Kind of funny and very heartbreaking, old as the hills, but unique at the same time. Each episode develops in a very unexpected way and makes you feel for the characters more and more. Probably that’s why Natsuyuki Rendezvous has so much potential in it. I’m very very glad that I decided to watch this, because I would be leaving out an anime that has the guts(sounds a bit rough, I know) to be one of the best releases of the season and, possibly, the whole year. At some point, Atsushi irritated me a lot. Though he’s the one that deserves sympathy the most, we have to admit that he’s also the one responsible for the situation at hand. Of course, he didn’t die because he wanted to, but death is something inevitable, that every person will have to deal with at some point in their life, so why not meet your fate with pride, move on and let the ones you love continue their lives? Rokka cried out “Don’t leave me!” when Atsushi died, and that’s when he decided to really stay. Although, I think that that was an unconscious decision, something that his soul instinctively reached out to and tried to grasp. So, probably, the thing that Hazuki has to do first, is to make Atsushi understand, that he should accept his fate, move on and let Rokka do the same. After all, she’s alive and she still has the chance to live her life happily. This may be the problem that Hazuki will work on throughout the show. No, not “maybe”, I’m pretty sure this will be it. But Atsushi’s egoistic and kind of scary reactions tell me that it won’t be such an easy task, because he’s been around for so long, suffering, not being able to communicate with anyone, especially his own wife… I do think that the whole situation is, more or less, Atsushi’s fault, but I still can’t fully blame him, because the state he ended in is quite terrible and truthfully, I’m amazed that he was able to stay sane over the years. In the end, he really does irritate me a lot, but at the same time I feel very sorry for that poor cookie Even though sometimes Hazuki’s actions are quite bold and gutsy, he’s still fairly… childish and inexperienced in the relationship department. His problem is that he’s trying to rush things. Probably because, subconsciously, he’s afraid to lose to the man, who can’t even touch or talk to Rokka, but, regardless of how huge his disadvantages are, still holds most of the heart of the woman Hazuki loves. Probably, his age is also to blame. However it is, he needs to understand that hurrying and forcing himself on Rokka won’t help at all. Quite the opposite. The feelings she hid in the deepest places of her soul will awaken and protest against a new love. Though I really don’t think that Hazuki is trying to replace Atsushi. He did say, that he doesn’t mind to be the “second choice” so he fully understands that Atsushi will always be in her heart, no matter what. That makes Hazuki the most worthy and capable candidate for conquering the second half of Rokka’s soul. And also, deserving Atsushi’s trust and approval. As for me, he got my approval in the very first episode
Overall, I’m loving this show to bits and pieces(if you couldn’t guess by now, heh ^3^”) and the thing I love the most is the fact that, even though I can guess the general direction in which it’s heading, it surprises me quite a lot in different ways. Be it the little plot twist or an exact scene. For example, the scene in the 4th episode, when Rokka and Hazuki are on the ferris wheel. Yes, the moment when he, instead of kissing her hand, puts her finger in his mouth. I swear, chills ran down my spine at seeing that. I seriously didn’t expect such a thing, though it looked amazingly emotional and sensual. Or even Atsushi’s overly aggressive reaction on seeing Rokka and Hazuki together. It’s natural for him to be so pissed off after seeing another man embracing his wife, especially in the bed he used to share with her, however, I still didn’t expect him to get so boldly aggressive. I think, that’s one of the things that make this show special and…. mature, maybe?
If you’re looking for a bubbly and positive shoujo like Kimi ni Todoke or Lovely Complex, then Natsuyuki Rendezvous is definitely not for you. The latter is more mature and serious. There isn’t any bubbly space or sparkles surrounding Rokka or Atsushi, and it’s not really a classic love triangle. NR takes an old story and adds several details and nuances that make the old story that everybody knows stand out. As I said, this is a grown up love story where holding hands or looking each other in the eyes doesn’t mean that everything is alright.