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Natsuiro Kiseki

April 29, 2012

Was immediately interested when I saw “Natsuiro Kiseki” advertised in the spring season anime line up, because it promised to be an endearing slice of life series telling the tale of a memorable summer in the life of four school girls.

An original anime project, “Natsuiro Kiseki” is apparently based around voice actress group Sphere, of whom members Toyosaki Aki, Kotobuki Minako, Tomatsu Haruka and Takagaki Ayahi are voicing the main characters.

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Had earlier thought that main characters Natsumi, Saki, Yuka and Rinko would try to become voice actresses, making this series seem like a non ecchi version of “Koe De Oshigoto”, but they’re actually aiming to become idols, though this series doesn’t resemble “The Idolm@ster”.

While their wish is to become idols, so far this seems more like a plot vehicle that gives the appearance of being the main plot, but it actually isn’t. The other core plot of Saki moving away at the end of summer seems to be the real important story.

Regardless of those two main plots, each episode so far had its own smaller story involving a miracle granted by the shrine’s sacred stone. Which brings us to where the series personally disappoints me, with its all too oft used miracles created by the shrine stone.

Perhaps my own expectations are to blame, as I had hoped this would be a more endearing, serious slice of life series like “Tamayura ~hitotose~” or “Hanasaku Iroha” and not a show that would so freely use supernatural events.
Not that there’s anything wrong with a series that has a stone that miraculously grants wishes, but here in “Natsuiro Kiseki” it simply doesn’t mesh well with the show’s overall atmosphere.

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Personally feel these miracles even cheapens some of the other potent plot elements and character stories. A good example is how Natsumi & Saki reconcile because they are literally stuck together after their friends wish they would make up. Their quarrel that stems from Saki not having told anyone she was moving away is never satisfactorily resolved or talked through.

Deadpan yet aloof Rinko is voiced by Toyosaki Aki who also voiced Yui in “K-ON!”, Fam in “Last Exile ~Ginyoku no Fam~”, Uiharu in “To aru Kagaku no Railgun” and Chitose in “Yuru Yuri”.

Kotobuki Minako voices feisty Natsumi, she previously voiced Tsumugi in “K-ON!”, Yuuko in “A Channel”, Mitsuko in “To aru Kagaku no Railgun” and Chihiro in “Tamayura ~hitotose~”.

Stern Saki is voiced by Takagaki Ayahi, she also voiced Grace in “Gundam 00” and Noe in “True Tears”. Tomatsu Haruka voices the lively Yuka, she also tackled roles like Gruier in “Mouretsu Pirates”, Manami in “Asobi ni Iku yo!”, Lala in “To Love RU”, Nagi in “Kannagi” and Ichika in “Ano Natsu de Matteru”.

Will keep on watching “Natsuiro Kiseki” which while not excellent, is still a decent enough series to enjoy every week, especially when considering the excellent voice work of the main cast.

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