In Volume 1, Shinpei learns about the suspicious circumstances surrounding Ushio’s death. He then discovers that townspeople are being consumed and replaced by “shadows,” which appear to be connected to an island legend. While he can reset time by dying, he’s losing a little more time with each loop. Now that he knows what the shadows are planning, it’s more urgent than ever that he stop them. Enter Minakata Hizuru, another former resident who has returned to the island, although her agenda and her motivations are obscure.
The second volume of Summer Time Rendering is fantastic, and its 374 pages have enough twists to appeal to the most hard-core of suspense readers. It made me gasp out loud – more than once! – and kept me glued to the page right through the astonishing end of the volume. There is no doubt that I will be reading Volume 3, as I’m far too invested in what’s happening to stop now.
Volume 2 amps up both the violence and the fanservice from the first volume. As Shinpei becomes involved with new, if temporary, allies Hizuru and Nezu, they take aggressively violent action against the shadow copies of the people on the island, which leads to scenes of both body horror and psychological horror. The fanservice is still very prevalent; Hizuru is literally referred to as “big boobs” throughout the volume, when there are at least three other relevant nicknames that could have been chosen. Mio’s underwear still plays a leading role, and Ushio’s body will be naked for reasons. Despite the service treatment, the female characters are all as intriguing as the men, if less clothed. If you hope that the fanservice fades away as the story develops, you’ll be disappointed. Nonetheless – and I say this as a manga fan of many decades who has heard this many times about other series – this manga is a really good, high-tension read.
As we get to know the people involved and learn about their relationships, their deaths weigh more heavily on us, drawing us deeper into Shinpei’s situation. We begin to care for their safety, or if they are even saveable at all. We gain new insights into the overall story as characters with complex personal histories are introduced into the narrative. This volume spends most of its pages developing these backstories and expanding on the setting introduced in Volume 1. The plot doesn’t really progress so much as digress in this volume, as we learn the whos, the whats…but still not the whys of what is happening on Hitogashima.
By the end of this volume I am no closer to understanding the mystery behind the shadows. But as the final pages land and shocking new mysteries are added to existing ones, I don’t mind one bit.
Summer Time Rendering by Yasuki Tanaka continues to be a rollicking good tale of paranormal suspense. Volume 2 will be released in English on July 25, 2022 by Udon Entertainment. A 25-episode anime directed by Ayumu Watanabe (Komi Can’t Communicate, Space Brothers) will debut on April 14, streaming on Disney+. The completed manga is also available on Shueisha‘s MANGA Plus platform.
Erica Friedman has done editing work on Rose of Versailles for Udon Entertainment. This review is based upon a review copy provided by Udon Entertainment. Erica has written about Yuri anime, manga and related media on her blog Okazu, since 2002.