Manga: Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha
is a 2010 on-going romantic comedy manga
series by Morohe Yoshida.Ordinary Middle School Student
Inari Fushimi wakes up late for school after having a dream of confessing to her crush, the popular Kouji Tanbabashi
. On the way to school, Inari takes a shortcut in the temple shrine that she always visits and rescues what she thinks is a puppy from drowning in a stream. She contemplates confessing her feelings to Tanbabashi, but after accidentally humiliating her crush in gym class in front of everyone else, he refuses to accept her apologies—and to make matters worse, she secretly eavesdrops on Tanbabashi confessing to their classmate Akemi Sumizome.
Inari has all these thoughts in mind when she is summoned by Uka, a silver-haired
fox goddess who guards over the temple shrine that Inari visits. In return for rescuing the puppy before school that day—which turns out to have been none other than a little fox spirit, Uka offers to grant Inari one single wish in thanks. Without thinking, Inari blurts out that she wishes to be Sumizome
. As one might expect, this wish does not go nearly as well
as Inari had hoped—as she wakes up to find herself having been physically transformed into Sumizome. Hilarity ensues
. Though Uka cannot return Inari to her original form, she offers Inari shapeshifting
from her divine power, allowing Inari to change back.
Now that Inari can change her own shape at will
, using her new skill is very tempting in her quest to win Tanbabashi's heart and to help those around her. However, Inari soon learns that her divine powers are anything but simple.
A 10-episode anime adaptation of the series premiered on January 15th, 2014
Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha provides examples of:
- Afterlife Express: Traveling between Earth and the Takamagahara take this route of transportation.
- All Love Is Unrequited:
- Inari towards Tanbabashi, who has feelings for Sumizome until it turns out Tanbabashi and Sumizome were never romantically interested in each other (Tanbabashi's "confession" was him asking if she would be the basketball team's manager) and Tanbabashi reciprocates Inari's feelings.
- Sumizome decides to give up on Sanjou when she thinks her feelings are unrequited and that they might be incompatible.
- Momoyama and any girl who crushes on Tanbabashi end up in this direction, considering that he's in love with Inari.
- The same goes for any guy crushing on Sumizome, seeing as she only has eyes for Sanjou after the latter rescues her.
- Toshi, depending on if one views his borderline incestuous and one-sided obsession with Uka as genuinely romantic.
- All Men Are Perverts: Toshi, Touka fondles Uka's breasts once or twice, even Nice Guy Tanbabashi has some porn magazines from his cousin to show his friend, who is really Inari shapeshifting because she chickened out from giving him his homework in person. Needless to say, she's grossed out.
- Alliterative Name: Minami Momomiya and her best friend Kyoko Kagetsu.
- Amusing Injuries: Toshi is a constant victim of this. This sometimes happens to Inari, Uka, and Touka too.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Inverted. Inari's and Uka's opinions of their overprotective brothers give them another thing to bond over.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: At first, Uka pesters Touka to play video games with her and he either refuses or begrudgingly agrees. It's a notable change in Touka's and Uka's dynamic when he's the one who starts visiting her for a change, and for a time it becomes a daily routine when she stops visiting him—this being mostly due to her being temporarily sealed away by Amaterasu and her temple duties during the winter holidays. Uka thinks this is because he's doing poorly in school; in reality, Touka wants to see Uka and figure out what he is to her.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Inari wishes to be Sumizome. Cue her waking up looking exactly like Sumizome. Luckily though, Uka grants her the ability shapeshift with some of her power, allowing her to return to her original form. Her power can also unconsciously grant things that she wants to happen, such as Tanbabashi and her getting the romantic leads for a school play to her allowing a letter from a love rival to get snatched by the wind. Realizing her power unfairly win Tanbabashi over other suitors, Inari drops the lead role and tries not to use her power to gain his affections.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Touka and Uka.
- Berserk Button: Gods and spirits and Inari going anywhere near the temple shrine were berserk buttons for Touka, who actually possesses spiritual powers on his own and is able to see spirits, whereas Inari couldn't prior to meeting Uka. The more time he spends with Uka, the less of an annoyance these become. He also reacts very negatively when he learns Uka lied to him about granting Inari a portion of her divine power.
