I’m going to go ahead and call this the most accurate representation of middle school girls I’ve ever seen in an anime. And that’s not a good thing.
Natsuiro Kiseki follows the adventures of four idol hopefuls in a rural Japanese town. (Such a novel concept!) The four girls each exhibit your typical female anime character tropes; there’s the green haired overly energetic Yuka, the Yuki Nagato wanna-be Rin, the sporty redhead Natsumi, and the bitchy blonde Saki.
The thing the series tries to use to set itself aside is the incorporation of a magical stone—yes, you heard me, a supernatural rock, to help the girls achieve their idol status. We don’t see much about their adventures in actually becoming an idol in this episode, but more so showing the how. Because of this “before” focus, we don’t really get any music, which is another draw of idol shows, so I can’t really even pass judgement on that. The plot is really nothing special, but is the kind of story that could easily be carried by moe factor and enjoyable characters.
Unfortunately, I don’t see Natsuiro being carried by the characters at all. At least from the first episode, I can’t find anything to like about anyone aside from Natsumi, and even with her it’s a stretch. We don’t really learn much about Rin, and her character is extraordinarily easy to overlook. She doesn’t have any of the moe that her typical trope characters have, and for this episode, it is almost exclusively the shadow of Yuka. Yuka is stupidly optimistic, but her constant insistance of “it’s just a phase, it’s just a phase” when Natsumi and Saki fight makes her very annoying. Her meddling in their affairs is very typical of someone her age, and as soon as things weren’t going her way, she broke down into tears.
I could write a whole page on Saki, our self-centered diva of the show who neglects her club duties and doesn’t tell her life-long friends that she’s moving to Tokyo for reasons she hasn’t specified yet. (I have a feeling they’re bad ones) She’s a huge brat, tearing down her friends and is the one ultimately responsible for making Yuka cry. Natsumi is the only girl I can tolerate, largely because of her sense of responsibility. Although she joined the tennis club to be with Saki, she faithfully attends practice even after her friend stops going. She confronts Saki, but when Saki doesn’t want to talk to her about it, she isn’t the one perpetuating the drama; she just wants to be done with it.
I didn’t have high expectations for a magical idol show, but I was hoping for the adorable, lovable girls the genre is notorious for. I enjoy realism as much as the next anime reviewer, but it felt a little too much like I was watching the drama surrounding my fellow middle school females back in the day. I’m giving this a higher rating than I feel it deserves because my roommate and I cracked so many jokes over the course of the show in order to get through it, so I guess if you’re looking for something terrible but easy to make fun of, this fits the bill.
GO Rating: 2/5
Continue To Watch? - Probably not.
Continue To Review? - No.