About Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha (Inari Kon Kon)
- Episodes: 10
- Aired: January 2014 – March 2014
Inari is a kind yet painfully shy girl who can never seem to express what she wants to say. She has always had a special love for the fox shrine near her house and unknown to her, the fox goddess Uka has a special fondness for Inari too! One day, Uka grants Inari the power to see and speak with her and her familiars and even shares with Inari her power to transform. Believing that changing into other people can help her overcome her hardships and perhaps even gain the attention of the boy she likes, Inari tries to keep her transformation secret. Should she be discovered, though, her friendship with Uka will be forfeit and the two will be separated by the head god Amaterasu!
It's no easy feat for Inari to judge when she should transform into someone else, but she's either motivated by trying to spend time with her crush Tanbabashi or to somehow help out those around her. Despite her crippling lack of confidence, her path is clear when someone needs her help. She has trouble adjusting to all the new spirits she meets and just how her powers can manifest, but she does her best not to cause problems for Uka who she considers both a kind god and a dear friend. If your interest is piqued or you remembered enjoying the fascinating setting of Inari, look below for more stories of moe and magic!
Liked Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha? Watch Fox Spirit Matchmaker (Enmusubi no Youko-chan)!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: July 2017 - ongoing
This is the new Japanese version of the Chinese phenomenon by the same name. The multiple Chinese ONAs have been put together into a 24 episode series and is airing now. Suusu is an eager yet weak fox spirit with much bigger aspirations than going through with the arranged marriage her older sister set up for her. Unfortunately for Suusu, the world is ruled by the most powerful demons and human sorcerers who keep their peace by having a demon and human marry every few years and have no patience for weak spirits or people who don't abide by their plans. An important job for both sides is to help other demon/human couples find each other after the human has died. Demons have long lifespans, so help is needed in locating the reincarnation of their former partner and then restoring their memories. Gessho is a powerful yet completely irresponsible monk who is also trying to avoid arranged marriage plans being forced on him from the human side. Together, Suusu and Gessho team up in order to avoid their fate, yet unknowingly rush towards it.
Three Major Similarities Between Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha and Fox Spirit Matchmaker
3 Major similarities
1. Fox Spirits
The most blatant parallel between the two shows is that they both prominently feature fox spirits. Not only are fox spirits present, but both shows revolve around their presence in the human world, despite being pretty much undetectable in Inari. Uka has two main familiars by her side just as the equally powerful (though much more sinister) fox spirit and ruler Yaya. Both are revered by humans and other gods. Suusu and Uka are the main fox spirits of their respective anime and both also have family that reappears throughout the series along with other fox spirit acquaintances. Neither really act like particularly fearsome or respectable spirits, between Suusu's clumsiness and Uka's obsession with dating simulation games. If you're intrigued by fox spirit lore, the interesting take on the matchmaking aspect in Fox Spirit Matchmaker will grab your attention.
2. Hierarchy of Gods
While some magic creatures or spirits seem to act independently from any authority or government in other shows, both plots of Inari and Fox Spirit Matchmaker are focused around the will and power of the hierarchy of gods and spirits. Spirit and human alike are forced to face Amaterasu's rules and trials when Uka impulsively gives some of her spiritual power to Inari, and the two are constantly trying to obey just enough to avoid punishments and continue their friendship. Suusu and Gessho spend the whole series trying to run away from their government-imposed fates and use their powers to fight the higher-ups wishing to control them.
3. Irresponsible Use of Magic
Our heroes are not the type to study how to hone their powers for months only to help out the townspeople. Inari and Gessho both are blessed with incredible power but spend most of the time using it for selfish reasons. They definitely both share in being willing to help others in times of need, such as when Inari transformed into a small boy in order to save a trapped friend, or when Gessho used his powers to fight off a powerful demon that was manipulating the people around him. Yet Inari's number one concern and reason for transforming is to find ways to be closer to her crush Tanbabashi, and Gessho will demand candy as payment before helping others. Because of their selfishness, they often end up in hilarious situations they probably don't find funny themselves but will have the audience chuckling.
Liked Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha? Watch Mahoutsukai no Yome!
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: October 28 - ongoing
Chise has lost all desire to live, and on a whim agrees to be sold at an auction on the off chance someone could want her. She never expects that a powerful magus would be the one to claim her. Despite his rather frightening appearance, Erias does not plan to harm Chise but to teach her how to use magic and provide a safe home for her. Having never known kindness, Chise quickly finds herself attached. Battling her own demons, Chise resolves to devote herself to learning magic and Erias who gave her a new life, no matter what dangers may lay ahead.
Three Major Similarities Between Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha and Mahoutsukai no Yome
1. Seemingly Normal Human with Powerful Spirit
Just as Inari is suddenly plunged into a world with demons and magic, so is Chise. The spirits were always there, and to some extent, both girls could sense them, but it is a sudden change when they become favored by powerful spirits and thus able to see things they never could before. Due to their powerful companions, Chise and Inari gain not only magic power but a new confidence in themselves they were severely lacking. Erias is feared for his extreme power, and Uka is often coveted for her high rank, yet neither magical being has many friends they can truly trust. The dynamic of the determined though lacking human with their all-powerful comrade makes for an interesting watch.
2. Funny Yet Moving
While Inari definitely has plenty of funny moments, there are many serious themes running through the series as well. Mahoutsukai is a more dramatic show with plenty of funny elements, so both anime will have you crying and laughing! It's not at all uncommon to see Chise and Uka sweating and in pain. Both Chise and Inari battle a lot of negative emotions about themselves, as one would expect from young girls, yet they are inspired by Erias and Uka. Despite Erias and Uka being extremely powerful and even feared by some, the tender love they show to their chosen human is extremely moving. They even show a less impressive side when engaging with their young partner and their exchanges are quite often laughable. Many minor characters offer comic relief or a sense of danger, and it's your job to figure out which one is which!
3. Power as a curse and a blessing
While having magical powers seems like it would be nothing but fun, Inari and Mahoutsukai show a downside to it. In Inari, Inari is often in trouble or causes herself sadness over trying to transform into others and messing things up. When Chise expends her power, she knocks herself out for days at a time. Beyond just the backlash of using magic, simply existing as a powerful being can be very isolating. Erias is feared and often demonized even by the people who would ask for his help. Uka never knows if someone is being nice to her because they care about her or if they only care about her high rank and wish to gain her favor. Both spirits have isolated themselves from both the human world and spirit world and keep their interactions with others to a minimum. With great power comes great responsibility, and Inari and Mahoutsukai show how important that is.