A Full Review
(NOTE: Contains spoilers in brackets [spoiler]. Highlight the text to read.)
I read Summer Time Rendering (Summer Time Render) by Yasuki Tanaka on MangaPlus. Summer Time Rendering is a supernatural mystery thriller with horror elements. It's frustrating that people/databases tag stories with everything under the sun because this is not a romance. There is a sprinkle of romance, meaning that you won't be satisfied in that department if you're looking for a romance to read in time for V-Day. The romance is very [inconsequential, blunt, and straightforward. Character A says, "I Love You," and Character B says, "I know," and that's about it.] The story—Shinpei returns to his island hometown to attend the funeral of his foster sister Ushio. He's told Ushio's death wasn't an accident but a murder. He investigates, and time travel and supernatural shenanigans ensue.
Overall, Summer Time Rendering was a very easy read. It was hard to stop, and I blew through like 30 chapters at a time. I really like Shinpei, our main lead. He's a smart high school student. He went to Tokyo to study with dreams of becoming a chef and returning to help out at the family restaurant. He's also a mystery freak. He's aloof, calm and the brains of the operation. The other characters were great too. I really liked [Ushio, the old man, and the writer and her brother.]
I was surprised by how action-packed this series was. There was a lot of fighting. There was a lot of violence, blood, and gore. Characters suffer and die horribly XD, which I suppose is why the mangaka [went with a happy ending instead of a sad or bittersweet ending, like some characters die and stay dead whereas others live or some other sort of compromise.] You learn early on, like by the end of chapter 1 or 2, that Shinpei can time travel. The mangaka puts a nice spin on the time travel, mainly that Shinpei [cannot loop endlessly. His time travel abilities are limited, meaning the stakes are high. Or at least were high until the ending happened.] Seriously, this would make a nice visual novel game. I'd like to see a different ending. Also, [not everything gets explained.]
Outside of the blood/gore/violence, you have scary imagery as the supernatural stuff is grotesque. You also have things that were explained by characters but thankfully not shown like...[how the diety Hiruko-sama, whose housed in a young girl's body, gave birth to the priest. And for an added bonus, there's incest between the priest and diety.] Have the mind bleach ready.
Additionally, you have a good dose of fanservice. I don't think the series should be tagged as "ecchi," but at the same time, I think it's fair to give readers a heads up. Fanservice is heavy at the beginning of the story, but it lightens up a bit as the story moves forward. But also, yeah, the swimsuit stays on. Mangaka found a way to "justify" it within the story. XD I honestly hope the anime tones down the fanservice, blood, and gore a bit because I think that's what holds this manga back. The manga doesn't really need a lot of blood, gore, and fanservice as the story, art, and characters make Summer Time Rendering compelling enough.
I'd rate Summer Time Rendering an 8/10. You can read the first three chapters for free on MangaPlus, and Udon Entertainment will be printing the series as a 6-volume hardcover and softcover omnibus. According to their Reddit post, the company will print the hardcovers first on an aggressive schedule. Volumes 1-3 will be released on the same day in May 2022, and volumes 4-6 will be released on the same day in July 2022. Softcovers will follow a similar fast timeline with the first volume releasing in May and the last volume releasing in August. Udon Entertainment will be making a few translation edits to the manga so it won't be a 1-1 read between MangaPlus' version and their version. However, if you read MangaPlus' version, you will get a preview of the story, and you can decide whether it's fit for your shelf.
(It looks like the in between chapters are unavailable now in English so I got lucky when I finished this back in early February. 🤣 My site launch in March, so sue me. You can at least read the first three chapters tho.)
The anime is set to air in April on Disney+, and I'll definitely check it out.
What to read/watch/play after reading Summer Time Rendering:
All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka and Takeshi Obata (manga) + watch the movie it inspired Live Die Repeat / Edge of Tomorrow (2014, dir. Doug Liman), starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt
Higurashi franchise of anime, manga, and games
Raging Loop, a visual novel game
Steins Gate franchise of anime, manga, and games
The Psychedelica of the Black Butterfly, an otome visual novel game
The Lost Village (2016, dir. Mari Okada), anime series