“There’s a deity in my local shrine…”
(“Please don’t poop on me… please…”)
Studio: Production IMS
Genre: Romantic, Comdey, Fantasy, Supernatural Age: 13+
Released: January 2014 – onwards
Inari is a middle school student, who is sweet and clumsy, and loved by her two best best friends Keiko and Chika. On the way to school Inari rescues a “puppy” from the river bank, but her friends believe that Inari fell into the river due to her clumsiness.
Warning! May contain spoilers!
(“Hey, I heard you’re the lead for this anime. Congrats, man”)
Inari harbours a crush on a classmate, Kouji Tanbabashi. To her amazement, she is paired up with him for basketball, but manages to embarrass him instead.
(So, you’ve hurt your crush? Lie down in foetal position and cry)
Kouji starts to avoid Inari, and automatically walks away from her at every chance. Inari feels bad, and is comforted by her best friends at the local shrine, which is also called Inari.
(Keiko gives great advice because… Keiko.)
Feeling positive after Keiko cheers her up, Inari rushes to apologize to Koiji, but sees a private moment between him and the local beauty Akemi Sumizome.
(This isn’t simultaneously heartbreaking and awkward. Not at all.)
Inari runs off to the shrine, where she is astonished to see fox spirits lead her to the local deity.
(“Have I died? I think think I’m dead. Right?” )
Uka is the local deity of the Inari Shrine, and she grants Inari one wish, as thanks for rescuing the “puppy”. The puppy is in fact a fox spirit.
(“No wishes for me to be your girlfriend. Please.”)
Inari feels jealous of Akemi’s beauty, and wishes that she could be her. The wish is granted and Inari becomes Akemi. She finds herself in a different body, and wandering through town. She receives a lot of attention of guys because of her looks. Meanwhile, Inari’s disappearance has caused a panic, and her best friends are searching through the city for her.
(Ahhh, the downsides of being beautiful.)
Kouji, who is also looking for Inari, runs into the person who he thinks is Akemi. They sit down and have a meal, and Kouji confesses that he was probably mean to Inari, and was avoiding her.
(Even Kouji can’t forget Inari. The Power of Moe.)
Inari heads back to the shrine, and speaks with Uka to reverse the wish that was granted earlier. Uka cannot undo the wish, but she gives Inari a part of her godly power.
(“You’re like a genie right? Three wishes and all that?”)
Inari can change back into her normal body, but she can also transform into any other human being. Uka also gives the fox puppy that Inari rescued earlier, as a familiar, Kon, .
(“I don’t think my family allows pets… but thanks!”)
When Inari exits the shrine, she is found by her brother and friends and taken home. Back at school the nest day, Inari promise to give Kouji a goodluck charm. However, Kouji is missing on the day before his basketball game.
(Goodluck charms are coolest gift. Ever.)
Overall, I think there is a saturation of deity-filled anime. It’s hard to stand out when there are so many cliches, and plot-pitfalls.
What Inari does is put a likable character at the forefront, and have intelligent characters as secondary. They don’t seem as wooden or hyper as what I expected from a fantasy series, which has a self-proclaimed moe lead. Best of all, the other girls act like… well, girls. There’s no exaggerated nastiness or eye twitching over rivals, and there is definitely no “A-ho-ho-ho-ho” hand-on-mouth nasty rival character (my pet peeve).
This series reminds me of a well-paced Kimi Ni Todoke with sprinkles of Cardcaptor Sakura. It’s an enjoyable series, and seems very grounded and solid. The fact that it’s beautifully animated doesn’t hurt it either.
Yes, there is a deity in there, but the humans are the reason to watch it.
Rated – 4/5 Enjoyable plot and very likable characters