“Nothing As Scary As Love” – Kimi ni Todoke (anime) – 7/10 Sugar Cubes

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” ~Carl Jung

Genre: Romance/ Shoujo/ School/ Comedy

Review Status: Full (25 Episodes/ 25 Episodes)

Licensed: As of the beginning of July 2011, this anime is licensed in the US

Art: Most of the time it looks nice, sometimes it’s a bit shoddy. Occasionally there are weird/odd character designs that are put in places where they’re not needed. The colors are bright, though, and the animation tends to be pretty smooth.

Summary: Kuronuma Sawako is nicknamed Sadako due to her resemblance to the girl from the Japanese horror movies “The Ring”. Shunned by her classmates, her life starts to change as she befriends Shōta Kazehaya, a very popular boy in her class.

Kuronuma Sawako’s one wish in life is to make friends. That’s a difficult proposition when everyone who meets her cowers in terror. She admires her classmate, Kazehaya-kun, a popular, easygoing and 100% refreshing guy who is nice with everyone, even with her. (from ANN.com)

Review: I picked this up not expecting to be impressed. After all, what could this offer but more schoolgirl shenanigans, fanservice, and a bit of a harem romance?

As it turns out, a lot more.

For one, from the start you know that the main characters are really into each other. There’s no playing around with that- in fact, the whole story centers around waiting for them to get up the gumption to realize that the other feels the same way and get together. Along the way Sada Sawako learns how to make friends, keep friends, interact with people socially (which she is thrilled by, even if they’re telling her that they’re her rival in love), and just goes around being a nice person who wants to please others.

No fanservice here, except for a brief shot of a guy’s back. That’s it. No boob comedy, no bloody noses- nothing! It’s also the farthest thing from a harem that you could get. Not only do Sawako’s friends have no interest in her crush, they have their own, separate love lives with different men! Woot! And even those relationships are kept reasonable- Chizuru with a childhood friend, Ayane with… well, that’s only suggested at, but even that’s not particularly disturbing given the girls’ ages. Beyond that, it’s technically the second relationship Ayane has in the anime- she breaks off the first one because her boyfriend gets abusive. Yeah, you heard me right, they use her relationship to give a dose of Girl Power! Not only does she break it off with him (permanently), but when she does, she’s SO over it! No weeping over jerks like that! To give a supporting character that kind of limelight and power in a relationship is, unfortunately, rather rare and impressed me a lot.

There are some things that left me wanting, though, and why I’m only rating it an 7. First would be the art/animation factor. The next would be the minor logic fail that happens rather early on, when they introduce one of Sawako’s friends from junior high. A friend she technically shouldn’t have, and is erased from her memory within the next episode, and is never brought up again. And thirdly, I’m so sick of the cliché of a girl with long black hair being scary, when all it takes is a little makeup, a hairpin, and a smile to make her a socially acceptable, pretty being. I’ll bet you that if you look at a bunch of pictures of Asian models, many of them will have long hair and a lot of them won’t be smiling. Are they considered scary? Maybe to some, but let’s be serious here. And double points off for needing to buy the manga to see when/how everyone gets together- you’re left with a solid groundwork for guessing as everyone walks home with someone they like (or are slightly annoyed by, in one case), but don’t really see it.

EDIT: Updating as of 10/31/2010- the second season of Kimi ni Todoke has been CONFIRMED fot the 2010 winter anime season! It should start airing (and being subbed) in January. There will be a seperate review of it once it’s over. I’m recinding my statement about needing to buy the manga to see who gets with whom until further notice.

Overall, this is a very sweet, charming anime that’s fairly family friendly, and worth watching. Or, in case you don’t want to be left with a cliffhanger, buying the manga isn’t a terrible option.

Recommended: Yeah. As long as you don’t mind picking up the manga to figure out whether all the couples actually, really, for-sure get together. Appropriate for all ages!

Other anime you might like:
Ouran Host Club (anime and manga),
Kanon (anime),
Clannad and Clannad Afterstory (anime),
Ah! My Goddess (anime and manga),
Bamboo Blade (anime and manga),
Fruits Basket (manga)

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hope_In_Song
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 05:15:34

    Wait a minute, this is LICENSED?? WHERE?? I WANNA WATCH IT!! I watched a couple on YouTube, but can't find more of it. I really adore this manga, I have the first 3 volumes and so far the show has kept true to the manga! (One episode is just one chapter animated!). Loved your review for it, by the way ❤

    Reply

  2. Sweetpea
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 06:01:46

    I made a horrible mistake- the ANIME is not licensed in America, but the MANGA is. This shall be fixed ASAP. I'm so sorry!

    Reply

  3. Hope_In_Song
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 17:16:10

    Ah! OK, I can see why a mistake like that would be made. Well, I hope it is licensed someday, I don't care if it'll be sub-only, I adore this story!

    Reply

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