The first volume of Summertime Rendering was published nine months ago. I was impressed by the series’ quality. It provides an enticing mystery to follow, an endearing cast of characters against an almost insurmountable situation and foes, and an art style that’s positively memorable. Since then, more volumes have come out, as well as an anime adaptation that’s concluded airing, and I can still confidently attest that the series is just as good, if not better, since my last experience with it.
To recap, Summertime Rendering introduces readers to our protagonist Shinpei Ajiro, a boy who’s almost as mysterious as the world he’s placed in. After his parents’ deaths, Shinpei was adopted by the Kofune siblings, Mio and Ushio. After a time, he decides to leave the island he was born on and move to Tokyo. Shinpei returned to the island several years later when he learned that Ushio (one of his sisters) died while saving a girl who was drowning in the ocean. Upon arriving, strange things quickly begin to happen to Shinpei and the island as rumors circulate about the nature of Ushio’s death being not so accidental. But before we can process this, we’re hit with the surface of alien-like doppelgangers known as Shadows and Shinpei’s time-traveling abilities.
The second and third volumes have seen a lot. We learn the full circumstances of Ushio’s passing, who the real villain and leader of the shadows are, how the shadows and their powers work, how they’ve been around for much longer than we and the characters suspected, and that not everyone is as trustworthy as they seem. The manga does an almost flawless job of transitioning between events. It answers many questions, gives hints and leaves new reasons for readers to return. Because of this, it leaves an impact on the reader by rewarding them with so many details, it’s hard not to stay loyal and engaged with the series.
Endearing Leads & Impactful Art
I said in my previous review that the characters were a bit bland and tropey. My feelings since then haven’t changed much aside from my newfound appreciation and admiration of the two leads, Ushio and Shinpei. Volumes 2 and 3 tell us about their lives, including their first meeting. We also learn about their personalities and their true feelings. Ushio is a very boisterous girl and acts very much like it, but her passion and innocence attract everyone’s attention.
Shinpei has a more grounded personality. These volumes, however, do a surprising job of displaying how raw, crazy, intelligent, and determined he is, especially as he moves toward a critical goal. Both leads are excellent contrasts, which is why the series is so great. It is, however, unfortunate that the other characters aren’t as strong, mainly as they aren’t given much of a spotlight in the series, at least so far.
The manga’s art still remains consistent with its quality. Characters and backgrounds are incredibly detailed, especially Shinpei’s many bizarre and humorous facial expressions. Action scenes are illustrated excellently in a thorough yet easy-to-follow structure, and Yasuki Tanaka’s paneling really does a great job of emphasizing and drawing out tense moments in a way I’ve never seen done in a manga. Lastly, I’d like to highlight Udon Entertainment’s excellent yet intriguing translation in that they translate the characters speaking in a unique dialect, most likely due to them being islanders, which is a nice touch that I appreciated.
Summertime Rendering volumes 2/3 are excellent and continue the story in a way that leaves readers wanting more. That said, I can’t wait to see how further the manga will take its themes and characters and how their story will conclude.
Summertime Rendering Volumes 1 – 6 are available now from Udon Entertainment.
Udon Entertainment provided a copy of the manga for review
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Summertime Rendering Vol 2 & 3
- Impeccable art
- It is a great mystery!
- Enduring leads
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