- Big Brother Instinct: Touka is protective of Inari and grows suspicious when he (correctly) believes Uka bestowed her power onto her. Uka's older brother Toshi is this Uka when it comes to Touka or those who want to marry her for her rank, but this is for different reasons.
- Bishoujo: Sumizome and Uka.
- Bland-Name Product:
- Book Dumb: Tanbabashi and Inari, both of whom have to have a study session with Sumizome and later Touka.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Toshi does this twice in Chapter 5:
Hey, wait a minute! Isn't that an awful first reaction towards a new character?!
Toshi: [transforms into Inari] Hmph! Now you finally know why I'm important in this story.
- Brought Down to Normal:
- Inari relinquishes Uka's power when she learns that it puts a strain on Uka's life and when, while using Uka's power, she nearly endangers the lives of her classmates. Subverted when, for reasons unknown, she re-develops her goddess powers without relying on Uka's.
- In Chapter 43, Inari's involuntary use of her divine power results in Uka's power to leave her and for Uka to become human.
- Call Back:
- When Inari turns into Sumizome as a result of her wish, she cries to her brother for help, but Touka mistakes her for a pervert. When he meets the real Sumizome, he reacts horrified by re-encountering said female "pervert", though Inari and her parents get him to believe it was a delusion.
- While figuring out what kind of man could rescue Uka from her marriage meeting in Chapter 19, Inari thinks of "Manabe-kun", a character from a manga that Sumizome bonded over earlier in the series (and the same Manabe-kun that Sumizome thinks of before getting rescued by Sanjou).
- When Inari sees Shirou after losing her powers, he asks her where Kon is, having met the spirit in his human form before.
- The God of Poverty returns in Chapter 29, still desiring attention, and tempts Inari into using Amaterasu's mirror.
- When discussing Sumizome in Chapter 35, Touka mentions to Sanjou of the earlier incident of "Sumizome" barging into his room while he had been changing (in reality, it had been Inari, who woke up in the guise of Sumizome after having her wish come true). Sanjou is quick to deny such a claim as at this point, she already knows Sumizome is in love with her (and would therefore have no interest in Touka).
- In Chapter 36, Toshi expresses his resentment over Touka not keeping his earlier promise of helping Toshi get back on Uka's good graces.
- Inari shapeshifting into Tanbabashi's friend and Tanbabashi showing "him" an adult magazine is brought up in Chapter 39 as Tanbabashi, who recently learned about Inari's abilities, is embarrassed and horrified when he puts two and two together.
- The Casanova/Casanova Wannabe: Toshi, who is flirtatious with women, be it human or gods—with a hit-or-miss varying. With Uka, it's always a miss.
- Cassandra Truth: Touka isn't believed by his parents whenever he mentions anything spirit-related or related to Inari's powers.
- Comforting the Widow: In a non-marriage or dating example, Toshi had planned to comfort Uka after she "dumps" Touka. It doesn't fall through.
- Compressed Adaptation: The anime being given a mere ten episodes to air has resulted in chapters being cut out wholesale, which meant that some events had to be re-arranged to fit the events that are shown—see how Sumizome being saved from Toshi got included in the Inari shrine festival (the events happened during different chapters and seasons in the manga). As a result, some things in the anime simply don't make sense, or feel came out of left field, the biggest offender of the latter being Sumizome being suddenly jealous of Inari over the span of a single episode, whereas in the manga said jealousy gradually built up over the course of many, many chapters.
- Cool Big Sis: Uka to Inari and Inari to Shirou.
- Cross-Popping Veins: Touka is a frequent abuser of this, though one can hardly blame him when he's the Only Sane Man.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Gender-flipped with Inari towards Tanbabashi and Sumizome towards Sanjou. Played straight with Tanbabashi towards Inari.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Touka reacts badly when he discovers Uka lied to him about her giving Inari her divine power, but he eventually gets over it.
- Everyone Can See It:
- The gods notice Touka's and Uka's growing friendship. Granted, they've been watching them through Amaterasu's monitor.
- Subverted with Tanbabashi's friends, who assume he likes Sumizome when he's really interested in Inari.
