10 CommentsFirst Impressions / By Scamp /

Natsuyuki Rendezvous episode 1: Passive-aggressive ghosts (Scamp’s take)

The main character in Natsuyuki Rendezvous has a permanent -_- face, which I kinda love. I’m used to seeing permablush or eyes that are forever shut, but a constant glare of irritation is a new one that I rather like. I even like the fact that he draws attention to it, even better that he drew attention to it in an irritated manner. Bunch of dudes being dicks to each other. This is my kind of anime.

I wasn’t particularly interested in this anime pre-season, because the promo art and trailers gave off a rather dull vibe. That dull vibe is still here, unfortunately. There’s a complete lack of urgency to any of the directing. On  the rare occasions that background music plays, it’s dull tinkly piano music. The artwork is bog-standard for josei and there’s no attempts breathe life (har har) into any scene where the characters are talking, instead just focusing on talking heads. I’m not asking for it to go all anime-fied and wacky, because clearly that wouldn’t fit with the tone. This director did do Kurenai though, and there was a show that was both down to earth and still exuded energy. At the moment Natsuyuki Rendezvous has all the energy of a sloth on painkillers.

Now with the complaining out of the way…

The writing is fantastic. I love the little barbs the main character and the ghost dude send each other. It’s such simple little things too. The ghost berates the main character for smoking, but it only becomes clear later on that the guy’s life was full of health problems, so you connect the dots and realise the idea of someone deliberately damaging their health bugs him. Then there’s the entire concept behind why the guy hangs around the house. He spent his life insisting that his wife moves on as soon as he dies, so his hidden feelings of really wanting her all for himself manifest in him haunting the house. I honestly wish they left more of this for us to figure out. Having the main character narrate everything gave some scenes a bit more ‘stuff’ happening in them, but often he’d outright explain something that a simple glance could have told us. Let your audience figure stuff out for themselves. It’s more rewarding that way.

But what I love most of all is that the entire show is centred around two guys being assholes to each other in really passive aggressive ways. Both of them are so sardonic and low-key that their interactions turn into snark fests, and that’s great. Just before I watched Natsuyuki Rendezvous, I saw Bimbougami-ga, of which I’m still struggling to form a post for, but I’m pretty sure it will contain will be “STOP SHOUTING PLEASE”. The snarky low jibes of the two male characters in Natsuyuki Rendezvous (good lord rendezvous is a difficult word to spell, and will probably earn you a fuck-ton points in Scrabble) was hugely refreshing. The girls are total damp squibs, at the moment, but those two should provide enough entertainment to keep this show going.

Also the ghost entered the main character halfway through the first episode. That means they’re totally canon.

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  1. luffyluffy
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    yeesss buttsex

  2. Desi
    Posted July 5, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    No mention on all them flowers in his room.
    Scamp I am Dissapoint.

  3. Posted July 6, 2012 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Huh. I simply thought the episode was ok, nothing special so far. However as you pointed out with the ghost and Hazuki, that interaction can lead to some creative moments, so it should get better I hope.

    “…saw Bimbougami-ga, of which I’m still struggling to form a post for, but I’m pretty sure it will contain ‘STOP SHOUTING PLEASE'”

    Uh-oh, that’s probably not a good sign since you’re writing about it

  4. crazyapple92
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    “all the energy of a sloth on painkillers.”

    Clearly you’ve never had a big shot of morphine! ;)

  5. Posted July 6, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Ah, I loved this.

  6. Erif
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    The last time you used the phrase “dull tinkly piano music” I believe it was in reference to Debussy’s “Claire de Lune” in the first episode of Hourou Musuko.

    Never again.

  7. Embok
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    “but a constant glare of irritation is a new one that I rather like. I even like the fact that he draws attention to it, even better that he drew attention to it in an irritated manner. Bunch of dudes being dicks to each other. This is my kind of anime.”

    I enjoy this sort of thing too. When I restarted Bleach recently, I had completely forgotten about Ichigo’s gimmick of always looking pissed. I found myself loving how everyone was an asshole to each other, trash talking constantly.

    If only this was a daytime show targeted at thirteen year old boys instead of a noitaminA aimed at women in their later twenties.

  8. crazyapple92
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    OOh, this might be my favorite series this season. (side note – anyone else surprised at how many reasonably decent, and even good, shows there are this season? Haven’t had this much to watch in many years).

    I too wish it didn’t go to such pains to make sure every low IQ individual watching understood everything. I really like feeling clever, so let me! Really though they spend a lot of time on that when they should be using it to flesh out the female characters.

    I do enjoy the show a lot though, it’s interesting and fairly clever and isn’t relying on some silly plot devices, stereotypes, or oodles of fanservice so there’s a much smaller chance of it fizzling out after a couple of episodes.

    And it’s great to see characters with personalities again. It’s also lovely to see adults behave like adults concerning love. None of that fiddly to embarrassed to look each other in they eye nonsense. They come out and say what they have to say, not quite directly, and not quite confidently but realistically.

    And the part where he though he was getting shut down in a mean and spiteful way was pretty good. Realism is hard to find, and stuff that isn’t full of adolescent fantasy is also hard to come by.

    I think what it really boils down to is that this is a intelligent, well made series FOR ADULTS. Or people reasonably close to being adults. And that’s what anime needs more of, not consistently younger and younger characters for younger audiences (I’m looking at you Eureka 7! Renton was 14 and it was painful to watch, now you’ve got nearly 40 year old men in your show talking about how sexy your 12 year old heroins are. GROSS!).

  9. Morridin
    Posted July 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ll actually follow this one, rather than to just dl it and archive it with all the other gazillion shows that seem interesting.

    Kinda seems like the movie Ghost, but with more sense of humour. Though without the darkness of Frighteners.

  10. Mr.RR
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Neato show, something odd about liking the wife of a ghost and he can’t really do anything about it…

    …except stare at him really hard when they do it so he can’t get up.

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