An exciting horror and mystery thriller, Summertime Rendering Volume 1 is a fast-paced rollercoaster of shock. The plotline is uniquely written, and the artwork is dark and gritty, perfect for thrill-seeking fans. Scheduled to be released by UDON Entertainment in June, Summertime Rendering follows high schooler Shinpei as he returns to his hometown on a small island to attend the funeral of his friend Oshiro. But as he discovers a dark mystery surrounding her death, he becomes embroiled in a horrific plot planned by sinister creatures.
While I had heard of Summertime Rendering here and there, I initially knew nothing about the story before reading the manga. I had no idea what it was about, nor did I know that it was a horror-thriller that would trap me. I happily opened the manga with a smile, believing from the title that I was about to embark on a sweet slice-of-life story that featured youthful fun and love. Boy, could I have been so wrong. I should have known something was off from my slice-of-life expectation, starting with Shinpei’s travels to a funeral. Readers are thrown into a suspicious mystery within a few pages of the story’s beginning. Summertime Rendering Volume 1 initially provides unknown details surrounding the death of Shinpei’s friend, Oshiro. Moments later, we’re thrown into horror with a violent shock. I swear there was whiplash.
The plotline is surprisingly dark and chilling, with so many twists that it can be hard to keep up. The gritty scenes stark contrast to the light and beautiful town the story is set in, clashing vibrantly. Beautifully written to showcase the horror, the Summertime Rendering‘s story adds contrast between scenes, so sudden turns of events violently rock readers. Sweet moments are suddenly interrupted by blood, and innocent faces suddenly darken with terror. Readers are also quickly introduced to the main characters, presented through nostalgic stories or short notes. Each character is endearing, and though they aren’t hugely developed, they all clearly have their own personality and background. Readers can easily sympathize with them as the story progresses.
To emphasize the shock of the storyline, the artwork in Summertime Rendering Volume 1 enhances any contrasts. From stunning, breezy views of the town and sea to sudden blood-covered monstrosities and corpses, each scene drags readers back and forth into light and dark unexpectedly. Many dark, shadowed scenes excellently display the horrific details, highlighting the important pieces in a single image: a bloody knife, creeping shadows, or the sweet face of a character splashed with blood. As unexpected as the horror storyline was to me, I found myself enthralled by it. I studied every scene, trying to see every minute detail to understand everything. I cried with Shinpei, screamed with him, shook my head in confusion alongside him. I, like Shinpei, wanted to know more about what the hell was going on and needed to learn more.
However, the mystery is one of the best parts of Summertime Rendering. While some details can confuse readers, I’m confident later volumes will explain the gaps. There are many unknowns: why certain things happened, when precisely the timeline is, and who the characters are. I cannot wait for the next volumes, and am waiting with bated breath to find out more.
The anime adaptation of Summertime Rendering has already aired and received high praise and notice. While currently only available in Japan, the show is scheduled to air on Disney+ this summer. In the meantime, UDON Entertainment is releasing the manga in English in a unique omnibus format that includes multiple volumes in one. In June, the first omnibus will be released which will have six and a half volumes of the manga in one go. The UDON edition also features the original color pages and a new translation and localization.
Summertime Rendering Vol.1 Review
An Exciting and Chilling Thriller
Dark and gritty. Full of twists and turns. An enthralling horror surrounded in mystery and intrigue.
Minor confusing gaps in plotline (may potentially be ironed out later)