In Shimoda City, there is a Shinto shrine centered around a large rock. Legend has it that if four close friends make a single wish upon it, the wish will be immediately fulfilled.
Such a legend was tested by four middle school girls and Childhood Friends: stubborn Natsumi Aizawa, realist Saki Mizukoshi, hyperactive Yuka Hanaki, and laidback Rinko Tamaki.
A few days before summer vacation, Natsumi and Saki had a falling-out. To rub salt onto the wound, the next day Saki reveals that she plans on transferring schools. To help them make up, Yuka and Rinko invite them to the shrine. As they stare onto the skies, the rock emits a strange glow, and before they knew it, the four girls are flying.
Thus begins a summer vacation unlike any other.
Natsuiro Kiseki is a Slice of Life Schoolgirl Series anime produced by Sunrise for the Spring 2012 Anime season, with a manga illustrated by Tatsuhiko which came out during winter 2012. In reinforcing the theme of friendship, Natsumi, Saki, Yuka and Rinko are all voiced by the members of J-Pop group Sphere, themselves Names to Know in Anime: Minako Kotobuki, Ayahi Takagaki, Haruka Tomatsu and Aki Toyosaki, respectively.
This series provides examples of:
- A-Cup Angst:
- Yuka and Rinko when they find out that the well-endowed Chiharu is their age.
- One of the first things Yuka does after switching bodies with Saki is to look down her top and seemingly being very pleased with what she sees.
- Accidental Pervert: Koharu gets a bucket to the face for seeing the girls in the bath. Then they find out that she is a girl too.
- Almost Kiss: Between Yuka (in Saki's body) and Takashi. Rinko (in Natsumi's body) grabs her and they run off.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Natsumi was clearly headed toward one during that talk with Saki in episode 8. Curse you, Yuka!. It seems though that Saki got the message nevertheless.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The big rock can grant you a wish, in unexpected ways.
- Bifauxnen: Koharu, the tanned surfer who rescued Yuka.
- Censor Steam: Plenty in the Hot Springs Episode, and even then not everything is covered.
- Curtains Match the Windows: Saki, Natsumi and her brother Daiki.
- Date Peepers: After the body switch in Episode 4, Saki, Natsumi, and Rinko spy on Yuka and Takashi's date.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The members of Sphere voice the four main characters and also perform the opening theme, ending theme and insert songs.
- Dumbass Has a Point: Natsumi in episode 11:Natsumi: Yuka said something reasonable!
- Even the Girls Want Her: According to Yuka and Rinko in the OVA, Natsumi is very popular between girls and boys.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: In the OVA, Rinko has grown her hair a bit and Natsuki doesn't wear hairclips anymore. Her hair is a bit shorter too.
- Flight: What the girls receive at the end of Episode 1 from the enchanted rock.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: Episode 4. Saki/Yuka and Natsumi/Rinko
- Four-Girl Ensemble: Yuka (Sweet), Saki (Smart), Rinko (Sexy), Natsumi (Snarky).
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Yuka (Sanguine), Natsumi (Choleric), Saki (Melancholic), Rinko (Phlegmatic).
- Gilligan Cut: When Yuka suggests taking advantage of the "Groundhog Day" Loop in Episode 12 for a second chance at the idol audition.Yuka: We've done it once, so I won't trip this time! It's perfect!
[cut to Yuka crying outside, in the exact same pose as the first time]
Natsumi: At least you didn't trip this time.
Saki: I never thought you of all people could forget what move to do.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: The last episode. With the girls having Ripple Effect-Proof Memory and Rinko's mom somewhat as well.
- Hard Head: Koharu, after Natsumi hurls a bucket at her.
- Help Yourself In The Past: More like your past selves who traveled to the future in episode 10
- Hollywood Hype Machine: In-universe Japanese variant. Four Seasons used to be all over the media but now only their most devoted fans remember them (Like Yuka).
- Hot Springs Episode: almost half of episode 9 has the for girls in an open air bath
- Idol Singer:
- The series is basically a vehicle for the real-life idol group Sphere. References to idols pop up frequently, though it remains to be seen if this ever actually factors into the plot.
- The idol group Four Seasons are Yuka's favorite musicians (though nobody else seems to remember them or thinks they broke up).
- Kissing Cousins: Yuka's senpai Takashi is apparently also her cousin.
- Miko: Rinko works at her family's shrine, where the rock is located.
- Off-Model: Constantly, including several instances of characters having six fingers.
- Product Placement: Lawson is the show's main sponsor, and the girls often hang out at a local Lawson convenience store.
- Real-Place Background: Shimoda is an existing town in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture, and is rendered in painstaking detail.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Natsumi makes this one with Saki near the end of Episode 8. Natsumi tells Saki to be honest with herself of not wanting to move, to the point where it almost ends in a love confession by Natsumi. Sadly, she is interrupted by Yuka.
- Scenery Porn: Shimoda is located on Japan's extremely scenic Izu peninsula, which gets milked for all its panoramic splendor.
- Schoolgirl Lesbians: Lots of ship teasing with Natsumi and Saki. Natsumi's orientation seems confirmed by the body-swap episode when Rin suggests Natsumi might like to swap with one of the members of The Four Seasons so she could ... get closer to the lead singer. Cue yurific Imagine Spot.
- Schoolgirl Series
- Seinen: The manga runs in Square Enix's Seinen magazine.
- Sick Episode: Episode 5.
- They Would Cut You Up: Rinko's explanation to Yuka as the reason why they can't tell anyone about the abilities the rock can give them.
- Title Drop: It turns out that "Natsuiro Kiseki" is the title of the book Rinko wrote during the timeskip, based on the events they experienced with the magical rock.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Natsumi/Saki and Koharu/Chiharu.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: This happens when Yuka gets seasick in Episode 8.
- Wham Line: A minor one in the last episode. While Rinko seems to notice that her mother doesn't use the exact same words to say goodbye to her every repeated morning, she doesn't realize how much she knows about what's been going on until she asks when they're planning to come back (from the time loop).