Summertime Rendering Volume 2

Udon Entertainment. (Summertime Rendering). May 2022. 376p. $24.99. ISBN 9781772942392.
Gr 10 Up–It’s been a long time since Shinpei has visited his island hometown of Awajishima, and sadly, he is returning for the funeral of his close family friend, Ushio. Ushio’s family practically raised Shinpei after his own parents died, making this occasion all the harder. However, a lot of strange things have been happening on Awajishima. Ushio’s cause of death (drowning) is being brought into question by strange marks on her neck. And when folks on the island are vanishing, and rumors of a “shadow sickness” start cropping up, it’s clear this visit back home is going to be full of twists. This story is dynamite from the first chapter. It’s definitely a title for older teens, with strong language and murder, but one that they’ll enjoy. The pacing is quick and fun, as is the story, and this book is sure to satisfy fans of mystery, suspense, thriller, and horror with ease. The artwork is outstanding, particularly the color pages. The island setting of Awajishima (the epicenter of the Kobe earthquake of 1995) adds a layer of creepiness to an already eerie story (think Umineko: When They Cry). Shinpei is a likable protagonist who truly wants to avenge his fallen friend and do right by all, and readers will be rooting for him. With Udon Entertainment set to release all six omnibuses in two waves of three, fans will undoubtedly fall in love with Tanaka’s series (those cliff-hangers!) and won’t have to wait too long to see whether or not Awajishima can be saved.
VERDICT An easy recommendation, particularly for reluctant manga readers. A turbulent ride, and a blast from cover to cover.

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