What if you could be someone else? Would you live life in someone else’s shoes? Would it be better if you weren’t you? These are some of the intriguing questions that Inari Kon Kon explores in its shape shifting love story that is just about as off kilter as anime romantic comedies can get. In spite of that, the series strays from ever achieving truly great heights that its core concept promises, choosing instead to play things safe, but even safe can be quite interesting in its own way.
Inari Kon Kon follows a girl named Inari Fushimi who shares her name with the famous shrine of the same name. She had grown up around the shrine and as such felt a powerful connection to the holy grounds. She is your typical shojo protagonist – clumsy, hapless and harboring a mad crush on one of the boys at school. While she does gain the power to transform into other people, what really sets Inari apart is her innate self awareness. She knows that she has just about zero chance with boy in question but instead of attempting to outright woo him, she instead opts to get to use her power to get to know him.
There is an innocence to this series, it is as inoffensive as anime can really come and the way in which Inari goes about trying to get to know Tanbabashi is just plain adorable. The series doesn’t ever really go to any tough directions and instead uses Inari’s inherent cuteness and sweet high school girl personality as the pillar that holds the entire series up.
If you have read or watched shojo series before you will find very little surprises in Inari Kon Kon. The series plays out in largely the ways you would expect, but it is the series charm and generally chill vibe that makes it such a joy to watch. There isn’t any real unpleasant moments in this series, rarely is that any event that is played for much suspense or concern. Everything plays out in a relatively happy and fun kind of way, which is honestly abnormal for this genre.
The shojo genre so often leans on the melodramatic side that Inari Kon Kon’s passive and pleasant approach feels like hanging out with your friends for half an hour at a time and just mucking around. It is an experience I did not expect from what is essentially a magical girl series, but Inari Kon Kon is just so remarkably innocuous that it honestly feels like a breath of fresh air.
It is worth noting that the series only tallies in at 10 episodes and an OVA episode, which is honestly somewhat short for a modern anime series. That said the series surprisingly concludes definitively with Inari’s character arc coming full circle in what is ultimately an emotional finale all things considered. I found the series length not to be a deterrent but rather it makes Inari Kon Kon a perfect bite sized anime series that is short but sweet.
Aesthetically Inari Kon Kon is gorgeous in just about every regard. The famed Inari shrine is beautifully captured in rich detail creating a memorable setting that is doubly astonishing because it is a real location. I personally have visited the shrine in my trip to Japan and I can attest that the series conveys the intricacies and beauty of the shrine to perfection.
Inari Kon Kon is ultimately a very passive shojo anime series that doesn’t aim to challenge viewers in any shape or form, rather it is more concerned with being the anime equivalent of a fluffy cloud, floating along unassuming and pleasantly plush. If you are interested in a fun couple of hours of anime, Inari Kon Kon is a pretty good choice, just don’t expect anything more.
You can pick up this pleasant series over at Madman’s Online Store.