Posted May 20, 2013 by Elaine Cepeda in Anime/Manga

Anime Review: Natsuyuki Rendezvous

Title: Natsuyuki Rendezvous
No. of episodes: 11
Genre/s: Josei, Romance

From MAL
Hazuki may be near-sighted, but he knows true beauty when he sees it and the delicate form of flower shop owner Rokka draws him in like a bee to honey. So, hoping to cultivate a relationship between them, Hazuki takes a part time job at her shop, only to discover two huge thorns preventing the nurturing of any romance. The first, the fact that Rokka is still grieving for her late husband Shimao, would be enough to snip most men’s ardor short, but it’s the second that really threatens to make Hazuki’s forlorn hopes wilt. Because while Shimao is most definitely deceased, he hasn’t yet departed and his spirit is still living in Rokka’s apartment! Except only Hazuki can see him, which leads to a very strange romantic triangle indeed. Are Hazuki’s chances with Rokka as dead as the man who still lives in her house? Or can he somehow make love blossom even though there’s an interloper pushing up the daisies between them?

So Hazuki likes the flower shop manager who lost her husband three years ago. However, said husband is still around…literally floating around her (their) house. Talk about stalking. And yup, unexpected love triangle presented right off the bat. The series started just like that: light, straight, and slightly comedic. It takes a sharp turn of events the next episode. The emotional rollercoaster lasted for about three episodes then it becomes…pure angst…all throughout. //facepalm

I admit, I enjoyed it at first. Hazuki blushing and fumbling while thinking of a way to get closer to Rokka is amusing to watch. Then enter dead hubby in the picture and wow different twist to a love triangle. What is even more entertaining to see is Hazuki trying to woo his manager. On the other hand, Shimao blocks at every chance he can get.

But then it turns depressing. And even more depressing with each episode that I can’t even. I started feeling bad for the poor guys. They both loved Rokka and will do anything. The only difference is that the one is alive, and the other is dead. It doesn’t help that they keep on bouncing from past and present, real and fairy-tale-like world every now and then. Meaning, you’ll get Hazuki’s POV this scene, the next dialogue would be from Shimao, then to Rokka. So on and so fort.

As for the characters, like I said above, I feel bad for the guys but later on, it’s only Hazuki that I feel bad. He just happens to fall in love to someone who still clings to her deceased husband (not that I blame her). To his luck, he is able to see her husband. He is caught-in-between the two. On the other hand, Shimao is quite the relate-able guy. At first that is. Later on, I find him annoying, clingy, and definitely self-centered. But at least, he is able to redeem himself in the last parts of the series. Then the worst character (okay that was harsh) for me is Rokka. While watching this, I keep on thinking “Please stop thinking Hazuki is Shimao T_T”. It’s unfair seeing your dead husband to your recent suitor. She cares only on her grief without even giving a damn to Hazuki’s feelings. And who in their right mind wouldn’t be surprised if you found out that a ghost possessed another guy’s body? But nope, she just accepted it and is rather happy when she finds out that it’s her late husband’s soul taking over Hazuki’s body.

I wanted to cry so hard while watching but not for the reason you are thinking. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t understand what it’s trying to say. Sure, there are occasional surprises every once in a while but that’s it. I couldn’t wrapped my mind to what is going on in the story which is a shame since I liked this from the start.

The art and the music are both lovely. The flowers looks lively and very colorful in which I can’t help but think that this is opposed to the story. The op and ed music give off a melancholic vibes which are soothing.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is not entirely a bad anime, but it isn’t that good for my liking. I loved the first few episodes and the last one, though. You won’t be missing any if you let this pass.

Elaine Cepeda