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SaitoHajime101's Kimi ni Todoke Tv Review

Kimi ni Todoke

Kimi ni Todoke tv Review

With long black hair and Sadako (from "The Ring")-like features, Sawako Kuronuma is shunned by her fellow schoolmates, even when greeting them. False rumors about her power to curse and summon ghosts make for a lonely life for the plain and kind Sawako. However unlike the rest, Shouta Kazehaya, the most popular boy in school, treats her with kindness. Gradually feelings of admiration and respect begin to evolve in a love story for the ages.

Description: princessmeyrin023

Story & Characters

Gah, I can't come up with anything lame or witty for an opening this time, so I'll just jump into the review.

Kimi ni Todoke, or "Reaching You" in English, is your basic melodramatic story about a mid-teens girl trying to overcome her sheltered life and experiencing what it's like to have friends and a first love. That's really what this story is in a nutshell, but alas being a review, I'll explain a bit more.

This story follows Kuronuma Sawako's "coming-of-age" period of her life. Prior to the first episode, we are lead to assume that she was a very sheltered child who ended up being a late bloomer, socially. When she first encounters a boy by the name of Kazehaya Shouta, she felt a series of feelings for him that she couldn't quite explain. He was the first person to freely talk to Kuronuma without being freaked out, by any sense, because of the way she looks (she has the looks of the girl from the movie "The Ring", hence her nickname "Sadako" in the show).

Now as we procede into the story, we come to find she's one of those girls, everyone picks on. With her freakish, scary looks, constant rumors float around how she will cause bad luck and such to those who interact with her, whether directly or indirectly (indirecly being like sitting in the same seat she sat in before). All this help to reinforce her sheltered life, which now we can assume wasn't entirely her own doing.

A lot of this story, I come to find, are more for women. Not trying to be sexist or anything, but that's how this series comes across, for me anyway. As a guy, watching this series was hard at some points because I would realize I'm laughing at parts that, possibly, women would find saddening. Not to mention the fact I couldn't understand some of the actions taken by Sawako or another character by the name of Kurumizawa Ume. Well, I wouldn't exactly say I didn't understand it, guess that was the wrong word to use here, but it was... I don't know, I can't find the right word here. Anyhow, the story itself was a pretty solid story with a solid group of characters that somehow kept bringing me back to watching it more. There's just something special about this series that made me want to watch each episode to the end despite how ridiculous some of the episodes were. The one thing, I do admit that I like, was how each episode connected. Lately, we've been getting some very episodic series with episodes that don't connect, but this one stuck to it.

Now, going into specific characters, despite being for female-oriented (in my opinion), had characters even men would be relating to. Of course you have Kuronuma Sawako and Kazehaya Shouta, the two main female and male protagonists. Both are also the main story's love story (to be expected), but also are opposite ends of each other personality-wise in some cases. Kazehaya is extremely outgoing and athletic, while Kuronuma is none of these. The one thing they both have in common is they're both kind. Next on the character train is Kuronuma's closest friends, Yano Ayane and Yoshida Chizuru. These girls are your stereotypical types that you would find in a lot of slice-of-life animes (just like the main protagonists). Yoshida is the obvious tomboy, with real athletic skills, but at times, comes off really dumb and not very observant to the situation at hand. However, I believe that in some cases, all of that is just of front. Reason, I say "at times", because Yoshida at other times, is right on the money in problem situations and knows exactly what's going on and also comes off very smart. Not sure if the writers were just being inconsistent or what. Yano on the other hand is the girl of the girls. She's the heavy makeup wearing type who somehow always as a boyfriend, but yet really independant. Yano is probably my favorite of the females in this series because she's always very mischevious and sneaky. I like how, at points in the story, she gets the classic "hehehe", sneaky-sneaky look that shows she's scheming something. It's really, really funny. The last one that needs a mention (twice now actually in this review) is Kurumizawa Ume, aka Kurumi-chan in the series. The moment I first saw her was the moment I started use expletives to address her (hah!). I didn't like her from the beginning. While Yano schemes, but is never hurtful about it, Kurumizawa schemes to be hurtful. This becomes apparent later in the series. Not saying I hate the character for bad writing, that's not it. This character was written and well fleshed, my reasons for hating her are purely self-reasons that have no real bearing on the review rating. I like this character as it fits in the story.

The entire story and cast were well thought out and flowed well through the story, as well as having good interactions between each other. In some ways I wish I could give out half of a point to make this an "8.5", because while the characters were superb, I felt the story had one too many melodramatic sub-plots (should be expected considering the story here) and I felt the writers teased us a bit too much about the main love story (being as it never really fully addressed between the main characters). So if you're looking for the primary love story to be answered, sorry, expect this one to be taken out of Takahashi Rumiko's playbook, never answered in the anime. If a season 2 comes out, I'm sure it'll be fully fleshed out then, but until then you'll have to read the manga.

