OP Sequence

OP: 「SEE YOU」by 松下優也 (Matsushita Yuuya)
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

Taking the time slot of Tsuritama is a series which takes noitaminA back to the genre that brought it acclaim in the first place: a josei romance. Of course, Natsuyuki Rendezvous isn’t your average romance in the vein of Honey and Clover or Nodame Cantabile by any means – not when there’s a ghost involved.

The setup for studio Dogakobo and director Matsuo Kou’s (Rozen Maiden, Yozakura Quartet) romance might be a little well tread already, but it brings out the romantic in me nonetheless. After all, there’s something old-fashioned, innocent, and most of all, charming in the way the somber Hazuki Ryuusuke (Nakamura Yuuichi) passes by a flower shop owned by the cheerful Shimao Rokka (Ohara Sayaka) every evening to purchase a small planter from her, knowing he’ll be able to catch her outside as she closes up her shop. It’s a setup that wouldn’t look out of place even one hundred or two hundred years ago, and in an age when so much of our courtship no longer occurs face to face but through electronic means, I love the simplicity and timelessness of what Hazuki is doing, even though he is barely able to talk to her. Although my faith in such romantic gestures is rewarded somewhat when he takes a part-time job in her shop in order to get closer to her, the actual courtship itself isn’t so old-fashioned or innocent as we might have been led to believe. Standing (or maybe floating is a more apt description) in the way of his advances is the ghost of her late husband, Shimao Atsushi (Fukuyama Jun), who seems to have died of a disease which afflicted him even before he married Rokka and appears unable to move on. Having Atsushi play the role of Hazuki’s invisible rival in love creates the possibility for the story to develop in many unique directions, and it’s a role that gives this show the colorful twist it needs to stand out in a field of rosy romances.

Since right now Hazuki is the only one who can see Atsushi, it’ll be interesting to see how their rivalry will play out while Rokka and Shimao Miho (Touma Yumi), Atsushi’s sister who is helping out at the flower shop from time to time, are clueless to Atsushi’s presence. It doesn’t appear that Hazuki will be letting either of them know that he can speak to Atsushi anytime soon, but if he does tell them, the implications should make for a captivating watch. Other aspects to look forward to are themes of attachment for both Rokka and Atsushi that can be explored much further, the small reminders of all the little ways that people are affected after they lose a loved one, and whether the two men will eventually work together to bring happiness to the one they love. The pacing in this premiere episode sets a great precedence for the series, and I hope that it will give Natsuyuki Rendezvous enough time over its 11 episode run to touch on the complex and dark issues that sets it apart from other romances I’ve seen (which admittedly isn’t very many).

As is befitting for a series set in flower shop, Dogakobo’s animation and artwork is clean and colorful, and the muted watercolor shading helps give Natsuyuki Rendezvous that all-important josei vibe and connects it, at least aesthetically, with its famous noitaminA brethren like the aforementioned Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile. The music is sparse and understated, but its piano flourishes were enough to break the tension that pervaded much of this premiere episode. The opening theme, 「SEE YOU」 by Matsushita Yuuya (who also performed the first Durarara! ED 「Trust Me」), is a perfect match for the show and is destined for endless looping on my music playlist along with Aimer’s ending theme as well. Above all, the characters so far are likeable, if not particularly memorable just yet, and the seiyuu have performed as if their roles were tailor made for them to show the breadth of their dramatic range.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is shaping up to be an honest depiction of a romance without the trappings of modern life and featuring an unconventional twist on the standard love triangle. This is a love story with a lot of potential, and so far it looks like it will live up to the reputation of the noitaminA josei romances that came before it.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「あなたに出会わなければ~夏雪冬花~)」 (Anata ni Deawanakereba ~Natsuyuki Fuyuhana~) by エメ (Aimer)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

Watch the Preview: Streaming ▼

30 Comments

    1. I agree with you. Im sick of seeing the same old thing that’s just redressed with a new name and animation season after season. Im gonna give this a try it’s managed to draw me in.

