Natsuiro Kiseki

November 18, 2012

Let’s see. A quiet countryside town in Shimoda. A group of cute girls as best friends. One of them is moving away so they are going to spend their last summer together. Sounds pretty normal and nothing extraordinary, eh? Well, not if you include a wishing rock. A wishing what? For Natsuiro Kiseki, the tale of friendship between four friends in a sleepy town in summer may keep many of those who wish to seek blood, violence, action and ecchi fanservice away. To spice things up, that’s why there is this ‘miracle’ in the form of wishes that a certain rock at a shrine grants that it bestows on the girls as their bonds and friendship is tested and strengthened while they spend the remaining summer together. So what kind of ‘miracles’ would you be expecting? Oh, nothing much. Except maybe flying, body magnet, body swapping, cloning, invisibility, the little ghost of your past and yes, Groundhog Day.

For many of those who are watching this series, you might have already well known that this original anime series was supposed to spearhead the J-pop idol group, Sphere. They are an all-girls group consisting of 4 seiyuus: Aki Toyosaki, Haruka Tomatsu, Ayahi Takagi and Minako Kotobuki. It’s the first time that all 4 of them will be playing a leading role in an anime together. I’m not sure if this show will be similar to AKB0048, another anime that was created and based on that gigantic and popular pop idol group (because I haven’t seen this one yet). Don’t worry. This anime series isn’t really going to be classified under a musical genre whereby you’ll hear the girls popping out into a song every 5 minutes or so. No doubt that the characters they play aspire to be idols, you’ll hear some of their songs and dance moves in between. Hey, who wouldn’t want to replicate your idol’s move? Maybe you can improvise and come up with cooler moves on your own.

Episode 1
Natsumi Aizawa, Saki Mizukoshi, Yuka Hanaki and Rinko “Rin” Tamaki are putting their hands over a big rock at the shrine as they believed if the four of them wished for the same thing, that wish will come true. One summer morning Natsumi wakes up early for her tennis club practice but she is not amused her partner Saki didn’t show up. In fact she is in class as Yuka and Rin show her a limited edition CD from an idol group called Four Seasons as this is their latest single. Natsumi comes in to class to drag Saki to the court. She mentions about not coming to practice or even the club since they are going to be the main pair in next year’s tournament. Saki tells her she’s quitting and that she can become the club president. How’s that for a bombshell? Because of that, Saki and Natsumi haven’t talked since as the latter doesn’t consider Saki her friend anymore. The next day, Saki continues her streak of not showing up for practice. Then before class starts, they are surprised to see Saki coming in with the teacher. He makes an announcement that Saki will be transferring away. Now this is a bombshell. After class, Natsumi confronts her about never telling them about moving away to the outskirts of Tokyo. Well, she wasn’t considered her friend, right? Yes, but before that? Natsumi reminds her that it was her who wanted her to join the club and that they made a promise to go to the Nationals. However Saki says she doesn’t remember making such promise and this breaks Natsumi’s heart. Actually she would rather forget a promise if she can’t fulfil it. After club practice, Natsumi gets a startling message that Yuka has collapsed at the shrine. She rushed all over there to see her lying on the big rock. To her surprise, Yuka revives! Then Saki is also seen arriving, catching her breath. Looks like it’s a ploy by Yuka and Rin to make them reconcile by wishing on the rock.

Flashback 4 years ago when Rin introduced them to this rock that could make wishes come true. Though Saki was reluctant to believe it, the rest persuaded her to try it out. They wished to become idols together and well, though they didn’t become international stars, at least they won the local kids’ singing competition. I’m not sure if the other big dreams they wished (like performing at the Budokan) came true or not. I guess not. Why would they still be here then? So Yuka’s plan was to have the duo reconcile with the rock’s help before Saki’s moving. So when they start wishing, Natsumi and Saki are surprised to hear Yuka and Rin wishing to become idols. Weren’t they supposed to wish for them to reconcile? According to her, if their dream comes true, then they’ll all be friends again. Saki isn’t amused with this crap and tells Yuka to grow up since they are already mature enough to not believe in this kind of stuff. Also to quit forcing this childhood dream stuff on her. This hurtful statement makes Yuka cry (albeit crocodile tears). A heated argument between Natsumi and Saki ensues. It is broken up when Rin notices the blue sky and as they all look up in amazement, Rin wishes she wants to fly. In that magical moment, a bright light emits from the rock and the next thing the girls know, they’re floating in the sky! Natsumi realizes it was them all who wished for this together. The quartet watch with awe the bird eye’s view of the town while thinking back about the time they won the local competition together. When they float down and touch ground, it’s like the magic had disappeared because Saki returns to her unfriendly self and leaves for home.

Episode 2
Natsumi is doing morning exercise with her little brother Daiki. When she looks up at the sky, she remembers the flying incident and spaces out. She had to be ‘brought back down to earth’ by Daiki. Similarly, Saki jumps off her bed and lands on the ground with her feet. Her mom just walked in. So it’s her fault for not knocking. Natsumi’s mom learns she is fighting with Saki and hopes they would make up quickly. Natsumi and Saki see each other when they open the window (they’re neighbours) and aren’t happy. They draw the curtains close. I guess they’re still fighting. Rin finds Yuka making a hell lot of wishes at the big rock. Be a billionaire? Be slim? Become a model? That’s one long list she got there. Well, since it didn’t come true I can conclude she’s not really wishing from the bottom of her heart ;p. So as they sit together leaning their backs against the rock, they get the same thought that if Natsumi and Saki are one, they’d be unstoppable. Suddenly the effects of the wish rings and the next thing you know, Saki and Natsumi are suddenly drawn together! Something is pulling them close together with Natsumi crashing onto Saki in her room! And stuck like a fridge magnet! They can’t pull each other apart. Natsumi thinks this is the rock’s doing though Saki doesn’t believe. But when they think if Yuka is involved, then it might be possible. Natsumi borrows Saki’s clothes so that they could go out to confront her. Saki’s parents see them stuck together and are puzzled. Weren’t they fighting? Maybe they made up. Yuka and Rin must be thinking nothing really happened. Don’t look now because here comes Natsumi and Saki. They look mad. Very mad. Rin can see what’s coming and realizing the rock made their wish came true, she takes Yuka and run!

