Summertime Render: A Missed Opportunity
I cannot help but feel that Summertime Render could have been a massive hit in the West if it weren’t for Disney’s unfortunate interference. The series has gained immense popularity in Japan and possesses all the necessary ingredients to appeal to a global audience. Resting perfectly at the intersection of commercial appeal and artistic accomplishment, this clever and visually engaging manga, brought to life by one of anime’s greatest directors, deserves more recognition. It almost seems as if these American mega-corporations have a disdain for profit. However, utilizing Occam’s Razor, it is more likely a result of their willful ignorance regarding how anime fans consume content and spend their money.
An Exceptional Triumph: Summertime Render
Summertime Render (SR) deserves admiration, particularly as it defies the pitfalls that other anime ventures into this genre often encounter in their third acts. Credit for this success can be attributed to the mangaka, Tanaka-sensei, while director Watanabe Ayumu enriches the story with his remarkable vision. Watanabe’s contributions add a refreshing touch of cheekiness to the material, preventing the dark and heavy subject matter from becoming bleak and despairing.
A Thought-Provoking Conversation
The conversation between Shinpei and Ryuunosuke serves as a prime example of both humor and poignancy. It brilliantly illustrates how the three-year gap between the ages of 14 and 17 can feel like an eternity for adolescent boys, showcasing the distinct personalities of both individuals. While this exchange may not seem necessary plot-wise, its inclusion adds emotional depth and resonance to the overall narrative. This ability to forge connections with the audience, by going beyond what is merely “required,” distinguishes great fiction from the merely good.
Unveiling the Dark Motives
Previous references to Ushio as the “Egg” gain additional significance as Shide, a formidable antagonist, reveals his plan to destroy the world. Seemingly driven by a desire to become the master of the universe, Shide considers Ushio, and the eye she possesses in this timeline, as pivotal to his scheme. Delving into “the other side,” a realm known as Tokoyo, uncovers its connection to the land of the dead within Summertime Render’s context. This revelation sets the stage for the impending final battle between Shide and Team Shinpei.
A Profound Declaration of Love
With Shinpei openly expressing his love for Ushio, the possibility of pursuing an outcome in which she vanishes alongside the threat to humanity diminishes significantly. Even his decision to follow her and Shide to Tokoyo can be interpreted as a confession, signifying the belief that his return is highly unlikely. Aware of his enemies’ dilemma, Shide provokes them into pursuing him, fully aware that they have no other viable choice. However, the possibility of a return becomes crucial since Shide intends to implement his grand scheme and preserve the existence of the human race.
The Haunting Beauty of Tokoyo
Watanabe and his team masterfully bring Tokoyo to life, infusing the setting with a surrealist and Van Gogh-inspired aesthetic. As an eerie and foreboding place, Tokoyo bears a strange beauty that appears inextricably linked to Hiruko’s memories. Though reduced to an infant form and serving Shide, a prominent antagonist, Hiruko’s Haine half emerges as the dominant personality. Aligning herself with Team Shinpei, which includes the twin sibling of her only friend, she seizes control of Shinpei’s body, enabling it to transcend its human limitations.
The Clash in Tokoyo
Shide deliberately chooses Tokoyo as the battleground, aware that Shinpei can no longer utilize his leaping abilities in this realm where time stands still. Additionally, Tokoyo nullifies Ryuu’s precognitive advantage, heightening the tension of the confrontation. Drawing from Hiruko’s memories, Shide conjures a terrifying air raid from World War II, featuring a squadron of B-29 bombers decimating the area. This calculated move aims to burn his adversaries to a crisp and recover the stolen eyes. Employing such a primal and deeply resonant episode from Japanese history demonstrates the author’s commitment to literary impact.
The Epic Climax Spanning Dimensions
Now at the early stage of the final battle, the conflict transcends dimensions and reaches into the past. KageUshio, having consumed parts of her physical self, possesses regenerative abilities that catch Shide off guard. Furthermore, she deduces that his tangible body remains in the mortal realm. Hence, it becomes evident that the ultimate conclusion of this momentous clash will occur on the mortal plane. Considering the exceptional storytelling thus far, one can expect nothing less than a spectacular and unforgettable finale.
Summertime Render stands as a testament to the potential missed by its limited exposure in the West. It embodies the perfect fusion of commercial appeal and artistic achievement, captivating audiences and offering a refreshing take on a genre fraught with risks. With its compelling characters, emotional depth, and breathtaking visuals, Summertime Render showcases the talents of both its mangaka and director. Its ability to engage and resonate with viewers extends beyond what is strictly required, elevating it from good to great fiction.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Is Summertime Render available in English translation?
At present, Summertime Render is predominantly available in its original Japanese form, with limited translations officially released. However, efforts are underway to make it accessible to English-speaking audiences, so keep an eye out for future updates.
2. Can Summertime Render be enjoyed by a non-anime fan?
Absolutely! While Summertime Render has garnered a significant following among anime enthusiasts, its compelling storytelling, relatable characters, and stunning artwork make it a captivating experience for anyone, regardless of their familiarity with the anime medium.
3. How does Summertime Render compare to other manga in the supernatural genre?
Summertime Render distinguishes itself through its masterful balance between supernatural elements and emotional depth. Unlike many works in this genre that stumble in their third acts, Summertime Render maintains its captivating narrative and offers a satisfying conclusion.
4. Will there be an anime adaptation of Summertime Render?
While there is currently no official confirmation of an anime adaptation, the popularity of Summertime Render in Japan and its potential appeal to international audiences make it a strong candidate for an animated adaptation in the future. Fans eagerly await any news or announcements regarding this possibility.
5. Is Summertime Render appropriate for younger audiences?
Although Summertime Render explores mature themes and contains elements of darkness, it remains suitable for high school-age readers. However, parental discretion is advised due to its occasionally intense and emotionally charged moments.