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Summer Time Rendering by Yasuki Tanaka

A Full Review

(NOTE: Contains spoilers in brackets [spoiler]. Highlight the text to read.)

A manga frame from MangaPlus version of Summertime Rendering
Ch. 1 screenshot from MangaPlus

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.]

manga frame from MangaPlus version of Summer Time Rendering. Old man says "That's what they call it. The Shadow Sickness"
Ch. 1 screenshot from MangaPlus

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.)

volumes 1-6 of the manga series Summer Time Rendering by Udon Entertainment

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

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