Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 20

While it outwardly seemed as though Chizuru was unaffected by the news about Ryuu's brother last episode, it hardly took a genius to figure out that all was far from well in her world after seeing the guy she loved announcing his engagement to someone else out of the blue right in front of her.

Despite her inner melancholy however, Chizu finally grabs enough initiative to at least go and give Ryuu his present after his brother is gone.... only to be met by some seemingly snide and snarky comments that throw her into an upset rage. Thus, the rest of the episode consists of an uncomfortable silence between the pair of them, only to have everything flare up again into yet another row (well, as much as anyone could "row" with Ryuu, it's always a pretty one-sided argument) when Ryuu finally tries to confront her about things.

In the midst of all this, there isn't exactly a rainbow of happiness from Ayane and Sawako either, as they both spend their time fretting about their heart-broken friend and beating themselves up for being useless and unable to do anything about the situation, a depressing state of mind that only some kind words from Kazehaya help to dissipate, albeit only slightly.

While this episode's humour was laid on a little thick and in an over-the-top fashion at times (quite a rarity in itself for this show, which normally gets the balance just about right), there was still plenty to like here when it came to both the emotional and inter-personal aspects of the instalment. Both Chizu and Ryuu were really "filled in" as characters during the course of this episode, with the former exhibiting all sorts of frailties beneath her seemingly care-free nature while Ryuu's outward simplicity gave way to a far more complex, honest and awkward character who is all but begging to be misunderstood.

In a way though, Kimi ni Todoke's real aim here was a take on friendship in difficult circumstances, and it's here that the episode really shone through - I'm sure we've all been the "helpless friend" who feel we can do nothing to console someone we care about at some point in time, all the while forgetting that simply being there as and when required is what's really needed, and letting someone have at it with their emotions rather than being "cheered up" constantly is often the best medicine. It's this aspect to episode twenty that will probably stick in my mind for longer, with Chizuru's finally breakdown genuinely moving me too (again, I think we've all been there as well), with that particular scene being played almost perfectly. It seems that even when Kimi ni Todoke doesn't quite get everything right, it still knows what it's doing when it comes to that emotional, human touch.


JW said...

Oh Boo-Hoo-Hoo! *sniff* They're all *sniff* such good friends!

Let me blow on my hankie!


DoctorG said...

This is the first episode of this anime that didn't seem quite right somehow - parts of it just didn't work. Yoshida's reactions and everything she did made sense - for sure, having a good cry and getting over it rang true - but were we meant to believe that Ryu was being very wise in provoking it, or rather stupid and insensitive? I've watched it twice, and I can't decide - he's a man of few words, and maybe we are missing nuances in the translation.

At least we got to see Sawako making some funny faces.