Thursday, April 8, 2010

Final Thoughts: Kimi ni Todoke

New Year and the series ends with cuts of Kimi ni Todoke couples or likely couples: Kazehaya x Sawako, Chizu x Ryuu ♥ and....Ayane x Pin???? What in the world...

Sawako and Kazehaya continue talking as they walk. Sawako declares that she'll try harder this year to make more people like her but Kazehaya interrupts her, saying they already do. Meanwhile, Ayane is still stuck with Jo while Chizu has to physically force Ryu to stay and not go off by himself drinking amakaze. While joining the long line of people in front of the shrine, they catch sight of Kazehaya and Sawako ahead of them. Ryu then tells Chizu that Tooru is coming to visit. When he doesn't say any more, Chizu accepts the implied invitation. Later, Kazehaya and Sawako both get their fortunes and Sawako is distressed to get "Bad Luck." To appease her, Kazehaya gives her his "Very Good Luck" slip. Sawako reads the part that says something about love and thinks this refers to Kazehaya, bringing a whole new light to her feelings for him. In another meanwhile, Ayane finally gets rid of Jo only to run into Pin, who unknowingly rescued her from a bunch of guys who were hitting on her. The two of them are equally flabbergasted at meeting like this and even more so when they find out that they have to walk together as they are both going the same way. The rest also make their way home. Kazehaya and Sawako take the path she usually takes to school and they stop at the spot where they first met. Sawako is surprised that Kazehaya remembers even as she is secretly thinking the same thing. The two of them stay there for a moment longer, reminiscing about the past and realizing their love for each other even as they decide not to act on it yet. They part in front of Sawako's house. Kazehaya has one last glimpse of her and then turns and walks away, with Sawako unable to take her eyes off him.


I"m so glad I picked Kimi ni Todoke for my rom-com fix in the Fall 2009 Season. I've never enjoyed or been satisfied with any other recent crop of rom-com anime since ToraDora!Kimi ni Todoke is the exception. Interestingly, ToraDora! also came out in fall. Does it have anything to do with the season? I doubt it. :) 
Like its main female character Sawako, Kimi ni Todoke is undemanding, unobtrusive and always, always ready to make you feel good. Even the more dramatic moments are treated with such a deftness and lightness that the series never gets out of hand. Each scene just blends in into the next, seamlessly it seems. Of course, this means the series could easily fall into the trap of predictability and boredom. Like all rom-coms, the situations in Kimi ni Todoke are not the least bit original but you will find that even predictable can be entertaining when done right. And that's what Kimi ni Todoke does. It takes all the cliches and usual antics and somehow make them all work for the anime. 
Thinking this, I'm suddenly reminded of Kare Kano but not in the way that you think. No two stories could be more different. Kare Kano is in a league of its own, both in its romance, its humor, and its treatment of its characters. But there were times when even Kare Kano got a little too heavy-handed. I'm talking about Arima's dark background. It was a nice twist, sure, and it added an unusual dimension to an otherwise light fare story and made the developments in the character's relationship more intense. I don't know if the intensity was necessary but it made Kare Kano a compelling read. 
Compelling isn't a word you would use to describe Kimi ni Todoke. Unlike Kare Kano that went from fluffy, light fanfare to dark, intense eye-opener in the later volumes, Kimi ni Todoke is a show that maintains its lightness from beginning to end. What's impressive about it is that despite the lack of theatrics and dark underpinnings, the show still manages to deliver. And that's  really something for a show that does not demand a lot from its viewers.