Kimi ni Todoke is no stranger to a lot of shoujo anime and manga fans out there. It has established itself as one of the best shoujo material there is at the moment. Sweet, fluffy and filled with heartwarming stories, Kimi ni Todoke has earned itself a good place in hearts of many fans including myself. If you haven’t heard of this title, please allow me to briefly tell what Kimi ni Todoke is about.
(Turn the copy of my manga to the back and began to type…)
Sawako Kuronuma is the perfert heroine…for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character – jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor – she’s mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary facade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is mkae some friends. But then the most poplar boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that – she’s about to make some enemies too!
Now, the first volume of Kimi ni Todoke focused on the budding friendships between Kuronuma Sawako and her classmates and also her relationship with Kazehaya Shouta. It started with quick explanation of Sawako’s early days at her high school, being labelled as an outcast, scary girl with supernatural powers. Once the explanation is done, the story of how she made a few friends here and there began. A story of an outcast wouldn’t be complete if the main character didn’t end up with a friend or two right?
Gradually throughout the chapters in this volume, Sawako was able to speak her mind rather confidently with strong encouragement from Kazehaya. He served as a huge support system for Sawako as she struggles in her social life. It is said though that Kazehaya simply wanted everyone in the class to fit in, but the early chapters already clearly indicated his attention to Sawako is a different kind – he likes her. Romantically. Whatever his intentions are, Kazehaya did indeed help Sawako to open up more to her classmates such as Yoshida Chizuru and Yano Ayane. He created chances for her to interact with the class. He stood up for her in her moment of need. Because of his actions, her other classmates like Yano and Yoshida were a bit more brave in embracing Sawako. I think it’s safe to say, without him Sawako may not be able to make friends throughout her high school.
The first volume of Kimi ni Todoke manga laid down the foundation for the whole series I’d say. It introduced all the major characters quickly over four chapters and with solid introduction on the two main characters, Sawako and Kazehaya. I believe the moments shared between the two characters played a role in allowing readers to understand each of their personal thoughts. Like the walk by the river. It’s a perfect setting for both characters to exchange their inner thoughts, their dreams and mostly provided readers insights into the behavior of Sawako.
Just as Sawako was beginning to enjoy a taste of friendships, this volume ended with Yoshida and Yano being told that Sawako spread rumors about them. It’s a kind of cliffhanger I hate because it kept me guessing what’s going to happen next. But true to the summary above, she had made a few enemies along the way.
After reading this first volume, I realized that it is Kazehaya who had driven Sawako to become more open to people around her. I mean I know Kazehaya was there, but I also thought Yano and Yoshida were there too. After re-reading the chapters, I realized that it has always been only Kazehaya all along. Yano said that if Kazehaya hadn’t been the first to sit next to Sawako, she wouldn’t be able to do it. That alone is something.