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Natsuiro Kiseki – 12 (END)

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「終わらないナツヤスミ」 (Owaranai Natsu Yasumi)
“Endless Summer Vacation”

So it comes to an end. After only a few repeats, the endless summer came to a close. Lessons were learned, tears were shed, and life moves on once again, as it always must. Yet after the emotions on display last episode, I found this final offering a touch unfulfilling. Call it the problem of having a super-powerful wish granting device in the cast, but there wasn’t much question of how it was going to end. That’s not always bad, mind you, but in its absence an emotional punch is needed to build up a crescendo into a satisfying finish. I just didn’t feel that here.

Not that there weren’t still things to enjoy. There was Natsumi and Rin’s mothers, for instance. There has been an inkling suspicion for a while now that Rin’s mom knew about the rock’s power, but the addition of Natsumi’s mom – and the knowing smiles they shared – makes me think that maybe both of them knew about it. Perhaps they wished upon it as girls, one summer vacation long ago? I like the thought of that. It makes me wonder, which is one of the things that drew me to this series in the first place.

But of course, it was the climax of the episode that managed to get the most feeling out of my black heart. I was expecting more tears from our heroines, but the graceful acceptance with which they gathered around the big rock and made their final wish was touching nonetheless. In a way, it was the best ending there could have been for them – excessive tears would have been childish, and by this point they have grown past that.

Wait, did I say final wish? Not quite. While most people will remember the last scene for its shameless yuri shipping, for me it really was their final wish that capped off the series nicely. A wish not for a miracle this time, but just to stay friends forever. Awww! Who knows if they’ll be able to do it, but I like seeing the feelings behind that. I might even mention this to the friend I’m seeing tomorrow, who I’ve known since kindergarten. See girls? It can be done, if only you wish for it…and then go out and make it happen.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – With one last spurt of magic, the big rock’s power runs dry & their summer vacation ends. But not their friendships, I think #NatsuiroKiseki

Full-length images: 48.

Epilogue:

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Final impressions:

When I originally heard about Natsuiro Kiseki, it was the understated PV that first gave us a glimpse of the big rock’s power which drew me in. “Wonder” was the word, both about the powers of this rock the girls were leaning against, and in what would happen in their lives once the magic started flowing. Something in that delicate atmosphere struck me, and I wanted to know more. Oh, and the Sphere connection didn’t hurt either.

Since then, it has been a varied ride. Some episodes have been great, whereas others were only alright. There was some delightful yuri shipping, lots of old school wishing hijinks, a little drama among friends, and even a dash of singing for flavor. Of them all, my favorite episodes were always the ones where they focused on the friendship aspect and really dove into the feelings of the four girls. Whether it was Saki’s worrying, Natsumi’s frustration, Yuka’s regret, or Rin trying to keep up with the nuts running around her, it was as a friendship anime that I enjoyed Natsuiro Kiseki the most. Of particular note were episodes nine and eleven, though there were others that, now that I scroll through my old posts, I remember with fondness.

It wasn’t without problems, though. The storytelling was uneven, especially early on – we went from friends (who we hadn’t come to like yet) going at each other’s throats, straight into problems between a couple of tangentially related shoutas who popped up out of nowhere. Why, if it weren’t for all the yuri overtones they were throwing out early on, I’m afraid some of you might not have stuck it out until the good parts! That would have been a shame.

I guess this is the point where I have to consider the lasting effect of this show. Will I remember this series a season from now? A year? Longer than that? Alas, probably not. There were good moments, and even if I weren’t blogging it I wouldn’t have regretted watching it, but as far as staying power goes, it just doesn’t have it. Of course, that’s not always the easiest thing for a slice-of-life show to achieve, but even within its genre it’s probably only mid-tier.

Nonetheless, I’m glad I covered this. Why? Because with all the adaptations and sequels that we’re flooded with every season, it’s always nice to see a company try to do something original. Sure, it might not have worked out as well as they would have liked, but so what – that’s the price of trying something new. At least they tried! Hopefully lessons were learned by key people, so the next time Sunrise comes at us with a new show, it will be even better than this one. We can only hope…or perhaps wish?

June 29, 2012 at 1:10 am
22 comments »
  • June 29, 2012 at 1:32 amSkins Thunderbomb

    I really enjoyed the show for what it was – a short slice of life. It reminds me of my school days, and the freedom of believing in magic and the worlds wonders.

