Back in the early 2000s, there was a Beanie Babies-esque boom in plush stuffed animal toys, and it seemed every toy store was “stuffed” with cute plush animals, causing The Onion to write an amusing news article celebrating the “rising biodiversity of stuffed animals in America.” Looking at the current anime season, it’s hard to not see a lot of “biodiversity” in the offerings studios are giving us, with a mind-blowing 51 newly airing series, which guarantees something for everyone. One show I’m enjoying is the supernatural suspense thriller Summer Time Rendering, which is brought to us by a surprising company, Disney. Let’s take a look at the show!
Looking For a Murder Mystery With Pantsu? Watch Summer Time Rendering!
Shinpei Ajiro has returned to his hometown on the small island of Hitogashima for the funeral of his childhood friend Ushio, who drowned trying to rescue another child… but strange marks around her neck raise suspicions she was actually murdered. In a dream, Shinpei is visited by Ushio’s ghost, who asks him to watch over her sister, Mio. As the story unfolds, we learn that a supernatural force is at work on the island, which Shinpei and his friends must uncover. It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Groundhog Day!
Summer Time Rendering — the Japanese title is サマータイムレンダー Summer Time Render, with “Rendering” as its official English title — was published in the digital webcomic Shonen Jump+, and is drawn by Yasuki Tanaka. The story is already concluded, so might be able to look forward to a proper conclusion in the anime.
An Anime About Good Things to Eat
It’s great when anime shows us delicious things to eat, like pasta, tasty tonkatsu… and dark-skinned anime girls who provide sexy visual fanservice. And despite airing on Disney+, there’s plenty to feast on in this series.
An Important Moment for Disney. Will They Repeat the Same Mistakes as Netflix?
Speaking of biodiversity, I’m quite happy with how the streaming world has become a vibrant place where we can all watch anime conveniently in a way that supports the industry financially. Despite concerns about reaching “peak Netflix” due to that company’s first drop in subscribers in a decade, anime fans are being well served by Amazon Prime, Hulu, Funimation, Crunchyroll, and here in Japan, about a dozen additional sites you’ve probably never heard of.
Even Disney+ has gotten into the anime streaming game. In addition to licensing shows like Attack on Titan to Seishun Buta Yaro and Spy x Family for their Japanese streaming site, they’re providing funding for important series like Summer Time Rendering. While I’m happy whenever a streaming service throws a truckload of money at studios and lets them create great anime without any interference, the Summer Time Rendering anime raises some questions for Disney as they seek to become a player in the anime world. These include:
- Will Disney be distributing their new crown jewels internationally, or will they perhaps let other platforms handle the non-Disney-branded work?
- Currently, Summer Time Rendering is in the “Disney+ Jail,” being broadcast only in Japan, with full subtitle options. Does Disney+ understand the stupidity of the Netflix-style delaying of anime seasons (to provide time for the dubs to be prepared), which kills off any buzz a show could have hoped to build among fans? It’s much better for them to stream with subtitles only at first, then bring in the dubs two weeks later, or a season later if that’s all they can manage.
- Inside Japan, the term “anime” is used to refer to all animation, from Sailor Moon to classic Disney films, and there’s not much blurring of the lines between the two. If Disney wants to stream general anime through their platform, they’ll need a plan for how to present it to their viewers without harming their precious brand. Likely this can be done through their Starz label, as they do in Asia.
- Does Disney understand that, if they create demand for content but don’t distribute that content, it will create negative energy for the company among fans? And this will lead to piracy and the undoing of much of what has been good about the streaming revolution?
- Just for good measure, does Disney+ understand how sensitive fans are to any kind of censorship? If they do end up streaming Attack on Titan or That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, will they do it without any censorship or alterations? Sony’s censoring of anime-style games has killed all interest in their gaming platforms among anime fans and made Nintendo look like a white knight for being okay with panty shots and jiggling boobs in their games because that’s what anime fans want to see.
If I were Disney, I would closely analyze the “halo effect” that surrounded Netflix with the successful funding of Violet Evergarden — basically, providing the funding for a great project then getting out of the studio’s way and letting them work — and look closely at the various missteps Netflix made afterward, thinking that fans would support the low-effort CGI “anime” they tried to make themselves.
(If Disney wants to hire me as a consultant, my rates would be very affordable!)
Oo, shots fired…
Thanks for reading this post about the new Summer Time Rendering anime. What do you think of Disney-funded anime projects? Tell us below, or reply to us on Twitter!
J-List’s sister company J18 Publishing is hard at work bringing you all the best hentai doujinshi + tankoubon format manga, with full English translation and no censorship, of course. Their newest offering Until You Melt is in stock in San Diego, ready for you to pick it up!