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Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 04

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Even the most confident of people can easily fall prey to an inconspicuous but vile and insidious enemy that often bedevils blossoming relationships: overthinking. When you’re analyzing every little detail and every single sign, you’re no longer yourself and you run the risk of forcing the issue instead of the letting everything come to you. This is exactly what happened to Hazuki on his amusement park date with Rokka to make it one of the most awkward first dates I have ever seen.

Their first ‘official’ outing was a textbook example of what happens when someone overthinks their relationship with the person whom they like. Previously, Hazuki was markedly bold and confident in his pursuit of Rokka – he didn’t even let the ghost of her deceased husband to get in between them, and he sure didn’t need to know or even consider her feelings before making his moves. However, his habit of acting without thinking first ended up making her sad. This might help to explain why in Hazuki’s first date with Rokka, one without Shimao to get in his way even, his personality took almost a 180 degree turn. He was now thinking before acting, but now he was overthinking everything. Hazuki was essentially reduced to an overly emotional mess who became dejected at any minute sign she might not reciprocate his feelings. It was as if every single one of Rokka’s innocuous gestures or words took on a whole new world of meaning and caused him to continually wonder if their date was going well, if she returned his feelings, and if they had a future together. And naturally and predictably, what was the result of Hazuki’s overthinking? Instead of allowing the romance to develop organically, he tries to force it and ends up pushing Rokka away instead of bringing her closer by inadvertently triggering her bittersweet memories with Shimao to come flooding back.

It’s been fairly evident that Hazuki can’t help but compare himself with her late husband, but I’m not exactly sure what he was trying to accomplish by taking Rokka to the same amusement park that she went to with Shimao. His stated goal was to make Rokka smile again, which is a quite respectable one, but I’m sure deep inside he also wanted to overwrite her memories of Shimao with new memories starring himself. Whatever his goals may be, going about them the way he did was more selfish than anything. During their entire date, Hazuki wasn’t focused on doing things that would make Rokka happy – he was intent on doing things that would make him happy. Almost everything he tried to have her do or prevented her from doing was intended to find out one way or another how she felt about him. Only in the end did he think about what he could offer her and what he could do for her, which finally made her smile – but by then the date was practically over already. Any romance that was in the air had dissipated, and Rokka was still unable to move past Shimao. Whatever Hazuki’s goals may be, going about them the way he did was more selfish than anything. You’re not going to make anyone smile by thinking only of yourself.

It is understandable where he’s coming from however as many of us have been in his shoes before. After all, not knowing whether someone reciprocates your feelings can be extremely nerve-wracking and stressful, and when combined with the pressures of a first date, the temptation to overthink and over-analyze can be too hard to resist (even with the help of liquid courage). That said, while I can’t speak for everyone (particularly females), I didn’t find Hazuki’s attitude endearing at all and instead I lost a good deal of respect for him. He basically shot himself in the foot – all of his suffering was his own fault, and not only was it hard to watch, it was even harder to feel any sympathy or pity for him. This is what happens when you overthink – all the stress and anxiety is of your own making, and none of it serves any purpose in furthering the relationship and is usually detrimental instead.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous has done an admirable job with spicing up the standard romantic drama with a supernatural element, but this week showed that it could deftly handle more realistic and commonplace issues that are found in everyday romances as well. When we look beyond the romantic plot at the surface, this series has brought up some wonderful ideas and has the potential to teach us a lesson or two about romance, about life, and about ourselves… For me, no matter where Hazuki and Rokka’s story takes us, the emotions and questions that this show brings up alone makes it one worth watching.

  • Once again, Rokka was even more adorable than ever with her huge earrings and inverted flower pot hat. I liked how despite all the awkwardness, she stayed calm and normal as can be for the most part until the memories of Shimao became too painful for her to keep it pent up inside. I especially loved her line about avoiding the summer heat and preferring the cool evenings, as I understood it to mean that she didn’t want a torrid, passionate, and heated romance and instead wanted to keep things slow, cool, and relaxed for now.
  • I’m not sure what will happen from Shimao possessing Hazuki’s body. His ‘reunion’ with Rokka was definitely quite an emotional one as he was overjoyed at being able to speak and touch with her again, but many questions remain. Primarily, will he reveal that it’s her husband who inhabits Hazuki’s body or will he remain silent? If it’s the latter, I could definitely see this backfiring on him and being favorable to Hazuki instead if Rokka warms up to the idea of a romance with Hazuki. To complicate things even further, there’s the issue of Hazuki finding himself in an alternate dimension that will probably have some serious effects on the trio’s relationship.
  • And what was up with Shimao turning into an image of a younger Rokka as he possessed Hazuki’s body? Is that what ‘really’ happened, or was it just something that Hazuki wanted to see in his drunken stupor?
  • Full-length images: 02, 16, 31, 33.

 

Preview

Natsuyuki Rendezvous   04   Preview 01 Natsuyuki Rendezvous   04   Preview 02 Natsuyuki Rendezvous   04   Preview 03

Watch the Preview: Streaming ▼

July 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm
24 comments »
  • July 28, 2012 at 3:50 pmuhuh

    Hazuki needs to mature a bit more. He needs to concentrate on Rokka and forget about her dead husband. Trying to ‘replace’ a previous love is a mistake when approaching a new one. He should count the blessings because competing with a ghost is way easier than a live ex-husband. Also there are no kids in the mix either. So he should try to embrace her old memories and fill her up with new ones that complement; instead of replace. You just can’t walk to a woman or a man for that matter and pretend to make them forget/replace their live stories just because you are they new love. People past is part of the person you love and denying their previous history is a dis service to them. Also if the new person can’t add the new memories it could mean they aren’t ready to move into a new relationship. Love is such a rush!

  • July 28, 2012 at 4:15 pmshamaticgrl

    That is exactly what I thought when Shimao started to possessed Hazuki lol “What is going on? Is this a plot twist?”

    What I like about this ep is that like any other anime series it showcase an overthinking date but the ending came out not so much in the males favor. We see so many shows with the male being lucky at the end of the date and scores a kiss but that is rarely the case in real life. NR does a great interpretation of a real life situation…besides the ghost turning into Rokka =.=

    • July 28, 2012 at 4:17 pmshamaticgrl

      Then again could it be that it’s both the male wishful thinking of Rokka that they both see Rokka? O.o Hazuki failed at his date and in his drunkard stupor he imagines her flying to his arms? While Shimao can finally get his dream and meet Rokka once again and imagine her like back then?

  • July 28, 2012 at 4:40 pmAkuamari

    i’ve never seen a romance anime like this before. i love it!

  • July 28, 2012 at 4:52 pmsealouse

    I was wondering what that tiny Rokka sitting on Hazuki’s shoulder in the opening was all about. Could it be related?

  • July 28, 2012 at 4:52 pmdeathtogeneric

    Is it me or this show is getting so corny. I can’t imagine a dude watching it… well, it’s Josei, all right. Very Josei, in fact, since I’ve seen some Josei in the past and they weren’t this corny. Hopefully with the ghost now getting the body, it will be less corny.

    • July 28, 2012 at 5:53 pmHunterWulf

      Sorry but it is far far from corny, in fact this is one of the best romance/slice of life shows i saw ever and one of the most mature, and actually most of the good romance shows are Josei shows .. also .. clearly from the comments there are many “guys” watching it and enjoying it .. one can easily relate to Hazuki (even if you don’t fully agree with everything he does) or even Shimao (of course not as a ghost but in case of older people who got married then divorced but can’t get over it and keep clinging to the past).

      Sorry but your comment doesn’t make any sense since you didn’t even bother explaining what you meant by “corny”.

    • July 28, 2012 at 8:01 pmgod

      You need to read more josei or manga that tell uncommon stories. :/

    • July 29, 2012 at 12:41 pmLeticia

      No way! There are shows way cornier than this one. This series is sweet and kind of dramatic, but I don’t find it to be especially corny.

  • July 28, 2012 at 5:53 pmAllen Walker

    Wow i seriously don’t how this is gonna turn out for him. Even if he gets closer to Rokka now he’s obviously gonna feel insecure knowing that it was Shimao doing all the work. I can only imagine this turning out bad for him if not both of them when they start to feel hatred for each other being around Rokka. It’ll be really hard winning her over and making her forget about her ghost husband when he’s possessed your body.

    And somebody please answer these questions for me.>

    1. Would this count as NTR for Hazuki if Shimao has sex with Rokka in his own body?

    2. Why did Shimao turn into Rokka when he possessed Hazuki?

    At his point i just hope that Shimao doesn’t take Hazuki’s body for keeps.

    • July 28, 2012 at 7:59 pmgod

      Lolololol. I hope your first question doesn’t come true. That’d suck so bad for Hazuki. I would consider it NTR since Hazuki’s soul/spirit himself is not present.

      For the second question… my guess is that Rokka appeared because Shimao is tied to the past/younger Rokka’s wish (which was “Please don’t leave me.”) I could totally be wrong though.

  • July 28, 2012 at 6:40 pmnare

    this ep

    ryuusuke get bring rokka to fun park on date & away from ghost husband.
    during rokka also remember time she bring atsushi to the fun park.
    give ryuusuke trying ways to get alone & win rokka to many rides & etc.
    even point all of it to ask to “do it” with rokka cue shot down by rokka.
    after day in fun park ryuusuke get all drunk sure let the ghost control your body.
    & it did now atsushi’s ghost now can touch & feel rokka in ryuusuke’s body.

    to be continued…

  • July 28, 2012 at 6:54 pmewok40k

    Well, trying to forget ex-husband is hard for Hazuki when he’s constantly floating around and making snarky remarks…
    One of the qualities of alcohol that seem to speed up romances often is that it turns off thinking – of course this has its own perils. Though never heard of anyone getting possessed by ghost due to being drunk…
    Now the ghost has entered the drunken body, I expect hilarity to ensue, though drama might overlap as is usual in both real life and good love story…

  • July 28, 2012 at 7:37 pmIsabel

    I keep thinking that the ghostly image of younger Rokka might just represent the incarnation of the Rokka that is anchoring him to the living world, but maybe I’m overthinking it. I don’t really have much to comment on this episode, because I’ve already commented on Hazuki’s amusement park date. But, this was definitely awkward to watch as it was for Hazuki. I appreciate the fact that they aren’t trying to glorify romance, and I can’t wait to see what happens next episode with Shimao in possession of Hazuki. Where is Hazuki now, though? Is he still in limbo? Or is he suppressed in his own body? I’d be wary by this ghost possession turn of events, but so far this series has proven that it will forego the typical comedic fanfare for a more serious and realistic approach. I just hope that Hazuki will get his body back after next episode.

  • July 28, 2012 at 8:07 pmIgnis

    Since most of you are guys, I’ll give my POV. I didn’t see much of a problem with Hazuki’s behavior other than the fact that he is incredibly bold/straight-forward. I found him quite cute to be honest, lol.

  • July 28, 2012 at 8:42 pmrazzler

    After watching the preview, I kind of get it. Both Rokka and Shimao can’t move on from each other that they’ve been living in their own worlds that are in a way, disconnected from each other(Shimao, unconsciously still sees Rokka-chan of the past even if he sees the present Rokka-chan and Rokka-chan still grieves for Shimao but she covers it up by just living day by day trying to forget but unable to). Hazuki will come into play as someone who sees both worlds and can help both Shimao and Rokka to finally move on. It can also help him understand that scribbling over memories doesn’t make them disappear and become more emotionally mature in dealing with his feelings for Rokka-chan.

    It will just become more complicated if Rokka-chan realizes that Shimao’s using Hazuki body and how she will cope with the knowledge that Shimao’s still around but dead and Hazuki who’s not dead, both of which loves her. Will she make Hazuki give up his body so she can have Shimao or she move on from Shimao and learn to love Hazuki?

    X_x ….gah!

  • July 28, 2012 at 11:26 pmShirt

    This is a reference to the last episode but there was a time I went out with a girl and all I could think of was wanting to see her smile. At some point, I found a picture of her standing in front of her doorstep smiling the most beautiful and genuine smile I’d ever seen on a girl. I was so jealous that I hadn’t been able to make her smile like that. And I never did, regretfully. Even now, it eats away at my chest a little because I really did love her.

    When my feet unexpectedly slipped into Hazuki’s shoes, I knew I was emotionally hooked on this show. I’ll keep the tissue on standby.

  • July 28, 2012 at 11:35 pmShirt

    The OP also makes tears well up in my eyes. <3

  • July 28, 2012 at 11:52 pmFT5Havok

    I was like F!@#$%^&*()K! when the ending came ! :@

  • July 29, 2012 at 9:25 amPatty

    I

  • July 29, 2012 at 9:28 amPatty

    I’m in love with this anime…..it’s magic and ahhhh….I love it…but I don’t really like the ending of this episode, it’s really worries me….WHAT WILL HAPPEN !?

  • July 29, 2012 at 12:48 pmLeticia

    I’m lovin’ this series soooooooo much! This episode was so cute with the date and all the moves Hazuki did on Rokka-chan and, oh god, the ending was so nnngggghhhh, I really wanna watch the next one to see what happens! I hope Shimao doesn’t do anything reckless!!! >.<

  • July 30, 2012 at 2:20 pmNamika

    I wonder, how Hazuki will develop *~* considering the fact that this show went in a totally different direction, than I expected….. I’m a little scared *_*

  • August 8, 2012 at 10:29 amAshen

    While I agree with a lot of your asessment, Verdant, I personally didn’t see Hazuki’s failings as so pitiless to watch. For sure, it was painful to see how he over-thought every little thing and put too much weight in things like the bridge ‘spell’. The fact that he drew attention to their age gap made me think he lacks emotional maturity – both in regards to recognizing his own feelings and shortcomings, and in considering others’ (i.e. seeing outside himself).
    The scene in the list ride was actually one of my favorites of the ep., save for the flashbacks of Shimao that plagued Rokka. The way Hazuki talked about how it was easier to converse with someone while maintaining physical contact was very interesting, and the adult air of this series has continued to be one of my favorite aspects of it. The tone and possibilities are so much more open than if the trio were teenagers.