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Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 03

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In the eyes of the one you love, would you be content with being second place for your whole life if it meant you could be together? It’s almost eerie how easily I can see myself in Hazuki’s shoes, having asked myself this same question not too long ago. It may seem like an innocuous question whose answer is a straightforward one, but in reality the mere ramifications of asking are far more complex than we may realize.

I can definitely understand where Hazuki is coming from. It’s sadly too easy and tempting for us to compare ourselves to the other lovers, both past and present, of the person we’re interested in. And then from this comparison, we often form a hierarchy, as illogical as that may sound – but we all know love is never logical. In Hazuki’s case, he can’t help but compare himself to Shimao, but he cares for Rokka so much that he’s willing to get past just about anything to be with her. Whether that means enduring a lifetime of being her second choice or braving a supernatural earthquake of a tantrum from the ghost of her deceased husband, he is determined to see it through – any sacrifice is worth it. However, is Hazuki’s confession really fair for Rokka though? If they entered into a relationship, she would likely feel a lingering guilt of not being able to give him 100% of her love that he deserves. Rokka would also likely have a very hard time moving on from her dead husband, as we saw when she was reminded of their happier times together and began to miss him. Just because Hazuki is happy and willing to accept being second doesn’t mean Rokka should as well, and this is one reason a comparison between lovers can be detrimental.

It’s interesting to note that Hazuki isn’t the only one who has found himself in second place when it comes to Rokka. Even the normally irrepressible Shimao, after throwing a frankly pitiful and ridiculous fit like petulant child, has finally begun to realize that he and Hazuki are in fact not equal rivals for Rokka’s love and that he is actually losing in many ways because of how helpless and powerless he is. The prospect of him taking a back seat to Hazuki clearly makes Shimao uncomfortable; although I do feel sorry for Shimao having to suffer through watching the two flirt and cuddle in the very same bed he once shared with his wife. Yet at this point, there’s nothing he can do. He has no avenue to vent his emotions other than kicking at the air, conjuring up ‘earthquakes’, and hurling objects at the target of his animosity. Shimao appeared to be so mature in the past with how considerate and philosophical he was that it makes his current behavior even more dumbfounding.

The other reason why Shimao feels like he’s coming in second in Rokka’s life is because he feels like he has no purpose for his existence anymore. Before, he believed that his role was to unselfishly fulfill her “Don’t leave me alone!” wish, but it’s becoming clear that at this point in time Hazuki is the one with a part to play in her life while Shimao can do nothing other than prevent her from moving on. I can’t help but feel that he and his clinginess is more selfish than anything. It’s not she who needs him; it’s he who needs her, and all that he’s doing now is making her sad. Shimao did regain a bit of respect in my eyes when he decided to take up Hazuki’s offer to help him move on, an offer which improved my opinion of Hazuki as well.

At this point, I think deep inside, none of them are content with merely letting things stay the same, despite any pain and heartbreak that might accompany Hazuki and Rokka’s courtship. It’s no longer a matter of who’s first and who’s second, so long as Shimao and Rokka can move on. Shimao needs to learn to let her go so that she can find happiness and love once again, and Hazuki needs to help him do so if he is going to take his place by her side and in her mind. In a way, a confession like Hazuki’s does have its benefits as well because now the thought of him taking Shimao’s place has probably been implanted in her head. Hopefully, this is the first step for him to see her adorable smile once again.

With each episode, I find myself still impressed with how realistic Natsuyuki Rendezvous’ portrayal of an anime romance is – it’s truly been a breath of fresh air with its reminder that the road to love is not always innocent and idyllic, not always sunshine and rainbows. The ghosts from our past relationships often linger to haunt us in ways we never expect, and push us in ways we never know.

 

  • I absolutely love Hazuki and Rokka’s flirting. It feels immeasurably more realistic than any other romance I’ve seen in recent memory, and I have to admit, my positive feelings about their dynamics have been greatly influenced by just how adorable Rokka is.
  • Plenty of interesting symbolism and imagery in this episode. Hazuki explained the cut vs. potted flower one already, but I actually had a simpler interpretation too. The cut flower has nowhere to go but to wilt and die; its beauty is only destined to fade away, and it’s not worth a lot of time and investment. The potted flower on the other hand is still growing; its beauty will only become greater and this is why any investment in it is worthwhile. I thought the hand imagery was a sweet one as well. We already know Shimao’s hands are unable to touch and affect anything, while Hazuki’s hands can do all sorts of things; however the one thing he wants the most, to make Rokka smile, he’s just as powerless and helpless as Shimao.
  • Full-length images: 04, 05, 06, 08, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 29, 33.

