Posted on 31 March 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke



Romances often are annoying, which can often be attributed to characters acting completely irrational, illogical and against their own feelings. I’ve watched quite a few series that created a well developed cast this way, like with Bokura ga Ita and White Album. Kimi ni Todoke however… just… didn’t work for me.

The first half of this series really was a pain for me to try and sit through. The premise is simple: a very shy and socially inept girl (Sawako) and a popular, good-looking guy (Kazehaya) fall in love with each other. Fair enough, but the execution left a lot to be desired, especially when the creators started focusing on the love triangles. Hordes of girls turn out to be in love with Kazehaya as well, and the drama that results out of it is horribly dragged out for way longer than it should have, and the creators treat it like some kind of blasphemy if any of the two lead characters even dares to talk to someone of the other gender.

For a series that’s about the high school years of a bunch of people, Sawako and Kazehaya don’t really feel like interesting characters at all. Sawako is way too pure: whenever someone tries to take advantage of her feelings (by making her jealous for example), her incredible naivety just feels incredibly unnatural and it quickly turns into a bit of a lame gimmick. Kazehaya on the other hand is just so bland as a male romantic interest. He’s just… there, with hardly any personality about him other than some guy who just keeps smiling.

What also did not help was this series’ facial expressions, especially the chibi-distortions that you see in most of those other shoujo series as well. Usually they’re used with stylistic purposes; you know, colour each character with these seemingly over the top reactions. Here however, they felt more like “Okay, you can laugh now”-signs. They’re often badly animated in contrast to the rest of this series’ beautiful looks, are forced and hardly ever are actually used in funny situations. This show just continuously tried to be subtle, while it ultimately just wasn’t.

The only subtle part that I actually found about this series was its character-development. THANKFULLY, this show gets better in its second half as soon as the main love rival is put on a bus away from the main plot. From there on the characters change ever so slightly: Sawako learns how to appreciate life more and Kazehaya becomes less bland, but it’s not that the creators try to shove this development down your throat like they did with the love triangles. it really helps for a series if its final arc is the best one, and that pretty much was the case here.

Still, I don’t think that this show is the same as White Album, in which an excellent second half made up for an incredibly annoying first half. In the end I still see Kimi ni Todoke as a bit of a half-baked series with characters that never really stand out at anything. It’s overall something that will keep you busy on a rainy day with not much else to do, but there are a lot of better series out there.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Lacks subtlety, drags on for way too long.
Characters: 8/10 – Decent enough in its focus at being in love, with slight development that at least makes the final parts of the series interesting enough.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great visuals, as expected from Production IG, but the chibi-drawings annoy.
Setting: 7/10 – Pretty much your standard high school setting Nothing that really stands out.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
True Tears
Kimikiss – Pure Rouge

21 Responses

  1. AznCoffee says:

    Kimi ni Todoke was good imo. :U

    I thought it was better than Bokura ga Ita at least.

  2. Chris says:

    Oh no you didn’t AznCoffe XD

    I love Bokura Ga Ita for it’s honest look into high school romance. It’s abusive, stupid, hurtful, emotional, and at its heart beautiful. Bokura Ga Ita captured it perfectly. Kimi No Todoke was much more shoujo fantasy but I only saw some of it.

  3. tk007 says:

    For me, the highlight of kimi ni kodoke is the developing friendship between Sawako and Chizu/Ayane. The romance with kazahaya was too drawn out for my liking.

  4. thomas says:

    I really liked the style but hated the characters (apart from the friends) so I gave up after half a dozen shows.

    A 75 on PSgels scale is like a 5/10 anywhere else… =)

  5. Frost says:

    Curious about this turned out, as I stopped watching around episode 10 or so lol just couldnt stand the forced love drama anymore

    They need to learn how to do romances without stupid love triangles, then Ill watch

  6. temperus says:

    I also stuck this one through to the end, and I was just as unimpressed. Fantasy/wish-fulfillment shows like this are just tedious to watch, no matter the gender they’re designed for. The show goes nowhere fast, and everyone feels like a cheap plastic doll. I know it’s tough to make a romance anime that isn’t cheesy and anticlimactic, but I’m not going to give KnT any props for sleepwalking.

  7. Kim says:

    I just wanted to say I really like the suggestion feature added to these posts at the end.

  8. Joshua says:

    I liked it, but I agree that the pacing between Sawako and Kazeh was back breakingly slow!

    SPOILER!!!
    By ep 25, I was screaming at my computer, “KISS HER!!! GROW A DICK AND KISS HER!!!”

