What truly makes “Summer Time Rendering” brilliant is its approach to the time travel loop. We’ve seen time travel in lots of different anime over the years, from pure sci-fi stories like “Steins;Gate” and “Re: Zero” that specifically deal with time loops, to broader time travel shows like “Erased” and “Tokyo Revengers,” and even action shows like “Attack on Titan” have touched on the subject matter. This is to say, there have been a lot of approaches to time travel in anime, which makes it even more impressive that “Summer Time Rendering” manages to feel fresh and unique, surprising you at every corner.
This starts with the fact that our main character isn’t in a perfect loop. There’s no “Groundhog Day” where we go back to the same point at the start of the day over and over again. Instead, the protagonist’s loop gets pushed forward in time each back he goes back, with everything that happens before the start of the loop becoming fixed. This means every mistake he makes has consequences, and not every death can be prevented. It keeps both the characters and the audience on their toes, and it rules.
Better yet, the show makes it so that there is more than just the protagonist aware that there is a loop. The good guys are equally as smart as the antagonists, making for a fascinating and thrilling game of cat and mouse. Just as one party starts being able to plan ahead and get the jump on the other side, they themselves realize something that gives them the advantage.