Kimi ni Todoke Season 2 ep1: it’s too simple to not be complicated.
To say my picking up so season two of Kimi ni Todoke is overdue, is an understatement. It was easily one of my favorite shows when it aired in 2009; and this continuation didn’t take long to follow up. But I have no regrets. Now is as good a time as any to soak up the joy of a quaint, cute, deliberately paced series like Kimi ni Todoke. Besides, there are some unanswered questions that I would greatly appreciate getting answers to.
Last I remembered, Kimi ni Todoke left off on a very good note. Sawako and Shota had shared a very nice, endearing moment at the end of the season. And I was for sure that would lead to a wonderful relationship with lots of babies down the line. Don’t ask me why, for some reason when it comes to cartoons and imagining a couple getting together, I always think of the Lady and the Tramp ending with all the puppies running around. Like I said. Don’t ask.
Things appear to have only slightly changed, Sawako and Shota aren’t sitting close to each other right now, and she has a few new neighbors when it comes to sitting arrangement. The girl who loves to tickle her for some reason really stands out. This happened when I was in high school, too. I never understood why it is that women like to tickle each other so much. Though I suppose it’s less strange than the habit us guys had of punching each other. TANGENT/RANT OVER. So for whatever reason it seems that the distance between Sawako and Shota in class represents the distance between them in a romantic relationship sense. They’re both with in eyeshot easily, but they’re not quite close enough and it leads to the classic amount of confusion inherent in any romantic anime.
At this point of the story, it’s the eve of Valentine’s Day in Japan. I do wish our Valentine’s Day in America was more like Japan’s. It would work out so much better for me. Then again things always work better for me when I don’t have to work for them. In Sawako’s case, Valentine’s Day is a confusing, pressure filled day full of impossible decisions. I’m sure it would have been a perfectly normal, near-oblivious day for her before her blossoming in the first season, but she’s got feelings for Shota. And though these are feelings you think would have been worked out by now, she’s nowhere near close to adapting.
She makes chocolates for all her friends and acquaintances, but Shota by the end of the episode doesn’t even get his because of all her fretting. It confirms my worst fears about her coming into this second season. In a way, she’s hardly beyond her first stages of socialization, she can’t even give chocolates to the person she cares about.
For me, Kurumi’s confrontation with Sawako was the most profound moment of the episode. Just as Sawako is able to gather the courage to get Shota’s attention, Kurumi pops up and gives him her chocolate first. It’s no doubt a complete accident, but that won’t keep people from viewing her in that villain’s light again, even for a few moments. As Shota leaves with her chocolate, she teases Sawako by in essence saying that because Shota only accepts Valentine chocolate in friendship, that she had no fear of being rejected by him. After all, he shut her advances down hard in the previous season. It was hard to imagine anyone going down in flames more spectacularly than that. But she plants the seed of doubt in Sawako’s head by making her wonder what it would mean if he did or did not accept the chocolate. Hell, even the very intentions behind her offering chocolate are being questioned now. And it’s a shame because it she be obvious to her if she listened to her feelings (THIS is why I’m reluctant to write about romantic shoujo series, I have to talk about “inner feelings and “listening to your heart”! Bleh!) then she would be able to muster the courage and confidence to give him the chocolate. If she had that courage I’m sure she’d be in a relationship with him already though. Courage and confidence are not her strong suits.casual sense. Then again, I suppose the arrival of Kurumi near the end did complicate things.
So in the end we’re left with a scared and frustrated little girl, who still has her Valentine’s chocolates after the end of the school day. And we have a disappointed, and somewhat hurt boy who received nothing from the person he’d most like to receive from. This can’t be good for the relationship. If there’s really even one to salvage at this point.
The emotionally stunted teenage lovers aside, it was nice to see Chizuru and Ayane again, especially Ayane. I still have that otaku’s love for that face and those lips. We also get a glimpse of Kento, who appears to be a character with some staying power… and perhaps interest in Sawako as well. If there’s some rivalry to be had in this show, then I’m happy to see it. It worked well for the girls between Kurumi and Sawako. I think it’s time Shota did some fighting of his own as well.