    It’s nice to sit back and enjoy it for a while before life must go on. :)

    Thanks for blogging this series, Stilts!

    • June 29, 2012 at 8:20 amStilts

      No problemo : ) And thanks to you and everybody who commented, for making it fun!

    • June 29, 2012 at 6:36 pmJohn Hayabusa

      Well I got to honestly say that this show may not be of a high quality, but it is still good nonetheless. While the story was not interesting enough for me, all those crazy wishes and yuritastic antics were all great to watch.

      Second season may be unlikely, but I would like to see Natsumi, Saki, Yuka, and Rinko again.

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:36 amgandalf8

    Lol at the discovery of more cousins of the big rock from Rin’s shrine. If Rin’s theory that rocks in shrines with the same name as Rin’s shrine are wishing rocks are true, there could be thousands of people who have benefited from a little miracle in their summer holidays all over Japan throughout the years. Did somebody start franchising the shrine-with-a-wishing-rock concept and spread it all over the country or something? And not to forget there were the rocks in the hot spring inn at Saki’s new hometown too.

    Overall though, it was a satisfying final episode to one of my favorite shows this season. I agree with you Stilts that maybe in just a month from now I’d probably forget most of what happened in this series, but I always felt entertained watching this series from the beginning till the end. In the end, that’s the main reason I watch anime, and in that regard Natsuiro Kiseki successfully delivered the goods.

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:56 amfragb85

    That was disappointingly low-key. Rather than cutting out before their final wish, I kinda wished they had an epilogue showing Saki’s new home and the other girls keeping contact. Staying friends forever is kind of implied already. I did like the scene where the girls “wish away” the endless summer its a good way to indicate that they were finally ready to let go.

    At least there was some yuri handholding. I freely admit that I only continued this series for the les yay, but overall its a fun series to follow.

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:51 amyuru-natsurio kiseki-yuri

    So finally the Sphere version of Yuru Yuri has ended with no one get Akarin treatment & yes Yuka is expy of TOSHINOU KYOUKO!!

    So how it goes endless summer do idol try but failed then beach, tennis, random other doing give seem Rinko’s mom sense something “strange” about those 4 girls doing.

    So finally get idol try work but stuck in loop. To reveal area temple was another relative of the wishing big rock so back to their main rock to end the endless summer. And well it’s works days move forward all good one last rock wish for friends forever.

    Indeed after watching all of it indeed worth some watch. Give if pull a season 2 or dub indeed crossover with Yuru Yuri.

  • June 29, 2012 at 4:09 amThe Moondoggie

    The end was a bit tame… BUT it’s ok.

    Series score: 9/10. Anyone wants a season two?

    Anyway I got this theory: Maybe it’s the girl’s power, or one of the girls, that is the activating catalyst for the rocks. Since all the holy rocks in the series seems to have granted their wish, I am skeptical that the rocks alone made it true.

    Is it the power of friendship? The power of Yuri? Who knows…

    • June 29, 2012 at 8:05 amStilts

      I expect that there’s a certain time – one summer – in each group of friends’ lives where the big rocks will work their magic. I think Rin and Natsumi’s mothers got that summer once, and this was these girl’s turn. That’s just the feeling that I get.

      • June 29, 2012 at 8:14 amKOF

        well unless rin & natsumi moms also been doing same thing when they were younger on their summer days whole magic rock thing since both rinko & her mom do house is a shrine with magic rock.

        hmm could theory if plan prequel series or sequel of it?

      • June 29, 2012 at 8:19 amStilts

        I suppose they could, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The story they were trying to tell has been told, so no reason tell it all over again with slightly different characters.

      • June 29, 2012 at 8:36 amKOF

        yea give just only IF pull a prequel, spinoff, or something like ova to theory IF true of 4 girls also did big rock as well?

        maybe in fanfic, imagine, alternate world, etc it could happen as for here yet really do anyone feel remind of yuru yuri?

        cause really yuka is so the expy/2nd coming of TOSHINOU KYOUKO!! even on compare very bit similar.

  • June 29, 2012 at 6:51 amAlec

    It has been a great watch.
    I expected it to end with a bang, but the ending is good in its own way.
    This is easily my favorite slice-of-life anime this year

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:56 pmmac65

    I think we all missed something interesting – how did Rin’s mother become part of their
    last wish
    ? They emphasized that with (even the other girls didn’t comment on) Rin’s remark
    that her mother greeted her differently each day. So her involvement is way beyond knowing
    about the rock, to actively participating. But in this case, it wasn’t bad story telling,
    I think everyone (myself included) expected them to finally win the audition or (like Groundhog
    Day), so we weren’t watching the subtle details – we was caught off guard!

