Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Kimi ni Todoke - Episode 25 (Completed)

So, it comes to an end at last, with Sawako and Kazehaya closing out their year, and this series, together for their New Year's shrine visit.

Needless to say, a large portion of this episode is dedicated simply to the dialogue between and inner thoughts of this particular pairing, although Kimi ni Todoke's finale also doesn't forget to move things on just a little between Chizuru and Ryuu while also finding time for the usual brief doses of comic relief.

In a way, it needn't have worried about the comedy, as were all watching in rapt attention to see what (if anything) would happen between Sawako and the apple of her eye - Of course, this series being what it is we don't get some heady conclusion, yet all the same it feels at least somewhat satisfying as progress if nothing else, with the lots of genuinely sweet dialogue mixed up with the odd moment of head in hands stupidity when Kazehaya opens his mouth before entirely engaging his brain. Still, we've all been there and done that, and overall the series closes out leaving us with the warm and fuzzy feeling we were most likely looking for from this particular show.

It has to be said that I wasn't expecting too much of Kimi ni Todoke when I began watching it six months ago - Sawako seemed like exactly the kind of girl I'd have little interest in cheering on through life and love, yet somehow this series managed to play me like a cheap fiddle and within weeks I was welling up with tears at Sawako's sorrow and grinning with joy at her small but notable successes as her life was turned around. Kimi ni Todoke managed to do this with a simple blend of great characterisation and beautifully plotted episodes that managed to introduce drama and emotion that felt so tangible and real you could almost touch it - Something often forgotten by series of this ilk in favour of cheap thrills and more intense story lines. Even though I couldn't always relate to the characters and what they were going through I could still understand their pain or happiness, and at times the way it was portrayed was breathtaking in its simplicity, forgoing dialogue for nothing but silence or crashing waves at a dockside.

In short, this is how romance should be done in my book - Not just in anime, but in any visual medium. If you ever find yourself feeling cynical about love and human relationships, sit down and watch Kimi ni Todoke; it might not make everything alright, but it could just serve to remind you that life can be beautiful, even if it isn't as often as we might like.


JW said...

I felt so bad for Yano-chin. She's such a good character yet, I feel know love in the story for her. *sigh*

I was doubtful of Kazehaya's worthiness of Sawako. And it turns out that Kazehaya has his own doubts as well. While he is gentlemanly and polite, he's so impersonal. It's disappointing. He shows us some personality around the end, but unfortunately, because he doesn't show this to Sawako it feels emptier than if he had shown none at all.

I hope they go for a second season, but to be honest, I wonder if what's left in the manga will be taken up. It's a long way from here to there, and I wonder if the audience will have that sort of patience. However, if they skip to the "good part", a lot of the finesse of the final product will be lost.

Brian said...

Not with a bang, but a whimper...

For the first time, I became actually annoyed with Kazaheya. Doubts and all aside, he's become the kind of terminally clueless dweeb that is a staple of traditional anime. A shame, because that isn't what he has shown up to now and doesn't mesh with his character.

It seems that they are cuing up a second season, but I don't know how much depth there is left to plumb. Until episode 24, this was one of my favorite anime. Should have had a strong finish.

Hanners said...

Brian, I agree that a second season would probably be overkill (although some OVAs could work), although I don't know how things are looking in the manga, I've only read the first couple of volumes.

That aside, I quite liked this ending's subtlety - Sure, Kazehaya could (and should) have taken the lead more, but come the end of the finale Sawako understands what the two have between them, and that to me is more important than any kind of full-on confession, kiss etc.

DoctorG said...

It's true to itself. Kimi ni Todoke, I mean - yes, the ending didn't get to a real resolution, but given where we started from, it was about right.

Compared to other anime that are finishing at the moment, KnT doesn't reach the same heights - Cross Game was far more exciting, and the spider tank at the end of Sora no Woto was much more cool - but KnT was the one that got to me the most, and I think will be ultimately more memorable. It's a love it or hate it anime, though - if you don't sympathise with Sawako and her struggles, then watching KnT must be painful, even though the story manages to wring so much emotion from such simple materials, and the visuals have complemented it so well.

Well, enough from me. I've been avoiding the manga, but it's time to give in and see where the story goes after this. I hope our central couple have a good ending - or at least, find something meaningful to talk about.

Anonymous said...

Was this really the final ep, cuz it didn't feel that way to me. I'm expecting a 26th episode, cuz the "ending" felt inconclusive, leaving both characters walking away from each other fretting over how to make progress with the other. a season 2 is totally in order.

I agree with JW that Kazehaya could use more characterization. We've only seen his perfect personality persona, as portrayed from Sawako's perspective. We need to get in his head more about his own insecurities and stuff. I can't believe he doesn't have a single flaw or weakness (other than Sawako).

BUT, only a gentleman could think so well of Sawako. They look so cute together ^_^ Despite what Sawako thinks, Kazehaya and Kurumi do NOT look good together. In the future, if they ever got married, I see her as being one of those demanding manipulative girls who sucks his wallet dry.

I'm also soooooo happy for Ryu and Chizuru. Chii got some REALLY AWESOME characterization in the past couple of episodes and I loved seeing her interact with Ryu this ep. Now all that's left is Ayane! (btw, weren't their winter outfits adorable!?!?!?! Ayane and Chizuru looked awesome!)

though it started out slow, and that stuff with Kurumi was overdramatic, Sawako's transformation is a sincere and realistic/believable story, hitting the mark most of the time. Seeing her develop a relationship with Kazehaya would be so cool! a season 2 is DEFINITELY in order! >;D


Hanners said...


I think we have seen glimpses of the less attractive side of Kazehaya's personality throughout - We've seen him get incredibly jealous at times, he can be a little temperamental on occasion, and he lacks the self-confidence to really admit to having such flaws.

Perhaps he could have done with a little more characterisation along those lines, but again this series seemed to delight in doing a lot of the big things with a feather-light touch.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading the manga, and NOW I see that. I realized it along with Sawako ^_^
It's the only one of her revelations that made sense to me in the last like 8 chapters...