Sparkles, bubbles, and drama. These are the lovely hallmarks of shoujo anime. As a paragon of the genre, Kimi ni Todoke is no exception. This wonderfully fluffy series details the friendships and romances of a shy gloomy girl.
Sawako is a creepy high school girl without a single friend. Nicknamed Sadako – as in Sadako from The Ring – Sawako resembles the scary horror both in her appearance  and her awkward social manners. In fact, most other students avoid her out of fear. However, when the new school year begins, things start to change quickly. Sawako is thrown into all the joys of high school life: friendships, crushes, mean girls, and most importantly, romance. Kimi ni Todoke follows our adorable heroine as she very very slowly finds her love.
When Sawako and Kazehaya meet for the first time, sparks and sparkles immediately light between the two. Despite their differences – Kazehaya is a sunny, bright popular boy while Sawako is, well, Sadako – their feelings are very obvious. However, it would take an entire season before this clumsy couple finally goes on a date… As friends… Sort of. It would take yet another dozen episodes for the two to finally confess and understand each other’s feelings. Indeed, Kimi ni Todoke is a slow, long journey to that one simple confession.
The progress can be quite frustrating. At times, Sawako and Kazehaya seem to be forever trapped in a labyrinth of misunderstandings, obliviousness, and insecurities. So often I would wish I could just slap some sense into the two, or simply shout their love confessions for them. I can only imagine how maddening it must be for Sawako’s best friends, Ayane and Chizuru, or for Kazehaya’s buddy, Ryu. To be fair, other people, most notably Kurumi and Kento, pull a lot of very malicious and dirty tricks to part the two. Still, it is incredible how dull and timid Sawako and Kazehaya can be. I guess love can be quite blinding.
Yet, despite the occasional annoyance, this slow pace not only works, but accentuates the drama exceptionally well. It is almost as if all the emotions from all the characters are bottled up, growing and festering inside a static plot, to create this intense experience for the audience. Over the course of the anime, I became very invested in the story, the characters, and their feelings.
Not every anime makes me shout at the screen: “SHE F*CKING LOVES YOU!!”
And, of course, when those big moments come, whether it is a “date,” a few words, or a hug, I could feel my own heart skip. I do not think I have shrieked with such excitement and blush in quite some time.
It is remarkable how Kimi ni Todoke can make you care about the smallest things. A smile and a few bubbles, those simple words and a blush, some lightly malicious rumors, and all that immaterial fluff build toward this lovely delicate drama. I am surprised how a mere confession in high school can be so emotive.  That really is a testament to the merits of this anime.
Similarly, the characters are delightfully affecting as they face very real naïve concerns about love. Kimi ni Todoke successfully involves the audience with the characters’ feelings and motivations. Further, although the anime does not have the most arousing animation, I found myself much more attracted to these normal school girls than, for instance, some pontificating gothic loli cosplayer, or zombie-slaying skimpily dressed hot chick. 
Speaking of dresses,  I have skirted the shoujo genre briefly before watching Kimi ni Todoke. I had felt overwhelmed by the melodrama from all these shoujo manga nad Japanese drama. I was starting to avoid the genre (and drama in general). But then, Kimi ni Todoke comes along, and I was ready to fall in love once again.
I love you, Kimi ni Todoke.
And I love you, Kurumi. ♥ 
- Despite her occasional creepiness, Sawako is drop dead gorgeous!
- Really, when looking back on high school, all those drama just seems silly and insignificant.
- No surprises on who my biggest crush of the season (possibly the year) is.
Some related posts: hair and dolls.
- By the way, Kimi ni Todoke has a lovely wardrobe.
- More on my crush on Kurumi.
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