Disney’s exclusive anime ‘Summer Time Rendering’ debuts in Japan

Disney Plus’ first foray into exclusive streaming anime, Summer Time Rendering, adapted from the popular manga by Yasuki Tanaka, is now available exclusively in Japan. The series is the media giant’s first step into the immense streaming anime market. The House of Mouse joins a competitive market that includes competitors like Netflix and Sony, who acquired anime distributor Crunchyroll for a staggering billion-dollar deal just last year.

Summer Time Rendering tells the story of Shinpei Ajiro, who was orphaned at a young age, and who returns from Tokyo to his hometown of Hitoga Island to attend the funeral of his childhood friend, Ushio. Although Ushio was supposed to have drowned he begins to suspect her death was less-than-accidental when he observes marks that may be evidence that she was strangled. Assisted by Ushio’s sister Mio, Ajiro begins to uncover a strange enigma that haunts the island.

Tanaka’s popular manga of the same name ran from 2017 to 2021 in the digital magazine Shōnen Jump+. Prior to writing it, Tanaka served as an assistant to My Hero Academia creator Kohei Horikoshi. The dark trailer for the series shows the memories of an idyllic childhood superimposed with violence, ghosts, and trauma.

Disney Plus will almost certainly add more exclusive anime titles to its roster, but Summer Time Rendering will serve as a ‘focus case’ in some ways, helping Disney to explore its way into the market. The series is picking up some positive notice on social media since premiering yesterday, but some fans are upset that the show is still in “jail,” in that it is currently only available in Japan — ironic when one considers the opposite is generally true for many Disney productions, with Japan often being the last to have a film released.

Summer Time Rendering is produced by OLM and features Natsuki Hanae as Shinpei Ajiro, Anna Nagase as Ushio, and Saho Shirasu as Mio. The series is currently exclusively available on Disney Plus in Japan.