Upon its release, Disney+’s Summer Time Rendering was widely commented on as being very similar to anime classics such as Re: Zero and Steins;Gate. So in what ways are they similar?
Summertime Rendering begins in a macabre and thrilling setting filled with odd happenings, mysterious deaths, and inexplicable time loops. Yes, it’s that kind of anime again – the main character is having a hard time finding a way to save everyone from their inevitable death while losing his mind from experiencing similar setbacks that resulted in facing moments of horror and witness their deaths. Summer Time Rendering is essentially Re: Zero combined with Steins;Gate (and a little ERASED).
At a time when it was only the first two episodes, Summer Time Rendering’s protagonist Shinpei has been shown to bear striking similarities to Re:Zero’s Subaru and Steins;Gate’s Okabe. Let’s take a look at some of the things the main characters of the 3 series have in common.
Summer Time Rendering and Re:Zero
Summertime Rendering begins with Shinpei having some vague vision of his childhood friend Ushio. This is very similar to how Subaru in Re: Zero begins his adventure; He walked out of a convenience store in the middle of the night and his vision started to blur. He believes it’s because as a hikikomori, he’s always at home that blurred vision is normal.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case and Subaru finds himself in a whole new world. The same goes for Shinpei, who suddenly has a distorted vision of his friend Ushio just before his ferry docks and the strange and mysterious adventure in Summer Time Rendering begins.
Shinpei also has the gift (or curse) of being able to return by death, meaning he can return to a certain point in the past after death, similar to Subaru in Re: Zero. Sadly for Shinpei, there was no one there to greet him at the return point. Both are caught in the painful cycle of dying multiple times while trying to save the people they love. Only time will tell if Shinpei is mentally resilient like Subaru.
Summertime Rendering and Steins;Gate
Similar to Shinpei in Summertime Rendering and Subaru in Re: Zero, Okabe’s story in Steins;Gate also begins with his death and alteration of the timeline that seems to have placed him in another world. Okabe must then string the clues together to figure out how to prevent Makise Kurusu’s death by traveling through time and experiencing the same events over and over again. Shinpei also had to repeat the same events to prevent the deaths of the islanders.
Summer Time Rendering also depicts what appears to be an agent-type character Hizuru, in the same way that Steins;Gate has Moeka. Both female characters also have glasses and similar physical features. However, at the present time, almost nothing is known about the organization that Hizuru works for. The most significant similarity that Okabe will find interesting is that Shinpei also has the ability to Read Steiner.
Reading Steiner is what allows one to remember things when transported to different worlds or timelines. Fortunately for Shinpei, it’s possible that being in the same world allows him to use his memories to his advantage by staying one step ahead of the mysterious killers. Even each main character has a female companion to help them in a thrilling but equally ruthless mystery story. It would be interesting to see if there are any other similarities to other classic anime that emerge as Summer Time Rendering continues.
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