I’m not watching every single anime airing this season, so I can’t actually say that Natsuyuki Rendezvous is the best anime of the season, but I’ll bet my opinion wouldn’t change even if I did watch everything, because this episode was even better than the last one, and I thought the last one was a really good start.
We get to hear Rokka’s personal thoughts, which is great because seeing her from only Hazuki’s perspective would likely make her 2-dimensional. (Well, she is 2-dimensional because she’s an anime character, but… you know) She’s not even that old, but she’s so painfully aware of her age. I really wanted to give Rokka a hug.
Remember how Hazuki was “Passenger A” for months and then even after being employed, it still took him months to say anything significant to Rokka? I thought he was some shy, awkward guy, but boy, this relationship moved fast! Or, it would have been fast if Atsushi wasn’t literally getting in between them. Still, it was mature and to be expected, though Hazuki’s little move on Rokka before she shooed him out her door was very forward for the character I thought he was!
So close, yet so far away.
Even after two episodes, I’m still not sure which side I’m on as of now. On one hand, there’s Hazuki, a living person who could give Rokka a healthy relationship. His unrequited love tugs at me, but blurting out “I love you” to Rokka as she made him leave was a douche move. Though I’m sure his love for Rokka hasn’t changed, at that moment, his feelings seem very… ingenuine. Cheap. On the other hand, there’s Atsushi, who I both dislike and sympathize for. He says he wants to let his wife move on, but keeps trying to prevent exactly that, which is unfair to both Hazuki and Rokka. Then again, even though I don’t like him, I just can’t hate him when I think about how horrible it must feel to be so close to someone you love, but have no ability to help them or talk to them. Before Rokka falls asleep in this episode, we get a small taste of what Atsushi’s life (or un-life) is like every single day. He talks to Rokka like she can hear him, even though he knows she can’t, and he watches over her while she sleeps since he obviously doesn’t need to, and most tragically, there’s nothing he can do to help her. Imagine how horrible Atsushi must have felt to resort to letting his competitor in love be the one to help Rokka because he simply can’t.
This is a very, very sad anime, that’s for sure.
Episode rating: 9 / 10 (Great)