Natsuyuki Rendezvous: Episodes 1-2

The story sets its eyes on Hazuki Ryuusuke, who has a crush with the owner of a flower shop that he frequently goes to, Shimao Rokka. Every day, when given the opportunity, we will buy a flower for the sake of seeing her, even if he knows that things are not progressing just by doing such things. However, when Rokka puts up a flier that she is looking for part-timers, Ryuusuke immediately jumps to the chase for it. However, working at the flower shop to get closer to her is a lot harder than it sounds.

A few months have passed since then, and Ryuusuke still has not one anything about his one-sided feelings for Rokka. However, a certain opportunity knocks on the corner as Rooka wants to celebrate the marriage of one of her employers and asks Ryuusuke for manpower. Entering her house to help her out, Ryuusuke finds a near-naked man inside, who asks if he is in love with Rokka. Crearly, Ryuusuke could not say anything if a man like that was walking around her place, and she seems to be fine with it. This makes Ryuusuke hurt, as the feelings that he had inside him for so long was just that: unrequited. But can he really say it’s over for him to try to pursue her?

During the time they celebrate her employers marriage, that person appears in front of him once again. The person that he met earlier was none other than Shimao Atsushi, Rokka’s husband. Clearly, there was no point in pursuing her anymore, but when he tells Ryuusuke that he is dead, Ryuusuke obviously could not believe it, since he clearly sees him next to him. However, when Atsushi proves the supernatural things he does, Ryuusuke has no choice but to believe him. The question how becomes why he is still here. Even Atsushi himself does not know his purpose here, but he believes that it was because, near death, Rokka wanted him to stay by her side no matter what. That’s why he still lingers.

An opportunity arises when Rokka was doing orders outside the store. As soon as it rains, Rokka immediately returns, not having any time to go to lunch. Rokka asks Ryuusuke if she wanted to come with her to eat and the two left. Previously, Ryuusuke talked to Shimao Miho, Atsushi’s older sister who was working with her temporarily, tells her that tomorrow was Rokka’s birthday, which is why she came early to tend the store. Upon talking about this, Rokka summarizes her love life with Atsushi, who had a terminal illness and did not have much longer to live. He asks for a divorce and wanted her to move on and fins another guy to be with, but Rokka could not do that. She was so in love with him that such ideas were preposterous, even rude and silly. Ryuusuke uses this as an opportunity to finally confess to her his feelings, which surprises Rokka at first, but when she finds out that he is serious, Rooka needs to think twice about how to accept his feelings.

After that event, Ryuusuke declares a war to Atsushi for the love of Rokka, telling him that he will one day steal his wife from him. Atsushi takes the declaration rather nonchalantly, but he was just as serious in keeping her as Ryuusuke was in taking her. Over the next week, whenever Ryuusuke tries to talk to Rokka, Atsushi would either block Rokka from his perspective or make funny faces at him. For someone who claims to have not much attachment to Rokka, Atsushi is just as in love with Rokka as Rokka is to her. Clearly, he does not want to see up front the sight of his wife getting stolen right in front of his eyes. He might not want to admit it, but he is just as into this war as Ryusuke is. However, can we really say that he is in fault from all of this? He’s not like a father who does not want his daughter taken away from him. There seems to be something else going on here as well.

Atsushi makes a good point: exactly who here is the one suffering the most. Is it Rokka, for her inability to move on with her love life after she holds dear the relationship that she and Atsushi had before? Or could it be Atsushi himself, who takes the form of a ghost and is more or less forced to what Rooka around the house without the ability to do anything for her, since she can’t see him in the first place? While both weights are equal to handle, I cannot help but pity Atsushi more. He is not the bad guy here. Acting as a ghost for at least eight years, I am surprised he is able to live on like this without losing any form of sanity at this point. Because he lost his sense of touch, he is unable to physically hold Rokka or move her around. This is prominent when she gets sick and is forced to rely on someone to help her, even if that someone is the very man who wants to take her away from him. There’s much sadness on the table already, but this does not exclude the fact that he is acting childish in the during his play with Ryuusuke. While a good man, he does not appear to be a reasonable husband in his ghostly state.

The same can be said about Ryuusuke. As someone else pointed out, calling him a “lost adult” is about as right as it can get. Considering that he is 22, he is smack in the middle between what he wants to do and what people tell him to do. He has a responsible side in him. Now, all it takes is to put it in use. However, Ryuusuke seems to make the worst mistake in the poorest of timing. The example would be when he enters her house and tells her his feelings once more. As soon as it appears that they are about to make out, Atsushi appears in front of him. Clearly, who would want to see his wife making out with another man right in front of him. As soon as he states out loud that he will make her forget about him, Rokka is obviously angry, believing that the only reason he loves her was because he thinks this was just a game to him. While not true at Ryuusuke’s point of view, it can be stated that he selfish in the fact that he himself does not know how to use his feelings correctly.

At the same time, Rokka herself is not out of the loop here, as she is the reason this war started, even if she does not know it. Of course, Rokka’s love for Atsushi is strong, but she is in a dilemma of what to do now that Ryuusuke declared his love for her. I think the main premise of this story, along with the relationship between Ryuusuke and Atsushi, is her own moving on story; moreover, if she can move on in the first place. As Rokka as stated, she is not in the age where things like this should faze her to and fro. Seeing that she was married and mostly lived her life settling down and working on a shop, acting as such would be going back in time when those moments were prominent in her day. This is not to say that she completely does not have it, but for a woman at the age of 30, usually the thought of settlement and relaxation would be on their mind. Then again, with Rokka’s feelings continuously moving back and forth, is she at the edge of her rope on what to do.

I do agree with others that the story someone jumps on the romance with not much background on any of the characters. However, I believe such things will be given slowly to us as we see the interaction between these three people. This show as potential in becoming one of the best this season for me. I expect wonders from it.

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