I reviewed the first Summertime Rendering volume over nine months ago and noted how excellent the quality of the series is. 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. Shinpei was taken in by the Kofune sisters, Mio and Ushio and their dad after his parents died. After a certain period, he moves out of the island he was raised on to live on his own in Tokyo. Shinpei returns to the island years later after learning Ushio, one of the sisters he grew up with, died while trying to save a girl 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.
A lot has happened in the second and third volumes. 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 excellent, almost perfect job of transitioning from one event to another, answering several questions, paying off on hints, and even leaving new ones and more reasons for readers to keep coming back. 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
In terms of the characters, I stated in my last review that they were pretty tropey and bland. My feelings since then haven’t changed much aside from my newfound appreciation and admiration of the two leads, Ushio and Shinpei. In volumes 2 and 3, we learn about their pasts, including their first meeting and true feelings for each other as well as their personalities. Ushio is a very boisterous girl and acts very much like it, but her passion and innocence attract everyone’s attention.
Shinpei, on the other hand, has a more grounded personality, but these volumes surprisingly do an excellent job of showcasing how incredibly raw, crazy, clever, and dedicated he is as a character, especially when moving toward a critical goal. The two leads serve as excellent contrasts to one another and contribute to why the series is so brilliant. 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.
Overall, Summertime Rendering volumes 2 and 3 excellently progress the story and leave 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.
A copy of this manga was provided for review by Udon Entertainment
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Summertime Rendering Vol 2 & 3
- Impeccable art
- Great mystery unfolding
- Endearing leads