’s divine power and gains the ability to transform at will into any other person she knows, complete with magical girl sequence, and also gains the little fox spirit Kon as her own familiar.
With her new power comes trips to the spirit world and dealings with other gods, including Ameterasu Okami and Uka’s creepy brother Toshi, but it largely plays out as a by-the-numbers romantic comedy coupled with some supernatural hijinks as Inari learns to cope with her powers and her feelings for those around her. Characters are paired up early on for their plots and relationships to play out, Inari and Tanbabashi, Uka and Inari’s protective older brother Toka, and Inari’s friends Sumizome and Keiko.
The fact that the pairings cover both humans, gods and same sex couples does keep that element somewhat more interesting than if they’d stuck with just the main character’s romance. Ultimately though, the show feels a little flat and safe, you’ll pick how each relationship is going to play out as quickly as the first seeds are sewn. And while they have their moments, Inari’s initial transformations and the interactions that went along with them often felt kinda creepy and intrusive.
Visually, the show is nice and crisp and has a pleasant ‘shoujo manga brought to life’ feel to the animation. The background music is also really great, and is what actually drew me to the show in the first place after watching a trailer. Overall though the show suffers from a fairly generic protagonist and generally bland goings on, and even the involvement of the divine doesn’t drag it above being utterly average in most respects. It’s not offensive by any means, but it’s not particularly compelling, either. At eleven episodes it won’t overstay it’s welcome or leave you feeling cheated, but it’s not going to give you any lasting feels or make you want to marathon it because you need to know what happens next, either. There are much better romantic comedies out there you could spend an afternoon or two with.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.