Run and run and run throughout the town. Chase and chase and chase throughout the town. At this point I thought Natsumi and Saki would make good partners in a three-legged-race seeing how in sync they are! Not bad keeping up the chase while being bound together! Yuka and Rin manage to hide and give them the slip but that is only temporary because when the duo start arguing and blaming each other, they turned busybodies to eavesdrop and this gave away their position and the chase continues. They pass Daiki who is out with his buddies, Yuusuke and Keita. Yuusuke mentions he saw the girls flying in the sky the other day but they don’t believe him. I also believe at this point Saki and Natsumi make a pair of good hurdle jumpers! See how they jump through the obstacles with ease and in sync! Of course you can’t outrun a pair of tennis players because they’ve got stamina. They close in and Rin is really getting scared. In a desperate attempt to let Yuka get away, she jumps on them and explains about the wish. Yuka is so tired she didn’t see where she’s going and ends up cornering herself at the pier. Saki and Natsumi are going to grab her from both sides when the effects of the spell wear off and split them. This means that their momentum couldn’t make them stop in time and off the bridge they jump and into the sea. Yuka didn’t even know what’s happening. As they pick themselves up, Saki deduces that because they made up and their hearts thought of the same thing, the effect wore off. So being the true friends they are, they made up as Yuka and Rin join them. Yuka wants to go wishing on the rock but the rest would prefer to just ‘sleep’ here. Dead in the night, Yuusuke is doing research on a book on… Witches of the world?! Does he think the girls are one?

Episode 3
Daiki catches Natsumi by surprise when he asks about them flying so she panics and denies. Next day she calls her friends for an emergency meeting about somebody spotting them flying. Yuka is okay with it and in fact they should let everybody know. But Rin cautions if people know, the MIBs may kidnap and do hideous experiment on them. Wouldn’t want that, would you? Plus, Rin doesn’t want her shrine becoming a tourist attraction and likes it the sleepy way it is. Natsumi thinks they shouldn’t let everyone know this secret because she feels this is the rock’s secret gift to them. You could imagine what will happen if everybody is making a beeline just to get their wish come true. They agree to keep this rock a secret. So the problem now is Yuusuke. From what Natsumi heard from Daiki, he’s the kind of stubborn boy. Oh, and to return yesterday’s favour, Natsumi and Saki wish for Yuka and Rin to be stuck together. And they really got stuck like fridge magnets. But unlike them, they don’t really have sync. Have a nice day. They try to wish to undone themselves but it’s not working. Maybe you can’t wish another wish away? Yuusuke continues to persuade Daiki and Keita what he saw was real. He went on to explain about witches. In short, he thinks his sister is a descendent of a witch! Keita is not amused and pushes him down. Yuka and Rin help out cleaning Yuka’s inn that her mother runs. She thought it was nice of Rin to help but she says they’re stuck at the hips. She interprets that as being very good friends. See? How can people believe they flew? Yuka suggest shirking their duties and they almost come into Takashi Sano delivering stuff to the kitchen. They hide and Rin senses Yuka’s body reaction for this guy. Yuusuke is outside Daiki’s house but decides to not go in. Then she sees Saki leaving and tails her. Of course she knows and lures him in to scare him. It got a little too far because he tripped and fell. Feeling guilty, Saki helps get some anti-septic for his wounds since her parents work in a hospital nearby. Yuusuke is straight to ask if she is a witch because he saw them flying from his hideout base. Of course she denies. Then walking along, she learns he might be seeing things or just dreaming. He wanted to apologize to Daiki but couldn’t bring himself to it seeing he can’t get that flying image out of his mind.

Yuka and Rin escape and meet Daiki. They learn he and Yuusuke are fighting. But it’s not the part he called his sister a witch that he’s upset about. It’s because he lied like that. Sure he may be an occult freak but he’s not the type to lie. Yuka tells to believe in him then because they’re friends. But flying? Well, when it comes down to friends and common sense, she’d choose the former. Rin agrees and in that instant, the magnetic effect comes undone. So the girls meet up and wonder how they should make the boys reconcile. Yuka thinks they should just show them that they fly and this will make Yuusuke not a liar. Natsumi isn’t happy with this plan since she doesn’t want to be labelled a witch. Saki says she’ll play the witch’s role and just made the trio fly. It’ll work since she’ll be moving away soon and won’t have any problems if they promise to keep it a secret. She feels bad for Yuusuke trying to convince himself he is just dreaming. That night when Yuusuke finishes his tuition class, Saki pops up and admits she is a witch and sometimes takes her friends flying. She can demonstrate flying if he promises to keep it a secret and to meet 2 days at the same spot where he saw them. If he wants to, he can bring a friend. Yuusuke is up to it. On that day, I guess to look like the part, the girls dress Saki in a witch’s outfit. Yuusuke brings Daiki, happy to make him believe what he saw. When the girls start wishing on the rock, nothing happens. Saki starts to panic and grows desperate. They’re not flying. Saki rushes to Yuusuke and is disheartened to see his disappointed face. In tears, she apologizes and explains she is leaving this town soon and the reason she did this was to have them make up. Yuusuke just says goodbye and continue his trudge. She felt sad that she couldn’t do anything but Natsumi says on the contrary to leave it to Daiki. He’ll know what to do. Daiki runs up to Yuusuke’s side and starts ‘banging’ into him. He does the same. In no time, the boys are back on good terms. In the end though Daiki couldn’t see how his sister can pull off that flying feat. But he is grateful that he is able to make up with Yuusuke and writes in his picture diary that he thought today it wouldn’t be strange to see girls fly.

Episode 4
Yuka wakes up morning and waltzes into the kitchen. She really wakes up when she sees Takashi there. I think she’s panicking. Yeah, she’s hiding. Huh? So they sit down and chat and Takashi asks when Saki is moving. Yuka talks to Rin about this and as explained, Takashi is Yuka’s cousin and she really likes him. However as we see it, he may have feelings for Saki. Yuka wished how she was more like Saki. Oh, guess what? Next thing she knows, a tennis ball comes flying straight into her face! Yuka realizes she is in Saki’s body! She’s bloody happy about it. This means Saki is in Yuka’s body, right? Yeah, she’s not happy that troublemaker did something again. Oh, pity Rin… This is worse than body magnet, eh? Even though Yuka is Saki, she is still nervous trying to talk to Takashi. To the point it looks unnatural. Anyway she manages to get permission to text him. Of course Natsumi doesn’t approve of her plan to date him because she doesn’t need to pretend to be Saki. Yuka plays psychology on Natsumi’s mind asking her if there is somebody she likes to be. Say, a certain idol in Four Seasons? Sounds pretty good, right? And with Saki (remember, in Yuka’s body) just coming in, I guess it was a short-lived dream, eh? So the quartet are at the rock and are going to wish for things to return to normal. Didn’t work. Sure Yuka isn’t sabotaging this? Wish harder. Harder! HARDER! Well, Saki and Yuka didn’t switch back but… Natsumi and Rinko switched bodies!!! Confused who is who now? Rin’s mother comes by and not wanting her to find out about the rock or confusion, Natsumi (in Rin’s body goes with her). That’s when Yuka gets the much anticipated text from Takashi asking her out tomorrow. To avoid suspicion, the girls stay at the respective homes based on the appearance of their outer bodies. Like Saki helping out with Yuka’s chores at the inn and she finds her body really unfit to do stuffs. In her room, she notices Yuka never changed since her room is filled with posters of Four Seasons. Then she gets a text from Yuka saying how she’ll be going out on a date with Takashi at the aquarium tomorrow and that they’ll switch back after her dream comes true. So hang in there. Must be the worst news Saki ever heard.

