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.
This legend was tested by a quartet of middle school girl 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 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: Lampshaded by 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).
- Genki Girl: Yuka is quite energetic.
- 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 four 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.
- Me's a Crowd: Downplayed with Natsumi and not even by her own will. Yuka seeing Natsumi put up with large amount of household chores wishes on the stone, that Natsumi didn't have to handle all the work alone. Cue a copy of Natsumi appearing out of nowhere. Hilarity Ensues.
- Miko: Rinko works at her family's shrine, where the rock is located.
- Product Placement: Lawson is the show's main sponsor, and the girls often hang out at a local Lawson convenience store.
- The Quiet One: Rinko doesnít tend to talk too much.
- Real-Place Background: Shimoda is an existing town in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture, and is rendered in painstaking detail.
- Scenery Porn: Shimoda is located on Japan's extremely scenic Izu peninsula, which gets milked for all its panoramic splendor.
- Schoolgirl Series: The four main characters are middle school girls.
- Seinen: The manga runs in Square Enix's Seinen magazine.
- She Is All Grown Up: The girls in the OVA have aged since the end of the anime, making this a Meta example.
- In Episode 5, Yuka doesn't get the Four Seasons poster that she asked for. Instead, she gets a free Mobile Suit Gundam 00 poster.
- In Episode 8, when the girls are shopping for swimsuits, there's a slightly obscured sign that looks like it reads "My-HiME".
- 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).