Synonyms: Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Reaching You
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 7, 2009 to Mar 31, 2010
Premiered: Fall 2009
Broadcast: Wednesdays at 00:59 (JST)
Licensors: NIS America, Inc.
Studios: Production I.G
Duration: 22 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
Score: 8.231 (scored by 134,401 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
At first, Kimi ni Todake drew me in before I saw its first frame of film with its story concept. Our heroine is Sawako, a sweet and gentle girl with an awkward personality and an uncanny resemblance to Sadako from The Ring. Desperately wanting others to understand her she is instead shunned and feared by her classmates. This all changes when she meets a boy named Kazehaya who is the first to truly see her and slowly she begins to draw herself out of her shell. The remaining story is one of self discovery as Sawako experiences the first feelings of love and friendship she has ever felt. While her situation is a bit contrived and not overly realistic, the way it is presented is so wonderfully sweet and beautiful that it is impossible not to love.
I firmly believe that in order to really fully appreciate just how special Kimi ni Todake is, you have to already be a veteran of at least a dozen or more of its shoujo peers. There are none of the usual tired clichés. Sawako isn’t the plain and perky heroine determined to get a man to fall for her who ignores her or treats her horribly. She isn’t out for revenge nor is she being pursued by a harem of bishounens with a desperate struggle to choose between them. Kazehaya isn’t a dick, for lack of a better term. He’s a guy who will be loved by viewers not because he’s hot, but because he’s just a really nice guy any girl would want to fall in love with and guys would want as a friend.
The feelings and situations presented to us are real and powerful but not in an overly dramatic way. Nobody has torturous family lives or tragic pasts or other situations that always feel forced in a way to create drama that could be better achieved with fantastic characters and storytelling. The concepts are simple, the pacing slow, and full of the required blushes and aw shucks moments. Much like its soft artwork and color palette, Kimi ni Todake is the kind of show you will sit back and relax too, forgetting about all the problems of your day.
This is not to say that it doesn’t have its faults. While just about every aspect of the series was wonderful to behold, the series already slow pace comes to an even greater crawl over the last 8-10 episodes. While I still enjoyed them immensely, I suspect some viewers will likely begin to lose patience at the lack of progress or action in the story. And while perhaps we are also being setup for a continuation at some point, since the manga is still ongoing, the ending was also not particularly ideal.
Sawako herself goes down as one of my all-time favorite characters. She is so completely earnest and innocent that she is impossible not to love. While her character concept is initially not all that unique she becomes so much more than just a socially awkward, shy, and moe girl. Everyone can find something to relate with her over and from a character development standpoint, the person she becomes by the end of the series is so remarkably different from her beginning that it’s truly amazing. Yet despite this enormous change she never deep down changes from what she really is at her core. Her closing monologue at the end of the show is a prime example of just how much she has grown.
Kazehaya is a rare breed for a romance series. First he is the one and only love interest. No reverse harems of bishies here to waste story time or antagonize the heroine. He is also unique in that outside series such as Kanon or Clannad, he is one of the only leads that looks and feels like a real person. He is never made out to be a caricature of the fantasies and dreams of young girls. He is not super wealthy, nor is he a famous athlete, or come from a notorious family. Sure he is really good looking, popular with the girls and the guys, and good at baseball but you never feel like these are things that he didn’t earn with his own merits. Unlike most of his anime contemporaries who have abrasive or aloof personalities but are still enormously popular because well they are supposed to be. They’re perfect men after all! His personality is the kind that draws people to him and his popularity is not just because he’s handsome. People like him because he's nice to them. What a novel idea!
While on the surface, Kazehaya and Sawako seem to be completely different people, deep down they both share the same confusing emotions and fears about the feelings each has for the other. The interaction between the two is truly special and lovely. Amazingly I never really lost my patience with them either or yell at the screen, “Oh come on just kiss her already!”
Kimi’s supporting cast is also quite remarkable. This is nowhere more evident than with Sawako’s new best friends, Ayane and Chizu. From the start of the story you never would have though these girls would have become her friends. They had almost written on their faces “villainess” and it was such a pleasant surprise to see these two develop into perhaps the best shoujo best friends I have seen yet. They are so completely different from one another that it is a bit surprising they are friends. Ayane is the beautiful, fashionable temptress, while Chizu is the butch and athletic type. Their reactions to Sawako kind of mirror the way the audience will perceive her. There bonds grow stronger as they experience things together, and overcome some adversity. They were truly a joy to watch.
Other characters come and go but are no less impactful to the story. The only real rival, Kurumi, who appears in the middle portions of the story never, outstays her welcome and while she would technically serve as the series villainess, she never really feels to me like a villain. Shockingly Sawako’s family life is also quite normal, she neither has a tragic home situation or a perverted father, and they are both loving and normal parents (both to her and to each other).
Artistically Kimi really shines. Its soft colors and artwork just match the beauty and sweetness in the story perfectly. It does a good job of mixing in comedic art along with its beautiful scenery to make every episode visually appealing and smile inducing. This is even more brought out with the spectacular musical score and cast. Mamiko Noto seems to have been born to play this role. It’s a typical character type for her, one that we have heard from her many times, but this will be one that fans will remember for years and years to come. I can’t say enough about the OP theme, I was instantly in love with from the first chorus and its animation is tremendous. I also found the ED to be equally perfect, though I suspect Chara’s gravelly voice to be unappealing to some.
Overall, Kimi ni Todake is easily a top 5 series for me and one of the best shows of the decade. It was immediately appealing to me from the first episode and I am extremely sad to see it end. This is how more romance shows should be done and is not to be missed by anyone who likes the genre in even the slightest bit. It really doesn’t get much better than this one.
Kimi ni Todoke starts off as an anime that could make you wonder if you’re actually watching said series. The very first scene is practically a half-horror scene attempted by the animators to make you understand in a snap what kind of person the main character is. Kuronuma Sawako: a girl who looks a bit gloomy and scares away most of the people she’s nearby to. The reason because of that is a simple one: she’s very easily misunderstood. The tone of her voice sounds like a ghost that waited a thousand years in a closet and finally sees someone to scare away. Sawako may not have waited a thousand years but she does scare away people with her awkward attempt to greet someone, which earned her the nickname ''Sadako'' (the ghost from the movie ''The Ring'').
It’s natural that any person watching until now will get a feeling of sympathy. We see and hear things that play in Sawako’s mind, and in Sawako’s mind only. She doesn’t mean to scare anyone away. She doesn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Even her life motto (''A good deed a day'') sounds like it’s something made up by a loving person who likes to help. This is by far the biggest message the story is trying to convey: no matter how good your intentions are deep inside, if it’s not coming out in the proper way, nobody will see it on the outside. Sawako is struggling with this harsh truth that tackles her every single day. She has no real friends, feels very lonely at times and has a hard time understanding social situations not knowing how to react. It all feels very sad for Sawako and she is just trying to fit in and help people. But she can’t because of her way of conveying a message to another person; she hasn’t learned to do that properly.
If there is a second message this anime tries to portray, it has to be the message of hope. Because even for Sawako, light in the dark tunnel of social situations can be seen. You could say that Sawako actually is a clean slate of life that hasn’t been written on. The good things and the bad. Because that slate is almost empty, she’s never learned to interact, to recognize backstabbers and to clear up a misunderstanding. But also, she’s never learned to talk behind someone’s back, to steal anything or even to spread rumors.
