Entry #3: Kimi ni Todoke (Spoilers, Explicit?)

(Season One)

It would be so much better if Kurumi was the focus. But, of course, we must always side with one who is most innocent. This is evident in most anime, shoujo included.

The path that Kimi ni Todoke takes includes a girl who is far too perfect for her own good. However, to make up for this, she’s placed in a situation where she’s secluded from the rest of her peers because of her name… I suppose. This seems to give her a legitimate reason to play the role as Jesus Christ. She can’t be too perfect. Then she’d be Kurumi. Teehee. This girl, Sawako, eventually gets a boost in social status when a boy, who slightly resembles a monkey, decides to stand up for her on multiple occasions, giving Sawako the courage to break out of her koopa shell. It continues on like this, along with the occasional string of episodes dedicated to her acquired friends. Oh, and romance. Quite a bit of awkward, repetitive, romantic build-up… with little payoff.

Gee, I’m making it sound like I didn’t enjoy this title at all! It does. However, I actually quite enjoyed Kimi ni Todoke. It’s one of those anime where you feel as if the effort alone could make it a good title. It doesn’t. BUT! There is a sense of realism present in this title (except Sawako) that is rare to see in most school-oriented anime. Sawako’s friends are about as lively and reliable as most high school gal pals. The rumors that circulate within the school are a bit exaggerated, but it holds true to how far gossip can change one’s entire reputation. I also liked how just because some of the rumors were cleared up in one episode, they still lingered in later episodes. Very realistic. Thank you. Plot’s cool, if not somewhat exaggerated. Romance feels a tad lacking, though.

Kurumi is love. Kurumi is life. Kurumi is beautiful… and then cut out. That was the anime’s truest sin.

Kurumi….

Sawako is unidentifiable. She’s not exactly vastly unrealistic, but she’s just too considerate. Too kind. Too understanding. Too not mad at anything. Her POSITION, however, is far too identifiable. That’s one of the bait factors to Sawako’s character, along with her myriad of different moe appearances. This is really the only reason her character isn’t given any grief for her holy personality, I think. Kazehaya is a monkey and acts like a realistic, boringly nice person. His appearance is only heightened by Sawako’s delusions, he’s really not that great. Ryu isn’t either. He’s got more personality than Kazehaya, but not by much. Gee, I didn’t like any male characters in this anime. Interesting. Chizu and Ayane are characters that are beautiful for serving their roles, as long as you don’t question them whatsoever. Chizu gets a lot more development later on, but Ayane is still a mysterious force. I think that’s why I liked her so much… but not nearly as much as Kurumi.

Kurumi is the beautiful rosebud of a character that, thinking about it now, isn’t really that great of a character. I may just have a thing for manipulative women. Mmm. Her reasoning behind her behavior is… far-fetched and somewhat jumping the gun. She changes inevitably “for the better” after Sawako baptizes her with kindness. But there’s just something about how real her effort is in trying to make Kazehaya hers. Not to mention her actions are occasionally so subtle that it’s hilariously… er, no, humorous. Even her imperfections are cute. Why not just confess to Kazehaya? Are you that scared of rejection that you’re willing to sway off all other girls until you feel comfortable enough with your own self to provide him with your feelings? It just seems… realistic. Realistic and sad. I think I may have pitied her. Pitiful love. How sickening.

The art is moeful. The art is clean. The art is reminiscent of all shoujo. I would know, I have a VAST knowledge of shoujo titles. Sawako’s appeal is heightened by her pure white persona, aided by her chibi form of obligatory innocence. It’s nice to see the characters actually look different, too. They’re not all copy/paste images with different colors to them. They all actually look different. So nice. I wasn’t fond of Sawako looking on at Kazehaya with dreamy, googly eyes of admiration and love. Why? It took up about a third of the duration of the anime. She seems to ALWAYS be doing it. It’s irritating.

This title was fine. It was a fine mess of emotions and staring contests. Goodness there were a lot of staring contests. I think Sawako is the national champion. I enjoyed this anime. I did. Despite every sarcastic comment I’ve made and every jab I’ve described, I enjoyed this anime very much, specifically the characters. The characters were the driving force behind the enjoyability of this show. And, perhaps not surprisingly, it was most of the minor characters, and Kurumi, that stole the spotlight for me. The amount of romantic progression that takes place in this anime can be described in one word: nevermore. That can also be used to describe the amount of attention Kurumi gets after episode fifteen. Ho-hum.

(Season Two)

Is Kurumi really that great of a character? It’s become more apparent to me the less they show her. It’s almost as if she were only plot convenience… hmm. I still love her. Kurumi will always be life. ❤

Second verse, same as the first: Sawako is an angel who just can’t seem to get things right with Kazehaya. And this season, we have a guest! His name is Kent, and he’s almost exactly like Kurumi. And I fucking hate him. WHY DO I LIKE KURUMI THEN?! Is it because they delved into her past (a little)? Is it because she was never up-front with her desires? Hrmm. I bet it’s just because she’s a girl. Yup, that’s probably it.

The atmosphere to the second season focuses a lot more on drama; drama that feels just as second-tier as the romance of the first season. It’s loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. And its solution is so unbelievably obvious that it was incredibly irritating to watch. Oh, they said something incredibly vague. Let’s mope about it for an entire episode and cry and whine and stare at a wall and have our friends worry and worry and worry and the viewer will cry. CRY AND CRY AND CRY AND CRY.

It’s not all bad, though. The romance is improved upon from the previous season. There are still quite a few staring contests, but now there are even hugging contests! There really isn’t anything more to say other than it was harder to watch….

The characters are the same. And then there’s Kent. Fucking piece of shit. I hate him. I hate him so much. I don’t care if he matured in the end. He’s trash. Plot producing, drama-enduced trash. I thought Kazehaya was more likable in this season… when he wasn’t being an idiot. Chizu progressed into more of a side character, I suppose. She’s more comic relief than she was in the first season. Ayane is still beautiful.

Kurumi is almost never shown. She helps the plot move along… so there’s that. Ho-hum.

The art is the same. Less moe, more sadness. And more cringe.

Overall, the first season was better. The atmosphere and the lack of convoluted drama in the first season better suits the theme that this story wants to provide. Not to mention, it feels less like little girl bait. I enjoyed the carefree attitude, but the romance in season two was also enjoyable… to an extent. I’m not complaining about the lack of a kiss… I swear. I don’t care… Mrmm. Oh well.

Personal Score: B-

Critical Score: B-

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