So the next morning, Saki and Natsumi desperately ring the doorbell to get sleepyhead Rin to stop Yuka’s plan. Too bad they missed the bus. But since she’s desperate, they’ll run there if they have to. Yuka’s body is so unfit, you know… So Yuka in Saki’s body is having the time of her life. She is able to get close to him. Her friends made it to the aquarium and look like stalkers spying on the couple. Yuka is adamant to prevent any untoward incidents. Like kissing. Don’t want somebody to do it with her body, eh? So Takashi and Yuka had fun the entire day at the aquarium. She brings up the topic of calling her by her first name. However she realizes he sees her as Saki and wants him to call her that. She starts crying. Takashi did just that and put his hands on her shoulders. Yuka confirms in this heart breaking moment that it is Saki whom Takashi likes. Then surprisingly it is Rin who pops up and brings Yuka away. Takashi is confused because, well, Yuka is Saki? Rin is Natsumi? Who? What? Outside, Rin makes Yuka feel better and at this point, the magic wears off and the girls return to their original bodies. Saki texts to Takashi that thanks to Yuka, this will be good memories and to take care. I guess that means she rejected him. Yuka jokes she’ll never be Saki but the rest say Yuka will always be Yuka. Then they race each other to the convenience store and the last one buys their drinks. Not fair! Yuka is so unfit… Get ready to pay!

Episode 5
Yuka is not happy that the store messed up her order of a Four Seasons’ poster. Yeah, she’s making a hell of a fuss that she’s probably the only fan in Japan who couldn’t get it. Cool it, cool it. The correct poster should arrive tomorrow. Yuka laments happening things are at Tokyo and maybe she could go live there. She asks Rin where she would like to live. Anywhere as long as it is with her. Next morning, Rin gets sick and couldn’t accompany Yuka to get her poster. She starts seeing visions of a whale swimming in the air! Yuka makes her way to her place and takes care of her since her parents are out for a committee meeting. She thinks of calling Natsumi and Saki to wish away her sickness at the rock but Rin doesn’t want to. Natsumi and Saki are practising their tennis when their seniors, Asano and Ishida tell them they have arranged a practice match with the team they lost to last year, Shibata and Mizuno. It’ll be good for them since it’ll be the last time they’ll play as a pair before Saki moves. Later they get a text about Rin’s sickness. They thought of visiting but they better leave her alone so she can rest better. They wonder if she could see that whale. As explained, Rin always sees a whale swimming whenever she gets sick. Yuka remembers the first time she did that back in kindergarten whereby she stood up and pointed up to the ceiling at a swimming whale that nobody else could see. Yuka and Rin watch a video of one of Four Seasons’ live concert and talk about the four of them always wanted and dreamt to be just like those idols and practised dancing. The next day, Rin is all better but Yuka catches her sickness! Rin meets up with Natsumi and Saki and they are amused because they thought idiots do not catch a cold. Rin wanted to visit her but the rest thought she shouldn’t risk catching the sickness again. The trio spend time together but it just doesn’t feel the same. Yeah, the clown of the group isn’t with them. Rin goes to the store not to pick up the poster but just to assure it is there so that she could go pick it up with Yuka another day.

Next day, the trio visit Yuka but her sister says she’s being ‘quarantined’. That bad, huh? It’s been four days… They are worried and talk about Yuka, the girl whom they always think of when something crazy happens and the one who is always thinking about them. Rin narrates when she first transferred here, everybody thought she was weird. The kids thought she was a liar when she pointed out a swimming whale in class. But Yuka defended her by saying she could see them too with Natsumi and Saki coming to her aid. In no time, that’s when the quartet became close friends ever since. They also found out that they all love Four Seasons, which was quite popular then. Then it hit them. They want to spend every moment with each other before Saki moves and rush to the rock to wish for Yuka’s sickness to go away. The less sick time she has, the more time they can spend together. At the rock, Rin hopes to keep this a secret since when she was sick, she refused this. Before they could make their wish, Yuka pops up. She’s healthier than ever. Seems when she got sick, her sister went overboard and took extreme measures not to spread the germs to guests by quarantine her and even took away her handphone (that’s why her friends didn’t hear any reply from her). Rin is so happy that she is brought to tears and hugs her. As they leave, Yuko cheekily comments she is glad to have stopped them or else they might have wished for something crazy. Look who is the one to talk! Then they all see the cloud shape of a whale in the sky. But I’m not sure if they really see it swimming like how Rin does.

Episode 6
Yuka and Rin are doing their summer homework while Natsumi and Saki are practising hard on their tennis for their match with Shibata-Mizuno pair. Of course when Yuka’s mother requests to help out with the inn, this gives Yuka an excuse to escape. Natsumi tires out at the end of the match with Asano and Ishida because the seniors seem to be hitting to her. Unlike Saki’s ball, her returns feel honest and easy to hit back. Yuka and Rin pick their friends up so that they could finish their homework together. But halfway Yuka changes her mind and wants to go karaoke as practice for a singing competition. Natsumi wants to sit this one out since her mom is away and needs to cook for Daiki. Oh God. Look at Yuka’s face. Seems like she has conjured up some sneaky plan again. And I bet it has something to do with the rock. Natsumi back home ponders about her seniors’ words. Daiki comes into the bath and is not amused big sister is taking a bath again. Huh? What? Natsumi leaves the bathroom but is puzzled her clothes are missing. Going back to her room, she is shocked to see herself! OMG! Two Natsumis! Twin?! Clone?! So she furiously calls Saki over. Can’t believe your eyes, eh? Yeah, I can’t tell which the real one is either. Both Natsumis question each other as they claim they are the real one. How can you beat yourself asking questions you yourself know? I guess this proves they’re both real, eh? Better keep it down or else Daiki may suspect and freak out. Which almost happened… So of course Natsumi calls Yuka and knows she is the main culprit but she can’t answer the phone as she is busy helping out with the inn. Can’t escape this time, eh?

