Kimi ni Todoke (2009, On-Going)
Comedy, Romance, Shojo, School Life
Sawako Kuronuma is often feared and avoided because of her supposed eerie appearance. Her classmates thus made fun of her by calling her Sadako after the ghost in the movie The Ring and constantly made up rumors about her being swarming with curses and intimidating, making others avoid her even more. Yet, beneath the seemingly grim exterior is a shy, introvert and kind-hearted girl who continues to work hard to try to dispel the misunderstanding, despite the fact that her feelings were not reciprocated. However things began to gradually change, as she became friends with Shota Kazehaya.
Impression (Based on 2 episodes)
Kimi ni Todoke is akin to a female Takasu Ryuuji (Toradora) with a slight blend of Yamato Nadeshiko Shinji Henge. In retrospect, this show is something like a mix of an extended plus different perspective take on Ryuuji’s plight. His plight of trying to mix into the class was resolved in merely one episode, hence why I say Sawako’s case is like an extension. This is not to be taken as a bad thing; both series just happen to have similar premise but different plot focus.
Kimi ni Todoke is a simple romance anime: shy girl admires the popular guy, learns to open up to the class, while simultaneously, thanks to the guy, the classmates also learn to accept her. It’s a simple premise but a highly popular one at that; it doesn’t try to do anything new – at least it doesn’t seem like it is there will be any plot twist. But hey, just because it’s predictable doesn’t make it a bad romance. Indeed, its execution is well enough to avoid being flagged as clichéd. Similarly (though it may be too early to comment), the characters are not that outstanding, especially, Kazehaya who is a generic archetype. Nevertheless, Sawako herself is presented well and her two friends are sufficiently interesting, like how one of them would be so touched by Sawako that she burst into tears.
Mamiko Noto’s (Ichinose Kotomi, Clannad; Tsukamoto Yakumo, School Rumble; Rin, Mnemosyne) notable soft-spoken voice suits Sawako’s personality well. Sawako herself is also endearing in the way she tries to communicate. However, I hope they don’t try to drag some of the gags too long, like her “refreshing” comment for example.
The art style is just like most of Production IG’s shows: simple character designs but beautiful background. The music choice isn’t anything outstanding but does suit the mood. The general overall pace of the show is thus rather slow, but of course, it’s the relaxing sort rather than the sluggishly boring type.
Once again, it may be too early to determine how good this series, but it does have a good start – not masterpiece, soul-taking, epic entrance – but a good start nonetheless. A start that seems filled with much potential and knowing Production IG, the prospect of it being able to carry through is high.
Current Rating: 8/10
Sadako Sawako and Kazehaya