Summer Time Render closes with episode 25 recreating the summer of 2018 where Ushio is still alive, without the dark creatures and the islanders aren’t dead.
As for the ending of Summer Time Render, everyone will have their own opinion but for me, this is what TV anime, especially multi-character series should always do. The manga seems to have rushed to an end, thankfully, the adaptation has a director smart enough to deal with that. Stories, especially good ones like this one deserve more than just an ending. The lives of the characters go on and it’s important to slow down and give the audience a chance to absorb what they’ve seen and reflect on it.
After 25 episodes of Summer Time Render, I really feel the need to re-watch and reinterpret to see what’s going on and it really ends on the day that the busiest anime season of the year begins. As far as what really happened, I don’t think there are any surprises here. But then that’s exactly the end point. Featuring a reimagining of summer 2018 designed by shadow Ushio, where there are no dark creatures. That means the following people didn’t die: Shinpei’s parents, Nezu, his wife, Ryuunosuke, Karikiri Iwao, Shiori, the teacher, and a bunch of other islanders. And Hizuru of course she was still there. However, there are still two questions: Why does Shinpei still have strange eyes when he wakes up on the ferry, but not in episode 25 Summer Time Render? And how did the islanders survive the Kyouhou Famine of 1732, the whole reason that they associated themselves with darkness in the first place?
There are still traces of other timelines left in this timeline, like shadows. Ushio and Shinpei both had a dream that contained elements of that timeline and made them worry about each other. That was why Ushio broke the cold between them and called Shinpei in Tokyo and the same reason why he accepted her invitation. That dream was also the reason why Shinpei learned of Hizuru’s secret identity, which annoyed her but also intrigued her, as she is a lover of mysteries. Sou still loves Mio and Ryuunosuke has a daughter, named Haine.
Most importantly, from an emotional point of view, Ushio and Shinpei are still in love. She got it all wrong but when she was pushed into the boat, she took the opportunity. It’s interesting to think about what prompted Shinpei to come to Tokyo with his parents still around, but the directors don’t really address that topic here. Shinpei apologizes, he is the one who found Ushio’s lost pendant on the beach and the two of them end up together seemingly by fate. There was a bit of melancholy in the air because of Shinpei’s sense of what was lost, but overall it was a nice ending.
Shinpei mentioned a book he had read that seemed to be reminiscent of his dream – The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin by PD Ouspensky – which Hizuru identified before he could name it. And his strange story was the inspiration for her to write the book that I believe tells the story we just saw – “Summertime Render” by Minakata Ryuunosuke. But this also made me wonder: if her twin is still alive, why is she? Using the guy’s name as his pseudonym? It seems like the right place to end this story, even if it does have a manga as a sequel with a light novel scheduled.
Not many anime end with “I won’t change that” but Summer Time Render is one of them. It’s a good story and all the credit should go to the director for making a complicated supernatural mystery go in the right direction without deceiving the audience. But it is Watanabe Ayumu that is the magic ingredient that makes this series work perfectly in anime form. Everything feels right, the pacing, the presentation, the level of coherence, etc. “Smooth” is the word I use to describe this adaptation.
I have been waiting for an anime like Summer Time Render for a long time. Simply put, this is hard to do in recent times, lazy adaptations are quite rampant. I hope there will be more stories like Summer Time Render getting anime adaptations in the future.
>>> See also: Summer Time Render episode 23-24: Is it really over?
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