But having two of herself is also good because while one is practising tennis, the other goes to complete her homework. The tennis Natsumi seems to be making more errors because she’s trying to change the way she hits the ball. Can she do it in a day before the practice match? Soon Saki leaves to help complete the homework and the tennis Natsumi practises by herself. That night after bath, the tennis Natsumi went to bed seeing she’s tired out after practice. The other Natsumi calls Saki to discuss about the way she plays tennis and to come up with a strategy. Next morning, this Natsumi realizes she has overslept and rushes all the way to school. The practice match has already begun and Natsumi is still making lots of errors. Watching Natsumi realizes she is just thinking about hitting the ball past the other team and not the game. She wants to go over there and tell her but her friends warn this might freak out the other people. Eventually Natsumi can’t stand her horrendous play and yells out how dumb she is. As this distracts everyone, the watching Natsumi suddenly disappears and back into the one playing tennis, leaving only her clothes behind. Feels good to be back as one, eh? Yeah, I don’t know how Yuka is going to fool the others of this ‘trick’. With both Natsumis combined, she could see a clearer picture of everything and wants to put that tactic she discussed with Saki to play. Though they clawed their way back, it wasn’t enough to bring them victory. But the seniors and opponents are impressed and had fun playing them. Shibata and Mizuno would gladly play them again. That night the quartet visit the Obon festival and write their wishes on glass lanterns. Yuka still wishes for them to become idols and cheekily says one don’t usually experience splitting into 2 every day. Natsumi hits back maybe she should wish for her to be an animal. Rin thought that sounded like fun. She doesn’t mind being a wombat. Wombat?

Episode 7
The girls are practising their moves for the singing competition which is part of the Taikobashi festival. However Yuka keeps making mistakes so Natsumi wonders if she really did practice. Well, she did watch the videos. Isn’t that totally different? Unfazed, Yuka even thinks if worse comes to worst, they could just wish on the rock. Natsumi is not amused in that kind of cheating. Because of that, Natsumi and Yuka’s relationship strained a little and aren’t on talking terms. Later Rin suggests to Yuka that she practises at her place so that she could surprise Natsumi and Saki when she gets it down perfectly. Initially she thought of doing it at Yuka’s place but this is the busiest time of the year at her inn. Yeah, an excuse not to help out. Then Yuka realized something. She forgot her uniform for the competition! Thus she sneaks back into her room to get them. She gets spotted by her sister and makes a run! Takashi thought Yuka was really helping out with the errands but when he sees her sister chasing her, he realizes it’s the same old thing year after year. Yeah, Yuka is always missing at this point of time. The boggling part is that the unfit Yuka could outrun her big sister! It either shows how desperate Yuka is or big sister was just more unfit. Ironically she’s been working hard at the inn despite not doing any hard labour but really, she lost Yuka and is really catching hard her breath. Yuka is equally exhausted but at least she’s safe. Meanwhile Saki helps Natsumi put on the uniform and Saki notes how she never even thought of entering this competition when summer started. She believes this is going to be a wonderful memory. Then they reminisce about the time when they played water balloons. Yuka was always the first to run because she doesn’t want to get wet. And when she returned with a bigger water balloon for the enemy, she tripped and splashed it all over her friends. Own goal, I’d say.

Yuka is at Rin’s place watching DVDs of Four Seasons’ live concert and ready to practice some moves when it starts to rain heavily. Though the festival continues into the downpour Natsumi remembers a big clause on the poster of the singing competition. If it rains, the competition will be cancelled. Oh no. Will this be good news for Yuka as she doesn’t have to practice anymore? Rin wants to wish on the rock to stop the rain. While at it, Yuka thought they should also wish to win the competition. However Rin doesn’t want that because she wants to really win it with them on their own. That way it’ll be the best memories. Rin’s mom knows her daughter and friends are in a singing competition and lets them know of a way to stop the rain. Natsumi and Saki also have the same idea of stopping the rain as they rush down to the rock. However Natsumi still has her doubts and her heart undecided. Suddenly the rain stops and the sky clears up. Thinking it’s Yuka and Rin’s doing, they make haste and see the duo by the rock. So the singing competition resumes and the quartet strut their stuff on stage. In the end, they won first place. As Yuka brags about their big dream and first step to become real idols, Natsumi and Saki ask Rin if they really wished on the rock to stop the rain. That’s only half true. While Rin acknowledges she did want the rain to stop, she didn’t wish on the rock. Her mom thought her how to make teruterubozus (symbolizing themselves) and when they wished for it, the rain just went away. Miracle or coincidence? You decide. And Yuka continues to rant away about passing their next audition to debut as real idols. I know it’s good to dream big…

Episode 8
The friends plan for a trip. Bali? Can they afford that? Okinawa? Rin’s afraid of planes. Hokkaido? But Saki isn’t in the mood for trips. She’s moving, right? Natsumi suggests they go to Tokyo to see where she’ll move. However Saki says her place isn’t really in Tokyo itself but Miyakejima, an island that will take 11 hours by boat from the mainland! Saki has this dream whereby her friends interact with each other in class like as though she doesn’t exist anymore. Feels scary, huh? So the friends buy swimsuits and pack their stuffs ready for the big trip. Rin’s bag is the smallest since mom advises her in travelling light. While Natsumi and Saki’s bag are considerably of reasonable size, Yuka’s luggage… I thought she was eloping! Haha! They sit the train to Tokyo and like the country bumpkins they are, get awed by the majestic sight of Tokyo Tower. Then the board the ship towards the island. Putting their bags down, they go explore the ship. Yuka as usual being her cheeky self while Natsumi, I don’t know she’s afraid of ghosts. So if you’re wondering why Yuka needs a damn big bag, behold! She brought snacks! Saki didn’t want it but Yuka pesters her so she gives into the temptation. As the night is still young, Yuka suggests doing things that school field trips usually do. Pillow fights? Rejected. Kimodameshi (test of courage)? Not for Natsumi. Love story? Okay, they’ll go with that but Saki and Natsumi say they don’t have any particular person they like. Really? More junk in Yuka’s bag because she brought games. However the announcer says the lights will be put out soon and that the waves will be a little choppy. Out the light goes and Yuka scares Natsumi by using the light of her handphone against her face! Like a ghost! I hope they don’t bother the other passengers. Yuka shows them a pack of balloons she found while looking for her swimsuit. Brings back memories of their water balloon fight. Suddenly Yuka feels seasick! She’s going to hurl! Can she hold on?! CAN SHE?! I’m not sure what happened next. Anyway Saki gets this weird dream that again her pals are interacting in class as though she was never there. Come morning, Natsumi notices Saki has been gloomy ever since they left Shimoda. She asks if she really wants to move. Her parents could move while she stays behind and live at her place. Saki says there is nothing she can do about it since it’s her dad’s dream to work in a hospital on an island. Natsumi is upset that she gives up easily without trying. If she can’t tell her dad that she doesn’t want to move, she’ll tell him herself instead. Once they reach Miyakejima, the first thing Yuka did was to rush and swim in the ocean! She got what she deserved because without warming up, her leg got cramped and is drowning. If not for the local kid dragging her out, it could’ve been fatal. The girls thank and apologize for the incident but he is not amused and says that’s why he hates people from the mainland.