Rating: 8

Art

The art had an interesting style to it. Coming out of Production I.G., we can expect some of the best stuff and surely enough, their work here doesn't disappoint. While it never seemed like the character's themselves were ever taken seriously (seemed at times that a novice did the drawings of said characters), I personally felt that was intended. It helped to maintain the innocent feel. Those of you who are parents or those of you who remember handing a hand drawn picture to your parents as a kid to pin to the fridge can probably understand this. The drawing of a child probably has some of the most innocence behind it. While we can tell that no child drew the characters for Kimi ni Todoke, it still had that feel any way. It definitely gave anime a new face and tried to be original which worked out wonderfully in this anime.

The background art also had the innocent feel but not the child-like feel. The background helped balance the art out with more of a teenager's to an adult's personality. More conformed and clearer lines, doesn't akwardly bend in places or seem like it was drawn haphazardly (for reference of what I mean, check out the anime Ponyo from Studio Ghibli). Ponyo is a good example of a child-like background, very cartoon-like (what we Americans differentiate between cartoon and other animations, not sure if it's the same definition elsewhere in the world).

Rating: 8

Sound

A very touching soundtrack and opening/ending set. The music really does try and play on your emotions more in the beat, melody and lyrics. Some tracks are upbeat, some are mellow, while others are depressing. You have your full range of emotions. To pick a specific song that really plays to all of them is probably impossible, because each song plays specific to either one or two emotions. You won't find one that plays to all of them at once (outside of the Opening/Ending set anyway). A specific song that plays to two emotions is called "Aozora". For the first half of the song you get a nice upbeat, hopeful tempo. During this part, at least to me, I get filled with relaxation and hope at the same time, while reaching to the second half I get the feeling of admiration towards those I admire (I end up thinking about them a little). Now not saying everyone who listens to that song will get the same feelings as I did from "Aozora", but one could easily pull two emotions from it.

Moving to the Opening/Ending set, we're given some of the better songs in a while. Most songs lately seem to be the same, but these are in another grouping of their own. Originality, once again, shines through in some aspects of this series and the sound doesn't disappoint. First, we have the opening song, self-titled "Kimi ni Todoke" by Tanizawa Tomofumi. This is a song that fits Kazehaya really well. Even though, looking at the translation, it as fits Kuronuma as well, I find that I think "Kazehaya" more than "Kuronuma" (that's just me though). Even though the series is more about Kuronuma growing up and realizing everything about herself and those around her, Kazehaya comes off has one that also needs a little growing up as well in other aspects of himself.

Next is the ending titled "Kataomoi" by Chara. This song definitely brings the consistent feeling of innocence that Kimi ni Todoke displays throughout the series. "Kataomoi" is not just designed for the main protagonists, as some of the lyrics clearly describe each character at some point in the series. What I like most about this song is how it seems everyone's personality can be somehow fitted into this song. The most comment attribute I can find in all the instruments is the softness (even the drums play surprisingly soft in "Kataomoi"). Also at the beginning, if you listen to the instrumental version, you can hear an instrument play that sounds like a string-version of an organ. Now I'm not knowledgable in instruments here but that instrument when played like that sounds like the scheming, sneaky personality of Kurumizawa and Yano. So subtlely it plays yet still provides an important piece to the song as a whole.

Moving along into voice acting, there's not much to say. I couldn't find one voice that I disliked. Unfortunately, I'm not the person to discuss voices with as I'm very easy going when it comes to such. However, what I can do is discuss a little of the VA's, themselves. First up is Namikawa Daisuke-san. Oh what an impressive VA he is, at least from what his resume of voices lists. He's been all over the board, both non-anime and anime. By anime goes, you'll recognize him as Ulquiorra from Bleach, Koyuki from Mongolian Chop Squad, Kei Kurono from Gantz or maybe perhaps Mystogun from the recent show Fairy Tail. His anime credits of main characters is immense but what hits a note for me was his non-anime role as Anakin Skywalker in the Japanese dub of Star Wars episode 2 and 3 and his dub/role for the Japanese version of Lord of the Rings trilogy. Now, now throwing my obvious fanboyish love aside for Star Wars, lets move onto Kuronuma's VA, Noto Mamiko-san. Something I want to say is I think the production value for this series was extremely high because looking at Noto-san's is even more impressive than Namikawa-san's. Not saying Namikawa-san is less than Noto-san, just that Noto-san is creditted with a large amount more than he was. Among these, some may recognize including Kotomi Ichinose from Clannad, Sayoko Mishima from Ah! My Goddess TV, Aya Toujou from Ichigo 100%, Rin from Inuyasha, and Yakumo Tsukamoto from School Rumble. There's more I could list as I recognize a good portion of her roles, but that would take too much space.

