Summer Time Rendering (Season One)

Summer Time Rendering Title

Shinpei has returned home for the funeral of his best friend, Ushio. However, he soon discovers that not all is as it seems on this sleepy island. Something sinister has been going on for decades and it’s about to get worse!

Summer Time Rendering (Season One)

What did you watch?

They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but I had already fallen in love with this series when I saw the six hardback volumes at my local bookstore. While I am prone to impulse purchases in the manga aisle, I was a little more cautious because of the price. These were double or triple-length volumes with hardback covers. The price reflected that. Luckily, my library had them so I instantly reserved them. I picked them up, read them all in a couple of days, and then dived head-first into the anime. I came into this series with some pretty high expectations, but did it live up to them? There will be lots of spoilers and this is one of those stories where a spoiler can impact your enjoyment. Watch it first.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 2 Shinpei returns

What happened?

On the boat to the island, Shinpei had a weird dream where he saw Ushio. That wasn’t a big surprise since she was at the forefront of his mind. Later that day, they would say goodbye to her for the last time. Shinpei was greeted by Ushio’s sister, Mio at the docks. She walked him back to their home and then to the funeral. There, he met his old friend, Sou who told Shinpei that something wasn’t right. He was one of the first people to get to Ushio’s body. He tried to resuscitate her, but it was no use. He also noticed some strange marks around her neck as if she had been strangled.

Later that day, Shinpei and Mio were in the streets thinking about Ushio when Mio told him about the time she saw her Shadow. It’s an old island myth where you die not long after seeing your Shadow, an exact copy of you, and then it replaces you. Shinpei was shocked by this story and decided to visit the shrine to see if he could get any information from Masahito Karikiri, the priest. However, when they arrived, they heard a gunshot and followed the sound into the woods. They found a woman lying against a tree, bleeding. Seconds later, a second shot finished her off. When Shinpei looked again, Mio was being held hostage by someone that looked just like her. She shot Mio and then Shinpei.

Shinpei gasped as he woke and found himself back on the boat. He stepped onto the docks and was shocked to see Mio rushing to meet with him. Had it all been a dream?

Summer Time Rendering Episode 3 Mio and Shadow Mio

What did you think?

I read the manga that I borrowed from the library and then rushed out and bought them all. I absolutely loved the books and was therefore a little nervous coming into the anime. What if it didn’t live up to my expectations? Well, I’m pleased to announce that this was an incredible adaptation. I don’t think it missed a single thing. Seriously, this is one of those rare occasions where the manga is a ten out of ten and the anime is a ten out of ten. Now, I’m quite certain that I am the ideal audience for a story like this. There’s time travel, murder mystery, sinister shape-shifting beings, and swimwear… One thing to remember, it’s quite easy for time travel stories to undo themselves with the complex nature of time travel, but this was perfect.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 4 Shadow Ushio

What was your favourite moment?

There are a couple of scenes that will live on in my mind. The most prominent one is the one I mentioned in the review of the manga. Shadow Ushio took Shinpei and Sou into a memory so that they could see what happened to the original Ushio. They saw how a Shadow took Shiori’s form and then consumed her. Mio was carrying Shiori to the beach when Shinpei revealed to Sou that they had already killed Shiori’s Shadow. Since this was a memory, they should have been safe. However, Shadow Shiori grabbed Shinpei’s arm and left a black handprint. Everyone was stunned. It was wonderfully creepy.

There were also several thrilling fights as the story progressed, but nothing that gives me shivers quite like the look on everyone’s faces when Shiori grabbed Shinpei.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 9 Haine finds Shinpei

What was your least favourite moment?

The only thing that I think it didn’t completely explain was when Shinpei had been sent back in time and lost Shadow Ushio. Shiori was able to track him and appeared almost instantly with an army of Shadows. Then, she saw something and retreated. That something was the shell necklace that Shinpei had given to Ushio when they were younger. Shiori made Shide pull back too after killing Hizuru. So, it turned out to hold all the data for Ushio. They then used that data to bring the Shadow Ushio from that timeline up to speed once they found her.