- Familiar: Kon, the fox spirit who Inari rescues from slipping into the river, becomes this for Inari.
- When Touka overhears Inari mumbling about a dream involving a silver-haired goddess, he's stunned. It makes sense since he can see gods.
- When Toshi poses as Inari and briefly flirts with Sumizome, Sumizome is clearly taken aback and even blushes, despite the fact that she believes him to be a girl. Then a short time later she ends up falling for Sanjou, confirming that she is in fact not heterosexual.
- Uka is shown to be weary after granting Inari a portion of her divine power in the beginning of the story. It becomes more prominent that Inari's increasing use of her shapeshifting powers has a significant strain on Uka's body.
- Inari learns from Kon that thanks to Uka's divine virtues, good luck affects outcomes that surround her. This takes a turn for the worse when she accidentally discards a letter from a girl crushing on Tanbabashi because she secretly didn't want to give it to him.
- The Four Loves: Uka just wants to fall in love like any ordinary person and is uninterested in marriage meetings since the gods who want to marry her are only interested in her rank and not herself. Becoming obsessed with 2-D men in video games probably didn't help in the matter.
- Funny Background Event: Toshi is a victim of this in Chapter 28.1 when his background appearances involve him beaten or in the process of getting beaten. This is shown to be a typical occurrence, given that the chapter revolves around Miya's daily life, and it is not paid any mind.
- Gecko Ending: The manga is still ongoing, while the anime ends more or less around Chapter 24. Also quite a Base Breaker, as it misses the point of a good deal of the manga's message at that point of the story.
- The Glomp: When Toshi manages to get into physical contact with Uka, the first thing he does is hug her—under the impression that she broke down her barriers towards him because she cares about him too. In reality, the strain over Inari's use of her divine powers caused this to happen. Luckily, a disgusted Touka witnessing Toshi and Uka effectively kills the moment.
- The gods disguised as humans in Chapter 4 that try to force Inari to use her shapeshifting powers.
- The three male classmates Inari, Sanjou, Maru, and Sumizome are initially paired up with for the class trip.
- Green-Eyed Monster: This is what initially drives Inari to wish she was Sumizome, Tanbabashi's implied love interest, while Sumizome wishes she could be more like Inari due to Sanjou's closeness to her. Toshi sees Touka as a threat due to towards Uka due to their growing closeness until he manages to get Touka to agree to help him fix ties with Uka. For obvious reasons, this doesn't work out as planned.
- Hidden Depths:
- When Inari visits Tanbabashi under the guise of one of his friends, she notices that he does the cooking and takes care of his family and realizes that she doesn't really know anything about him at all. Tanbabashi's devotion to his family is what triggers Inari to realize that the dream-like world inside of Amaterasu's mirror is fake—because the Tanbabashi inside of the mirror is only devoted to her and disregards his family.
- It resurfaces when it is revealed that Tanbabashi's mother has a boyfriend, which puts an incredible amount of stress on Tanbabashi—who felt compelled to support his mother after his father died—and his brother Shirou, who though young, understands the shift in the family dynamic.
- Beautiful and perfect School Idol Sumizome seems to have it all, but as Inari begins to hang out with her, it becomes apparent Sumizome feels pressured to good in school for her absentee parents, who are always working and never get to spend time with her.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Despite having a portion of Uka's divine power, Inari wants to ultimately continue living like a normal girl.
- I Just Want to Be You: Initially, Inari wants to be like Sumizome because she thinks that Sumizome is the object of Tanbabashi's affections. Ironically, Sumizome wishes she was just like Inari due to the latter's closeness to Sanjou, though Inari pulls her out of her depressed rut.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Amaterasu, according to Miya.
- I Will Wait for You: Touka to Uka when she leaves the temple indefinitely to watch over Inari's goddess training.
- Invisible to Normals: The only humans that can see the Uka and the other gods are Inari (because of Uka's divine power and later her own) and those who possess spiritual power, such as Inari's brother Touka and one of the priestesses that works at the temple.
- In-Series Nickname: "Keiko-chan" for Sanjou, "Maru-chan" for Marutamachi, Touka calls Uka "Otaku Hikikomori", and "Ina-pan" for Inari in school.
