Monday, May 10, 2010

Kimi ni Todoke - anime review

Welcome to the review of a new addition to the list of my favorite anime. As series was closing to finale, so was my fear that there will be no more sequels growing. Now I'm relieved, since nothing has resolved in the last episode. To be doubly sure, I checked Wikipedia and found that manga is still ongoing! I don't know how many volumes did the anime adaption covered, but at least I know that somewhere in the future a new season of this great anime is awaiting me.

 (source: AniDB)

First to state, this is a shoujo anime. This covers a lot of series, from heart-tearing drama like "Clannad" to slapstick comedy like "Ouran Koukou Host Club". Specifically, this is a romantic comedy shoujo anime, but with just a right ratio of romance and comedy. I would best compare it to "Lovely Complex", which has the same captivating combination. I've seen people compare it to "Kare Kano", but I didn't like that anime (irritating characters and worse quality), so I will not join them.

Main character is Kuronuma Sawako, a very (really, VERY) shy girl, who unfortunately reminds to Sadako (from horror movie "Ring"). She is also very good and considerate, so she doesn't mind to sacrifice her comfort for happiness of other people. This leaves her alone, with no friends, somewhere at the beginning of her first year in high school. Kazehaya Shouta is her opposite: very lively boy, always smiling and ready to help, adored by classmates of both sexes, constantly surrounded by friends. When he takes interest in Sawako, her life is about to change.

Let's not pretend naive: it is obviously that they will end up together. Already in first few episodes, it's indicated that they both have feelings for each other. Just to show how much Sawako is shy: she realizes that feelings she have for Kazehaya are actually romantic somewhere around half of the series. For Sawako, who never had friends, step from realizing that she likes someone in romantic way to actually doing something about it is a very long one. And Kazehaya, for all his friendliness, doesn't have much more experience in this field, so I think we can look forward to at least one more season before they end together.

This is a common story, used in many animes. But, what differentiates this anime from others with similar premise is that, not once during watching it, I haven't thought "IDIOTS! Why are you doing this?!?!". In most anime, you just know that when it comes to the critical scene, main characters will say or do just the most completely wrong thing he or she can. This doesn't happen here. Sawako, for all her shyness, is actually very brave and stubborn. For example, when in the beginning, she and Kazehaya are mistaken for a couple (because they were seen talking), she actually stands in front of her class and denies it, because she believes that is a right thing to do and that further misunderstanding would inconvenience Kazehaya.

Supporting cast is small, but very good: they are all real people, with their own lives. Ryu (silent and sleepy) is Kazehaya's friend, while Chizuru (a tomboy) and Ayane (a stylish girl dating an older guy) are Sawako's first ever friends. Of other character, I can mention Pin (yount teacher with planet-size ego) and Kurumi (girl version of Kazehaya). Except Pin (who is more of a comedy relief), none of this character is stereotypical. For example, Chizuru is interested in sports and winning and has a history of violence, but on the other hand, she is easily moved, ready to defend her friends and actually harbors a secret love.

From visual side: nothing to complain, but nothing to be impressed about. There are lots of chibi and super-deformed scenes, but I found them quite funny. From sound department, the same; except, I liked the voices. They are very appropriate and skillfully done. There are 25 episodes, one of which (16th) is a recap episode. Unfortunately, I didn't found any news about when the next season is planned.

Best recommendation that I can give to this anime is that whole time during watching it I kept smiling and laughing. This is a must for fans of romantic comedies, and a good watch for everybody else (except if you think that shoujo anime are only for little girls). For now, it is right next to "Lovely Complex" as my favorite romantic comedy, with potential to greatly overcome it (depending on the way in which is continued).

I already started reading "Shadow and Betrayal" by Daniel Abraham, so my next post is in due for week or probably two, depending on my free time.

No comments:

Post a Comment