Natsuiro Kiseki is a standard affair in many ways yet intriguing for it’s approach to friendship, a topic Akirascuro wrote about in observation. I raised the point that Hanasaku Iroha may exemplify the kind of frictionship immediately prominent in Natsuiro, but I feel there is more to the texture of friendship which grants Natsuiro Kiseki an appealing stay with the audience.
Saki is, of course, the first impressive aspect, with the conflict between her and Natsumi being featured from the start. Cold, uncaring, and mean; there was a mess of discussion about this character and her personality. Upon reexamining the first episode, I realized that Natsumi and Saki have a short history of beef. Fighting between them is common for reasons I cannot pin solely on Saki’s cold-cat attitude; it’s chemistry. There is a friction between these friends that reveals precisely how they are close. Yet Saki happens to be the off element. I find her discontented, possessing emotions of of a growing girl, and more important than the presence of her curious actions are the motives behind them.
Giving Saki special attention yields two-faced detail: mean-spirited towards her best friends while internally concerned with life’s convention. Her expressions show a dissatisfaction with the present, and we see how she redirects the internal struggle to those around her. She is largely saying, “Fuck it!” to a mundane, changing life she seems to have little control over, and it manifests in a naive attempt at burning bridges. These are moves of an inexperienced rebel on the verge of an important stage. But there is more to Saki beyond her angry pubescent potions: light cynicism.
We witnessed her doubtful demeanor in a flashback to the first wish upon the rock, and this perplexing doubt allows a view at her cynicism towards the extraordinary, a sad embrace of reality. I believe this force in her character, perhaps a need to play the Devil’s advocate, enables her to quarrel among friends she sees as lofty or unrealistic. As tennis nationals becomes an unattainable dream in Saki’s reality, Natsumi’s goal becomes unrealistic. I feel Saki is further amusing in that she wishes life could be magical, she wishes tennis nationals were her reality, but has lost the motivation to consider possibility. She is easy to read in this way and quite charming in her tender complexities.
But beyond Saki and the chemistry of opposition, the characters break a conventional balance of cliche circles. If we notice distinct roles in the friendships of Lucky Star, K-ON!, and arguably Manabi Straight, then by comparison we should see how the girls of Natsuiro have overlapping attributes. Yuka, Rin, Saki, and Natsumi are all instigators to an extent. Natsumi and Saki are sporty, Yuka and Rin have lofty tendencies, Rin and Natsumi have homely bonds with their mothers, while Yuka and Saki are, in my opinion, poised for sexual awareness. The beauty is not that each character brings a single color to the palette, but the palette they create together is colorful through mixed hues. And Saki may be the only well-written character thus far, but these characters need not be Faye Valentine for their intricate friendship to be attractive.
Finally, I should mention how the girls are unsettled as a group. We may understand this simply from the opening cat fight or see that each girl is characterized with her own life circumstances. Interests, responsibilities, problems, and relationships vary, and we understand that each carry a selfish wish . How well can we realize life’s magic when surrounded by multifarious desires differing from our own? The power of the wishing rock allows us to believe wishes earnestly shared together shall be granted. Thus the true magic is not only having wishes granted but understanding which wishes are truly shared between friends. And in that light, how their delightful friendship can remain fruitful or fall apart.
 – In my experience, it is more difficult to fight with people we don’t care about and easier to butt heads with those extremely close, we’re comfortable like that.
 Or a book of wishes in the case of Yuka.