    Which begs the point that I think bringing Rin’s (and Natsumi’s) mom more into the mainline
    storyline could have added more depth to the things that were taking place. It’s clear, now,
    that she understood the rock; be’d nice to have her experiences woven into the story.

    Stilts! I enjoyed your series coverage, thank you. I agree with your assessment, too. I think
    there was good potential in the early episodes, but somehow it lost its edge and became more
    meh as the episodes progressed. They were all cute stories, but somehow, I dunno, like you, this
    series didn’t/doesn’t have the staying power to become a classic.

  • June 29, 2012 at 11:09 pmKumakaori

    Thanks for blogging Stilts! ’twas a fun series if not a terribly impacting one. Good friendships, crazy wishes, and lessons to be learned all around.

    And then there was Tomatsu Haruka making me laugh my butt off every week XD. And I’m a total sucker for choral music <<;.

  • June 29, 2012 at 11:13 pmKinny Riddle

    Now that was kind of a low key ending for a decently enjoyable slice of life show. An epilogue showing how everyone has moved on with their lives and still in touch with each other after Saki’s move would be nice.

    http://randomc.net/image/Natsuiro%20Kiseki/Natsuiro%20Kiseki%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2017.jpg
    I can sense the potential in the yuri between Rin’s mom and Natsumi’s mom, too bad it’s already the end. Maybe we’ll have a prequel featuring the girls’ moms and the magic rock.

  • June 30, 2012 at 5:23 pmBeckett

    The ending was pretty sad for me. When I was around those girls’ age I moved 20 minutes away from where I lived and lost touch with all of my friends from that area. Granted this was before the days of the internet and cell phones and the like but still, the unfortunate truth of reality is that distance causes people to grow apart. Maybe their friendship with Saki is strong enough to overcome that but from a realist perspective I don’t like their odds. She’ll make new friends in her new town and while she might still talk to the others via phone, she’ll start spending more and more time with her new friends, leaving less and less time for Natsumi, Yuuka, and Rin. Sad but true, so needless to say I found the ending with Saki still slated to leave to be rather depressing.

    • July 1, 2012 at 3:12 pmStilts

      You’re correct, but let me provide a counterpoint from my own experience. You know that friend I mentioned in my post? The one I’ve known since kindergarten. I moved to a city 5 hours away from where we met when I was 12 years old. We’ve remained friends ever since. It’s harder, but the internet and cell phones make it a helluva lot more likely than it once was. They may just be able to do it ;)

  • June 30, 2012 at 7:33 pmtendou

    & oh did anyone notice finale ep also a certian drink can called “mountain boo” http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6…vlipo1_500.png

  • June 30, 2012 at 11:07 pmStranger

    Glad you kept with it- it didn’t amaze in any respect, but then again- a show doesn’t have to in order to be good. It’s a story of friendship and heart, with a little bit of magic thrown in. In a way, it feels very much like a good Disney or Miyazaki film.

  • July 4, 2012 at 1:53 pmjreding

    Thanks for blogging this show, Stilts! I basically agree w/ your balanced judgement – the show wasn’t bad but may not stay in my memory for long.

    The main reason for this, though, in my case is the subpar production values. More often than not this series just looked cheap w/ distorted faces, unimpressive background and shaky animation. Just look at Saki’s legs in your picture . Admittedly I also compared this show w/ that other summer anime, Ano Natsu, which had just aired before and was way superior productionwise.

    Still, I love Saki who looked gorgeous and was a character mature beyond her years. My second fave was childish Yuka w/ her capitavating energy. I also liked Yuka’s fashion. And of course the yuri… To sum it up, I may not remember it as an awesome show but I will remember Saki and I’m happy that yuri seems to be somewhat on the rise.

  • August 1, 2012 at 9:00 amJoe88

    I admit I was watching this show for the yuri undertones, I did get them but the show was very enjoyable even with out them, I guess the yuri was just the bait to get people to watch it where as you say most would probably have dropped it early on if it wasnt there. I shed a few tears at the end, it was moving.

    Im sad to see it end, hoping there is a second season (maybe next summer vacation?).

    favorite part of the whole series was when rin gets hit with the pillow in ep 8