 

Preview

Natsuyuki Rendezvous   03   Preview 01 Natsuyuki Rendezvous   03   Preview 02 Natsuyuki Rendezvous   03   Preview 03

Watch the Preview: Streaming ▼

July 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm
20 comments »
  • July 20, 2012 at 5:44 pmEunichi

    The more they show flashbacks the more I want Rokka’s longer hair to come back.

    I can relate to why Rokka still hasn’t moved on. It is really hard to move on if your most loved one died. Everytime, you are shown or experience things similar things, you just can’t help but to remember. The lost pointer to a node of memory will be created again. However, we need to move on and face life because we’re still alive and there are plenty of things to do and experience.

    On Shimao’s side, I don’t know but I sympathize more on him than on Hazuki. But they’re both selfish and that is reality about loving someone.

    As for that being second place in the heart of your loved one, for me, that kind of noble idiot thing to do since you’ll just hurt yourself in the long run and your relationship won’t stand strong. However, it’s good to see that Rokka is moving on step by step. The girl also wants to move on. So, maybe in the future Hazuki will take that first place in her heart.

    There still no romance anime that can fill the void that True Tears and Clannad left so I hope this would be the one.

    Sorry for the long comment… just a sucker for good dramatic romances because most of them tend to be realistic. Yeah, I like my romance anime (romcoms are included) not to be just warm, fuzzy, and fluffy.

    • July 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm7godeohs

      What amazes me about this show is the pacing and how great it is. There has been SO MUCH content to absorb in only three episodes, but whenever I watch an episode it seems like it’s over in an instant. Fantastic episode.

      btw, Toradora is also a nice romcom with dramatic undertones – one of my favorites. Clannad (and ‘After Story’) continue to be the gold standard of romance anime. True Tears wasn’t my absolute favorite, but you can’t not love a story involving chickens who want to fly. But I’m with you, I’m a sucker for great romance anime and this show is hitting all the right notes so far.

      • July 20, 2012 at 10:48 pmEunichi

        How can I forget about tora dora? Now recovered the lost pointer. It’s hard keeping all the links intact. My bad for spouting some programming pun stuffs.

        Let’s just hope that it continously hit the right notes not the bad ones.

        To the the comment below (too lazy to make it separate), it’s just that she looks like a guy with that hair. She’s prettier with her shoulder-length hair.

    • July 20, 2012 at 10:17 pmAllen Walker

      Actually i like Rokka’s short hair. Its a nice mix up for me.

  • July 20, 2012 at 5:58 pmIsabel

    Poor Shimao. He’s at his wit’s end. Utterly helpless as he’s forced to watch the one who anchored him to the world of the living in the first place being swept away by a stranger. Miho mentioned how their parents coddled him when he was younger, so the tantrums didn’t totally surprise me. There’s only so much that someone can take. With each episode, I’m finding myself relating more and more to Shimao.

    Hazuki, on the other hand…I’m liking less. I don’t like his assertiveness. I’m not entirely sure if it’s all a show in front of Shimao or if that’s just how he is. I completely understand how awful it feels to be second place, but I don’t like how he’s trying to replace Rokka’s memories of Shimao with memories of him (i.e. amusement park), especially seeing how Rokka’s emotions are still currently fragile. Instead, I feel as if he should be trying to forge new memories. Maybe, later on in the relationship, but not now. I feel as if he’s pushing too hard and going too fast with Rokka. It also seems that he wishes for Rokka to forget about Shimao entirely and only think about him. That’s never going to happen, so I feel he should strive to just be by her side, making her happy with his companionship and new memories.

    Dogakobo has potential to be a solid animation studio in the future, if they keep up with this beautiful art and animation quality. I especially loved how they showed Miho’s dinner slowly disappearing. Little things like that make me smile.

    I hope that the 3rd screenshot in the preview isn’t what I think it is…

    One last remark (I know, I always write insanely long comments…a fault of mine), but Hazuki should aspire to be a “rooted plant”. Unlike a “potted plant” that is wholly dependent on outside nourishment and has limited opportunity to grow and thrive, a “rooted plant” can sustain itself through its roots and can grow as much as it wishes. :)

  • July 20, 2012 at 6:22 pmIRIS

    the drama continues on

    rokka flashback of time atsushi help of carrying her to bed.
    rokka feeling slowly better while ryusuke & atsushi still bit hmm on each other.
    ryusuke check on rokka cue shake seem to be atsushi ghost doing.
    alone talk with idea of atsuhi going body ride on ryusuke.
    ryusuke had some talk with rokka’s sister in law aka miho about rokka & atsushi history.
    after some hmm ryusuke invite rokka with park tickets.
    yet rooka cried bit both ryusuke & atsushi wonder?

    indeed more drama to come.

  • July 20, 2012 at 9:08 pmhaizaraa

    This show is just heart-breaking ;_______;
    I feel so bad for Shimao, especially when he watched helplessly as Hazuki invited Rokka to the amusement park.

  • July 20, 2012 at 10:19 pmAllen Walker

    Seriously Shimao freaked me out when he’s doing all this weird poltergeist crap. Hazuki should wear some sort of protective charm to ward away evil spirits. Or at least get a priest to exorcise his ghost ass to the after life.

    • July 21, 2012 at 12:38 amFantomOmega

      Wait, aren’t you an Exorcist hmm Allen Kun? Oh right gotta be trapped in a Akuma first >_>

      Oh well the husband is being a little too dangerous to be around, hope he dosen’t hurt the one he’s trying to protect PHYSICALLY by accident cause he’s well on his way to emotionally cut her off with his jealously.

      That dude is too suspicious with his intentions, I doubt he would give back your body after getting used to touching his wife again while barrowing it…

  • July 20, 2012 at 10:59 pmewok40k

    OMG!
    First things first, I love how down-to-earth is the general depiction of the romance. How many romances are beginning not with star-struck declaration of love under a full moon but with hauling dead-drunk friend off to bed (ss #1-2)or caring for someone sick(ss9-12)?
    Second, the first love vs second love, here made more dramatical because Shimao was taken away from Rokka, instead of merely them breaking apart as is often case in reality. How many more divorced people do you know over widows/widowers?
    Thirdly, there is the eternal struggle between selfish side of the feelings and the pure desire to make loved one happy. I think what makes Hazuki better off in the “fight” is the fact he is more capable of making Rokka move on and be happy again.
    Last but not least, Rokka-san, maybe it’s time to re-grow your hair?

  • July 20, 2012 at 11:58 pmpetitorenji

    Psychokinesis? Are you serious? You had all of the right characters, all of the right setting, all of the right tension, and all of the right chemistry molded and ready to go in the right direction… and you’ve settled for… some otherworldly spiritual power-of-the-dead thing?

    Now I just want to see Hazuki kidnap Rokka to travel around the country (or world) for a month and make her fall in love with him… just to spite Shimao. What is he going to do? Suddenly attain powers to sink Japan through earthquakes?

    I need to see some prettily decorated flowers and cacti pics to calm me down.

    • July 25, 2012 at 11:45 pmMormegil

      Well, he is a ghost after all. How is an act of poltergeist a stretch?

  • July 21, 2012 at 12:43 amOtaku Dump

    Hmm, I thought he won’t be able to interfere anything. =/

  • July 21, 2012 at 3:16 amFT5Havok

    Thumbs up for Hazuki-kun and reply for Shimao-kun! :)

  • July 21, 2012 at 8:18 amYukie

    Hazuki’s a little insensitive isn’t he…asking Rokka to go to the amusement park where she went with her husband right before he got hospitalized for the last time.

  • July 21, 2012 at 9:30 amTorami

    I can’t help but feel bad for Shimao, despite his clinginess. The feeling of getting replaced is very understandable, even though I agree he is being selfish for wanting to keep Rokka for himself.
    I understand that it’s hard for Hazuki to be second place to Rokka, but I think it’s wrong that he is trying to replace Shimao, by asking Rokka to go to the amusement park. It feels more like he’s challenging Shimao than trying to make Rokka move on. The way he does it feels a little forceful and too fast. Rokka needs more time to accept it…
    Rokka with longer hair is lovely ^^ she should grow her hair

  • July 21, 2012 at 7:51 pmU. N. Owen

    Personally, I think that Rokka is cuter with short hair.

  • July 24, 2012 at 11:06 amKyokai

    Ryuusuke has very big shoes to fill but I think he’s doing quite an interesting job of it in his own way. I never despised Atsushi but we got to see his violent side this episode and I felt quite eerie for future. Hopefully, things will move on to better resolution.

  • July 25, 2012 at 11:49 pmAnon

    “I can’t help but feel that he and his clinginess is more selfish than anything. It’s not she who needs him; it’s he who needs her, and all that he’s doing now is making her sad.”

    You could say the same for Hazuki. Has he even explained why he loves her yet?

  • July 28, 2012 at 12:01 pmkyuzo

    Agree with anon. Plus, why would he take her to some place which will only remind her of her dead husband?