- Invocation: Invoked by Inari, who deliberately thinks of one for her shapeshifting ability to mimic being a Magical Girl.
Inari: Inari, konkon, turn into [insert person's name]!
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Touka. Toshi, Amaterasu, and even Inari's mother display aren't as terrible as when they're first introduced.
- Lame Excuse: In a flashback, after Touka was kicked in the face by Sanjou, who assumed he was a molester harassing Inari, he asks her to take care of Inari in his place. She objects, so he decides to use guilt and his injury to push the duty onto her.
Touka: "Uuh. After being kicked by a certain someone, my right cheek throbs in this human world's air..."
Sanjou: Eighth grader...!!
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Uka has no interest in any marriage candidates, preferring the fictional men in her video games over her suitors who only want to marry her for her rank. And when she does finally fall for someone? It's a human.
- Love Dodecahedron: Inari has feelings for Tanbabashi, who has feelings for the beautiful Sumizome but it turns out this isn't the case and he falls for Inari, who develops feelings for Sanjou after a Rescue Romance. Meanwhile, Inari's older brother Touka and the goddess Uka are drowning in Ship Tease while Uka's older brother Toshi routinely tries to cuddle up and fondle his sister, whilst being Played for Laughs. To further complicate matters, Momoyama and other girls in Inari's class develop crushes on Tanbabashi during their second semester, the captain of the basketball team has a crush on Sumizome, and Inari, Uka, and Sumizome have their own share of unrequited and Unwanted Harems.
- Love Epiphany:
- Touka and Uka start to realize what they're feeling for each other is love when Touka realizes he's starting to see Uka as a woman and Uka recognizes that she does have an attachment to Touka. However, Miya's comment about how wonderful Touka's and Uka's friendship is—and Uka remembering that Touka calling them friends too—causes Uka to doubt that there's romantic love between them. But recent chapters have them since acknowledging their feelings for each other, especially with Uka deciding to make Valentine's Day chocolate for Touka and Touka remembering that Uka is a goddess and that he shouldn't be special to her. He ends up confessing in Chapter 40.
- Tanbabashi realizes he's in love with Inari after she confesses to him as Momoyama (to make up for accidentally discarding her letter).
- Luminescent Blush
- Man Child:
- Uka can act like a child when it comes to her Otaku tendencies towards video games and 2-D men.
- Also Touka, who is repeatedly said to have the mentality of an eighth grader. Toshi isn't much better.
- Mangaka: Inari's father is one.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Uka becomes one of sorts for Touka. Initially, he hates her, only regards her constant requests to play video games with him as a pain, and doesn't see her as a friend or a woman, but Touka eventually grows to trust Uka and increasingly falls in love with her. However, Touka also fails his exams when Uka stops visiting and starts wearing glasses as playing games with Uka have stressed his sight.
- Marshmallow Hell: After regaining her powers (without relying on Uka's divine power) and subsequently her ability to see Uka, Inari (in Tanbabashi's guise) hugs Uka with her head pressed into her breasts. Touka's less than pleased by this until he figures out it's Inari.
- Master of the Mixed Message: Touka believes Uka is this, wanting to play video games with him one minute and then "screwing" with him by not visiting him the next (causing him to visit her). This is really because it's too painful for Uka to be around Inari, who can no longer see her.
- Meaningful Name: Inari's name is a clear reference to the Fushimi Inari Taisha, the head shrine of the fox god Inari, located in Kyoto, Japan. She even gets teased for it.
- Memento MacGuffin: When Uka decides to leave for the Takamagahara for an indefinite period of time to be by Inari's side while she undergoes goddess training, Touka is against it until Uka gives him her hair tie, an object she would only give to Touka, and he declares he will wait for her.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Sanjou rescues Inari from molester at the temple when they were children. It's just Touka trying to get Inari to go home.
Sanjou: "Ah... Um, I'm sorry... I thought you were a molester..."
Touka: "What part of me looks like a molesterrr!?"
- Moment Killer: Toshi is a constant offender to Touka and Uka moments. The one time Touka actually wants him to intervene (as Touka accidentally confessed his feelings for Uka, who is reacting with awkwardness), Toshi isn't around to bother them.
