Summer Time Rendering – Episode 4 Review

summer time rendering episode 4 ushio

While looping stories play on themes of deja vu, the evil clones here can also give us the opposite feeling. Episode four, “Jamais Vu” is titled after that opposing concept. It relates to feeling unfamiliar with something that should be familiar, which is very on-brand for this anime. And this episode is the exact turning point I’ve been waiting for. It perfectly portrays what makes Summer Time Rendering unique while progressing its story and characters at a captivating pace.

After finding a wandering Ushio in a swimsuit at the festival, Shinpei is rightly suspicious of her intentions. Yet it’s clear by how she acts that, shadow or not, this Ushio doesn’t have any malicious intentions. It makes you wonder so many things, like is this actually a shadow or is this the real Ushio and a shadow died? Is time travel somehow involved? Are we in an Anohana ghost friend situation? Either way she seems energetic and kind when Shinpei is all alone with her, so it’s not like she’s a threat.

Ushio is a real fun character too, probably my favorite in this series so far. Despite Shinpei explaining that she died, she doesn’t mind openly going to the festival and meeting up with her friends and sister again. Of course that would be bad for a number of obvious reasons so Shinpei has to rein her in. While the mystery with this Ushio is definitely interesting, what made this episode great involves what happens at the shrine.

Last episode I predicted that some scenes were actually of a Shadow Shinpei, and it turns out I might not have been that far off. This reveal comes from a shrine scene where their code words were actually used. Soon after that, we come to find out the Shinpei for this scene was a shadow after all. A brief “10 minutes earlier” scene then shows us Shadow Mio roaming the festival and confronting Shinpei. That’s when Shadow Shinpei appears and we learn just enough about the mechanics of the shadows and their intentions to keep things exciting.

As a protagonist with time looping powers, it was cool to find out Shinpei is also pretty smart with his whole situation. But that makes it scarier to know there’s a Shadow Shinpei who is also as smart as him. So when the evil Mio is on edge ready to kill Shinpei, the shadow mastermind holds her back. He pieces together that Shinpei somehow has a time looping ability based on his prior knowledge and actions, along with copying his memories and discovering a weird restarting sensation. Not only that, he quickly understands that killing Shinpei could result in stopping their plans before they could happen. So instead he has Shadow Mio restrain him while Shadow Shinpei swaps places and goes to meet his friends at the shrine.

During the shrine scene, it was obvious that Ushio revealing herself to the real Mio would be really bad. Yet she comically tries anyway after a rejected love confession from Sou to Mio. The mood appropriately changes from whacky fun vibes to “my sister is dead, you’re a monster” kind of dialogue. Which seems to genuinely hurt this Ushio, who is apparently a traitor shadow that seems to want a peaceful life as Ushio with her friends. But Shadow Shinpei has other plans for this island. Plans which are finally ready to go into action, and likely involves how Shadow Mio already replaced dozens of people that were heading to the shrine.

And they might have gotten away it too, if it wasn’t for the ferry woman saving Shinpei with a shotgun. Now we finally get to learn about her next episode and I’m excited for that. Although I’m assuming she’s somehow related to the author of a novel Shinpei mentioned before, since its story was also about evil doppelgangers and that’s a little too convenient to mention. That along with the fact she was there to investigate the little shadow girl that Ushio died saving.

Summer Time Rendering kept me interested but slightly worried up until now. I’m glad to see this story become so much better as time goes on. We’re getting just the right puzzle pieces to keep us satisfied. The question that remains now is if it can keep this up for its 25 episode runtime. And also when the hell is Disney+ planning to release this worldwide?

Disney+ is licensing Summer Time Rendering and there is currently no date for its worldwide release. Yasuki Tanaka created the original manga and is available on Amazon.