Sawako is unique. An empty book that can be written in with all the things that life teaches us. That is one of the most brilliant ways to begin a story about an individual that grows up and steadily learns new things.
It’s actually unusual to write so much about a character in a show, even if it’s one of the most complex main characters. The story and the thought behind the story is what should be elaborately written about. But here, the character IS actually the story. Of course it’s possible to name all the events that happened in the show and write a bunch of thoughts about that. The truth is however that the story itself is very thin. And the best thing about that: it does not matter at all.
Which brings me to my next point. To understand why the story doesn’t matter, we have to look at the pacing of the show. Most stories tend to start off with a bang. Then there are some small events that explain all the things about that big happening and move the story forward. Then there is another peak in the story and the cycle repeats itself.
Kimi ni Todoke is nothing like that. You must realize that the pacing is extremely slow in this show. But the joke is that you must ask yourself the question if it matters to you. The story is about Sawako experiencing all the things in life that almost anyone can relate to. From your first classmate ever sitting next to you, to your first love in high school. It’s that emotional ride that makes this anime so darn special. And the pacing has a very, very important role in delivering those emotions. Basically, it actually makes it possible to notice all the small talk that the characters are having, the fun moments that they’re experiencing, the flowing rivers of sadness that are shown and even the growing love between characters. And most importantly: it’s possible to notice Sawako coming out of her shell. It’s because the pacing is that slow, you can notice and appreciate those things that come by in the anime.
In terms of art, it’s really crucial that you watch this show with an open mind without prejudices. Keep in mind that this is a ''shoujo''. This means that it’s a story with the point of view of a girl and most likely with some ''girly'' elements. But if you manage to overcome these things (or are a girl yourself), Kimi ni Todoke is a breath of fresh air to watch. While the animation may not be the greatest you will ever see, the art is amazing. It’s one of those anime which captures the feel of the manga almost perfectly. The scenery is beautiful and everything has this ''fresh'' feel, as if you’re diving in a nice cold bath after sweating.
Most of the time in animated shows, either the characters are well drawn or the backgrounds are. Kimi ni Todoke does both well with maybe the backgrounds being a tiny bit better drawn than the characters. Cute bubbles and sparkles pop up randomly in many scenes but actually fit very snuggly in the story strangely enough. And the people who composed the musical score deserve applause. The music captures those emotions portrayed beautifully and manages to play as a nice ear massage if listened to.
It’s too bad that Kimi ni Todoke has one of the most banal summaries you will ever see. Ever. Anyone who decides to watch an anime based on the summary he or she has read will most likely miss this gem of a show. If one day someone will invent a way to include snippets of emotions in a summary, Kimi ni Todoke will stand at the top of the charts and that inventor will hopefully be rich and famous. It’s also too bad that the anime is over. The manga is still going strong so there is hope for a second season; there are literally many who are begging for one. It’s not possible to fully share in words what this anime makes so special, it’s an experience you’ll have to call your own. And because you can relate to almost anyone in the show, it will give you that honest feeling. That feeling which makes you believe that life has more in store, that you CAN move forward and change things. Sawako manages to do it, and so does everyone. read more
One word, superb. I got hooked up since episode one because this Anime looks like it's real, and by real, I mean no swords, magics, etc. It portrays love and friendship as you can see these elements in every episodes. Also, I love where this Anime is going. It might get cheesy sometimes, but they did it so well, that you have no choice but to go with the flow and be affectionate.
The Art/Animation was outstanding. I loved everything. It was well drawn/animated. Every detail and objects stood up, even the surroundings, and the characters. Also, adding a chibi form of every characters made it more enjoyable. You can't help it but laugh after seeing their chibi forms.
The sound was perfect. I loved the OP/ ED songs. It fits perfectly with the Anime. Also, everytime something happens, the background music/sound always fits into it, and because of that, it emphasizes the event even more.
You can't help it but love our main girl, Sawako, and others. There's nothing to hate. Everyone has their own emotions, characteristics, which made everyone unique and be part of the Anime. They also give spotlight to Supporting Characters, which is good, in my opinion. They don't focus on 2 characters, but everyone, which is great.
I was really entertained while watching this. I didn't get bored at all. This Anime is one of the Anime that I've seen that made a good job combining the elements (Comedy, Drama, and Romance). They didn't fail in doing that. You can find those elements in each episode. Some episodes are really relaxing, which can make you smile or laugh the entire time, while some episodes are really touching that you can't help it but eith cry or be teary.
I recommend this Anime to everyone. Guys, don't be scared to watch this. I'm a guy and I find this Anime incredible. I'm 100% straight, don't worry. I've only seen 8 episodes but I can tell that it's going to be awesome from beginning to end. It's a masterpiece.
Also, this is my first review, so please bear with my mistakes. :3 read more
The first few episodes were definitely enjoyable, the back story to why Sawako is an outcast is different and interesting and so is how she begins to make friends. Unfortunately after about episode 6 or 7 you are wasting your time. This anime should have been shorter as it moves at an incredible slow pace. Honestly it began to become a mission to sit through another episode. Not only were the episodes repetitive (never has a character cried so much before this) but you can pretty much guess what is going to happen in each episode after the first minute. Unfortunately there is no great ending to uplift the series, it just sort of flattens out part way through and never gets any momentum back.
I think was really annoyed me the most is the lack of development with the characters. There were so many beginnings of side stories and other love interests in this anime that never really developed. At least these could have livened up the second half of the series.
A few good things about this anime were the art, I thoroughly enjoyed the almost water colour style. The opening track is lovely to listen to as well and suits the anime perfectly. Kazehaya was actually quite a good character and was probably the most original out of all of them with his glass half full attitude that never wavered.
Overall I am giving this a 5/10 as although the first half was enjoyable the second half nearly put me into a coma. read more
The whole plot of Kimi ni Todoke revolves around an endearing yet misunderstood introvert named Sawako Kuronoma and her growing affections for Shota Kazehaya, the most popular guy in class who has a crush on her but can't bring himself to spit it out. Along the way, we're accompanied by their three friends: Yano (a smart girl who wears too much make-up), Chizuru (a slightly dim jock with a heart of gold), and Ryu (a jock with short-term memory loss who's also Chizuru's childhood friend). As far as characters are concerned, Kimi ni Todoke has it down-pat. Everyone in our leading quintet are likeable and endearing individuals and I can safely say that most of them change and grow as individuals throughout the course of the series. MOST of them.
As much as I liked Kazehaya, he was well... boring. Don't get me wrong, I really do appreciate the fact that he's the complete antithesis of Naoki Irie from Itazura na Kiss and actually treats Sawako with respect. What I don't particularly care much for is the fact that throughout the entire run, I know next-to-nothing about this guy. Sure, there are some details that pop up here and there but there's almost nothing else to this guy outside of his feelings for Sawako (which to be fair, do actually seem genuine). That actually struck me as bizarre, to say the least since Kazehaya says that he's not as good a person as Sawako thinks he is in a couple of episodes (if I recall correctly).