- Mood Whiplash:
- Everything seems fine and dandy after Inari convinces Amaterasu and Uka's parents to stop pressuring Uka to get married until Amaterasu ominously traps Uka in a cave in order to separate Inari and Uka and to figure out how to get Inari to relinquish Uka's divine power.
- Chapter 43 begins with Inari's and Tanbabashi's first date and Touka and Uka spending time together, only for things to escalate when Tanbabashi's younger brother Shirou attacks another boy, resentful of the boy's father when their father is dead and their mother might remarry, and Tanbabashi—who has been stressed over being replaced by their mother's boyfriend—cries in anguish over why the gods took away his father. Inari's powers begin to involuntarily activate to grant Tanbabashi's wish; this causes Uka's divine power to leave her and turn Uka mortal.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: A variant appears when Sanjou defends Sumizome when Touka refers to the latter negatively negatively for barging into his room while he was changing (but that was Inari in the guise of Sumizome at the time), as Sanjou knows full well Sumizome is in love with her.
- New Transfer Student: Toshi disguises himself as one in Inari's school.
- Nice Guy: Tanbabashi, minus the beginning of the story when he refused to accept Inari's apologies for accidentally humiliating him.
- Not What It Looks Like:
- Inari's interactions with Toshi lead Tanbabashi and her male classmates to assume they're a couple. They're not.
- Touka's really not trying to mess up Uka's marriage meeting. But after Inari (disguised as Uka) proclaims that she loves a human...
- Oblivious to Love: Tanbabashi towards Inari and vice versa, Sumizome towards her admirers, and Sanjou towards Sumizome until Chapter 33. Though Uka is slowly recognizing that her feelings for Touka go beyond friendship, she fails to realize that Touka feels mutually and that that he's been visiting the temple shrine lately for her, not to pray to the gods to do well on his exams. He ends up confessing to her in Chapter 40.
- Odango Hair: Inari's mother sports this hairstyle.
- Official Couple:
- Tanbabashi and Inari in Chapter 39.
- Touka and Uka in Chapter 42.
- Opposites Attract: The beautiful and feminine Akemi Sumizome develops feelings for the tomboyish and stoic Keiko Sanjou.
- Otaku: Uka and Maru.
- Paper Talisman: Amaterasu uses one to seal Inari's mouth when they first meet, and Uka's mother attacks Toshi with one while he's stalking.
- Pervert Revenge Mode: A typical reaction from Uka when Toshi is acting like... Toshi.
- Pinocchio Syndrome: Discussed between Toshi and Uka. Toshi deduces that Uka, who is both attached to and envious of humans, would like to become a human herself. Uka is stunned by the idea but denies this, claiming that she accepts the path that was given to her and merely enjoys to watch the humans as they live their lives, but she later admits to herself that she would like to become one.
- Poor Communication Kills:
- Happens every now and then in the manga. Tanbabashi and other male students are initially led to think that Inari drops out of as the role as the lovers alongside Tanbabashi because she is dating Toshi (in his human form). Touka believes that Uka lied to him about her giving Inari some powers either because she doesn't trust him or because he's a human until he figures out this isn't the case.
- As of recent chapters, Inari's disappearance due to her goddess training causes Tanbabashi to doubt that she reciprocates his feelings.
- Power at a Price: Whenever Inari relies too much on her abilities, she is unwittingly transferring Uka's powers into herself; as a result, the more times Inari uses her powers, the more Uka's body becomes strained. If this persists, Uka will disappear. Because of this, and after using her powers impulsively and nearly endangering her classmates, she decides to relinquish the power Uka had given her.
- Real Place Background: Most of the series takes place in and around the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. Many other locations within Kyoto are also faithfully depicted.
- Rescue Romance: Sumizome falls for Sanjou after the latter rescues her from Toshi (in his human form).
- The Rival: Subverted with Akemi Sumizome, and later Played Straight with Minami Momoyama towards Inari for Tanbabashi's affections.
- Running Gag:
- Inari claiming to need to use the toilet when she needs to transform. It's been a keyword for Kon in realizing her intentions.