  9. Jeff says:

    This is an example of a romance anime that solid cast of side characters couldn’t make up for its stupidly painfully slow pacing.

    The show also failed by making the characters too perfect at the beginning. This prevented real character development because how can perfect characters really advance?

  10. Z.N. Singer says:

    Interesting…I had no idea so many people shared my opinion about love triangles as defeating the purpose of good romance. It would be more encouraging if all signs were not that that is exactly what we are going to continue to get. Shouldn’t romance be about developing a meaningful relationship rather than about competing for the hottest guy?

  11. Tiniak says:

    I disagree with most of you. I found this anime pretty interesting and engaging! I liked the characters very much and their relationships. I also liked in the begining of the series when the rumors about Sawako and all. However I would’ve prefered if Sawako and Kazeh got somewhere by the end also the love tringle didnt work for me besides that it was a solid anime and I couldn’t wait for next week to watch the following episode when I was watchin it.

  12. Bear says:

    I agree with this review for the most part. The romance was actually pretty cute to me, although Kazehaya was a little too perfect (as is the norm for shoujo romance, I guess).

    The main characters for the most part were decently fleshed out and unoffensive. The exception being Kurumi; her arc and the separation between Sawako & friends were dragged out for way too long and really took away from the fuzzy slice-of-life feeling this series was able to put out here and there.

    I’m not sure if it was the seiyuu for Sawako or the scripting, but I can’t recall ever hearing so much repetitive internal dialogue. It got to the point of ridiculousness for me.

  13. domo-kun says:

    After watching the first episodes I thought the main characters were going to start dating really soon, considering how fast their relationship was evolving. 25 five episodes seemed too much.

    And unfortunately, it was. The love triangle crap hijacked the plot, the relationship evolved at a glacial pace, the Chizuru side plot was utterly boring… And in the end, Sawako and Shota didn’t even kiss. Speaking of Shota, he’s an extremely generic, cardboard character.

    Surprisingly, I loved the chibi animations and did not find them distracting.

    Second season begins in January. I’m not gonna watch. They should have wrapped all this in 13 episodes and be done with it.

  14. Immir says:

    I like this series but am disappointed also with the lack of movement in the romance. Then in season two she could not even give him her damn chocolates, and then he was too much of a wimp to actually tell her how he feels.

  15. Miwako says:

    I disagree in some of your review but to be fair, I know you have a point. In my own opinion, I like this series cause I can’t believe that there is still such an anime that could emphasize some naivety or innocence in ‘feelings or secret feelings whatever’ like Sawako. She is innocent that she’s also having trouble to her own self if her feelings is just plainly admiration and later on just realizing it’s different. Though this kind of situation is pretty rare nowadays and a person who will watch it would find it boring at first, but if you will look at it in different angle, you will understand what it really says. It is simply adorable to watch. Although at some point, I’m pretty pissed off to Sawako ’cause there are times that the situation is pretty understandable but instead, she think it in a wrong way.

    Although Bokura Ga ita is also a romance series/manga, it depicts it true and realistic situation of schools nowadays unlike Kimi Ni Todoke that is just simply, light-hearted and adorable series.

  16. Lily says:

    I disagree with your review. First of all, have you ever fallen in love with somebody? Did you remember the first true friend you made? If you say no to all, then experience it first before you watch this show.

    This series tells us about a girl’s first crush, her first friends, how her life changed when one person stepped in.

    The pace of this story is incredibly slow and I’m surprised I’m still watching it and loving it. Normally, I get annoyed of shows with lots of filler episodes but Kimi Ni Todoke has very little fillers, in my opinion. Each episode leads us to a new and different feeling in Sawako’s life which is really amazing.

    The naive and pureness of Sawako really captures my attention and reminds me of me back then – when I made my first true friend and fell in love.

    I will admit, the drawings didn’t capture my attention much and I don’t really like how “un-anime-ish” it was but slowly, as I watched, I start to like the drawings and realize that “hey, they’re different compared to anime drawings that never looks real”

    I don’t understand how you can say “The first half of this series was really a pain for me sit through”

    Did you or did you not read the plot? The story is about how a girl discovers many new feelings after she met a guy” NOT a bloody triangle love. Why on earth does a triangle love makes things interesting? It’s just a connection that leads to all the happenings that happen during the first half of the series.

    I personally rate Kimi Ni Todoke 9 out of 10 and would even rate it 10 out of 10 if I could. It’s one of those anime that leaves me feeling happy and warm all inside.