What I fail to understand is why Production I.G didn't elaborate on this apparent fault of his more. What is it about Kazehaya that makes him a flawed individual? Is it a nasty temper, a broken home, codependency problems, or what? To be fair, Kimi ni Todoke only covers around the first ~26 chapters of the manga and I'm guessing that the manga actually elaborates more on Kazehaya's flaws as an individual. I can't really recall if it actually DOES do that though since it's been a while since I last read some Kimi ni Todoke on KissManga (that's what happens when you're sidetracked by Kamisama Hajimemashita and IRL stuffs), but I digress.
Kazehaya aside, there was another problem that irked me whilst I was watching the show and that was just how slow it actually is. Don't get me wrong: I don't expect my ship to sail within the first four episodes, but the latter half of the show felt overextended to say the least. A lot of the stuff that these episodes covered could've been condensed without missing out on much of anything. There were points during those episodes where it just got kinda tedious and I was flipping back and forth between Tumblr on my phone and Crunchyroll on my laptop. For the record, if I actually get bored enough to the point where I take out my phone and start perusing through Facebook or Tumblr or whatever, your show done fucked up BIG TIME.
Lastly, there's the ending that just made me furrow my brow in annoyance. KnT reached a fair enough conclusion, don't get me wrong. At the same time, it just left me completely and totally blue-balled in that by the time the show actually went somewhere with the romance, it just ended. Yeah, there's a second season but the second season shouldn't have existed in the first place. All of the content that the second season covered could've easily been in this season had Production I.G decided to actually condense the latter half of the show so that these episodes could've fit into the overall story. Hindsight's a bitch, ain't it? Does this mean that everything that came before was just pointless? NO!!!!!
The thing is that Kimi ni Todoke isn't just Sawako and Kazehaya's story. It's also Yano, Chizu, and Ryu's story as well. We had various episodes focusing on them so that we could get a better idea of who they are as individuals. Not only that, but we had various "arcs" that focused on these people and some challenges that they needed to overcome. Sure, the whole thing surrounding Sawako and Kazehaya might've been a little anticlimactic but you can count on Yano, Chizu, Ryu, Pin, and even Kazehaya's puppy to bring a smile to your face with their exploits.
On the aesthetic side of things, Kimi ni Todoke is very well... bubbly and sparkly. I'm pretty sure that's the most succinct way to describe it. I don't want to say that thsi is typical of shojo romances in general, but the usage of bubble and sparkle effects throughout the entire show remind me of shows like Ouran HSHC and Kamisama Hajimemashita. It looks nice, so I'm not complaining but others will because they suck so what can you do there? Backgrounds are quite lovely to look at and the character designs are pretty damn good... for the most part. My only gripe with the character designs is the fact that Sawako is drawn in chibi style way more than I'd like to see. Guys at Production I.G: Chibi Sawako is also cute, but proper human Sawako is even cuter. Let's see more of her and less of chibi Sawako please. Thank you.
Sound-wise, I have no complaints. The OST works for what it does, the voice-acting is quite nice (well, in Sawako's case at least), so what more could I want? Well... there is one thing I want and that would be an English dub. You see, this show is licensed by NIS America, a company that rarely dubs anything and when they do, it's not for a show that I was expecting to get dubbed. You see, whilst I was watching Kimi ni Todoke, I couldn't help but imagine what these characters would sound like if they were in English. Emily Neves would voice Sawako, David Matranga would voice Kazehaya, Crispin Freeman would voice Ryu, and so on and so forth. Enough about my own delusions though, because it's time to wrap this review up.
Kimi ni Todoke is definitely one of the better shojo romances out there on the market as it currently stands. Whilst it's certainly not as entertaining as the likes of say Ouran HSHC, Maid-Sama!, or Kamisama Hajimemashita, I like to imagine that Kimi ni Todoke stands alongside Fruits Basket's adaptation in that they're both really sweet and endearing shows that are just too slow for their own good. If you're in the mood for an endearing slice-of-life show featuring likeable characters, Kimi ni Todoke definitely fits the bill there and then some. However, you'd better look elsewhere if you want a compelling romance (i.e. Maison Ikkoku, Nana, Solanin) otherwise you'll be saltier than I am whenever I lose to Evilswarm. Anyway, that's all for now. Feedback is always welcome and with that, I'm out. Peace :) read more
I hate complex storylines. I will watch shows like that but very rarely, and only if it has enough promise. Kimi Ni Todoke was my absolute favourite anime because they kept it real and they kept it simple. I was giggling at cute moments between the couple of Kazehaya and Sawako and rolling over laughing at funny moments. I cried a bit at some parts (I'm so emotional T.T) but only because the story had me so caught in it. I loved how they made a big deal of little things and how they were all encouraging to one another. Even Sawako's rival, Kurumi(zawa) encouraged her at the end. A girl who went from feared and thought as creepy went to loved with many friends and an outstandingly caring boyfriend. It deserves a 10/10.
For backgrounds, they kept things real. For the inside of the school it wasn't marble white. It looked like I could reach out, feel my computer screen and I would feel the texture of the wall or the window. The same can't be said for the characters. I love the way they drew them and the cute way they drew them when they were joking around and it was a light-hearted moment. At times I felt they were lacking in effort slightly. Be it for the shape of their mouths or their hands. (Or maybe that was just me too used to the perfect animation of today with shimmering eyes and perfect hair.) Here they kept it real and no unnecessary features were added.
Honestly? I was humming the opening song for weeks after I finished the show. I loved it. Background music? Perfect. Just at times I felt they repeated parts of the music and I didn't like it there. I know it takes a lot of time and effort to put together those pieces but even so. The show deserved better. Other then that it was fabulous!
In many shows today, the main characters are snotty and have egos. As I said, I hate complex storylines and characters who they could really do without. I'm glad that Sawako and Kazehaya weren't like that. Sawako was kind and considerate all the way through. She was self conscious and reminded me a lot of myself. Kazehaya (let's be honest here) I fell head over heels for. He was so kind to Sawako and did EXACTLY what I would want a guy to do for me in situations for Sawako. He was protective and even a bit jealous near the end. Kurumi(zawa) was a perfect rival because she wasn't snotty, she was cunning. She had her ways and although she was selfish in the start, she really grew on you at the end. She was determined and took the competition fairly afterwards. When she couldn't compete anymore, she let her rival, Sawako take the lead and helped her. I felt that near the end, Sawako and Kurumi(zawa) were like sisters. They supported one another and I loved that because Sawako would ask Kurumi for advice and vice versa. Sawako's friends were also so supportive. They always backed away and let love blossom on it's own between Kazehaya and Sawako. They pushed them together at times but they meant well and it turned out well. I found myself thinking at times how much I wanted to be Sawako because she really had it all.
I love side characters. Be it their teacher Pin or Sawako's parents. They also grew on me and I adored them for that. The story was beautiful and I enjoyed it. Chances are high that in a few years I will forget about this show. Only to rewatch it and fall in love all over again.
Mathematically, there's 5 categories and out of fifty. It scored a 45 meaning 90% and 9/10. By my heart, it deserves a 10/10 but a 9 is just as fair. If you love romance, comedy and a simple yet pleasing storyline, I recommend Kimi Ni Todoke to you. Be sure to watch the second season! read more
revolves around a quiet girl named Sawako. She is very shy and has been called "Sadako" (girl from the RING movie)as long as she can remember. She soon gets attention from a very cheerful boy named Kazehaya and her world goes upside down.
Art/sound- Looking pretty good, nothing too fantastic about the art. I am giving props to the voice actress for Sawako, she is exactly how I thought she'd be.
Characters- This Anime has a great and innocent leading lady. SHe is not only involved in a love story but is also trying to figure herself out. Which makes this more exciting! I am hoping for more character development as the story unfolds. As for the Male lead, I believe he also similar to Sawako but has the ability to charm. Cant wait to see what happens next.
This anime makes me want to cheer on Sawako every episode. It makes me believe in innocent love is still out there!!!! highly reccommend it to anyone !!!
chayito read more
But little did I expect to be sorely disappointed.
This anime isn't terrible persay, though I would say that it has been greatly overestimated. The story is unrelatable and unrealistic and I don't mean this in the "GIANT MECHA AND SPARKLY COLOURS" way, but in the "There is no way this could be seen as a real life situation, it's just so silly" way.
Now, a quick overview of the story's good parts. Ahem.....uh....err.....oh yeah, THIS ANIME DOESN'T HAVE A STORY! Girl meets boy, girl is stupid, boy is also stupid, girls life changes for the better, maybe throw a rival in there. The end. This is hardly a story and I've been far to generous with my rating.
Art is decent, it's nothing spectacular though, the style has been used a hundred times before; more effectively and even in a way that would make the anime seem to have a little more depth, but it would appear this anime didn't really try, relying alot on still frames rather than trying something different or even having consistent movement.
Well, I won't complain, it has a fair opening and ending theme and they include basic intrumental and background noises that are a staple for any anime but, again, it would appear that this anime hasn't even tried at times.
The characters are flat in terms of personality, though they do provide some sorely need comic relief at times, particularly the women the main character adopts as her friends and their homeroom teacher, but everyone else is just placid. The love interest is nice enough though the girl does nothing but angst then smile, angst then smile, etc. and becomes one of those people that makes you want to punch a wall because she's so ignorant; even if you were completely isolated from people, you don't lose common sense as a result, either that or she suffers from severe brain damage, though that isn't covered in the anime so I'll just resign myself to believing that she's just stupid.
I really can't say much, I wasn't necessarily suffering, but alot of the time I found myself banging my head against my desk because every decision made by the characters were so stupid, obvious and often dragged out with scenes of the main character blushing while giving dialogue that's been heard hundreds of times by her before.
I understand that this anime has earnt many fans and I can understand this, I enjoy seeing some clumsy shoujo anime every now and again, because clumsy is cute and even heartwarming, but this anime has been given far too much credit when there are anime out there with far more innovative stories, characters, art, etc.
By all means watch it, but don't take it seriously, it's just a "something to do" anime. read more
At first glance, it may seem like a typical shoujo, boy-meets-girl kind of series. That's what I thought when I first read the synopsis, so I was kind of reluctant to watch it. But now...am I glad I did!
While not the most exciting or original plot line, it's simplicity charms me. It has a rather slow flow, but it doesn't bore, rather it helps emphasize the special moments that Sawako experiences in her school life. The process of growing up, feeling love for the first time, making friends, and even enemies are all so amazingly portrayed through this show.
Seriously, I've never liked a female lead this much before. Sawako is just too cute. She's innocent to the point of being humorous, but she's not stupid or weak. Quite the contrary actually (I was pleasantly surprised by how she interacted with Kurumi). She's always being positive, always trying to help others, and always being true to herself. You can't help but be moved by her. For the male lead, you've got the 100% refreshing Kazehaya who is actually not your typical male lead. At first glance, he's Mr.Perfect who everyone admires, but after a while you learn that he's just like any other guy. He gets flustered, nervous, angry and embarrassed like all of us do. And in my opinion, that just makes him more endearingly cute and charming.
Also, this show's supporting characters are some of the best I've seen in shoujo anime! They really define the true meaning of friendship :) Heck, even the antagonist is pretty awesome.
The artwork might not be considered the best out there, but it does the story justice (and then some). It's bright, simple and cute. There were certain times when I would think "wow, the colours look amazing here" (you gotta pay attention to sunset scenes!). They also did a good job with the characters, I think they purposely made them look plain so that it helps contrast times when they stand out (like when Sawako smiles!). So overall, they did a lovely job.
I love the opening song and I think it fits the series perfectly. Can't say much about the background music though because I haven't paid much attention to it...too busy enjoying the dialogue =)
I wish I can give this a higher rating than 10. I was pretty much smiling like an idiot throughout the first few episodes. The interaction between Sawako and Kazehaya are too cute for words, I felt much warm and fuzzy feelings when watching them. It makes me wish I could go back in time to experience high school romance like they did. But then again...who can find someone like Kazehaya.
Anyways, this show has really grown on me. I will definitely keep watching and rooting for Sawako. If this review or the ratings hasn't helped convince you to watch it, please seriously reconsider. Don't pass this up!
Indeed, the story summary was what pulled me in. It sounded like and interesting spin on a old storyline, and it was a bit. It certainly was interesting to see the interactions of he characters of Sawako since so many were afraid of her. But when you really get down to it, this is a lot like other high school romances. Outcast girl likes most popular guy, they get close, and fall in love. And of course, there's high school drama along the way and plenty of morals and such. This definitely isn't something you haven't seen before if you've been a long time anime fan. Still, it's at least worth a look if you're interested.
The art in this anime get's the highest score from me. It was certainly amazing and breathtaking in quite a few places. The artist of the anime definitely took the time to add every detail, sparkle, and breath correctly. It was really great to look at. Of course though, there were a few parts that had not so great animations. It was few and not too bad, but still there and prominent.
The opening and ending song was fantastic. The opening especially caught my eye. It really captured the essence of a slice of life romance. It fit perfectly. The ending was also quite good, although I didn't like it as much as the opening. That's probably more of a personal taste, so you should definitely give it a listen. Other music throughout the anime was quite good and done well, too. The opening and ending definitely stand out, though.
Now here is where the anime started to go a bit downhill for me. At first I wast entranced by the characters and thought they were all great, and for some that is indeed true. Others... Not so much. This wouldn't be as bad of a problem if it wasn't the main characters who were the not so great ones. Sawako and Kazehaya didn't get very much development throughout the series; It was very, very little. Kazehaya remained pretty much the same through the whole thing, and after a while you just get kind of tired/used to it. Sawako is the biggest example though, since she is the main character you follow. She's decent I suppose, but not really main character material. She got very little if any character development. For example, even after she's had friends for a long time, she still cried her eyes out every time they did something nice for her. I believe this series would be a lot more heartwarming if you actually got to see her get used to these things; That way you could know she truly has made good friends. The side characters of Ryuu, Ayane, and Chizu on the other hand were fantastic. They did a great job with these characters, and went in a really good direction with them. I was happy with them for sure.
During the first half of the series, I did enjoy watching it. It was interesting, and seemed like a pretty good anime. Towards the middle though, the series slammed on the breaks. Kazehaya and Sawako went nowhere in their relationship all of a sudden, and the story just started to seem all the same. I would sometimes find myself watching the clock to see how long the rest of the episode was because I wanted it to end. That's not to say it was bad; Just decent. Taking a look back on it I realize it wasn't all that fantastic, but it is enjoyable when watching it the first time. It's gets a solid 7 from me.
This anime is worth the watch of a few episodes if you're interested, and you can see how you feel about it from there. I would recommend it mostly to anime fans who love the slice of life romance genre, because this is the anime for you. Personally though, I just can't give this anime a score higher then seven. Hope this review helped to people who were considering watching, and thanks for reading! read more
To pay homage to the innocence and optimism this show radiates, I'll get the most and pretty much only big negative I have out of the way first. The last little bit of the second arc focusing on "the main antagonist" (AKA secondary love interest that has no chance in hell) was very jarring. They tried to justify this characters extremely mean-spirited and plentiful actions to no real effect. To have a character that tries to cause so much damage only to try and justify it all feels pointless. Also, Sawako's (the MC) innocence at the climax of this arc was too much for me to handle. It makes sense in the context of her character, but I felt they blew it a little out of proportion.
Other than that, there isn't much negative to say about Kimi ni Todoke. It used the right amount of drama to create some interesting character interactions and character development, but never to the point where it feels melodramatic.
That's the best part of Kimi ni Todoke as a whole really. Nothing ever outstays it's welcome. It gets it's point across in a timely and effective fashion, and then moves away so that the next big point has it's time to shine. This keeps everything fresh.
The last thing I will say about the story is the love triangles. While I normally don't like love triangles in romance anime (which is sad for me since most anime have them), this show handles it almost perfectly. This because of two things. First off, it goes off the thing I said earlier in that it doesn't outstay it's welcome. Secondly, the love triangles never include 3 main characters. It is always 2 mains and 1 supporting. With these things in place, the love triangles add to the drama quite nicely, and then they fade away after that arc they are in is finished.
But of course, none of these things matter if you don't have good characters and good bonds between said characters, which is especially important for romance anime. Kimi ni Todoke delivers this, with all the main characters being very likeable and not distinctly falling into archetypes.
Kuronuma Sawako is a very good lead (except for the part I mentioned earlier). Her optimism and positive attitude to almost everything makes it hard not to like her, and her development early on was very well done. Whenever she's happy or tries to make others happy, you can't help but be happy for her. Also, her relationship with the main love interest, Kazehaya Shouta, was handled well. Each had something to gain from their relationship. It just felt very balanced, as one never outshadowed the other.
Also, she's like the cutest thing ever.
The secondary romance between Sanada Ryu and Yoshida Chizu was great as well. The anime spent a decent chunk of episodes developing them, making their relationship a lot more 3-dimensional than most secondary romances. The two characters by themselves were nice too. Chizu brought a great energy to every scene she was in, and Ryu's honest and "lazy" take on everything was a breath of fresh air. Their contrasting personalities is what made them stand up to the primary romance in my opinion.
Lastly we Ayane Yano. Although we didn't get a proper arc with her this season, she was no less of a presence throughout the entire show. She brought a lot with her perceptive eye. She is always the character that knows what's actually going on, and does her best to help her friends get to the desired conclusion. When her and Chizu got introduced in the first episode, you get the feeling that they are going to be a thorn in Sawako's side, but I was pleasantly surprised when they both turned out to be amazing friends and characters.
The side characters are no less interesting. Pin brings a lot to the comedy, and Kurumizawa is a character you love to hate. I also really like how Ryuu's older brother looks like a delinquent, but is actually a very nice guy.
Speaking of, this show looks extremely shoujo, which is not a bad thing. It looks very nice, it's easy to look at, and it fits the overall tone of the show well. The animation is fairly limited, but you come to expect that with these types of anime.
This soundtrack stood out to me far more than most in the genre do. It fits the tone well, and it's something I feel I could listen to outside of the show. There is just this nice calm feel to a lot of the soundtrack, and the one track that is played in the dramatically intensified parts of the show is brilliant. The OP was also fantastic. The ED slightly less so.
While Kimi ni Todoke doesn't really break the mold of it's genre, it elevates what it is given a great deal. Each arc tackled something different, which made it easy to just keep watching without stopping. Save for the last bit of the second arc, I thoroughly enjoyed all of Kimi ni Todoke. It has what I like in a shoujo romance anime. A great main lead and romance, heartfelt dramatic moments, comedy that doesn't feel out of place, and most of all, extremely cheesy and cute moments that you can't help but go "awww!" every time one of them pops up. I highly recommend Kimi ni Todoke to any fans of romance anime, especially if you like shoujo romance.
Poorly written,overrated Shoujo.No way that this deserves to be the best or Ultimate Shoujo.Apparently,There is this claim that this show has a wonderful way of resolving an abusive relationship,were a girl could keep coming back even though its bad.Ill tell you this after watching the show,that NEVER HAPPENED.
Let's start with the premise.Apparently everyone in the class treats the main character as a ghost girl worth avoiding.This is unrealistic as she doesn't really look like that,Its just the chibi art doing the work.People aren't that shallow in real life.Making fun is fine, but the show expects me to think that this is a legit conflict.
Then naturally the Gary Stu male lead,Kazehaya steps in to "show his presence".He gets ALL the girls to like him due to existence alone.(Am I watching a generic harem)?He is exactly like a plot armored, male lead in a Shonen harem.
Naturally the only dude who so happens to like only the female lead.He "stands up" for her and everyone just changes their mind and becomes more accepting in just one scene.The people who so happen to SIT BESIDE HER automatically becomes her friends.
The pacing is terrible, the first episode seems fast; One Episode Meisters of anime fandom would say is "good writing",but a story is not one page.Then it becomes very slow for padding.
The character development is bad.Having the plot bend automatically to the protagonist's will.She evens pulls talent after talent out of nowhere making her "accepted".She is still the same girl by the end of season 2.after all this,but with the world revolving around her.
Kurumi- She is a horrible as a rival and as character !Everyone in the school was dumb enough to believe her rumor lie,and no matter what she said to Sadako,convient moments of ignorance form Sadako stop her from being a meaningful threat.She is like a competitive harem heroine.
Ryuu-SALUTE TO OUR FALLEN COMRADE IN THE BROZONE!Out of the blue his love interest says that she likes his brother.He points out the flaws of this show,so I kinda sympathize with him.
There was even this one time where the male lead confesses to Sadako,and she somehow did not understand!The show dragged itself for the last 6 episodes for this moment of plot induced ignorance.
Oh yeah this show has FLASHBACK episodes,despite how mundane this show is.
Sadako has no real flaws.For if she did have an actual character,she would considered by some as a" bad character"; it removes her blank slate self insert status.Its setting may be 3D,but its plot and characters aren"t.Girls here have no self worth without their males here.Kinda ironic.
At least this serves as a guide as the most generic Shoujo ever;to watch only to get the tropes.
If you've read the manga, you'll know this is a great story. It's not your typical shoujo type where the main character is a super cool and preety girl who falls for a guy and drools around following him. It's very funny, very cute and you just fall in love with all the characters in it. Especially Sawako.
The characters in the anime look just like they do in the manga, and I know the art might not be everyones cup of tea, but it is VERY similar to the mangakas style, wich I think is great. Backgrounds in stuff are really deatailed and beautiful too!
I love the opening and ending themes and I think the voices suit the characters really well so I give it a 10 for sound!
