Home > Anime, Check-out Station > Check-out Station: Kimi ni Todoke (“Bubbles & Sparkles Everywhere!”)

Check-out Station: Kimi ni Todoke (“Bubbles & Sparkles Everywhere!”)

While my list of favorite anime is heavily populated by manly mecha, “manly shounen” & manly… uh, ecchi series, I’ve come to give a healthy amount of respect for the shoujo genre. Shoujo at its best is as good as anything that can be produced. Fruits Basket, Kare Kano, Revolutionary Girl Utena for me ranks as some of the best anime ever produced. And while I risk the ire of fangirls by saying Kimi ni Todoke didn’t quite reach their heights, I can still comfortably say that this show was a quality watch.

I didn’t initially want to give the series a shot when it first started airing. The premise seemed gimicky and shallow. What I got out of it was a socially inept girl who reminds everyone of the girl from the Ring, starts the school year admiring a certain boy & desiring to make friends. I figured that this would be a simple path from A to B. I’m sure she’s not that sucky a person and eventually everything will work out fine and/or the story will end incompletely and piss me off in one way or another. I know how this is going to work, so why care right? The reason to care is because I was wasn’t entirely right. And it’s not about the story, it’s about how the story plays out. So while the very beginning and the very end may not seem spectacular, it’s the journey that makes everything great. Just like in any and every story worth anything.

The elements that I loved about the show were the art, the characters and the atmosphere and story. The art itself is a definite departure from the popular “moe blob” style people my love or loathe in many popular series now. These are “full-length” characters with long arms, normal (for anime) sized heads and very dare I say age appropriate character designs. A group of teenagers looks like a group of teenagers, not a group of 12 year olds with big heads and short skirts. It can look weird at times, but I like it. Being different isn’t just about being unique, it’s about what works for you. The character designs work well for the down to earth story and characters.

Besides the characters, the backgrounds, buildings, landscapes all look gorgeous. Some moments look like watercolor paintings come to life. Backgrounds without characters often are gorgeous enough to use as wallpapers on your computer. The more cartoonish, outlandish moments are framed by the usual background art, but what really stands out are all the times they use bubbles and sparkles in this show. Good lord! At times I thought I’d go blind from cutesy-wootsiness and pwetty-wittiness. They do not hesitate to use those effects to show someone having a special moment or to accentuate a character’s moment of glee when gazing at a crush. It’s not so much a complaint as it is a good natured jab at the shows direction.

The characters compliment each other beautifully. Though I did find one character to be almost too perfect. Sawako, not Sadako, is the main character and she does well to progress from near social nothingness to a person with a stable of friends I’m sure any girl would love to have. She may even have a boyfriend. The anime did an excellent job of making her look creepy when she needed to be to great effect. And amazingly showed that she had equal potential to look absolutely gorgeous.

The person that I thought was almost too perfect was Shouta. Besides small bouts of jealousy, he never really shows any flaws or much struggle. He’s super popular, a huge target of all the girls in the school (he rivals Yuki of Fruits Basket in school popularity and power) and always seems to know the right thing to say and the right choice to make. To be fair to his character though, this series is based on an ongoing manga and his temper and past are hinted at throughout the show, it just never got around to addressing it. He did prove himself to be an excellent match and great support for Sawako so I never managed to have a problem with him.

The other primary supporting characters are all unique and full of depth, while avoiding falling too keenly into stereotypes or tropes. Ayane (a potential new member of my harem) and Chizuru are two tough girls with bad raps who like Sawako prove to be much more than what the school believes them to be. They are Sawako’s biggest fans and supporters and do much to move the story along and add some spice to the show. Ryuu, Chizuru’s childhood friend and close friend of Shouta is a very quiet calm guy, I guess stoic would be a good word for him. He was my favorite male character of the show. While he first appears to be a boring quiet character who’s just gonna stay in the background, he actually has a fire behind his personality and is very honest.

And my final point of interest is the show’s atmosphere and music. They worked well together to give a very laid back and often lighthearted feel for most of the show. Kimi ni Todoke always moved at its own pace. Conversations played out in their entirety, characters stared at each other longingly, and alot of reflection was given as characters walked or rode to and from school. It always gave the feeling that this show was cherishing its reflective and longing moments much like the characters in this show were.

From the first to the twenty fifth episode, this show always exuded class and quality and care for what it was doing. Kimi ni Todoke intended to tell a breakout story of a girl looking for all manners of acceptance. I think she accomplished her goals beautifully and I believe this show has as well. If this show gets licensed I’ll definitely be buying this show. If not, I’ll have my memories of this excellent series for ever and ever.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: