Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 07
Who is the main character? How will this story end? Even after seven episodes, the fact that we’re no closer to answering these key questions than when we started is what sets Natsuyuki Rendezvous apart from other shows and one of the reasons why there is a special place in my heart reserved for it.
Who is the main character? Normally, most shows answer this right out of the gate, sometimes even before the first episode has even aired. And rightly so, as it is especially crucial for a romance to know who the main character is because the story essentially revolves his or her quest to find love. For the first several episodes (before Hazuki gave up his body basically), it appeared that Natsuyuki was going down this same road – boy meets girl, boy falls in love with girl, and after several trials and tribulations, they live happily ever after. Not that there is anything wrong with this formula though. It is the journey, not the destination, where the story is truly told.
How will this story end? As long as I can remember, this is the first time that I cannot predict how this romance, this love story, will end. Every possible outcome seems equally likely: Hazuki ending up with Rokka; Shimao taking over Hazuki’s body permanently and ending up with her; neither man ending up with her; or even everyone dying in a freak accident and becoming some sort of messy ghostly love triangle. Natsuyuki has done a wonderful job of ending each episode on a cliffhanger, but the tension that comes from anticipating the next episode is really ramped up compared to other shows by the complete inability to predict how the story will play out next. Oftentimes, the best you can come up with is nothing at all – and there’s something inherently satisfying about being taken for a ride where the destination is a complete mystery.
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