Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha – 05

Inari Konkon - 05 -4 Inari Konkon - 05 -10 Inari Konkon - 05 -20

This show is starting to give me whiplash.

Every time I’ve started to wonder about Inari Konkon it’s done something to convince me it’s a keeper, and every time I’ve been convinced it’s done something to make me doubt it.  Inconsistency is a staple of the majority of anime, of course, but it does seem as if it’s been more pronounced with this series so far – it’s starting to resemble the original Star Trek movies and that whole odds and evens thing they had going on.

Blame Hunter X Hunter and its game-changing masterpiece of an episode if you like, but this ep really did nothing for me.  While Inari Konkon is obviously not attempting to be anything like H x H there might be a sliver of truth to the notion that it’s hard to care much about mediocrity in the wake of greatness.  Still – I was happy enough with the work Tonari no Seki-kun and WCW did this week, so I think the much bigger issue is the episode itself.

In a sense this was just a bit too much of a “Tamayura episode” for lack of a better term.  I don’t dislike that show and I didn’t dislike this episode, but there is a slippery slope with shows that fetishize little girls who think the universe revolves around their dramas by acting like they agree with them.  There’s also a slippery slope with shows that really emphasize moe for its own sake, and this one has struggled with that a couple of times already.  Like Tamayaura, Inari Konkon can definitely be too cute for its own good, and it certainly was this week.

If there’s a saving grace here, it’s that there’s some tonal variety with the cast.  We have a girl with body issues that isn’t a topic of mockery for it, and there’s a strong undercurrent of same-sex attraction among all the main girls except Inari that isn’t played up as otaku-bait like yuri usually is, but rather treated with some dignity.  That’s good, but I just can’t bring myself to care about 22 minutes of four girls acting cute and mooning over their problems.  They’re not bad people – kids naturally think their problems are the most important thing in the universe.  I just don’t want to want an entire episode focused on them.

In sum – we need less posing, less navel-gazing and more mysticism.  Take the Shinto out of Inari Konkon and it begins to look unsettlingly generic, as this episode shows.  As I said last week I don’t think this show is at its best when it’s really pushing the plot frantically, but I also noted that it’s cute enough that it works better when it isn’t trying so hard to be cute.  About the only interesting thing that happened, really, was at the very end of the episode when Sumizome wished that she were Inari and all hell broke loose.  Hopefully that’s a sign that next week the series will return to its roots, and given that it’s already half-over I certainly hope so – more than any other series this season, Inari Konkon can’t afford to fritter away its time.

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Inari Konkon - 05 -17 Inari Konkon - 05 -18 Inari Konkon - 05 -19
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7 comments

  1. s

    HunterXHunter's latest ep might be affecting your patience after all hahaha; I jest . I found this series to be an average one at best and with this ep i more than expected this reaction so yea

  2. t

    Inari Konkon isn't the…pure type of shinto anime.
    it's a little of this (namely, the affinity and touch of shinto isn't as a big as it was like..say Gingitsune), and with emphasis on Inari's life of love, school and characters around her and their interests. not to mention, Inari is somewhere around middle-school age (seems even less sometimes LOL), and we can see how the..nature of this age is brought by the characters behavior and everything.
    I didn't expect something else..and with Inari it works for me.
    but there is the connection to the Shinto and the world of gods in a different direction (as we can see from Uka) which is parallel and contrast for human life in some way.
    sure, it's not working for everyone and it has issues..but indeed a fun to watch and pleasant series for me.

    as for the episode, well after they focused on Maru's facial expressions last week (also this week), it finally reach the surface. and this is part of the life inside Inari Konkon. this is school-life (not much school this time..but you know).
    I like how it involves Sumizome who wants to become Inari, while not so long ago, Inari wanted to be like Sumizome. and even in the end it did stimulate Inari's power (with effect on Uka) somewhat.

  3. k

    I said it before but this show for me is more Kamichu than it is Gingitsune.

  4. S

    @Kayjaypug Very nicely put there. Like Kamichu Inari Konkon is a school romance at heart, whereas Gingitsune and Natsume are definitely not romances.

  5. I don't deny that there are similarities with Kamichu here (though I think that was a substantially better show on the whole). Right down to where each show tended to struggle, and the fact that Kamichu too tended to be better when it focused on the romance and Shinto angles, and less on the fetishizing (which was at least a bit ahead of its time then).

  6. G

    The thing is what happened this episode very much happens IRL every day. Perhaps some did not find it too interesting but for a plump teen aged girl watching the series and seeing what happened this week it might be very relevant. I didn't mind this type of episode once in a while just not every week.

  7. i

    Before watching this episode I thought you probably were overreacting. But yeah, this episode is just not that good.

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