  17. acejem says:

    It’s funny because once upon a time Bokura ga Ita was one of the few shojo animes I’ve watched in full, and I found it annoying to watch because of the two lead characters Yano and Nana. Then I watched arguably more popular shojo animes such as Lovely Complex and Kimi ni Todoke and realised how painstakingly slow both series were. I think it took LoveCom 18 or so episodes for the main couple to date, whilst in Kimi ni Todoke’s case they didn’t at all (in a 25 episode anime). In contrast, it took Bokura ga Ita 4 episodes, and we even get a kiss scene at the end of this episode. That’s right, it took 4 episodes for the anime to take off in a 26 episode series!

    I do understand however, that LoveCom, Kimi ni Todoke and Bokura ga Ita cannot be compared completely. Afterall, LoveCom was more of a romantic comedy, Kimi ni Todoke being an idealistic shojo fantasy and with Bokura ga Ita being a realistic shojo drama that you can somewhat expect to play out in real life. So in the end, I guess it depends on personal taste on what type of romance/drama you prefer. Happens that I prefer option 3, hence the Bokura ga Ita style is the one I prefer.

  18. Sankoi says:

    Uhmmm… I agree about the character problems. Why make them perfect on the first part? haha

    I dunno with people who think that people should date and all ASAP but for me, love isn’t something that appears at first sight. Love isn’t romance. Love isn’t only about the heartbeat rushes and blushing. Love isn’t something people can just reduce to something uneternal. Well, you get the point. I don’t even think people “fall” in love. They learn to love as love ain’t an accidental thing.

  19. Martin says:

    This anime just really pissed me off. It was just so long and Sawako’s tendency to analyse every little thing just annoyed the hell out of me. The way it all resolved, for me, was also so predictable (obviously i know that they would end up together, but it was the way in which they did. I dont want to spoil anything so i wont go into detail). Kurumi was also a complete and utter b***h, she really got on my nerves…

    Im not normally one to dislike anime, but this was an exception because it just continually got more and more on my nerves. I think they could have done the whole series in about 15 episodes, so to drag it all out for 37 was just o____O for me.

    I didnt particularly like the drawing style either, Infinite Stratos is more of the art that i like. There was also just too… much… blushing…

    I’m really sorry this is so negative, but my main point is a positive one. It was that I just couldnt stop watching it… despite the bad characters, my opinion of the animation, the cringe blushing and the annoying Kurumi, the story itself was told in such a way that i always wanted to know what happened next, even i was just to be annoyed at what happens. So i guess thats a good thing about the series.

    Also i want to add, for all those asking “why did you watch it then?”, when i start an anime, i ALWAYS finish it. no matter what it is or how bad it is (with the exception of naruto… that shit was just too much for me)

  20. Charlie says:

    Alot of negative comments :/…IMO, i thought this anime was pretty good. I love the deformity and artwork and the characters were interesting to me. Idk why you people are getting so pissed over sawako and shota’s love relationship. Sure it took long as hell, but you gotta realize relationships dont happen in a few days. Plus, you have to girl who is shy and almost unsociable as hell. Of course,shes gonna blush! She practically just started making friends and learning these new experiences!

    Alot of you are comparing this to Bokura. i wish i could compare them both, but i dropped the anime afer 2 episodes due to it being boring IMO and the artwork was annoying.

  21. kakadoodledoo says:

    I’m quite surprised to be honest, that I actually like this series (My first time to watch a shoujo anime). I don’t find its incredibly slow plot irritating because I look at it in a different angle and I always consider Sawako’s POV. Sawako’s socially awkward, so what do you expect? After 4 episodes or so you want her and Kazehaya to start dating?
    Still though, this left so much to be desired. What I don’t like about it is the romance development between Sawako and Kazehaya. I don’t mind it being slow, heck, I think it developed way too fast. Kazehaya’s feelings, what made him fall for Sawako… I don’t understand it… sure it’s nice that she doesn’t give up and all but I don’t think that that’s enough to make you fall for someone. It would be nice if they at least had Kazehaya spill his actual thoughts so the viewers could understand him. I don’t even like his character much to be honest. He just stands and smiles, just like what the review said. A little character development from him would be nice. And the second season… the final episodes were good but that stupid misunderstanding made me want to pull out my hair. I can understand Sawako’s part since she’s still pretty naive but Kazehaya was just too unreasonable that he made me want to choke him. To think that he’s supposed to be the guy who’s good with speaking out to others. Unfortunately, that meaningless matter dragged on for so many eps.

    I’m not surprised that so many people didn’t like this series. This isn’t for impatient people who had never experienced having trouble getting along with others cause they wouldn’t understand the heroine very well and would probably just get annoyed with her.

    As for me, despite all the flaws I found in the series, I still like it a lot.

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