Anime: Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Grown-up anime! Hurray!”

(“The Face” that sells flowers)

Studio: Dogakobo

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Josei, Age: 13+

Released: July 1 2012 – onwards

You know when you’ve found the series that you’ll definitely be watching for it’s entire season; the ones you notice as soon as the promo comes up, the one who’s trailer tantalises you, and the first episode makes you weep there’s another week left before the next one. (Sakamichi no Apollon – Kids on the Slope was my last season’s).

Rokka is a grown woman with a flower shop that attracts the eye of Hazuki, a young man. After spending a fortune on buying flowers, he decides to work part-time in the flower shop in order to get closer to her.

(“The Face” is totally working on Hazuki..)

Hazuki’s is pretty much an unrequited love. He quietly watches her from afar and Rokka is completely unaware. He soon realises that working with her didn’t help his feelings or get him any closer.

(Shot-down! But is all as it appears..?)

After another worker is leaving the flower shop to get married, Rokka casually invites Hazuki to her apartment so they can go shopping afterwards.

Hazuki thinks it’s his big chance, but he sees that she has a half-naked man in her apartment. Offended that Rokka would use this to bluntly tell him her status, he leaves.

(Flower-cake with salad and wine. Bon appetite! )

During the leaving party, Rokka and the employee celebrate quietly while Rokka mentions her late husband and what he used to be like.

(I can feel your lungs.. you need to stop smoking..)

Whilst Hazuki is outside smoking, the mysterious man appears again, and claims to be Rokka’s late husband that has been hanging around for three years after death.

Hazuki doesn’t believe him… until the ghost sticks his arms through him!

(Very odd angle to admire someone from)

After that night, Hazuki starts to see the ghost everywhere. He floats around in a surreal way..

(Hazuki: ghosts are totally normal now)

Hazuki finds him annoying, but even then can’t help feeling that he’s competing against him.

(Hi, I’m the new helper…)

Miho, Rokka’s sister-in-law, appears to help out with the shop.

(Hazuki and Rokka… man, I haven’t wanted anything this badly since NANA..!)

Rokka and Hazuki go get lunch and Hazuki confesses his feelings for her. Rokka seems to think that he’s well-meaning, but that she’s not worth it.

(Poor Hazuki… This is only making Rokka more endearing..)

Rokka breaks down in confusion over Hazuki’s confession, but manages to hold it together for when they make their way back to the shop. Hazuki is left feeling that he didn’t get a proper answer.

(Gah, best triangle of the century!)

The ending of the episode showed that he’s still wanting to have Rokka for himself.

Overall, I found this episode fascinating. The characters were interesting, the cast was intimate, and the relationships were just beginning to develop. I liked Rokka, Hazuki and her late husband; they were good characters. The animation was absolutely gorgeous, so I couldn’t help taking lots of screens. I like that they work in a flower shop, it just gives the whole scenery a kind of shoujo-esque feel, but without the fake flowers! It’s much more mature.

The only thing bad about is that, there’s no action in this episode and there’s not likely to be. If you want anything fast-paced look elsewhere, because this is slow-cooked..

I’m hoping that this series doesn’t drop the ball, since the first episode was so tight.

Rated – 4/5 Gorgeous animation, likeable characters, building tension and drama.

See the next episode!

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