Episode 9
The girls make their way to the inn and pass by the school Saki will be schooling in. At the inn, they are surprised to see that local kid greeting them. But wait! Now that kid has got humungous boobs! As explained, she is Chiharu Okiyama and the kid they met is her younger twin Koharu. Upon knowing they are from Shimoda, Chiharu gets excited because they know a doctor from there. Not only that, everybody on this island knows Saki’s father. They are happy things will get much better with him around. News spread like wildfire as the other kids soon come knocking on their door wanting to meet the doctor’s daughter. Natsumi is not amused they’re treating Saki like an exhibit and takes her and run to the hotspring where Yuka and Rin are dipping. Saki seems to be a little dizzy from staying in the water and this has her friends panic. She’s nose bleeding too! Koharu heard a commotion and opened the door. Of course the girls get embarrassed and Natsumi throws the bucket, straight into that kid’s face! Total knockout! However they realize Saki is missing. Actually she isn’t missing. She turned invisible! Gosh! How did that happen? They can see or hear her! At least she can write to communicate. Rin points out the familiar looking rock in the middle of the hotspring may be a cousin to the wishing rock back home. Rocks have cousins? But we did saw the effect when the girls somewhat made a wish. Chiharu comes to see what’s wrong and finds Koharu out cold. Natsumi says Koharu tried to be a peeping tom. Chiharu clears the air that Koharu is a girl. EEEEHHHH???!!! Well, she is her younger twin sister but how come the disparaging difference in boob size?! I don’t know how but Saki continues to join her friends albeit being invisible, she writes down whenever she needs to say something. But the most mind boggling part is that she’s walking around naked! I know putting on clothes will freak others out thinking there’s a ghost but really, doesn’t she feel cold or hot naked in 2/3 of the episode? That night when the visible trio can’t sleep. They discuss why Saki turned invisible and shouldn’t she turn back upon realizing Koharu is a girl. But more importantly, Rin can tell Saki doesn’t know what to do. Natsumi knows she doesn’t want to move and Saki won’t say it. She mentions about wanting her to stay but Yuka tries to reason that she can’t keep Saki for herself forever and it’s not like she’ll be gone forever and can visit her whenever they want. Yeah, how long did it take them from Shimoda to Miyakejima? It won’t be the same anymore knowing Saki won’t be at her window each time she looks out hers. So being invisible has its good points too. Saki heard it all without raising any alarm.

Next day Chiharu wants to take them tour the island but can’t help where Saki is. She went for a walk. I’m sure they’ll be running out of excuses of her no-show. Anyway Saki wants them to go and she’ll tag along invisibly. Thus the girls visit several places on the island and all the islanders are friendly. Some even mistook Natsumi as the doctor’s daughter. Yeah, they really love to see him. They want to see where Saki’s father’s clinic is and though it’ll be near their inn, it’s a long way from where they are now and Chiharu calls a taxi.  Oh no. To avoid suspicions, Saki sits on Yuka’s lap. So heavy… Oops. The girls are thrilled with the simple clinic when Koharu barges in and doesn’t want them to touch anything because they’re outsiders. Chiharu explains there once used to be an old doctor here but he got too old to work and has retired to live with his son in the main island. But they’ve got a replacement in one of his former students, which is Saki’s dad to continue to take care of things. Koharu is sad because the old doctor was here before he was born. He thought him everything and promised he could take care of everyone. He is sad that won’t happened anymore (I guess he overworked and had to retire). But what Koharu doesn’t get is why everyone doesn’t feel sad about the old doctor’s departure. Chiharu of course tells him everyone is sad and it’s hard to say goodbye but hopes the new doctor is as good as they say. Natsumi assures them Saki’s father is a good doctor because he is her friend’s dad. Chiharu takes them to a final place. A classroom in school whereby it is a panorama scenic view of the ocean. At that point, Saki turns visible. Still naked! Thankfully Natsumi has brought extra clothes with her. Then they have Saki practise a mock self introduction and Koharu makes up with her. The next day, the girls depart from the island and are glad they came here. They plan their next trip since they don’t have much time before Saki moves. Where does she want to go next? Anywhere as long as it is with them.

Episode 10
While looking through the photo albums, Saki is surprised to see a cute photo of herself sleeping. Guess who took that photo? Yuka is going to get it! Because there’ll be a typhoon today, the girls remember there was once they went out to play and couldn’t get home due to it. They don’t really know whose fault was it because on that day Natsumi wanted to go explore a haunted hotel, Saki fought with some punks, Rinko got lost and they went looking for her. Something like that. Since they can’t remember exactly, they wish upon the rock. Do they remember anything? Well, Yuka remembers she hasn’t done her homework yet! After they leave, the effect of the wish from the rock is seen. Back home, Natsumi is surprised to see her younger version of herself rushing out. Is she seeing things? Apparently not. Saki is in confrontation of her mini self. This little girl is feisty because she takes out her nunchukus and whacks big Saki and sprayed pepper spray all over her face, chasing her out of her own house! Even Yuka and Rin got a surprise when their mini twins ran pass them. Yuka’s mom thought it was Rin’s cousin who looked very much like her when she’s young. Oh, you don’t know… The big girls realize the mini girls are them from 4 years ago because they wished to remember what happened that day. The problem is that they don’t know this is 4 years later! But it won’t ring any alarm bells because this place didn’t change much in the past 4 years. So the big girls tail the mini girls (to find out who gets the most blame) and they start to remember bits of it. Seems Natsumi then wanted to go ghost hunting and decided to do so at this rumoured abandoned hotel and brought weapons. Including talisman. But of course. Both sides almost ran into Natsumi’s mother but manage to give her the slip. Then they remember a typhoon on this day. Bits of memories had them remember they’ll be alright because ghosts saved them. Say what?! But ghosts don’t exist, right? That’s why they need to follow them and find out the truth. As the mini girls walk through the dark corridors, they freak out upon seeing a ghost! Actually it’s big Rin. They run away but mini Rin trips and got separated from the rest. Big Rin tries to calm her down and say she is her but she’s too busy throwing ineffective talisman. Oh wait, they aren’t. Handmade tickets? Soon both sides of the girls reunite but the mini girls own their big counterparts by attacking them with weapons! How embarrassing! Big Saki got hit but mini Saki’s nunchukus again. Yuka launches a plastic bottle missile. Enough to send the big ones retreating and got locked in a room! Way to go! Mini girls rock!

