Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke 07-08: Sadako Reaches Out More

EPISODE 07: Saturday Night
More Screencaps from Kimi ni Todoke 07

The girls celebrate the restoration of their friendship by having a night out at Yoshida's favorite local ramen shop. It turns out the shop belongs to Ryuu's father. After having their fill, all three of them head up to Ryuu's room to hang out. Sadako wonders if there is something going on between Ryuu and Yoshida as the two of them appear to be very close. Yoshida vehemently denies this while Ryuu just smiles. Eventually, it is revealed that Ryuu and Yoshida are childhood friends and see each other more as "brothers." Later, Yano gets Sadako to call Kazehaya and tell him to come over. While waiting for him, the two girls discover that Sadako's feelings for Kazehaya might be a little deeper than friendship.

EPISODE 08: Voluntary Training
More Screencaps from Kimi ni Todoke 08

The Bi-annual Sports Festival is coming up and Pin is forcing the existing sports committee members and other sports-oriented students to organize their class' teams. Kazehaya gets chosen as class representative by default while Sadako, Yano, Yoshida and Ryuu become athletes. But Sadako has a tiny problem: she doesn't know the first thing about playing soccer. Meanwhile, Kurumi (the "French Doll" girl) hears that Kazehaya is Class D's representative. She manipulates her classmates into nominating her as a member of the sports committee so she can spend some time with Kazehaya while all the while denying to said classmates that she has feelings for him other than friendship. At the meeting, she ingratiates herself to Kazehaya but he is barely listening as he notices Sadako through the window.


This anime is definitely growing on me. I know I said that Sadako is getting on my nerves. Well, she's not anymore. Her troubles are predictable and petty for the most part, but at that age, I remember everything to be very important and urgent.

One positive thing I noticed about Kimi ni Todoke is its pacing. It feels slow for some reason but is actually not. It takes about one or two episodes to resolve a subplot while another carefully develops in the background. And even a whole episode of nothing is not entirely about nothing because there is always that main plot about Kazehaya and Sadako's developing romance to keep us going. So, all in all, not a single episode is wasted in Kimi ni Todoke and in my book that's usually a good sign of excellent pacing.

Add to that the genuinely likeable characters. The core group, composed of Kazehaya, Sadako, Yano, Yoshida and Ryuu, seem like perfect complements of each other and have sufficiently varied personalities to satisfy my thirst for variety. There's the silent one (Ryuu), the loud and slow-witted (Yoshida) and the sophisticate (Yano). Kazehaya and Sadako are surprisingly multi-layered so it's difficult to identify their personality types, but at first glance, Kazehaya is the campus crush while Sadako is the wallflower. Is that enough variety? If not, there are always the well-meaning ones (Ekko and Tomoko), the clowns (most of Sadako's male classmates) and the conniving biatch (Kurumi).

Speaking about characters, I also like the pairings. This is one romance anime where I actually like the main romantic couple. Kimi ni Todoke has managed to create a couple so perfect for each other I can't help but root for them. Then also, there's my pet pairing, Ryuu x Yoshida, whose character dynamics are interesting to watch but one which I prefer to happen in the background.

Whew. I think I've said all that I wanted to say about the series so far. Now, on to the next episodes ~