Natsuiro Kiseki – 10

As a typhoon approaches town, the girls recall the last time they were caught in one four years ago, while exploring a haunted hotel, but don’t remember why they went or how they got out of the ordeal safe and sound. They make a wish at the big rock to remember what happened, and as a result, younger versions of themselves appear later that day, whom they then follow. The original reason for going was because there was a stage to perform on. The young counterparts attack them and lock them in the room with the stage, where the older versions sing. The youngins head home but are almost swept out to sea, but the older ones save them (and thus themselves), and then disappear like ghosts.

This was yet another instance of “be careful what you wish for” because where the big rock is concerned, it’s almost never what the wishers expect. In this way, the rock almost has a tricksterish quality to it; every wish it grants comes with a valuable lesson that helps the girls grow. This week they met the Muppet Babies versions of themselves, and they were quite a handful. Saki in particular is fiercely protective of everyone else, and they arm themselves to the teeth to visit an abandoned hotel on a day when a typhoon is forcasted. Pretty bold. The true genious of this episode is how it plays with time to simultaneously resolve the mystery from their past and pave the way to the future.

There’s a causality loop in play: the girls are saved by whom they percieve to be “ghosts” taking the form of older versions of themselves, who were only there to save them because they were curious about how they survived that day four years ago. Not only that, while initially the younger girls appear in the present day, by the time they’ve been saved, time has shifted to four years in the past, since the older girls disappear. It’s a very neat little point-of-view switcheroo. When everything’s resolved, Yuka announces she’s gotten them an idol audition: something they wished for four years ago. That’s right: there were actually two wishes this week: one in the present that led to the girls saving their younger selves, and the another in the past that gets them a shot a idol fame. Good times!

Rating: 9 (Superior)