When you get into the supporting characters, you'll find that it's a mixture of established and non-established VAs. Some who are just starting or have a couple, versus those who have an extensive list like Namikawa-san and Noto-san. The most famous of the supporting cast list would probably be Hirano Aya-san from her role as Haruhi in Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu (she plays as Kurumizawa in Kimi ni Todoke).

Definitely the biggest highlight of Kimi ni Todoke comes out of this section. As much as I feel that nothing is ever perfect, I find that particularly this section, is as close to perfect as it comes and thus I'm giving it the rare 10 rating. I'm thoroughly impressed with the combination of good voice acting (as much as that flys with you guys since what I've mentioned before) and the music.

Rating: 10

Presentation

Oh the dramatics, let it end! Well, thank god I didn't feel that way. While some of it did indeed get somewhat overplayed at times, it's what this series was built around. The good thing though is they didn't make it a bad habit. While slice-of-life series are notorious for "mis-understandings", this series didn't play off of those and played more off the reality that really happens. Despite the naivety of Kuronuma, she has surprisingly fewer misunderstandings than characters like Naru Narusegawa from Love Hina. That's probably what makes this series better than the rest, for me.

Specifically on humor, you'll find enough of it. It isn't quite the slapstick humor but nor is it always so subtle. It's the small jabs or the ridiculous actions taken by some characters that make plenty of moments humorous. While some scenes were sad, others were completely hilarious. My favorite part (has no bearing on the main story so no real spoilers here), was when Ryu wanted some "Amazake" when he was at the shrine at New Years with Yano and Ishida. It really shows how much of a one-track mind he has, but coming from the character he is makes it an extremely funny sequence.

Now, I do have a problem with the presentation/story as a whole (GASP! a problem exists in this series?!). Yes, a problem. As mentioned before this story pulls a Takahashi move from her playbook and doesn't clearly answer the main relationship story, or should I say, help it towards it's natural conclusion. Now by the end of the series some could make their own assumptions and such from evidence given, but I'm, personally, tired of it. I'm not sure if the writers did that on purpose for a possible second season (since the manga is still ongoing) or what, but it's frustrating when the entire series is leading up to that specific moment and it never really comes or it's too muddled to really make out the true conclusion.

Overall, this series is worth watching through. Moments are happy, moments are sad, but they all make for an enjoyable series. Once again dramatics are somewhat of a commonplace in some instances here but I still say watch it any way. It's not too overpowering to where you want you rip your ears off. Watch it through once, make your opinion then, because Kimi ni Todoke is definitely worth the time.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.33 (good)

Reviewed by SaitoHajime101, Apr 28, 2010

Comments

  1. shavo002 Apr 28, 2010

    i pretty much agree on yoru review, it is an awesome serie wich i loved, the only bad thing is the ending, that is shamesly bad, no turning arround it, it sucks, i was really let down by that.

    gotta check out the manga some time, see if it ends better.

    good job

  2. Nubes May 01, 2010

    I'm reading the manga, I haven't started yet with the motion part... But I kinda got tired of Kuronuma's "naiveness" if even that word exists.... but i guess that's the point of the manga... I happened to watch the 1rst chapter of the anime, and I quite loved the colors and how they pictured both Kouta and Sawako... I love lovey dovey animes and mangas, and when she declared her love for him, Ommigoddess! I got chicken skin! =D

    love love Kimi ni todoke!

  3. SchRita May 01, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  4. TiffYG2133 May 02, 2010

    Great review! I do think the manga is worth a read, it's not all out/translated yet but it does go farther into the story and it's a good read IMO

  5. rukasu04 Mute Member May 15, 2010

    Nice review :D

  6. emina07 Mute Member May 28, 2010

    this is a really good manga under romance comedy and school life genre

  7. rukasu04 Mute Member Aug 12, 2010

    Nice review :P

  8. SchRita Aug 27, 2010

    I like romance and comedy.

  9. patriz0 Oct 07, 2010

    I like the manga better

  10. Weskalia Dec 30, 2010

    This is a long but very good review. I really like Kimi ni Todoke too, one of the best shoujo anime out there.

    For over a decade, there were many successful shoujo anime, but none have been able to topple Kare Kano until now.

    Great job.

  11. back07 Sep 26, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

  12. kyoru-chan Nov 25, 2013

    I like kimi ni todoke a lot :3 . . . its suited to all ages :3 . . . the anime is awesome but I'm still reading the manga . . .

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