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Kimi ni todoke: From Me to You – Season One Review


I typically loathe the star-studded, Hollywood romantic movie. Originally, I thought contempt for the genre stemmed from being socialized to appreciate their assumed antithesis: big, dumb, action flicks. Upon closer analysis, it was the medium itself: two hours simply wasn’t enough time to convincingly explore the nuances of a blossoming relationship, obliging cliché to fill in the minutiae. Evidence supporting this assertion can be found within NIS America’s recent release of the first volume of Kimi ni todoke: From Me to You. Across a dozen episodes, viewers observe the subtle transformational capacity of romance. While not every moment of the series 273 minute running time in engaging, there are enough instances of rapturous charm to warrant a purchase to shōjo fans.

The first episode introduces viewers to Sawako Kuronuma, a perpetually courteous and thoughtful teen who has the misfortune of having a haircut that similar to the main character from the film Ringu. Nicknamed “Sadako” by her classmates, a belief that she can see ghosts and can craft curses instigates isolation. Once she crosses paths with the ever-amiable and well-liked Shota Kazehawa, not only do we see the foundations of a poignant bond being established, but we also witness the budding relationship act as a catalyst for the two characters.

As a textbook case of complementarity, we gradually see changes in both teens.  Sawako begins to shirk her social awkwardness, garnered a new circle of friends, and gaining self-esteem, Meanwhile,  Shota,  accustomed to the superficial affections of his female classmates is initially shown as being oblivious. Steadily, as he confirms Sawako’s admiration, Shota becomes more conscientious, recognizing his own weaknesses. To underline these transformations studio Production I.G. (Eden of the East, xxxHOLiC, Blood+) often interweaves Kimi ni todoke’s dialog with unbelievably exquisite interpretations of nature.

These interspliced scenes also communicate the series’ worldview. With characters so untiringly polite, thoughtful and selfless, Kimi ni todoke can seem inoffensively idealistic. While some viewers won’t mind the series uninhibited optimism, some might take issue with the series’ pacing. Director Hiro Kaburaki embeds every frame with relevance and offers an ample amount of foreshadowing, complexity (including the appearance of an obligatory villain), and analysis. Yet, for those accustomed to the pace of throwaway romantic fluff, Kimi ni todoke can move at a decidedly torpid tempo.  

As is customary for NIS America, the twelve episodes are housed in two slim cases. Whereas previous editions revealed slight bubbling on the surface of each cover, the vexing blemishes seem to have been eliminated. Accompanying the two DVDs are a set of Blu-ray discs, which offer an expectedly pristine viewing experience. The ancillary hardcover book, entitled, “My Memories” offers a pleasing collection of character bios, scenery stills, as well as brief episode recaps peppered with bits of dialog.

The first volume of Kimi ni todoke: From Me to You has more tender, subtle, and honest moments than Hollywood has likely churned out in the last half-decade. As other shōjo have shown, allocating more than four and a half hours to observe the quiet tempest of emotions which accompany a young romance can be advantageous. Fortunately, Kimi ni todoke rarely squanders its time, using each moment to explore the interplay between a cast of likable and intriguing characters. As such, the series would be an ideal token of admiration to the anime aficionado in your life.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

24 comments

  1. Remember when Deagle would review FPSs and talk about muzzle velocity, concussion, and headshots?

    I do. I miss that guy.

    • Stretch Caddy Daddy

      He’s still around. He just watches teenage romance when he’s cleaning his Airsoft M-16. 😉

      Honestly, most Shojo anime are much better than people give credit for.

      • Change is natural. The site has grown, there’s more people and tastes change. You really don’t want to be that guy that still listens to the Wu-Tang when you hit 30, right? Everyone grows up.

        • It’s always interesting to see people impressions of you.

          Jetpack, I still play FPSs. If anything I am a bit disappointed that the genre has gone ‘arcadey’ and there’s a lack of console sims. Yes, I’m still mourning the loss of Operation Flashpoint.

  2. Doesn’t really look like her to me.

  3. I watched the first 5 episodes. It wasn’t bad, but didn’t do enough to hook me. Maybe I’ll try picking it up again.

  4. Deagle, have you ever considered spinning off a anime site?

  5. Shojo is like a hentai series but without the sex scenes.

  6. Thanks Desert. I still like you even if your interests have changed.

  7. At first, I thought,”why is there no grade or score?”

    The I realized you don’t score anime. Which makes me think- why the difference between animation and games?

    • Honestly, Xivious we used scores in the hopes of being included in Metacritic. TideGear was always against them and refused to even score games!

      I’d like to remove them, but I fear public outcry.

  8. It’s NIS, of course DEagle love it. They’ll send the Prinny hit man after his ass if he didn’t.

  9. I watched this with my BF a little while ago. At first he was like you and thought the show was so slow. By the end of the first season he was calling me and asking “are we going to finish up watching kimi ni todoke, tonight?”

    Guys, you want to make your GF happy on Valentine’s? Sit down and watch this with her.

  10. Thanks Deagle, good review. Just the right amount of info without going into spoiler territory.

  11. Good review and all but why would people buy this set when they can watch it online for free?

    http://www.animeseason.com/kimi-ni-todoke/

    • You could, but:

      1) You probably have to deal with craptastic quality.
      2) It’s always questionably legal when you go to these sites. In fact, the link you gave in now broken, which isn’t a good sign.
      3) I like to support the people that worked to bring shows like Kimi ni todoke to our shores. You know, if it’s successful they might just bring more.
      4) If you’re a fan of the series, it’s nice to have the box set, cases and booklet.

  12. I love Sawako and the chemistry in kimi ni todoke. It feels like you’re actually watching a couple which can be amazing at times.

  13. Great review. Sounds like a good one. I need to get back into anime of of these days.

  14. Not my favorite series, but I could see people liking it.

    Thanks for the review.

  15. I’ll give a few episodes a try on your recommendation. Thanks guys.

  16. Seems like a good Valentines gift for a girlfriend that’s into shojo.

  17. How’s the music? Otherwise GOOD review.