Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kimi ni Todoke 09: Of Dolls and Names

EPISODE 09: A New Friend
More Screencaps from Kimi ni Todoke 09

Sadako's after-school soccer practice with Kazehaya is paying out. Even Yoshida is starting to notice the improvement and congratulates her on a job well done. Sadako watches Kazehaya also practice soccer with the rest of the boys in her class. But she can't seem to watch him for long without feeling her face warm up.

After the break, Sadako goes back to the classroom ahead of Yoshida but when she arrives there, she finds out that none of her classmates have returned yet. Just then, Kurumi drops by, apparently looking for Kazehaya. Sadako immediately recognizes her as the "French doll" girl and reminds her about the incident in the hallway where Kurumi helped Sadako pick up some papers she dropped. Kurumi smiles and seems so nice that Sadako can't help but admire her. But unknown to her, Kurumi also thinks that Sadako looks like a doll. The unexpected compliment sends Sadako into a spasm and while she is in this state, Kurumi is called by her friends and goes to them, leaving Sadako to comtemplate by herself this first-time experience of being complimented.

Yano and Yoshida soon join Sadako who then tells them what happened. But the girls don't seem to believe that Sadako being called a "doll" is really a compliment. Kazehaya enters the classroom and Sadako immediately feels nervous although she has no idea why. Yoshida is upset that Sadako continues to call her by her last name. However, Yano points out that even Yoshida still calls Sadako "Sadako." This prompts Yoshida to challenge Ryuu into remembering Sadako's real name. Ryuu wrongly answers that it's "Kuroyuma Takako." Sadako dutifully introduces herself to Ryuu again. Meanwhile Yano gets an idea and tells Kazehaya to say Sadako's full name. Kazehaya has no problem saying it but when Yano asks him to say Sadako's first name, he falters and finally shouts that it's impossible. Sadako's nervousness goes up to new heights.

After class is over, Sadako, who is carrying some class documents, happens to overhear a couple of students talking about Kazehaya and a certain female student. Sadako goes to see what's it all about and is surprised to find Kazehaya and Kurumi having a friendly chat. Seeing the two of them together makes her want to be cute (like Kurumi) as well. So the next day, Sadako asks Yano and Yoshida if she should get a perm. They don't think it's a good idea and insist that Sadako should keep her current hairstyle.

Later, Sadako waits at the lockerroom for Yano and Yoshida who are borrowing a soccer ball from Pin. While there, she overhears Kazehaya talking with another boy about Kurumi and is surprised to find that he could say Kurumi's first name without any trouble. The discovery somehow makes Sadako upset, although again she does not know why. After a moment, Kazehaya notices herand goes to greet her. But Sadako is still tongue-tied about the whole thing. As Kazehaya tries to say Sadako's first name, Kurumi arrives, effectively putting a stop to his attempt. Kurumi notices that Sadako is practically bathed in sweat and uses her own handkerchief to wipe Sadako's face. The gesture touches Sadako so much she mentally declares herself Kurumi's fan. But Kurumi has other plans as she says that she and Sadako are now friends, much to everybody's shock.

It's really hard to recap a single episode of a slice of life anime like Kimi ni Todoke. Harder even to comment about it.

So there goes another episode of Kimi ni Todoke where characters do a lot of thinking, staring and blushing though nothing actually happens.

But to be fair to the series, Kurumi's introduction should provide the right stimulus for Sadako and Kazehaya's relationship to develop. It was established from the start that Kazehaya has a thing for Sadako but Sadako is a little bit on the slow side so it takes her about nine episodes and Kurumi to realize that she's "noticing Kazehaya too much." Here's to hoping something more dramatic happens next episode.