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Marking my 2200th review here on Mikomi is a title I'd likely regard as a potential favorite of mine for the year thus far. Focused on teenage Shinpei Ajiro, he returns to his island home of Hitogashima from Tokyo after learning about the death of his childhood friend, Ushio Kofune. However, he comes to discover some suspicious circumstances surrounding Ushio's death and comes to discover some supernatural causes surrounding the case that involve him undergoing time loops to repeat any events he underwent and dealing with mysterious shadow-like beings.
Summertime Render offers a mix of mystery and suspense in exploring Shinpei's attempts to dabble into the mysterious events effecting his island home. The first half of the series explores Shinpei going through a series of time loops covering the past several days he spends on Hitogashima as he attempts to learn more about the shadowy beings affecting things on the island. As the series progresses, which leads him to seek and gain allies among his close friends to combat them and even some unexpected ones that play out, as well as learning more about the abilities and objectives of the shadows. With things still largely unknown about the shadows early on, this adds an element of horror to start the series off since Shinpei has no idea what he is up against and he's trying to sort out whom he can trust. For our male lead, Shinpei is an intelligent and capable young man who comes to become a capable tactician for his allies as he learns more about the abilities and weaknesses of the shadows. The series also isn't afraid at showcasing some rather intensely violent confrontations between both factions throughout Summertime Render's 25-episode run.
The second half escalates the conflict as the shadows catch on to how Shinpei's time looping ability works and try to permanently kill him off. This leads the conflict between them and Shinpei's group to turn into a sort of cat-and-mouse game where each side tries to get an advantage over one another and more twists come into play regarding the capabilities, history, and motivations of the stronger and influential shadows, Shide and Haine. This stage of the conflict has more elaborate action coming into play with both groups attempting to get an edge over one another with their strategies and and having its moments of engaging fights, a highlight being Hizuru and Shide's tightly contested fight.
Outside exploring the main conflict between the factions and Shinpei, Summertime Render also does a great job with fleshing out its major characters. Each of them have some sort of connection to the shadows through tragedy or failed cooperation with the shadows, which drag each character into the conflict that the series takes time to flesh out. Overtime, the cohesion between those members of Shinpei's group to strengthen as they gain each other's trust and utilize their combined abilities to combat the shadows.
Having a strong foundation for its story direction, mood, and fleshing out of characters, Summertime Render is easily one of the top anime I've seen for 2022 thus far with what it has to offer up with its elements of mystery, adventure, suspense, and supernatural activity; which I admit is quite surprising considering how hard it is for me to be impressed with many titles aimed for the shounen demographic nowadays. Still if you are looking for an engaging supernatural mystery/ suspense anime to dabble into, I'd at least say this series is a strong recommendation to check out.
Last updated Friday, September 30 2022. Created Friday, September 30 2022.
(Buy- or Rent+)
The thought had occured to me recently that for the last several seasons there have been a fair number of OK anime, but no really great ones. No shows that had truly original and highly engaging plots, that were worth the trouble of paying close attention to and taking detailed notes about each individual episode. Weren't we overdue for one of these? With Summertime Rendering, I think we finally have one. This is one of those all too rare shows which are so good that if I had to choose between watching it and watching every other anime series of the season, I would without hesitation choose the former. I started out thinking, 'how could a show as fresh and novel as this possibly continue for no less than 25 episodes'? Yet each episode expands the box just as reliably as the last. Two or three episodes of SR contain all the complexity, if not more, of your average season-long anime, and it just keeps coming. The reason this review is so short is because I compliled lengthy summaries and episode reviews of each one; see above. This was necessary because thwe plot of this show is highly complex and I would never have been able to keep track of it without them.
Last updated Saturday, December 16 2023. Created Thursday, August 25 2022.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site