I’m not sure why Shiori didn’t go in for the kill. She could have killed Shinpei and he wouldn’t have been able to return as he’d only just come back. There was obviously something strange about Shadow Ushio since she wasn’t under Haine’s control and it’s revealed that she was Haine’s eye that she lost when she tried to copy Ryuunosuke. A little more explanation there would have helped, but it didn’t hinder the story so I’m not too concerned.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 19 Haine pulls back

Who was your favourite character?

Ushio was a fascinating character and Shinpei made for a great protagonist as he tried to work everything out. The way he mapped out the timelines showed that he wasn’t just a clueless self-insert character. However, there is one character that stood above all else. I am, of course, talking about Hizuru Minakata. She was a famous author that used a pen name which was basically her dead twin’s name – Ryuunosuke. To make things crazier, Ryuunosuke’s spirit was also in Hizuru’s body and could take control. Ryuunosuke was out of sync with time after Haine tried to copy him. As such, he could see two seconds in the future.

That made Ryuunosuke a formidable fighter. Of course, Hizuru was as much of a badass when she was in control too. I loved that she fought with a sledgehammer, literally smashing the shadows into the ground. In a way, she reminded me a little of Sherlock Holmes in the way she would calmly assess the situation and then accept the outcome regardless of how ridiculous it might seem. For example, she accepted that Shinpei was a time traveller without hesitation because there was no other way that he would know what he knew. She is amazing!

Summer Time Rendering Episode 20 Hizuru Minakata

Who was your least favourite character?

I think the best outcome for a review of a series is that the villain is the least favourite character, and this series nailed it. Of course, the real villain wasn’t Haine. Yes, she wasn’t a good person… shadow… god… whatever she was, but Masahito Karikiri was the real antagonist. It turned out that he had been there when she washed up on the beach as a whale. He saw her turn into the girl Haine and then protected her. Not only that he found a way to reproduce with her however, each one was a perfect clone of him. He was able to transfer his memories from one to another and live forever. When he realised that Haine was struggling to keep the process going, he decided that he would simply end the world rather than miss out on anything.

He was sneaky, devious, deceitful, and just plain creepy. He had his reasons for doing what he was doing, but they didn’t make me empathise with him or feel sorry for him. I understood his rationale and I hated him for it. For me, that’s a perfect villain.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 18 Shide

Would you like some more?

I’m going to say the same thing I said when reviewing the manga. No. Let me clarify that. This story wrapped up perfectly and as such it doesn’t need more. If it did it would feel like a forced cash grab and that’s not what I want. I want more stories like this. I want dark and sinister things to happen in places that should be safe and relaxed. I love time travel stories. Basically, I want more of the same, but I don’t like it when a story has clearly finished and then they try to tack something on the end to keep it going or stuff a load of filler in the middle.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 25 Ushio and Shinpei

What have you learnt?

One of my favourite things about this story was that at one point, I realised that there is a second Shadow Ushio in each of these worlds and at some point that was going to become important. Now, you might think that I would get annoyed at working out something so integral to the story so soon, but that’s not how it works. Think about a detective novel where you’re following the detective as they try to solve a crime. The point is that you are shown all the same clues as the detective. If you can’t work out who did it from those clues, it feels like cheating if the detective can. You might not get it, but once it’s revealed you can see all the pieces that explain it.

Getting there before the detective is a lot of fun and it makes the audience feel good about themselves. If they’re feeling good about themselves because of a story, they’re going to associate the story with those feelings. Do you think they’re going to tell others about how the book made them feel? Of course, they are. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising. Nothing compares to a friend telling you about a book that kept them up for hours and how great it was. On top of just wanting to make your audience enjoy themselves, it makes sense. Don’t cheat the audience out of a good experience by hiding clues or deliberately misleading them. Make it believable. If the detective wouldn’t be fooled, then neither should the audience.

Summer Time Rendering Episode 21 Shinpei brings Shadow Ushio back

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