- Touka having the mentality of an eighth grader (and is even called this by Inari while he was in seventh grade).
- Toshi's Hypocritical Humor and his perversions towards Uka (and subsequently gets beaten for it).
- School Idol: Akemi Sumizome.
- School Play: Inari's class are doing a school play, and Inari and Tanbabashi are randomly selected as the "lovers" leads. However, Inari later drops out of the play when she realizes she may have cheated by using her powers to get the role and doesn't want to win Tanbabashi's heart unfairly.
- Shapeshifting: Inari's power, courtesy of Uka's divine power. With this ability, Inari is able to shapeshift into other people, in order to help others in the guise of those they want to see or would solve a problem better. However, Kon reminds Inari that she can't abuse her powers and by relying too heavily on her abilities, it begins to threaten Uka's life. Inari eventually returns Uka's divine power but mysteriously re-develops the ability without Uka.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Touka reacts in this manner when Uka's mother asks him why he wants to date Uka and and later when a jealous Toshi presumes Touka came to the Takamagahara to interfere with Uka's marriage meeting. Gender-flipped with Inari when Tanbabashi and her male classmates mistake Toshi's and her annoyance for each other as Belligerent Sexual Tension and think they're dating.
- Shipper on Deck:
- Uka and Inari's friends naturally ship Tanbabashi/Inari.
- Inari and Maru are supportive of Sumizome's crush on Sanjou, especially Maru as she's a fan of "rose and lily" books.
- Inari quickly becomes one for Touka and Uka once she realizes they have feelings for each other.
- Shrines and Temples
- Shrinking Violet: Maru, who finds difficulty in befriending Sumizome (initially) and being around her male classmates.
- Single-Target Sexuality:
- Inari is Tanbabashi-sexual and Sumizome is Sanjou-sexual.
- Subverted with Toshi. Though he's obsessed with Uka, he flirts with other girls. This causes Inari to question his devotion.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Inari has liked Tanbabashi ever since he carried her when she had injured her knees on the first day of middle school school, and the one thing she likes most about him is how hard working he is and how much he cares about his family.
- Sleep Cute: Inari and Uka in Chapter 28.1. By the time Touka calls Inari to dinner, Toshi and Miya have joined in—with with less cute results.
- Slice of Life
- Smitten Teenage Girl: Inari towards Tanbabashi. Though not a teenager, Uka shows signs of this while thinking about Touka in Chapter 30.
- Spotting the Thread: When Inari is sucked into Amaterasu's mirror, she enters a dream-like world where everything she wants happens: she doesn't humiliate Tanbabashi, Tanbabashi ends up dating her, she aces all of her exams, and even Sanjou and Sumizome are a couple. And though she notices a couple of things are off in her world, she's too happy to really care. Up until Tanbabashi would rather spend time with her than be with his younger brother Shirou, even when he's sick, and decides not to go jogging anymore like he usually does, tipping Inari off because the Tanbabashi that she is in love with "always does his best, giving his most utmost effort and thinking of his family."
- Stalker with a Crush: Toshi for Uka to the point that she doesn't permit him access to her temple and actively avoids him whenever she can.
- Talking in Your Sleep: Uka does this twice in front of Touka: when she falls asleep in his room and when she falls unconscious after Inari uses her shapeshifting powers. Both times, she lets something related to Inari and/or her divine powers slip, leading a suspicious Touka to correctly believe that Uka bestowed a portion of her power to Inari.
- Tsundere: Touka towards Uka. It becomes especially more evident the more he begins to fall for her. According to Miya, Amaterasu is one too. Toshi is convinced Uka is this because he thinks she's Playing Hard to Get.
- Unwanted Harem:
- Uka and her marriage candidates. Inari receives similar problems when the suitors deduce that because Inari has some of Uka's abilities, she would be the next best thing after Uka, marriage-wise. Uka only agrees to attend a marriage meeting in order to stop the gods from harassing Inari.
- Sumizome does not particularly notice how popular she is with the male student body, or men in general, but shies away when it becomes blatant.
- What Does She See in Him?: The gods can't quite understand why Touka and Uka are close. But they draw their own conclusions.
- Will They or Won't They?: