Series Review: Natsuiro Kiseki (6/10)

Instant Summary: Four girls finds a rock that grant wishes.

The wish-granting rock isn't too smart. It wasn't able to grant any of Yuka's more materialistic wishes like instant wealth or fame, and those that it actually grants, didn't really go as what the girls planned. Most of the wishes happened on a whim anyway. It wasn't that the girls actually wished for it, it was more like an emotion they shared at the same time. Sounds like an incredibly cheap plot device, since the anime never touched on the reason or origin of this incredible power.

But I think that's the whole point. Instead of a summer full of everything the girls could have wanted, the power became a useful plot device to combine many commonly used concepts (the "miracles") that could drive an entire story by themselves. Concepts like a unexpected clone, invisibility, getting stuck on each other, etc. There was never a need to explain why and how it happens. Natsuiro Kiseki is about what the girls does in each of those situation, not a story about a godlike power that a piece of rock has.

And I think that the anime actually plays this concept very well. With a general plot to give some sense of direction, we have a reason for these girls to actually "wish" for the "miracles" to happen. It's easy to bring out everything that is funny or interesting about each "miracle" when you only need it for one episode. So, from the start, I've always thought that Natsuiro Kiseki runs on a very promising idea.

Yet, it turns out pretty boring. Another selling point of Natsuiro Kiseki was to have the four members of Sphere voice each of the girls, but I think it didn't work out too well. The lead roles were given to the weaker members of Sphere, but the characters voiced by Tomatsu Haruka and Toyosaki Aki stole the show anyway. I'm not saying that any of them are really interesting; I'm saying that the scenes without the hyperactive Tomatsu  Haruka and loli Toyosaki Aki feels so incredibly dead. The four of them just feels so one-dimensional and irritating at times.

The worst part of the title has gotta be the story itself. The story was unable to make use of the concept to make things interesting. There wasn't any good humor, there didn't seem to be any drama, there wasn't any climax. There was barely any life in the story. Sometimes I feel that it's just "stuff happening". I do applaud them for not using the "wish" as the final solution in the story, but I thought that a "everything ends up perfect" ending might be its saving grace.

I got a feeling that under the hands of a different director and writer, this might actually turns out amazing.

Plot/Concept: Great!
Story Style: Poor
Audio/Visual: Good (never liked Sphere songs)
Value: 6

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