I'm more of a manga lover, but I must say this anime gets an overall 10 from me! read more
One form of this universally-binding phenomenon is brought forth in the series Kimi ni Todoke, adapted from the manga by Karuho Shiina. Within the medium, there are only a few other titles that can create a truly pure romance as the one portrayed in Kimi ni Todoke. Yes, it falls within the shoujo realm, which would imply a certain degree of fantasy (if not entirely) romances, naivety, and even immaturity. Kimi ni Todoke has all of this and probably to an uncomfortable degree for some viewers, but as with any tale of romance, it requires a willingness to believe; the rest is up to the work – whether to protect that faith or smash it, and Kimi ni Todoke falls gracefully within the former camp.
The 25 episode series follows a misunderstood, isolated high school girl Kuronama Sawako who due to her somewhat gloomy appearance and aloof nature has been branded as “Sadako” – the creepy ghost girl from the Japanese horror film Ringu – and her transformative journey through finding love, friendship, and herself. Along with Sawako’s love interest Kazehaya Shota and an entirely beguiling cast, Kimi ni Todoke excels in almost every single element of its ambitions and of its genre.
The story is simple and relishes in its simplicity. There are no contrived melodramatic shticks , or unnecessary drama to test one’s patience, or any other kind of forced devices creators use to plod the plot along. This series has a focus and sticks to it. This doesn’t mean that it’s not slow however. The pacing is relaxed; giving time to the characters to fully explore the situations, themselves, and each other. Many have complained about the gradual nature of its progression, but it’s undoubtedly one of its strength.
For one, there are many kinds of implicit love envisioned in this series – love of friends, romantic love, and love of self. The process that one goes through – from recognizing the existence of these feelings to actually feeling them to acknowledging them and finally acting on them – isn’t a quantifiable ordeal; but it can probably be inferred that such a definitive undertaking is gradual. This is why Kimi ni Todoke truly shines: its able to understand that process whether it’s in relation to loving somebody or loving themselves and realizing, that it takes time, especially first loves – a completely foreign territory for all. A worthy love story will try and present its notion of love as complete as possible, and the show definitely develops that with great care. This is evident through how much the of the content is focused on reveling in each and every step/phase that the characters go through. This not only refines the holistic love story, but also the characters; transforming them into vivid, dynamic personalities with purpose and charisma.
The characters are the strongest point of the series. The coupling of awkward girl with popular boy is overtly clichéd at this point, but it all becomes irrelevant in Kimi ni Todoke, because of how carefully it manages to add dimension to each trait; keeping the characters genuine to their core and albeit archetypical of the genre, giving them the ability to step beyond the clichés attached to them. The main characters – Sawako and Kazehaya – deliver this wonderfully.
Sawako is breath of fresh air amongst the littered trash of static shoujo protagonists. Having been alone most of her life, she is completely unaware of what social activities are and oblivious to the meaning of friends or boyfriends. Yet, the work doesn’t go for the angst-y, edgy teen-in-purgatory approach demanding pity and remorse. Rather, the series takes a much more light-hearted tone and creates one of the best shoujo heroines I’ve encountered. Sawako’s demure nature, unfiltered innocence and naivety, and fundamental goodness just radiates throughout, despite her initial appearance and reception. Best of all, she isn’t depicted as an idiotic, weak individual who can’t stand up for herself or what she wants. She is perfectly balanced which keeps her grounded, but also extremely lovable. Of course, some of her traits are exaggerated, but it does not detract from her character at all. I also have to applaud at how nuanced her development is even though the show narrates her every thought explicitly. It’s like reading a diary, and then finding yourself at the end of it, unknowingly standing with the same person.
Kazehaya is sublime. Following suit of the popular, cute, nice boy but stepping away from the trope to be something more. Kazehaya’s character is examined as deeply as Sawako, even though it’s often through Sawako. There is a definite reliability in her narration since a complete picture of Kazehaya is formed as a product. Like Sawako, Kazehaya is genuinely a good person. His kindness is infectious and it is through that kindness that he brings Sawako out of her isolation. Yet, he isn’t perfect and he isn’t detached from the narrative, existing only to be a fantasy achievement for the girl; instead he exists in her world, with her, with all of his feelings, vulnerabilities, and flaws laid right out in plain sight. Essentially, he feels as real as Sawako.
Both characters find themselves at the same crossroad trying to comprehend and deliver their feelings. It’s a pleasure to see how these characters overcome their internal turbulences, and grow. I cannot stress how happy I was to NOT see any trite misunderstandings or random trust issues. The show definitely has its share of drama, but it’s well-conceived and integrated smoothly into the progression without being imposing which is partly why development of these characters seems so effective. As much as this is a tale of love, it’s equally focused on growth and the latter is illuminated at every turn.
The rest of the characters are also well done. Everyone has their own distinctive traits, issues, weaknesses and the show does a great job managing them while giving them some room to be people beyond “the friends” or devices for the main characters. I came to love Ayano, Chizu, and Ryu as much as Sawako and Kazehaya, because of how finely the work asserted their importance – as individuals. Having a dynamic cast means more possibilities. One possibility is being able to keep the consistency throughout the series without compromising quality. Often times, romantic comedies feel like two separate things, rather than a cohesive narrating intertwining both. The comedy in the show is fantastic and befitting. It’s not added to act as filler or to make up for awkward static characters who exist solely to be comedic reliefs.
And to bring this sweet tale together is the art, tone, and music. The tone is always light, yet manages to convey the more serious situations with equal impact. This is mostly attributed to the art style and color scheme. A pure pastel palette is used; softened colors that keep the atmosphere consistently warm and inviting. The frames are often inked with white, garnered with flower stamps and filled with dreamy bubbles, allowing the fantastical spirit of romance to blossom endlessly. The sugary, wistful art and animation perfectly accompanies the tone and nature of the series. Yet it wouldn’t be complete without melody and song. The music in this series is also quite pleasant. Comprised of upbeat vocals, soft piano, gentle choruses, and simple music-box-ish tunes, the entire soundtrack supplements the show very well. Overall, all of these elements tie seamlessly together to elevate the series into the spotlight it so rightfully deserves.
Kimi ni Todoke is and should be the quintessential love story within the medium. It is the idyllic feel-good work that proudly shows why tales of romance will never fail to tug at our heartstrings. Storytellers will continue to tell age-old stories written with some cosmic force that involuntarily rev our own hearts. It’s through these variations of love, can we vicariously experience it too (or at least dream). To feel the stars fall down from the skies in to our eyes and color the world with a rosy tint, oh what a feeling it must be! And that is indeed the type of unadulterated love you will see, feel, and experience with Sawako and Kazehaya as they walk under the star-crusted skies in Kimi ni Todoke.
Sawako's story changes dramatically when she is befriended by Kazehaya, a kind boy who sees her for who she truly is. Kazehaya's acts of kindness completely surprise Sawako, who is used to being ignored, and it is beautiful to watch her become more comfortable with him. Sawako also becomes great friends with Ayane and Chizuru, two girls who initially use Sawako to scare people for their own amusement. However, after both girls get to know Sawako, they see her kind and helpful personality.
The show is able to find a great balance between truly sad moments and the funny and fickle nature of human beings. It is a slow, easy watch with heartwarming moments and funny situations that accurately reflect first love in high school and the desire to be liked.
The show is very enjoyable because of its characters, simple, well-paced plot and pretty artwork. I really, really, really recommend this anime and believe that it can be enjoyed and appreciated by anyone. WATCH IT NOW!! :) read more
So, despite the fact that I am not suited for this anime, I continued to the 2nd and 3rd episode anyway out of curiosity on what this anime had to offer.
