Final Review: Natsuiro Kiseki

So…what’s wrong with this picture?

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless other noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

Natsuiro Kiseki is based off a new manga that began running this year. The anime adaptation premiered in Spring 2012 and did not receive a simulcast nor a US license. It follows the daily lives of four girls: Natsumi, Saki, Yuka, and Rinko, the four of whom often gather around a large rock at a Shinto shrine. The rock is rumored to be able to grant people’s wishes when all those gathered around wish for the same thing…that is until the girls find out the myth is true. Furthermore, with Saki getting ready to transfer schools, the girls decide to spend the last summer together filled with magic.

The story starts off as a simple slice of life title similar to Tamayura following four girls. Nothing spectacular really happens until the ending where the show looked like it completely fell off a cliff with the bizarre magic of them flying. Yes, flying. Luckily the show does manage to bring itself back together (to some extent) and weave in the bit of magic it has. The character development is shallow for the most part but the characters themselves are generally quite amusing and fun. The conclusion is quite well done for an ongoing title. It closes up quite nicely and doesn’t leave any regrets behind.

Art AND Animation are easily worst aspect of this show. Art is very low quality and lacking in significant detail while animation is terrible all around. From poor facial expressions to poorly coordinated body and object movements. The list doesn’t stop there but when you take into account Sunrise’s other show for the season, Accel World, as well as a number of their most recent titles, this show’s quality just spells trash. Heck Phi Brain even looks significantly better than this.

Music is strong with this show. OP/ED are both performed by sphere, whom also voice the four lead heroines. The OP is very memorable and fitting for the show. ED, while not as memorable, is also a very good song. Background is fairly decent but sound effects are average despite strong inserts. Seiyuu cast, as said before is sphere and all do a great job in their roles by keeping the cast lively and entertaining.

Enjoyment? Had I kept up with this show properly, I definitely would have kept this high on my weekly watch list. It’s a really fun show and I thoroughly enjoyed pretty much all episodes except the first. I would definitely recommend this over Tamayura. Other shows that fit this genre include ARIA or Hidamari Sketch, so if you enjoyed this, you should probably watch the two recommendations and vice-versa.

Overall, it’s not a show to jump up and down for. It’s light and fluffy with a nicely incorporated magic twist. Obviously the sudden “I can fly” moment is a huge drag on the show but if you were able to get over that hurdle it’s a nice lighthearted show.

Let’s try this one more time…

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0/1): Okay up to a point but very generic overall. Magic rock actually being magical was a huge turn off when the girls started flying.
  • Character Personalities (1/1): Great cast all around. Yuka was easily the one that made the show fun.
  • Character Development (1/2): Shallow but it’s there.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (2/2): Small cast and thus the presence and usefulness is easily achieved.
  • Pacing: (1/1): It’s slice of li(f)e so there is no strict pacing guideline. Lots of flexibility and manages to fit just enough into each episode for it to be a fun watch.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): Reasonable was out the window by episode 1. As the show progressed, it was fine until the wish of remembering the haunted hotel where the girls effectively cause a “time paradox” by meeting their own double in past/present.
  • Conclusion (1/1): Very nice wrap up.
  • Total: 7/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (1/2): Average and lacking in detail. ED video images are nice though.
  • Character Designs (1/2): Average. Low quality.
  • Fluidity (0/2): Terrible (see cover image). Terrible facial expressions and poor all around.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (1/2): Average.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (0/2): This is Sunrise. They can easily do better than this with the biggest example being their other shows this season: Accel World and Phi Brain.
  • Total: 3/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (3/3): OP/ED are great. OP is much more memorable than ED but both are very good songs nonetheless.
  • Background Music (2/2): Fairly decent.
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Average and often forgettable.
  • Seiyuu (3/3): Sphere cast effectively aspiring to be idols. Very nice/ideal way of casting.
  • Total: 8/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (2/2): Fun show. Yuka is <3
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1.5/2): First episode was a major turnoff but that easily turned around. This was a show I pushed on to the back burner but had I kept watching it continuously, it easily would have been a show I would definitely keep up weekly
  • Presentation: (2/2): Most episodes are one-offs and as a slice of life show, it makes it really easy to watch in a similar manner as Hidamari Sketch.
  • Re-watchable (0.5/1): It’s a short “fun” show. Much more enjoyable than I had expected.
  • Recommendation (1.5/2): Tamayura is a bit more down to earth than Natsuiro Kiseki but also significantly less entertaining. ARIA or Hidamari Sketch would be better recommendations if you want straight up slice-of-life titles.
  • Value (0.5/1): It’s underrated and certainly impressed but not something groundbreaking.
  • Total: 8/10

Preliminary Score: 6/10

Final Score: 7/10

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