First Impressions – Natsuiro Kiseki

Let the summer miracles begin!~

The girls of Sphere have gotten their own show and I’m more excited then ever! These four have some of the most recognizable voices in anime, and even if you’re not a big fan of shows like Natsuiro, at the very least the characters might entertain you.

With the cicada chirping away in the background and the sky clear and blue on this classic summer tale, four friends place their open hands on a large rounded rock. Saki, the blonde girl, hesitates as Natsumi, the brown haired girl, remembers the time four years ago when her friend was the last one to put her hands on the very same rock. At that time they believed if they all wished for the same thing with their hands on that rock any wish could come true.

Natsumi wakes up to the sound of her cell phone and looks out her window into Saki’s room, who has her curtains closed. Before heading out to school she texts Saki, telling her that she better go to tennis practice. Saki gets the text, but ignores it and continues eating breakfast. At practice Saki never shows up and Natsumi puts her anger into her swing. In class Yuka, the green haired girl, along with Rin, the white haired girl, show Saki the latest single from Four Seasons, an all girl singing group. Saki is indifferent to it all. Natsumi walks in, grabbing Saki and pulling her outside.

Let the DORAMA begin too!

You can’t show us this and then NOT give us a character song album …

Natsumi asks her why she hasn’t been showing up for practice, still pretty angry at the situation, and Saki only replies by telling her she can take over as president of the club. She quits, and Natsumi tells her they’re no longer friends. The other girls in the club notice how upset Natsumi is, and meanwhile back in school Saki pays a visit to the staff room.

Natsumi, Yuka, and Rin get some ice cream after school and take a seat in the shade to enjoy it. They talk more about Four Seasons and their diminishing popularity. Yuka then remembers many years ago when Natsumi and Saki would gets in lots of fights and always tell each other they’re no longer friends. Natsumi reminds her friends that she’s grown up now and it’s different, thinking back to how Saki was the one who wanted to shoot for nationals in tennis.

The next day the three girls arrive to class for the last day of school and notice Saki hasn’t arrived. The teacher then walks in followed by Saki and they reveal that she’s moving away to Tokyo. Saki shows no attention to her friends until after the class has all dismissed. Natsumi gets angry that she didn’t tell them sooner, but Saki reminds her that they’re not friends. Natsumi runs out upset.

In her room Saki packs up her belongings and notices an exchange diary she had shared with her three friends. Her mother walks in and asks her why she hadn’t told their neighbors, Natsumi’s family, about moving. Saki says she forgot. Later in the day Natsumi gets a text from Rin asking for help because Yuka passed out by the shrine (the one with the round rock). She quickly gets her things and heads there, but when she arrives she realizes it was all a ploy. Saki also arrives from the same text.

That feeling when your favorite girl is almost killed off in the first episode. (╥﹏╥)

Yuka reminds them of four years ago when together they all wished on the rock to become idols and soon after won a singing competition. Yuka believe that if they use the rock they can make up and all become friends again. After some convincing both Natsumi and Saki agree to go along with it and place their hands on the rock, but instead of wishing to all be friends, Yuka and Rin wish to become idols together. Saki and Natsumi are both surprised, but Yuka believes that if they all become idols they can be friends forever.

This makes Saki very angry, and she tells Yuka and Rin to just grow up. Yuka begins crying, but Natsumi takes their side to convince Saki. While they both argue, Rin looks into the clear sky and wishes she could fly. The other girls all become silent and look into the sky as well, subconsciously wishing they could fly as well. Suddenly a blue sphere (hurhur) appears and waves begins to pulse all around them. Within seconds the four girls are midair flying higher and higher. They grab hands and realize their wishes could actually come true. They eventually make it back to ground level and Saki immediately leaves.

“Yeah guys, this is totally normal.”

For many viewers I’m assuming the biggest incentive to watch this new somewhat ambiguous series was Sphere, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they delivered as both seiyuu and the voices behind the OP and ED. As for everything else … well, it was kind of dry. As I said, Sphere, along with some great character designs, made the cast really shine. If anything the highlight of this episode was the four girl troop. I love when Aki Toyosaki does soft spoken roles (compared to say, Medaka or Fam), even if she only got a few lines,  and Haruka Tomatsu did an amazing job bringing some spirit into the genki girl, Yuka. (Who is easily my favorite character! :3) For anyone who followed Symphogear last season you’ll very easily recognize Ayahi Takagaki as Saki, who is strangely similar to Kurisu-uuuu~ in a lot of ways. There’s not as much personality in her voice here, but I shouldn’t forget we’re comparing a normal school girl to a neko-chan who fights gloop monsters.

So while the characters had a lot going for them, I felt the drama fell short in a lot of ways, over-dramatized at times and uninvolving as well. Maybe it’s because it’s only the first episode, but WHAT is Saki’s deal? That girl is just a mess, no wonder there’s so much drama. It’s almost as if she argues just to argue, which might be a side effect of having poor characterization. That’s probably why I really enjoyed the lighthearted moments, like the bench scene, compared to the arguments between Natsumi and Saki. In all honesty, the interaction between the girls is very sweet and can even sometimes be comical, they all play off each other’s personalities very well.With that said, I much rather prefer them all as friends then as bickering enemies, because this could make a great series without all that trivial arguing.

