The following post may contain minor spoilers for the events of Kimi ni Todoke. If you haven’t seen it and want to have zero knowledge of it, come back and read this afterwards.
Romance is one of the most primal actions the human race participates in. The anime/manga world even has an entire genre dedicated to it alone. People love to watch stories about love. It’s something we can all identify with in some manner. Whether we share similar experiences, or long for it ourselves, romantic exploits are something we know well. I’m no different in this regard, and often I seek out a fictional narrative that can pull me in with just this premise. A love story you say? Count me in to explore it! Well, ladies and gents, recently I watched another series in the ever expanding library of the romance genre. Typically, despite wanting a good fix for my desire to have some love in my stories, I seldom actually receive it. Quality doesn’t quite always come with the quantity. And by golly are there a lot of them out there in the Shoujo universe. However, with strong confidence I can say one of the finest I’ve come across is Kimi ni Todoke. A simple connection between two people never looked so promising and lovely.
Kimi ni Todoke(From Me to You in the West) is about two characters and their journey to form a bond with one another. These two being Sawako Kuronuma and Shouta Kazehaya. Two very different people in the general eye, but as we come to see, perceptions are easily distorted. The romance between them is not kindled right off the bat. No, like many of it’s Shoujo counterparts, it takes the slow road. It’s how it does this though that makes it such a tremendous success. The incredible connection between Sawako and Kazehaya that we see start humbly and flourish into a beautiful relationship, is what the series stakes it’s core on. To do this though, you need stand out leads that can hold up an entire plot as a selling point.
Sawako is the true main character of Kimi ni Todoke. She has a peculiar reputation to her fellow student body. You see, Sawako has very long sleek black hair with a very pale complexion, which creates a very exaggerated rumor about her. If you aren’t familiar with it, there is a classic Japanese horror film called The Ring. It revolves around a curse and those who are plagued by it being killed by a young girl with very long sleek black hair who is very pale. Her name is Sadako and she met with unfortunate circumstances and enacts her vengeance eternally upon those who garner her curse. Did you notice the connection? Sawako/Sadako have a one letter difference, and a strikingly similar appearance. This causes people to assume Sawako’s true name is Sadako and she will curse you if you get too close. Sawako is also quite soft spoken and immensely shy, so when she does try to converse it adds on to their fright. This is what the people see.
Kazehaya, on the other hand, is the every-man of his classmates. The majority of the guys want to be his friend, and the girls are attracted to him as well. Handsome, friendly, and always open to talk, Kazehaya comes off as Mr. Perfect. Not a single fault can be seen by those who don’t know him on a deeper personal level. The thought of him being anything else is almost unthinkable. A clear distinction is made from the get go with how he is viewed versus Sawako.
On the very first day of needing to go to the school, Kazehaya isn’t sure how to get there. Lost and dumbfounded his path connects with that of Sawako. She tells him exactly where to go and he thanks her kindly for doing so. Taken aback by someone actually thanking her she can’t help but smile happily. Kazehaya thinks her smile is wonderful, and continues on his way to school. They end up in the same class, and the rumors Kazehaya hears of Sawako don’t match up with the girl he talked to. He makes it his mission to get to know her better.
This is how the difference is made. The direct strong desire to get to know the person and who they are. Not because he had his sights on her to get a woman, but to find the person behind the smile he warmly recalls. From this point forward, Kazehaya and Sawako get involved in each other’s lives thanks to his push to make it happen. Their lives start to take wild turns they didn’t expect either. Sawako makes her first real friends, becomes a tutor to the class, and the rumors circulating about her are shattered by those close. It all sparked from the moment Kazehaya made their lives connect, and went to find the truth for himself. Kazehaya on the other hand, is finally getting to the point of opening up not only to others, but himself as well.
As you would expect this connection strengthens into a unique bond only these two share together. They begin to fall in love with one another, because the person they know and see is the real thing they were attracted to in the first place. They learn, and grow from their relationship as friends, and the things they value/admire in the other person. Sawako wants to be “lively” like Kazehaya, and experience all the fun and exciting things in her environment. Kazehaya wants to be able to take charge, and do whatever he wants for himself to be the happiest him. They both slowly get on the road to achieving just these goals, and many more thanks to the connection built and nourished together. And when they inevitably take the next step in their journey together, you couldn’t be any happier to see it happen. This is because deep down, all relationships you create hold something that change your life and teach you new lessons about yourself. The more effort put in, the greater yield. And with a love based connection, this holds extremely true. The one you love the most, and cherish like a treasure, they will make you a better, happier person because you gave them the same thing in return. Even through your faults, they will accept you and move ever closer. That is why, Kimi ni Todoke for me is a standout story between two people. A story of growth and connection, and of course a little bit of love.
Well I thank you for your time, and reading this post. It was a lot of fun to talk about one of my favorite romances, and how its title holds such strong significance in why I find strong enjoyment in the overall story. If you like romance as much as I do, maybe you are looking for something else to fill that need. If so I can throw a few series your way.
Ore Monogatari is a first love story, about breaking social conventions of what is attractive in a partner. All the while giving you tons of laughs and wonderful first moments between the couple.
Clannad is a long journey between two people becoming friends, then lovers, and then adults who deal with all of life’s trials and tribulations. It has more drama in it than most romance series I’d recommend, but the payoff for these two and how they better each other is worth it.
That is all I have for you lovely readers today! Until Next Time…..
See you My Little Wanderers!