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With episodes 5 and 6, Natsuyuki Rendezvous has moved out of the grey area between "Okay and Good" into just "Good."
If I didn't already find Atsushi annoying, this episode would have pushed me off the fence. Seeing Atsushi act out like a child was something Natsuyuki Rendezvous had already done several times but it wasn't until he took over Hazuki's body that he began to piss me off even more.
This wasn't all bad. When Atsushi's juvenile sabotage attempt backfired, I couldn't help but smile and think "Dumbass." This unexpected provision of comedy fits in quite well with the series' comedic moments and was probably one of the few highlights of the body takeover.
Am I forgetting something ..... Oh that's right: the guy who lost his body AKA Hazuki.
I couldn't really make much of the fantasy world he is currently stuck in. I thought it was definitely weird that he ended up as a Gulliver type character and Rokka ended up being Thumbelina in the fantasy but at the same time it was a pleasantly different dynamic from the first three episodes.
Hazuki's search for his role in this story took an interesting turn and with the use of the fairy tales in this episode, it ended up being the highlight of the episode. The way I saw it: as an intruder Hazuki's searching for a way to fit into this fairy tale, which as you know tend to be formulaic with a set number of characters. Unfortunately there wasn't that much time spent on Hazuki this episode, leaving us in the dark for a little while longer as to when/how he could reappear.
If episode 5 made me more annoyed with Atsushi, then episode 6 made me respect him.
Atsushi may have been acting like a child all this time but at least he knew he had to eventually let things go. I'm impressed that he had enough balls to tell Rokka to stop grieving over him and to move on with Hazuki, making the romance in Natsuyuki Rendezvous even more complex than it has been until now.
This was definitely a moment of praise for Atsushi, seeing as how his words helped Rokka admit her true feelings for Hazuki. However there is something that doesn't sit well with me: is she in love with the Hazuki controlled by Atsushi or the real Hazuki It's not a stretch the former is the real situation and the confession may have brought even more false hope for Atsushi.
Yet again Hazuki was out of the loop and that's fine because Natsuyuki Rendezvous has given different characters a different amount of focus in each chapter. Hazuki's lack of presence also let Atsushi and Rokka to work out a few issues (albeit unknowingly for Rokka) before ending with the confession that would leave Atsushi heartbroken.
The fairy tale animation sequences continued to add a little flavour to Natsuyuki Rendezvous (especially the one at the end) and kept me interested. In retrospect, had they lasted any longer than a few episodes I would have probably lost admiration for/interest in them. Definitely one of the finer artistic touches from the series.
Now that the romance has taken another step forward, I wonder what Natsuyuki Rendezvous has in store for us next. It could be that Hazuki and Atsushi will have to work things out by themselves and leave Rokka out. I personally want to see a little more from the relationship build-up between Hazuki and Rokka before anything else about Atsushi is touched upon.