Review: Inari, konkon, koi iroha (Manga)

Kaushik here, this week with a manga review! I heard recently that one of my favorite manga was getting an anime soon, so I had to step up and review it. As a note, this is an ongoing manga, so my review will only cover up to chapter 22. So this manga is by Yoshida Morohe, whom… I’ve never heard of. I don’t even know if it’s a man or woman writing, but their work on this manga is great. It started around 2010, and is serialized in the magazine Young Ace. There isn’t much more info out other than “an anime is happening” but that’s enough for me to get excited and do this review. So let’s get started~

Inari, konkon, koi iroha is serialized in a seinen magazine, and is considered a seinen by some places, but I find that it has more in common with the shoujo genre, in terms of the sweet school life romance. Actually, it’s very very similar to another anime I reviewed, Kamichu, right down to the pretty art in fact. This manga is basically about a girl, who likes a boy, a classmate. Of course, that describes so many other titles, so there’s a twist, right? The twist here is that the girl shares a goddess’s powers. Her powers are limited to transforming into other people, but even that is enough to get her into some wild and wacky situations. It’s a slice-of-life series mostly, with some strong romantic elements. It’s remarkably similar to Kamichu, but there are a few key differences. In terms of plot, it’s less episodic than Kamichu! was. Inari instead uses several short multi-chapter arcs for longer stories. This makes Inari come across as a more serious manga, because the multi-chapter arcs are deeper and more interesting. There’s just more you can do with the added time that you can’t really get from single-chapter stories, which in some ways makes this more enjoyable than something like Kamichu.

Inari and Uka-sama. I hope you can get a sense of the art from this.

Inari, konkon, koi iroha has a strong cast of side characters. While Fushimi Inari (the main character) is definitely important and still a fun character, what makes this manga really enjoyable is how it incorporates some of the side characters and their own stories. The beginning chapters are more about Inari and her troubles (particularly in trying to attract Tanbabashi Kouji, her classmate), and the antics she gets up to with her powers of transformations. For most manga I read, I usually find myself more attached to the side characters than the main characters, and this one is no exception. In this case it would be Fushimi Touka, Inari’s older brother, and Uka, the goddess Inari gets her powers from. Of course I’ve always been a sucker for romance, and the clearly blossoming one between these too is just too cute. As a goddess, it’s endearing how, well, ungoddess-like Uka is. She’s kind of clumsy and a huge huge fan of videogames for some reason. To contrast, Touka is a no-nonsense kind of guy who’s surprisingly irreverent to Uka’s status as a goddess, and the two of them together are too cute. Of course, as side characters they’d never get the main focus in the manga, which is a little sad but I learn to deal with it.

The cover of the new volume, 5, where the anime announcement was made.

The story is a little simple, and while the characters are cute that wouldn’t really be enough to make this as manga enjoyable as it is. A major factor that does is the art. Now, I don’t profess to know much or anything about art, but I know what I like, and this manga’s art would be one of those things. The author, Yoshida Morohe, also does the art for this manga and it’s just so pretty. The character designs are cute and well-done. If I had to have a minor nitpick about the design choices, maybe the uniform designs are a little bland, but that’s not all that important of course. I can’t say much more but let the pictures I used speak for themselves, so hopefully you can understand what I’m getting at.

Pros:

— The art is gorgeous

— The characters are cute and their relationships are interesting

— The side characters are strong and interesting

Cons:

— The story is a little simplistic

— Unless you’re a fan of the slice of life genre it’s probably a little boring

Rating: 4/5

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Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

Kaushik

I write about anime and stuff. Giant robots are pretty cool, too.

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