And before I realized it, I couldn't bring myself to stop watching this anime...!
Kimi ni Todoke really changed my view on shoujo romance.
The heroine, Kuronuma Sawako is the most kind-hearted, soft-mannered heroine you'll ever see in the entire anime universe. Not because she is stunningly beautiful, not because she is wealthy, not because she is very popular in school either. The fact is, she is an ordinary high school girl who lives in a very normal environment.
What makes her special is her personality. She is the type that would never wish for someone else's misery. Being a hard-working student, family-loving daughter, and caring friend, none of us would dislike her. Her true happiness is to be useful to her friends and family. Even her motto is "Do a good deed everyday". Despite that, she is not a typical weak kind of girl you usually see in another shoujo anime. At times she can stand for herself without depending on anyone. And she will never, ever tell a lie even if it's to save her own skin. She will cheer her friends at times of need, and will cry for someone else's sadness.
On the other hand, our male main character is Kazehaya Shouta, the most popular guy in school. He is very lively and willing to talk to anyone, though deep inside he is quite soft, shy, and hard to understand. From the outside, he may looks very cheerful and happy, but even himself has his own weaknesses and flaws which is very normal for a human to have.
There is no one in this anime which is too perfect or too evil by all means. They're all normal humans, each with their own flaws and emotions, which is interesting because it often allows us to reflect ourselves in them.
For the story, contrary to what most people say about this anime, It is NOT a typical shoujo romance story about popular guy who falls for the unpopular heroine at first sight. Yes, those elements do appear inside this anime, but in totally different pace. Unlike other fairy-tale like stories, Kimi ni Todoke is not in a rush. It seems rather slow, but it isn't. When you start to think that an episode seems too slow (some people states that the winter episodes seems rather mellow, just like what a winter should be), try to review what has happened in that episode. You will realize that there's already much information flowing through your head without you realizing it.
Yes, Kimi ni Todoke isn't as typical and slow as they say.
Its seems as it is saying to us, "Love is not a rush. Just take it slow and enjoy the bitter-sweet moments of love". read more
Just watched the first season of Kimi Ni Todoke. Figured I should write a review about it before going into the second season, while my thoughts on it are still fresh.
Disclaimer: Mostly free of spoilers.
Plot: Kuronuma Sawako is a gentle high school student who, due to her scary appearance (resemblance to classic ghost girl) has been unable to make any friends so far. Everything changes when Kazehaya, the most popular guy in class, starts talking to her, prompting others to do the same. From there Sawako begins to understand how friendship and, eventually, romance works.
Sounds like your usual, run-of-the-mill highschool anime, right? Well, you wouldn't be wrong, but this is heads and shoulders above the rest of the rabble.
Despite the summary, most of emphasis is given on the friendship between Sawako, Chizu and Ayame, rather than the (very) slowly building romance with Kazehaya. In fact, the show seems intent on stressing the importance of friendship, since Sawako is completely new to the concept.
KnT actually shocked me with how much I enjoyed it. Well, not exactly. What shocked me was that I couldn't find anything in particular to point at and say 'that kind of sucked'.
In more detail:
The protagonist, Sawako (often called 'Sadako' after the ghost in 'The Ring') is genuinely likeable as a person. She is ignorant of a lot of things to do with interpersonal interactions due to her circumstances, but she is not stupid like a lot of protagonists are. She does have the always-positive attitude often encountered, but she does not take it to the annoying extremes often met. She is firm when she wants to be. She's gentle but not a pushover.
I'm generally not a fan of female protagonists. I'm generally not a fan of the 'always positive/nice' archetype. Sawako makes me question a lot of things about myself.
Similarly, the rest of the main cast (about 4 other people) are all well developed. Sawako's two friends, Chizuru and Ayame, have unique personalities, both likeable but equally distinguishable, without needlessly extra long character arcs to make them feel unique. Similarly, Kazehaya and Ryu are also like that, in that they don't instantly fall under an anime character archetype. I found it particularly impressive how the show managed to make the supporting characters feel unique seamlessly through the regular story arc instead of going into long-winded tirades/flash-backs/side-story in order to give them a personality.
Well, Chizu does get an arc to herself near the end and I admit that the transition was a little jarring, but that is about the extent of the show's sin in that regard.
I hesitate to classify this as a romcom. The show can certainly be funny. Whenever it wants to be, it succeeds, but comedy isn't the focus of it, it just occurs. Similarly, while the romantic feelings of various people are often discussed/thought on, for the majority of the show they're not the driving force or the center of attention. I'm not describing this very well, but KnT avoided going into drama territory while still technically being a romance story, basically. Slice-of-life fits it bets, perhaps, although considering the somewhat unique circumstances of Sawako I'm not sure how accurate that is.
The show's intro and closing sequence actually had songs I enjoyed, which is something I don't say often ... or at all. Music is a nonentity besides these two instances, however.
What else, what else ... oh right. The animation is pretty fucking good. I really liked the style. Well above average. The character models are very well made and movements are not wooden, though background suffers a little bit. The focus on the quality of characters themselves really impressed me.
A gripe I have is that there's wasn't any closure towards ... anything, really by the end of the season. I guess it doesn't matter that much since there's a second one, though. Still loses some points because of it.
Overall, there's not much else I can say about this. Perhaps light-hearted, certainly positive overall, watching KmT will make even a rock feel better. However, if one doesn't enjoy this kind of show, there is exactly zero reason to watch this. The biggest 'action' sequence is a slap. I think someone got shoved once, too. So, be warned.
Here's hoping the second season doesn't bomb it.
Wow this wasn't actually that short, huh.
Final rating is 8/10. Would have been a 9, but the ending felt kind of weak. Well, not exactly weak, but not fitting to be an ending episode. read more
Kuronuma Sawako, a student with a sweet and adorable look... not for her classmates. She gained the nickname Sadako (from the cursed girl of the "The Ring" movies) thanks to the way everyone sees her, besides her antisocial style and the difficulty of making friends. Only until she mets Kazehaya (her big romance partner of the show), Ryuu (Kazehaya's friend) and her new friends, Ayane and Chizuru. They then try to show everyone the real Sawako: sweet and shy.
The art is great, the color choice is good and that makes it nice to watch. Perfect for a shojo/school comedy (the OP and ED are extremely beautiful). What to say about the sound... the voices are great and all of them fits perfectly in their respectives characters, as expected of the nice dub make it by the japanese.
Some characters are side-shows, like Sawako, Ayane and Chizuru, the powerful trio that steals the scene. The various situations they go through are real funny, like trying to "fix" Sawako or even interacting with all the supporting characters, the three girls are the strong point of the show.
If you want a romance anime, I recommend looking for another one, but if you want a SAPPY romance anime + school comedy, you can try Kimi ni Todoke. Don't expect a single kiss here and even less an end, since Kimi ni Todoke don't have it, just like a lot of animes that continues on the manga version.
Kimi ni Todoke is a good show to start if you want to follow with the manga after, but if you don't, it is not. If you don't have the patience, just start with the manga and simply skip the anime like if it doesn't even exist. read more
This review is going to span both seasons of Kimi Ni Todoke, since I feel it is the best way to review the series.
