Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 5

Come the end of the last episode of Kimi ni Todoke, poor old Sawako had gotten herself into quite a stew - Between speculation that she was responsible for rumours flying around the school and her inability to communicate her feelings to others clearly, she was left well and truly isolated from those around her, although this time much of that isolation was self-enforced as she held herself responsible for hurting others.

As episode five begins, Sawako finds herself worrying more and more about this situation, a vicious circle that leaves her even less capable of resolving any misunderstandings as she stays away from those with whom confusiono has been caused. Despite being so used to being alone, the recent good times she's shared has made this renewal of her loneliness almost unbearable (for both herself and this 'blogger - Yes, my eyes were a bit damp at times early in this episode), but what can she do about it?

Once again, it's Kazehaya who comes to the rescue, waiting for Sawako after school, confronting her about why she's ignoring him and all but forcing her to give him a tearful appraisal of exactly what's going on - Exactly what was required of him, in essence. So, the bridges between Sawako and Kazehaya are rebuilt, but that still leaves the issue of Yano and Yoshida's hurt feelings. Thankfully, these two girls seem to be piecing things together for themselves as they continue to worry about what went wrong even without any further action by Sawako, but by the end of this episode we're still left hanging and waiting for these final problems to be resolved so that we can all be happy again... and boy do I need some happy anime this week.

My musings on Kimi ni Todoke seems to have turned into more of a weekly gushing about how great this series is, and I'm afraid episode five isn't going to change that - If anything, the animation quality here was better than ever in terms of its expressiveness (seeing Sawako break down on a couple of occasions is what got me all worked up and upset too), while the way the show's story is told and progressed is as beautiful as it is simple. Quite simply, you can't help but end up rooting for Sawako and wishing her well from beginning to end each episode, even though (as I've mentioned before) she isn't normally the kind of character I'd particularly warm to, while the rest of the supporting cast all continue to show new depths of personality and emotion which goes towards making Kimi ni Todoke so compelling. When all is said and done, this feels like the most "human" anime of this season, with everything you see and hear seemingly a situation you can trace back to your own memories and experiences in some way, which makes for a precious thing indeed.

1 comment:

DoctorG said...

Yes, parts of the animation were extra expressive in this episode.

There's a beautifully understated bit at about 7:00 where Kazehaya has grabbed Sawako's wrist to get her to stop being hysterical (not sure one can say that these days, but she has got herself into a bit of a state). After a good cry, she starts to come round and he rather reluctantly lets her wrist go - and as Kazehaya's hand starts to move away, her hand starts to follow . . . the wish on Sawako's part to touch the withdrawing hand is conveyed so clearly, and yet it's also clear that the wish has come from the subconscious, and Sawako is unaware of it at a conscious level. Very touching. Yes, I had to stop and watch it again. Twice.

Kimi ni Todoke is an anime that hooks you in because the heroine is a very sympathetic character (and it is so well done) - but it's such a girly show that it should carry a government health warning for persons of a male gender. We need a bit of action - let's hope that Sawako's not making a fist for nothing at the end of the episode :-)