Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 18

"So near but yet so far" could pretty much have summed up the climax to the previous episode of Kimi ni Todoke, but after teasing us with the near-kiss moment this eighteenth instalment of the series takes a rather different approach.

After having spent so much time focusing on the budding yet rather naive relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya, it's been easy to forget the trials and tribulations of some of the other major characters when it comes to love, and it's these goings-on which occupy the lion's share of this particular episode.

In sharp contrast to Sawako's blossoming feelings, Yano's relationship with a college student has long since passed that point, to where it's now reached the inevitable time where she's fed up of the guy. While this particular scenario only gets some brief moments of exposure during the episode, it's a stark contrast to all the idealised love and happiness floating around in Sawako's head, and serves as a much-needed anchor for the show's romantic leanings as a whole.

Yano's problems are pushed into relief however as Sawako concerns herself more with the relationship between Chizuru and Ryuu - Of course, Sawako already knows the latter's feelings towards Yoshida, but as the episode progresses she soon begins to learn that the relationship between this particular pair is far, far more complicated than she could possibly have imagined, and it appears as though things are only going to become trickier still next time around as Ryuu fails to find an opportunity to tell Chizuru something important.

While Yano and Yoshida's relationships simply aren't as interesting or unique as Sawako's for various (and mostly obvious) reasons, getting to spend some more time watching and analysing the pair of them, and Chizuru in particular, was actually quite refreshing; if nothing else, it goes to show how likeable these characters are as an important part of Kimi ni Todoke's cast. I can't pretend to get as excited about Yoshida's uncomfortable love triangle as the one between Sawako, Kurumi and Kazehaya, yet I still want to see it through to its conclusion, which I suppose is proof enough that this story arc is working on a fundamental level. If you're dying for more progress between the two lead characters this episode might prove to be a frustrating one, but personally I don't mind too much.


JW said...

I'm more interested in Yano than Chizu, but I liked the episode.

Hogart said...

I think Sawako and Kazehaya are damn boring to watch and it's been killing the show for me (since my wife decided we're too far in to quit watching now). It was nice to see that the other character's live aren't as dull.

DoctorG said...

As usual, I’ll echo what Hanners has already written better.

Our heroine’s sentimental education continues, and this episode starts to deal with relationship problems. Of course, it isn’t Sawako who has them, since she doesn’t really have a relationship as such, but her friend Yano does, and it goes nastily wrong. She’s the one who appears so mature, but there’s a moral being drawn in that she has a narrow escape from the clutches of an older man with some pretty serious personality problems. Acting older than her age hasn’t been too sensible. She’s an odd character, Yano, and it’s difficult to see what makes her tick. Yoshida, on the other hand is very straightforward and makes no pretence at experience, but is about to get herself into what indeed looks like a love triangle – maybe she is being too naïve. Actually, the development of Yoshida and Ryu’s characters was nicely done, and was a welcome relief from too much attention on Sawako – who had some really good comedy moments, particularly with her getting very confused about just who Yoshida liked. To complete the “relationship difficulties” theme, the comedy bit with Jo’s “confession” that wasn’t emphasized that matters of the heart often do not go smoothly (or, in his case, go at all).

There were some hints with the theme of this episode that Sawako is going to need to learn from these incidents, so she can deal with problems ahead before getting together with Kazehaya – well, this is shoujo anime, so there are DEFINITELY going to be more problems! Although she is making some progress, Sawako is never going to be a good communicator at a personal level. The chances are that one or other of them will get hold of the wrong end of the stick sooner or later – and we are left anticipating the resulting train wreck. Funny how Sawako, who couldn’t be called moe at all, makes you feel really protective. That’s good writing, that is – it would be so easy to mock this series, but it has always managed to persuade the viewer to take it seriously. As long as that is kept up, it will remain a compelling watch.

Anonymous said...

Sawako & Kazehaya boring? Never, by God, sir, never!

Manga Therapy said...

I personally thought this was a good side story and it highlights what happens when friends call each "siblings", especially those of the opposite sex.

I want to share my view on Chizu and how her story should serve as an example of taking things for granted, which a lot of teens do.

You can take a look at: