Anime of Tomorrow
Natsuyuki Rendezvous Ep. 1
Summer 2012 (11 episodes) (title literal translation – Summer Snow Rendezvous) (more info)
Natsuyuki Rendezvous—an anime about a ghost who is playing interference to keep a guy away from his own widowed wife. Right away I must say the concept for this romance-drama is pretty original and smart. The writing is good at conveying feelings and it definitely needs to be because heroine Rokka isn’t particularly attractive with her hair cut so short you might mistake her for a 12 year old boy. It’s an interesting stylistic choice to depict the leading lady so unaesthetically because her charming points that protagonist Ryuusuke finds appealing feel more innocent and genuine than if he was just after her for her looks.
However, why Ryuusuke is suddenly able to see Rokka’s dead husband’s ghost, Atsushi after several months working part time at her flower shop isn’t explained and sort of comes out of left field. All the same, the reveal is well-timed with a moment when Ryuusuke is starting to feel bold enough to pursue her more earnestly. So far, everything is there that the series needs in order to work and I’m happy to see that the protagonist’s unrequited love isn’t going to be dragged out any longer than the first episode as anime are so prone to do.
At this point Natsuyuki Rendezvous is relying so heavily on its dialogue that it feels more like I’m reading a novel than watching TV. The low-budget animation is done in that semi-realistic, glittering-eyed shoujo style that makes it immediately clear that this series’ target audience is probably not men (if that wasn’t already obvious from the premise and so-so attractive heroine). I think I may be up for a more serious romantic story flavored with a slightly off-the-wall plot hook and if that’s also your thing I’m willing to bet that Natsuyuki Rendezvous is not going to be a disappointment.