Inside the room, big Rin remembers why she came here. Seems there is a stage at a corner of this room. They remember after winning their first singing competition, they were filled with confidence. Rin even made handmade tickets in anticipation of their own concert. At the rock, they think they need 4 years of practice and take lessons before they can debut. They wonder how they’ll be like in 4 years time and Yuka suggested this stage corner at the hotel. Unknowingly, they set off the wishing effect of the rock. So now 4 years down the road, the big girls gather on stage to sing their song. The mini girls heard the good singing. Since the typhoon is building up, both sides decide to head back. But the big girls remember their younger selves took the dangerous road by the ocean. True enough, they are holding on to the edge while the violent waves threaten to drag them in. Mini Natsumi has no strength to pull them up when the big ones arrive and pull them all to safety. As they take shelter at the bus stop, they thank their counterparts and mini Saki thinks she has figured out who they are (Four Season?). Big Saki hushes her and says she’ll know one day but not right now. Then the big girls disappear before their eyes! What does this mean? They’re ghosts! WARGH!!! So this is how Natsumi got scared of ghosts. But those ghosts were really good at singing. Then the girls notice they have received many miscalls from their worried parents. They rush home and each got a very good ticking off from their parents. So back to our big girls, they actually didn’t disappear. They just went back to their time so I think from their perspective the little ones are the ones who ‘disappeared’. Rin mentions she was serious of wanting to become like Four Seasons and Yuka shows them the application form for the audition she’s got. Seems they got through the selections. Wow that’s great. Yuka notes it’ll be their last memory together.

Episode 11
Today is the day the girls will depart for Tokyo for their audition. Are you ready?! Yeah, they’ve been practising hard since. Even Yuka. So ARE YOU READY?! Since they arrive early, Yuka suggests they practice. Wait. This coming from Yuka? Unbelievable. She even suggests minor changes to some parts. At the end of their practice, the park goers applause their wonderful do. Inside the audition building, the girls are amazed to see so many audition hopefuls. Yuka accidentally bumps into a girl and though she apologizes, the girl remains cold, unfriendly and worse, ignored her. Suddenly something overcame Yuka. She’s starting to feel the pressure and wants to chicken out! For real! Her friends calm her and give her encouragement. Think back to the things they did all summer. This would be just another one of those crazy days. As they wait for their turn, the obnoxious girl came out from the audition room and loudly breaks down into tears! Gosh. I know she didn’t pass but this is sure demoralizing for the others. Soon the quartet is next and the judges ask them a series of questions. Man, it felt like an interview to get a job or into college! From their personal life to what they did for this audition. Then the final question, what happens if only one of them passed. Yuka panics but Saki and Rin were calm and answered confidently they will congratulate her and keep on practising for the next audition so she could keep up with her. I’m not sure if acting is part of the ‘interview’ but it finally gets down to the dance part. The practice pays off but Yuka slips and falls, though she manages to get back on her feet.

In the aftermath, Yuka is near inconsolable. She regrets not practising enough (see how now?). Not even consoling from her friends could do justice. Though this isn’t going to be their last chance whatsoever, Yuka says Saki will already be transferred out before the next time. That’s why if they passed this audition and become idols, they could be with Saki forever. That’s why she even wished on the rock that all 4 of them could become idols together. So no use crying over spilt milk now. What’s done is done. The girls go sightseeing and reminisce the things they did for summer. Don’t remind about the homework, okay. But reality soon hits them especially Natsumi because the topic shifts to Saki’s transfer and it’s getting imminent. She feels sad because the scenery from her room window will be different. Despite Yuka’s suggestion of modern technology like airplane and handphone connecting everybody together, but it’s just not the same. Natsumi wishes summer vacation will never end. Leave it to Yuka to lighten up everybody’s mood. Since when did Saki become their visuals leader? After taking a bath at the inn, Natsumi catches fever. It’s probably the tiredness catching up to her. As she rests in her bed, Natsumi really doesn’t want Saki to go. Is that the fever talking? She really wished this summer would go on forever and ever. Next morning when she wakes up, she is feeling fine but is puzzled she is back in her own room. Then she gets a panic call from Yuka that today is the audition day! And something about yesterday is today and today become yesterday. So which day is it? Well, checking their schedule, today indeed is the audition day. Gone back in time? Just a dream? Or they screw up their schedule somewhere.

Episode 12
So the girls gather preparing to head for Tokyo and ponder what happened. Rin thinks today is the second day of yesterday because her mother said a different sentence when she left home compared to yesterday. Yuka takes this as another chance to do better at the audition. It’s like they’ve been given another shot. However… History repeated itself. Not exactly. While Yuka didn’t slip this time, she forgot her moves. That regret feeling again… Then they pass by a shrine where they talked ‘yesterday’ and realize there is a similar rock nearby! Rin says it’s another one of its cousin? How many cousins does this rock have? Lots, apparently. Although they didn’t touch this rock, there is a notice that says all other rocks in this shrine are cut from this one. Well, that explains how their wish came true. Now the question is what they wished for. Think, think and think… Then they realize, they wished for an endless summer. Next morning. Natsumi opens her eyes. Back in her room. So it’s confirmed. It’s going to be Groundhog Day. I guess when you’re going to repeat the same day all over again, might as well do something different, eh? So Yuka suggests going to the beach to relief stress, among the many more other activities they’ll be doing throughout the same day. Longest day ever. Haha. Rin and Natsumi’s mother meet up and talk about things. When Natsumi’s mom mentions her daughter saying that this audition is their last memory with Saki this summer, Rin’s mom notes she’s been feeling something that’s been bothering her for a while. So the loop continues. They have fun every day. Till one morning Rin’s mom asks Rin before her departure, “When are you four coming back?”. So the girls know they can’t leave things as it is now and need to end the wish. They can’t cancel or overwrite their wish, so how? Yuka suggests going to the audition since if they don’t have anything more to do, the wish will end. Guess what? Finally Yuka got all her moves right and perfect! Wow! Practice do make perfect. Many loops for Yuka’s case. At the inn, the girls try to stay up past midnight to see what happens. When the clock strikes 12, it’s like somebody hit the big rewind button and before Natsumi knows it, she’s wide awake back on her own bed at home. So unreal, eh?