The stand-out part of this episode was definitely the ending, opening up TONS of possibilities for this show to be more than just another typical drama filled SoL. This is a Sphere themed anime after all, so if they do end up taking the idol direction I might really find myself enjoying this, but if instead they continue as it is I’m not so sure I’ll want to watch 11 more episodes. I have to wonder if “Four Seasons” is somehow alluding to Sphere in some way, I doubt that though since they all get roles like crazy! So, where will this “summer miracle” lead? Only time can tell, and I will definitely be watching in hopes that it takes some risks.

Also, USE YOUR STRENGTHS SUNRISE!~ (More music pls.)



I enjoy watching anime, when I'm not burning toast or sleeping through college.
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20 Responses to “First Impressions – Natsuiro Kiseki”

  1. Liza says:

    I agree with how the episode itself seemed to fall short,except for that random flying scene at the end. I was actually surprised that none of them really did freak out(like super major freakout), I mean it isn’t everyday when you wish on a stone and then you end up flying.

    I’m still wondering where this anime will lead to(hopefully more character development). Since it is Sphere, idol route would make sense but it seems like this will be more slice-of-life type deal based on the first episode.

    • Hawthorne says:

      A super major freakout probably would have been the normal response! Only in anime … xD

      Yes, more character development would be great! This is only the first episode though, so there will hopefully be plenty to come.

  2. skylion says:

    Agreed that the opening episode felt a bit weaker than it should have been. I had high expectations, after all. The character have alot going for them in both seiyuu and possible development.

    I’m getting shades of Bodacious Space Pirates here. That we might be getting something we didn’t expect. Maybe Marika and crew have just made me suspicious of it? So what to expect. Well, I’ll be tuning in next week, won’t I?

    Liza brought the point before I did; It isn’t every day you wish on a stone and then you end up flying. Well, I don’t think this is the first time they’ve done it.

    Or, I’m reading to much into it….

    • Hawthorne says:

      Ahaha nice comparison, I definitely did not see Space Pirates direction coming! Hopefully if Natsuiro does take that “bet you didn’t see this coming” path it’ll be as interesting as Bodacious’s was.

      Probably not, I myself haven’t seen it before, but I only have a few years experience with anime so I’m sure it’s been done before at least once! xD

  3. Amutofan123 says:

    This was okay. I had not planned to watch this in the first place so I didn’t really have any expectations. I’ll watch a few more episodes at least to see where the story is headed.

    • Hawthorne says:

      I’ve always felt that it’s good to give at least a three episode test, sometimes it takes a while for things to pick up, and who knows, you might grow a little more attached to the characters! ^^

  4. akagami says:

    Pretty much what I expected coming in. I was half-expecting Sunrise to blindside me with a train(wreck) or something, but it didn’t happen. I don’t know if I’m pleasantly surprised or disappointed. When I see Sunrise I’ve come to expect fabulous trainwrecks (the good kind usually)..

    The flying bit at the end was a bit weird, but everything else was 100% slice of life, and I’m a-ok with that.

    Btw, who/what is this Sphere you keep mentioning?

    • Hawthorne says:

      Sphere is a group of a four popular seiyuu who also sing some J-Pop, they’ve had singles as anime OP/ED before, but they’re much more recognizable as seiyuu imo, they all have pretty extensive lists of experience, from shows like K-ON, Railgun, HanaIro, etc. And now the four of them are doing the voices for the the four girls of Natsuiro. (Which is also why the show has some music themes.)

      I’m kind of a fanboy so maybe I’ve been exaggerating about their popularity a little! XD

  5. Joojoobees says:

    They certainly know how to hold their cards close to the vest. I wasn’t expecting them to fly based on the PV, and I wasn’t expecting them to fly based on anything that happened during the episode. I thought they would just make up and be friends.

    This didn’t really catch my attention, with the exception of that one bizarre event, so I don’t know what to make of it. I guess I will need to watch at least one more episode to even know where this is heading.

    • Hawthorne says:

      Right? I was the same way! XD The whole rock/flying bit really surprised me, in a good way.

      Hopefully next week will show us a little more of the direction it plans to take since we were left with a bit of an ambiguous ending. ^^

  6. tatsuya says:

    wait …I saw Aki Toyosaki , Haruka Tomatsu and Ayahi Takagaki …but where is Minako Kotobuki ..~~ ☆⌒(>。≪)
    I want Sphere / スフィア song ..ヽ(o`皿′o)ノ I’ve been waitting for a new single since “Hello,my love ” songclick to know …i also miss Hanazawa kana …why is’nt she here …八(^□^*)

    • Hawthorne says:

      Minako is doing Natsumi! I couldn’t tell at first because I’m so used to hearing her as Mugi. X3 I hope more music will be coming soon! D:

  7. amado says:

    unlike most people, im placing my expectations on this one.
    its a SoL anime, so what I got was more or less expected.

    • Hawthorne says:

      That’s true! If you go into a SoL anime expecting too much you’ll probably end up disappointed. I think I’ll take your outlook from now on and enjoy it for what it is. ^^

  8. SPIRAL says:

    Underdog and show of the season.
    You heard it here first.

    • amado says:

      you can say that again.

      hawthorne, are you still blogging this? ep 2 was better and pretty fun.

      • Hawthorne says:

        Unfortunately, no. I’m blogging 3 series as it is (Shining Hearts, Sankarea, and soon AKB0048) which leaves me like very little time between those and some editorials/digests I’m working on/plan on doing as well. It was tough a decision, but four shows+school would kill me!

        I will be following along with this series though!

  9. Moni Chan says:

    YAY!!!! sphere has it’s own anime(in a way)
    and Yes give us a summer themed anime in the spring it’s ok.

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