3.87 out of 5 from 13 votes
When Chinatsu moves from Tokyo to a rural village, she quickly befriends the locals with her effervescent personality, optimism, and unusual singing voice. But not everyone is as happy as she is: the people that the bubbly elementary school girl meets all have their own personal problems, be it a messy family situation or a long-ago death that still looms heavy on their mind. Luckily, Chinatsu's singing isn't just pretty; it also has the unique ability to soothe a person's soul.
On a day like any other, average middle-school-student Yurie Hitotsubashi got the surprise of a lifetime – she became a goddess! Unfortunately, even with her newfound powers, Yurie still can’t manage to find the courage to confess to Kenji, her crush. With Yurie’s fame comes others’ fortune; Matsuri, caretaker of the local shrine, names Yurie the shrine’s new goddess and becomes her manager – for yen and glory! Along with Yurie’s faithful best friend Mitsue, the trio set forth on an adventure to find out what it really means to become a goddess.
The country is in the midst of a heat wave, and with a lower than average rainfall there's a serious water shortage. As such, Chinami Kawamura and the rest of her school's swim club are relegated to running laps instead of swimming them, and in the heat of the mid-day sun, the young girl collapses. While unconscious, Chinami finds herself beside a clear, sparkling river in a deserted rural village where she meets a young boy named Sumio and his elderly father. But even after she awakens and returns to reality, Chinami continues to pass out and visits the same refreshing place - much to her mother's concern...
These are two gently-told tales of conflict and loneliness. Both touch on subjects such as the fracturing of families, the inability to find peace after the death of a loved one, and the deterioration of rural Japanese life as all but the elderly relocate to urban areas. If you liked the tone or themes in one, you'd be sure to like the other.