Kimi Ni Todoke was produced by “Production I.G” and is by far their best anime series production in my opinion. That’s more so because most of Production I.Gs work isn’t all that great to be honest-luckily Kimi Ni Todoke is an exception. The whole show aired between October 2009 and March 2011, with 25 episodes for season 1 and 12 episodes for season 2, making a grand total of 37 episodes. The show falls under the romance, school and shoujo categories and as a whole has been well received by the general public.
This was a show that I had been constantly putting on hold, despite the various number of people telling me to watch it, but when I did eventually get round to watching it, I was pleasantly surprised. My perception had been that this would be yet another typical and very flat romance show which would just grab onto all the usual stereotypes that the majority of shows like this do tend to. To what extent this show conforms to that idea varies throughout, however more times than not, it seems to veer onto the positive side- not totally without its faults.
Season 1 opens with the main character, Sadako, although virtually everyone in her high school calls her Sawako, due to misunderstandings from the past that are explained as the show goes on. Sadako is basically a feared figure, everyone believes she is a bringer of bad omens and do everything they can to avoid her so understandably she has no actual friends. Since this had been going on from an early age, Sadako gets accustomed to the treatment and for her it is part of daily life. In actuality, Sadako is a very nice and gentle person, however her extreme lack of social skills and various scary facial expressions seem to give everyone the wrong idea, her-what can be called aloofness- doesn’t help her case either. In this sense, I actually found Sadako’s character to be a refreshing change from the general stereotype that I had been expecting and hence her character was definitely a big plus for the show, both as a concept and a driving force to give the show a solid platform from which to develop. Quite early on, she seems to make two new “friends”, however she isn’t too sure of what to call the connection since she’s never actually had any friends. She feels like she’s a drag on the two other girls and is very apologetic for everything she does initially and throughout.
A bit later on, we are introduced to the other protagonist, Kazehaya. Where Sawako was against the norm, Kazehaya most certainly isn’t, not to say that’s a bad thing. Kazehaya is the kind of person who appeals to all kinds of people and as he states himself, he “can’t leave those who are lonely alone”. It is down to this reason that he really notices Sawako initially and challenges the idea that people must avoid her. He also makes Sawako a friend and Sawako, taken aback by all these new, nice people, looks at Kazehaya with admiration.
The rest of the season 1 is really just the story of how Sawako grows out of her own shell and starts to experience a host of new events, both bad and good. The events are can be fairly standard, ranging from friendship problems, rumours to straight out bullying. Although while the situations that are thrown up are fairly standard, the realistic way that they are dealt with is very appealing, it really helps to empathise with the characters and the situation at hand.
Now let me get on to what really made this one of those shows that made were extremely satisfying. While Kimi ni Todoke is a pure romance, drama show, the underlying themes are actually very well explored and executed to the same degree, even if expected. The ideas of friendship, socialising but also the friction, misunderstandings and rougher times are presented in a realistic way. Especially for a character for Sawako, it can be pleasing to see how much progress she makes. Her extremely point blank honesty can even land her in trouble and her inability to say the right things to convey her feelings put her in a few sticky positions- but the way she slowly battles her own insecurities and develops over the course of the show really helps you connect and feel for her. In this sense the show focuses less on the romance and more upon these other themes of friendship, social dynamic and just growing up through ones teens and such.
It is clear that Sawako likes Kazehaya and this idea is slowly built up throughout the show-it is also fairly understandable just how worried Sawako is at dealing with the awkward situations that their interactions throw up-but at times I felt these were overdone and over-exaggerated, almost to the extent it was annoying and slowed down the show.
There were a few things however that did not appeal to me so much, for one, the character design and the artwork was frankly not very good. At times I felt it really did detract from the overall experience of the show, sometimes even seeming to be a little bit rushed. It’s the finer details that matter sometimes, but in terms of artwork, I feel Kimi ni Tokode across both seasons, kind of missed the mark. The OP and ED were good in my opinion, it sort of grew on you as the show continued.
So season 1 in a nutshell was a great show, it really made me care for the characters and it was more or less engaging throughout the entire length of the show. Despite a few annoyances that we can gloss over, the show really stuck in my mind well after finishing it and more importantly it really made me want to jump straight into season 2.
Season 2 sadly, did not quite live up to my expectations, it couldn’t quite reach the heights that season 1 had managed to reach. The bar, I felt, had been set too high.
Season 2 had a distinct focus on the romance but in my opinion it did not execute it well enough and the story progression was just too slow, tedious and frustrating for me. It was just too much of an annoyance to watch the most ridiculous situations get thrown up and the way the characters sometimes seem to go about it all. Sawako and Kazehaya took one step forwards and two steps backwards. Sawako’s inability to speak and just convey her feelings across were just so frustrating- even if it were awkward she would seemingly stumble at every block.
The characters are also presented in a slightly different manner- I will not say how so- however this sudden change just seems a little too rushed and feels all too forced. All in all season 2 doesn’t give the full sense of closure that the show would need and just seems a little too slow.
That is not to say that the second half is entirely bad, it does have some very nice moments nearer the end and interspersed in between every now and then. In the end it’s just the inconsistency that kills it off.
So in the end the whole show is still a treat to watch, just a shame they couldn’t quite keep the momentum going right through to the end. It’s a tale that can really suck you in emotionally and keep you interested and is certainly a show I would recommend to those interested in the genre.
My final score would be a 9.0 for Season 1 and a 7.0 for season 2, giving an overall average of 8.0 across both seasons of the shows.
Recommendation wise, I would recommend “Kaichou Wa Maid Sama” as I feel there a few similarities in the story and “Byousoku No Centimeter” which a series of 3 episodes which has a very interesting take on life in general. It may not be similar, but it’s a show that springs to mind when I think of Kimi ni Todoke.
I will say, several of the first episodes brought me to sappy weepy tears. The main character, Sawako, is a lonely girl whose attempts to make friends routinely fail due to her outwardly intimidating appearance. The tried and true "don't judge a book by its cover" will be shoved in your face for multiple episodes as you learn Sawako is actually very sweet, and she usually interprets the horrible treatment she receives from her peers as other people being cooler than her.
Those were the moments that really got to me in the beginning - I haven't seen a whole lot of slice of life anime that's dealt with bullying, and I felt like it was done very well here.
I will be honest, past that, this show became more of a guilty pleasure for me (as it is with most Shoujo. Why can't I just embrace my femininity??) and I felt embarrassed to be watching it the more I saw. Kimi ni Todoke suffers from the run-of-the-mill Shoujo traits that can be extremely jarring for someone who may have difficulty getting into it.
For example, people will have VERY bland conversations, but the characters involved will feel the need to gasp with widened eyes after every line the other speaks.
A: Hi B-chan
*animators zoom in dramatically on B-chan's mouth/eyes*
B: A-kun, I-I-I like your pickles. *blush*
A: *small gasp, animators draw hair-shadow in replacement of eyes*
In all seriousness, this show is good fun: it doesn't take itself too seriously, there's plenty of humour, and it's quite cute. I'll be following up with the manga to see where it goes after the second season, but I didn't feel like this one left a huge impact on my soul that will influence my cognitive functioning for the next 12 years.
If you like most of the Shoujos you've seen, I'd say check it out. If you don't, don't. read more