The Spring 2022 Preview Guide
Summer Time Rendering

How would you rate episode 1 of
Summer Time Rendering ?
Community score: 4.2

What is this?

Upon hearing of Ushio's death, Shinpei returns to his hometown of Wakayama City on Hitogashima and reunites with his childhood friend's family. The funeral goes smoothly, but under the surface something strange is brewing on the island. (from manga)

Summer Time Rendering is based on Yasuki Tanaka's suspense manga and streams on Disney+ in Japan on Wednesdays.

Note: The series still isn't available for streaming worldwide. Richard Eisenbeis lives in Japan and was able to watch the first episode there, albeit without subtitles.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

To tell the truth, before today, I had never even heard of Summer Time Rendering. I went into it totally blind—and that is absolutely the way it should be experienced. In fact, if you're already planning to watch it whenever Disney+ decides to set it free in your corner of the world, you should stop reading this review. Just take my word that it's a fantastic 24 minutes and you won't regret keeping yourself in the dark.

As for the rest of you, whether it be those who have already read the manga or those who need to know more before setting aside your time, let's get into it. This first episode of Summer Time Rendering is a master class at playing with tone, making you question what you are watching. At the start it could be any genre of show: we have a kid, Shinpei, going back to his hometown after several years away for the funeral of one of his closest friends, Ushio. But no sooner has he set foot on the island than things seem subtly off: he has strange dreams, there are a ton of well-dressed tourists all about, and his sister Mio seems more excited about his return than sad over the death of her sister. Then things swerve into the suspenseful, as we learn that there are signs Ushio was murdered, before it goes straight into horror when we start hearing about doppelgangers—and how people who have seen them soon disappear without a trace. And then comes the out-of-left-field cliffhanger where things suddenly go full sci-fi.

As all this is going on, there are a ton of things in the background hinting to what is truly going on. Some of these come across in random conversations. Others are visual, brought to life by the show's beautiful animation and its focus on intricate detail. It's a show that you'll want to rewatch even as the credits roll.

All in all, this first episode of Summer Time Rendering is an absolute roller-coaster. It's the best kind of premiere: one that makes it impossible to not want to come back for more. If you enjoy anime like Steins;Gate, ERASED, Sakurada Reset, or Re:Zero, you'll definitely be intrigued. And as for anyone else, well, you should definitely give it a chance.

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