Natsuyuki Rendezvous is about a 22 year-old guy falling in love with a 30 year-old widow who (of all positions) is his boss. The twist here is that the widow's deceased husband couldn't move on without his 'middle-school boy' ah- *cough*
charming wife and so he haunts the house/business shadowing her endlessly: stalker-style. The ball starts rolling after we discover that the main character, in this case, (the cougar hunter) Hazuki-kun could actually see the dead husband who had resigned himself to an eternity of being invisible and helpless.
Maybe I'd have felt something a little more, I dunno, exciting rather than the empty void of grey
depression that comes after reading eighteen chapters of critically static character development. The author confesses (yay! Confessions!) that this is their first story that's over a volume long (BOOOOOO! *Spits on floor*).
Wouldn't YOU think it weird that there is not a single side-character? In the entire Manga there are only FOUR characters.
Should I be more empathetic? It was their first try... But no, it was I, who in the end, had to stomach (visually) the badly written Manga.
Darn awesome looking cover pages.
In the first volume, there was enough flow and realistic conversation to give this story some hope of churning out a satisfying outcome but, after the author made it clear that character development was- sooooo last year, by stretching the idea of hey! The husband's a ghost! We can make him into a poltergeist. And yeah, let's totally add possession in. I mean: awesome, right?
Three volumes later...
You start thinking:
'I've been reading about possession for two flipping volumes.'
'I'M HUMAN! Give me a break!'
'The major event in every other chapter is her crying. Enough!'
'Just what the fuck.'
In this very particular order.
The art (to change the tone of this review drastically) had good style; sure it wasn't very detailed but the expressions on the characters' faces was top-notch. I could imagine the face a typical highschool drop-out, that was probably the main character, being forced into a part-time florist job would make, waiting bored out of his mind for customers to come in.
The flowers were drawn well, which definitely added to the Manga and appeared to be well-researched to my non-botanist eyes.
Honestly, had their been an inkling or maybe a shadow of further background information or *gasp* a twist being thrown in there... somewhere/anywhere, I would just give this an average badly written Manga grade. However, as I was forced to experience the third level of Manga development Hell, I am clearly unhappy by the fact that no one, except the dead husband, seems to have a family. Did the main characters just pop out of oblivion?
Not recommended. I'd instead recommend an exorcism to be made of the widow's home, the 2/3-of-the-plot possession arc be damned.
All ghost stories are about grief and the past, for what else is a ghost besides a sad memory, the remnant of something that should be already gone?
I open with this line because this manga is more of a ghost story than romance, even if it is terribly romantic. It's like the author set out to meditate about love, loss and growth, and this manga is what came out of it, a story not really of the living or the living world, set in silent, beautiful places.
I liked it, but I can see how someone else might not, for its dreamy fairytale narrative, heavy on
conversations and short on story. If you only care about the things you could fill a story sheet with - snappy elevator pitch, character as a motivation/flaw/learning engine, setting and its million moving pieces, all the crafty hollywood script things with which a story can be made - then I can tell you shouldn't read this manga right now. Maybe later.
This is a story you should read for its beauty.