Natsuiro Kiseki – 12 (END)
「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.
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?