Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 21

After all the tears and heart-break for Chizuru of the past couple of episodes, it seemed as though everything was back on track as she slowly but surely reverts to her normal self, even though she still isn't on speaking terms with Ryuu.

However, after an evening of karaoke and generally having fun as a final pick me up, who else should Chizuru bump into out of the blue but Tooru himself. As he invites her to take a walk with him, so she leaves Sawako and Yano behind to go on what turns out to be a nostalgia packed stroll for the both of them. Despite the obvious difficulties Chizuru faces upon meeting up with her unrequited love out of the blue like this, all's well that ends well, as she finds herself able both to accept her proper place in Tooru's life while also reconciling herself with Ryuu.

While this is certainly a slow-paced episode of Kimi ni Todoke that doesn't thrive on any overblown drama or love rivalry, that doesn't stop it from being a rather subtly beautiful piece almost throughout - While watching Tooru reminisce about the times he's spent with Chizuru were quite sweet in their own right, it's when this instalment gets to its emotional crux points that it really shines. In fact, there are a couple of big moments in this episode that are almost eerily and solemnly beautiful - There's no over the top emotional music or long stretches of dialogue, just the wind blowing a character's hair or their breath hanging in the cold winter air in a way that somehow tells you everything you need to know without saying a word. Kimi ni Todoke is hardly a series that has made me sit up and take notice in terms of its animation style before, but this was a definite exception, and it added measurably to the two most emotional scenes of the episode, turning them into near-perfect examples of "how it should be done". Indeed, it's those two scenes which turn this instalment as a whole into another example of just how fabulous this series has been, as yet again it manages to bring me close to tears almost effortlessly.


JW said...

Those scenes were so quiet you could almost hear the heartbreak. I'm very happy when a series allows the viewer to fill in what cannot be written or animated. :)

DoctorG said...

This episode was just a delight. Not a foot put wrong throughout, and the final scene, with Chizu and Ryu down at the dockside, had a real emotional kick. I've never seen breath being exhaled into cold air animated as well as it was here. Setting this up makes the awkward episode last week worthwhile (and maybe it won't be so awkward when all three episodes in this arc are viewed together).

But - only a few episodes left to reach some kind of conclusion for Kazehaya/Sawako, and it doesn't look anywhere near. Having reached the heights here, I hope they don't drift into an unsatisfying or rushed ending. Well - Production I.G haven't let us down yet with this series.