The girls hurry to the rock as Rin has figured things out. They need to end everything. Say goodbye to the miracle the rock gave them. That is what her mother meant by ‘coming home’. The girls get ready to make that wish but Natsumi seems reluctant because she feels kind of sad. But as Saki puts it, if they don’t end it, it won’t be a memory. Thanks to them, this has been an amazing summer. Thus when the girls wish goodbye to the miracle, a little impact blows them off their feet. To find out if it really worked, they’ll need to wait till the day ends. So when the sun is up, the girls prepare to leave for the audition in Tokyo and this time Rin’s mom says to come home soon. So the audition, the sightseeing (I wonder how many times they’ve been awed by the Skytree. It’s kinda funny), Natsumi’s fever. Everything that happened before happens again. Now it’s the moment of truth. Next morning when Natsumi opens her eyes, she finds herself sleeping with her friends at the inn. Hooray! Time is back on track! With that, their summer vacation miracle ended. The girls return to Shimoda to help clean Saki’s house and pack her stuffs. Gathering one last time at the rock, though it’s a shame they didn’t pass the audition, they note they can always go for another try. As narrated the rock doesn’t grant them anymore miracles but the quartet aren’t wishing for a miracle this time. It’s a wish that they’ll all stay as best friends forever. I think that wish has always been true.

OVA
This 7-minute OVA of course came with the DVD. It is just an epilogue about the four friends getting together again after 4 years at the big rock. Don’t expect to see any miracles here as this is just all talk and nothing more. With Saki returning to Shimoda, the friends catch up on the developments among each other. Seems Yuka has become a TV idol with lots of fans to boot (as mentioned she passed a major audition 2 years ago but it brought back horrifying memories Yuka doesn’t want to remember), Natsumi herself is popular enough to have admirers from both side of the gender at high school, Saki thinks of becoming a doctor after watching her dad treat patients and felt she wanted to do something in this line, Rin wants to study folklore to go chasing mysteries around the globe (thanks to the mysteries of the wishing rock that spurred her interest), Natsumi still doesn’t have plans for her future despite mom advising her to go to college, if that’s the case Yuka suggests Natsumi to be an idol to pay her college fees, Rin got an honourable mention from a novel she submitted using themselves as the main characters based on their adventures 4 years ago and Yuka suggests that all 4 of them could go on TV since her producer did mention about that. That way, she thinks it will lead them to become an idol unit. Rin notes that they haven’t wished on the big rock since but wonders if it will grant anything else. Rin sends Saki the manuscript for her book. Guess what the title is? Yup. Summer Coloured Miracle.

Friends For All Seasons
Yeah, it was nice end. It was fun seeing the girls hang out with each other and the little ‘sci-fi’ events made each episode a little more interesting to watch. Despite the ‘troubles’ that they went through with the wish, you can say that it was good experience. I mean, how often do you get to swap bodies, turn invisible or stick onto each other’s body and give a new meaning to friendship of sticking with each other no matter what. Yeah, nothing can pry us apart. And I mean absolutely nothing. Heh. It was also good experience in the sense that the girls get to spend their last summer vacation together in a very meaningful way. Because a friend of theirs will be transferring out and they can’t see her as often as they want to, it’s like they will have to spend summer in a way as though it is their last day on Earth. Live life to the fullest. That I think is what the subtle meaning of this show is about. Cherish your friendship for good friends are hard to find. Though one can go on and make new friends and it is good to have many more friends but those you have made first and been with since the early days of your childhood, those kind of friends hold special meaning and bond for the rest of your life. Thus if Saki was never going to transfer away, it would have been another boring summer doing the usual things, nothing out of the ordinary. Therefore the girls are forced to think how to spend each day to the fullest while making up, burying the hatchet and leaving behind no regrets. Then you move on.

Of course when you are having fun doing the things you like with the people you love, you would want this time to stop and sometimes to go on like this forever. However as we have seen in the final episode, we can learn a special lesson from the endless loop. No doubt that we see the girls have fun all the way and the way they wanted it. But when you have too much of something, the meaning behind it all is lost. It dilutes that special feeling of why you want to do something so much in the first place. Imagine this. If the Olympics were held twice every year instead once every 4 years, the event won’t feel exclusive anymore because it’s being held too often. The competitiveness to strive to do one’s best is lesser because if you don’t win the gold this time round, you can wait in the next, say, 6 months instead of 4 years. Therefore when Natsumi was reluctant to have this special time together stopped, Saki was right to say it only becomes special and dear in your heart once it becomes memories. It is because she feels sad, happy, fun, irritated, wanting and more because she knows she won’t get to do all that as frequent again. The more intense those nostalgic feelings are, the more precious it shows those feelings and memories are. It is proof that they have lived, done all that and how much they loved each other. Side note: I thought for the Groundhog Day arc, it brought back terrifying memories of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s Endless Eight arc. Thankfully we viewers don’t have to go through all that repeating crap again. Thousands of times! I wonder how many times the girls lived through the same day. For a person like Yuka, she can have the same fun thousands of times and still not get bored.

I guess in every group, you need to have the ‘troublemaker’ or the lively and hyperactive one and Yuka definitely fits this bill. Without her, the gang wouldn’t be as fun and dynamic because of her crazy ideas. She’s the kind of person that leaps before she thinks. Always putting on a cheery face and her joyful exterior may lead others to think she’s kind of a resident airhead, she wants to have fun rather than work hard (her absence streak at her inn during busy or non-busy periods is absolute proof). She isn’t perfect though. The part where she chickened out for real shows that she really cracks under pressure. Some may say she’s just all talk and no essence. I mean, she is the one who talks and dreams big of becoming an idol, but when faced with the real situation, it’s like she’ll feels her life is too big to handle such a big destiny. Despite getting her friends into trouble with some of her crazy wishes and no-brainer comments, she is the one that glues them all together. You can’t hate this girl. Sometimes she says the right things, sometimes she says the wrong things but it tugs your heart. Side note: If Yuka is the most unfit among the girls, where did she get so much energy in being cheeky and always wanting to have fun? Maybe it’s like having a different stomach for dessert. She has different energy storing for different activities she wants to do. Rin feels like a dreamer girl because of her monotonous expression. If not, the way she speaks does make her sound tired as though she doesn’t have enough sleep. Speaking of which, she did admit she’s a heavy sleeper and will need 5 alarm clocks to wake up if she ever becomes a busy idol. With this fact that among the girls she is somewhat a little mysterious because you don’t really know what she is thinking. I mean, how many people you know could see ‘whales’ when they become sick? At least I don’t see demons. Touch wood! In the eyes of others, the way she acts may be deemed ‘slow’ and a weirdo but that’s why it’s good she has friends like Yuka and co who see pass her exterior. Tomboyish and stubborn Natsumi is a responsible girl while Saki may look like a composed and cool beauty, deep down she’s also a passionate girl. She just doesn’t express as much (and honest) as Yuka.

Since the series focuses on the quartet, sometimes I’ve been wondering about the other minor characters. So what happened to Takashi? I mean, he still continues to deliver stuffs to Yuka’s inn but what I meant was about the love relationship. No doubt Saki ended it by rejecting him but does that mean he is okay and accepted it? What about Yuka? I am sure that she still harbours feelings for him unless she too has given up hope that he will never look at her as another woman and will be just as far as his cousin. After that failed ploy to have Yuusuke and Daiki make up, does Yuusuke still believe Saki is a witch? I mean, as an occult freak, you can’t just give up after one failure and no-show, right? Perhaps the most important part is that he and Daiki became friends again. Whether his sister’s friend is a witch or magical girl, it’s better to believe in the magic of friendship. As for Rin’s mom, it is greatly hinted that she too knows the effects of the rock (since it was mentioned that she was the one who introduced it to Rin) and perhaps what the girls are wishing with it. She just lets them be and just watches over them. After all, you discover a lot of things when you experience and do it yourself, right? Chiharu and Koharu may be twins but they are like day and night. See the huge difference in their boob size is already a point. Maybe they’re unidentical twins. Koharu just like most of us wouldn’t want things to change when we are so comfortable with it. But as in reality, nothing lasts forever so we have to face them, accept it and move on. Give new things a chance. This is the same dilemma Natsumi and her friends were facing since knowing Saki will be moving away. So in the end Natsumi didn’t really talk to Saki’s dad into letting her best friend stay behind. Can’t keep her all for herself, can’t she?

Sometimes the workings of the wishing rock baffle me. How does it really grant wishes? Though it is only exclusive to them, at times it works when all four of them wish the same thing with all their hearts and at other times it doesn’t. For instance when Natsumi and Saki wanted to get back at Yuka and Rin for sticking them together, all it takes was just the duo to make the wish to exact the revenge. Natsumi and Rin certainly didn’t want to swap bodies but they did. Then how does the effect end? It is highly speculated that it does when the wish comes true. But if you look at the body swapping case, what wish was it that came true before the girls swap back to their original bodies? Well, wishing rocks do work in mysterious ways. It makes the rock feel like as though it is a living thing because sometimes when the girls earnestly make a wish, it doesn’t come true or take effect. It’s like the rock is being fickle and picky in granting the wishes they want. I guess this is partly good because if it really grants each and every of their wish, it would have led to massive abuse (Yuka is the first thing that comes to mind). If it was so easy to get what they want, they don’t even need to put in any effort. That defeats a lot of purpose. So by selectively granting certain wishes, in the process the girls get to learn a thing or two. Thus that’s why I felt the rock is like some living sage instead of a mindless wish granting machine. Therefore the girls didn’t become instant idols because I don’t think it’s right to take the easy way out. If they’re going to be that, might as well put in lots of efforts, sweat and tears. When the results come out, they can be proud of their own achievement instead of relying on divine intervention. The thought about rocks having cousins, I think every rock on this face of this planet is related, if not just one giant boulder. Hey, they come from the same substance that made planet Earth, right? Just like water in the ocean, lakes and rivers. They may be from different places but actually are the same body of liquid, right? During the time paradox arc (facing off with their younger selves), I just had this faint thought that what if Four Seasons are actually them! But I get the feeling they aren’t because, how can the same person from different times be at the same time together? Oh wait. That just happened for the girls, right? And if you want to think further about that sci-fi effect about not meeting oneself, shouldn’t that be a big no-no? Because I read somewhere you’d vanish if you do so. Now where did I get that idea…  And when the girls are young, it didn’t cross their mind how similar their bigger counterparts are or that they may be their future selves? Maybe they aren’t into sci-fi…

Recently I’ve been noticing and saying that Aki Toyosaki is moving away from voicing stereotypic roles as airhead girls (from my point of view, that is). Her role as Rin here, I won’t say her character is a total airhead but it’s just the sleepy and dreamy look she has. It needs a little use to getting to since she is voicing a character which sounds monotonous and lacks lots of emotion. And sound sleepy here. Heck, I thought Rinko was somewhat closely familiar to Nekogami Yaoyorozu’s Shamo. Coincidentally, this character is also voiced by her. Do I see a disturbing resemblance? Haruka Tomatsu liveliness and perkiness in voicing Yuka reminds me of her role as Lala in To Love-Ru. Just that she is no space alien with inventions that go wrong in this anime. Hmm… On an unrelated note, doesn’t Yuka have that uncanny resemblance to To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Saten? I’m not very familiar with the voices of Ayahi Takagi and Minako Kotobuki as Saki and Natsumi respectively so I can’t really compare. They both have voiced several anime roles. Ayahi Takagi did a variety of different character roles ranging from Noe from True Tears, Megumi from Special A, Mikako from Sora No Otoshimono and Mitsuba from Mitsudomoe while Minako Kotobuki would probably be known best for her role as Tsumugi in K-ON! and Yuuko in A Channel. Other casts include Mamoru Miyano as Takashi (Shinku in Dog Days), Ai Kayano as Chiharu (Menma in Ano Hi Mita No Hana No Namae Wo Bokutachi Wa Mada Shiranai), Yuka Terasaki as Koharu (Sasha in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Kei Shindou as Daiki (Kuro in Kodomo No Jikan), Mako as Yuusuke (Yurie in Kamichu), Miyuki Sawashiro as Natsumi’s mother (Mint in Galaxy Angel) and Ayumi Tsunematsu as Rin’s mother (Takako in Hanasaku Iroha). I don’t really hear much about Sphere’s music and the one I remember was Hanasaku Iroha’s Hazy. Well, what else can I say for the opening and ending themes that are sung by them? Just what you want to like any other J-pop groups. It doesn’t sound bad if you give it a chance. Though, the opening lines of the opening theme, Non Stop Road reminded me of John Denver’s Country Road. The ending theme is Ashita E Kaerimichi. Of course throughout the series there will be a number of insert songs featuring them. So if you’re a big fan of Sphere, I’m sure that the featured music will be a treat.

While this anime isn’t anything groundbreaking or offer anything that differentiates and sets itself apart from other similar animes that set in summer with a group of friends, at least it proves to be an enjoyable and decent watch. Hey, there are cute girls, right? Whether you believe in some of the miracles or not is entirely up to you. Sometimes such a miracle is just there to give you a push to have you do what it takes to achieve your goal. And perhaps sometimes screwing things up along the way. But the outcome and rest is up to you. Thus when a miracle comes your way, you should grab it for such miracles do not happen very often or every day. Okay, maybe little miracles do happen every day if you open your eyes around. You don’t need a miracle or a wishing rock to make friends. If wishing rocks do become a trend for people to pray for their wish whether it comes true or not, I fear that this might make people pray less to God for miracles. Oh heck, people will pray to just about anything if they want something. Somehow I have this feeling I should be careful with every rock that I see now. Even if it’s just a pebble by the road side. If I’m not careful with what I wish, I may end up getting more than what I bargained for. Who knows? A paradise harem filled with beautiful 2D girls. Hey, maybe that wish isn’t so bad after all.