      Agron
  1. The dialogue was so natural and elegant. I absolutely love the confession scene, especially Hazuki’s “Don’t brush it off!” (yes, that’s how a real man confesses) and Rokka’s mature reaction. If this was some high school rom-com, the girl would just blush real hard and run away or something.
    This is gonna be amazing!!!

    sLaDk
  2. This anime really exceeded my expectations. I knew this anime was going to be great, I just thought this anime would be something I wouldn’t to every week… I was wrong.

    This anime, my friends, is a likely candidate of being the best romance anime in the past few years — Thought Nazo no Kanojo was going to be it after pulling a crazy 1st episode, but it wasn’t. But this anime is likely going to be

    Alec
  3. I actually read this beautiful manga a long time ago, but I never thought someone would animate it. It’s a pleasant surprise that there are still companies out there who are willing to animate stories like these.

    Yukie
    1. I love that you called it a beautiful manga that makes me think you were more than satisfied. No I don’t want to know anything else about the story but your words gave me encouragement (even though it is just one person’s opinion). 🙂

      Kim
  4. Nakamura Yuuichi sure is in alot of shows this season.. tis going to be a good summer. Looking forward to your coverage of this so far brilliant show, Verudantoh!

    JayDrink
  5. No idea what I was getting into, but seems like one of the most original animes I’ve seen in a while. I dislike Tomboy cuts, but I think its quite suiting and helps the realism flavor of the show. Kind of reminds me of mix of Honey and clover “bittersweet love” with bits of Natsume’s “natural supernatural” and Kyon style commentary.

    Looking forward to this show.

    shin
  6. I’ve read bits of the manga and yes it does look like it’s going to shape up to a be a great romance show. Whats great about this manga adaptation is that the manga is already completed so we won’t get a half-assed ending. So far the character building has been great and the slow paced story is succulent.

  7. *v*! first show to really make me appreciate it this season >D! looking forward to watching this all the way through. Listening to Nakamura vs Fukuyama is going to be too awesome >D. hehehehehe.

    Kumakaori
  8. I close my eyes…and hear Gai and Irisviel talking to each other o_0

    Really strong first episode. I’m a sucker for romance, too, but the character designs and overall vibe are really up my alley. I think this will be the only new anime I’ll be following this season (alongside HxH, Rinne 2, and E7:AO). My schedule is crazy.

    By the way, great review, Verdant!

    JD
  9. I just love shot 30.
    They did a really good job w/ the designs for the plants. I own quite a few mini cacti myself.

    I’m also glad that this isn’t one of those stories where it takes the male lead a hundred episodes (if, at all) to tell his female interest that he has feelings for her. I have mixed feelings about the relationship itself. But then again I haven’t touched the manga. I hope the development won’t become too sloppy.
    My favorite part of this is the ED. It’s just really quite lovely. At first, I thought it was sung by YUI.

    Lol @ Kumakaori’s comment. We’ve had many anime males w/ small eyes. I’m still waiting for the day that an anime female lead has epicanthic folds. Probably won’t happen though.

    petitorenji
    1. The manga isn’t anymore helpful in determining the development actually. There’s only been 5-6 chapters scanlated and their relationship is still developing with the barest of hints. Still a great manga though.

      evilcleo
  10. so watching this ok then give let see we have in seiyu joke yea we have the ghost of watanuki keep watching to see if tomoya tried to steal his wife yuko?

    yea hmm got wonder if expect rivalry between kyousuke vs ghost of lelouch to see if who will get Irisviel?

    hmm might hang around what else to happen.

    speaker
  11. Hi! I just want to point out that the opening and ending sequence for Natsuyuki Rendezvous is the same on the side. It wasn’t before, but for some reason it is now. O: I really like the ending, so please fix it. Arigatou! ^-^

    Eburin

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