Thursday, May 30, 2013

Anime Hall of Fame Induction: Kimi ni Todoke

In my Anime Hall of Fame series, I highlight shows that I enjoyed a lot and think are worth trying out. Click the "stardf29's Anime Hall of Fame" tab at the top of the page to see a list of all the inducted anime series so far. More anime series will be inducted over time, and this post will be updated with any new information for this series.


Kimi ni Todoke

Official art.

Show Information

Full English title: Kimi ni Todoke - From Me to You
Japanese title: 君に届け

Based on: Manga (available in English from Viz Media)

Season 1: 25 eps.
Season 2: 12 eps. + "Episode 0" OVA

Aired: Fall 2009-Winter 2010 (Season 1), Winter 2011 (Season 2)

Studio: Production I.G.

Available for Streaming: Hulu (all eps. available), Crunchyroll (only eps. 1-6 of Season 1 available for free members; all episodes available for Premium members)
(Note: Episode 16 of Season 1 not included, but don't worry; it's only a recap episode.)

Home video license: NIS America (official website)
Release information for:
Vol. 2 Premium Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Season 1 Eps. 13-15, 17-25)
ARP $70 for each volume. All releases from NIS America are subtitled only.

Sawako Kuronama is a shy girl who just wants to make friends, but unfortunately, her appearance makes her a dead ringer for Sadako of The Ring, scaring most people away from her. An opportunity finally comes, though, when Shouta Kazehaya, a friendly and outgoing guy, reaches out to her.

Why It's Worth Watching

This show is one of a handful of shoujo series I will be inducting into the Hall of Fame. There's a lot to say about why this show is worth watching. On one hand, this show is definitely a romance (and it's pretty easy to guess who the main romance will be between), and unlike a lot of shoujo romances, this one is almost refreshing in how... pure it is. The girl doesn't end up falling for some glorified "bad boy", the nice guy wins out in the end, and aside from having to deal with some rivals and a couple episodes of annoying misunderstandings in the second season, it all ends nice and happily.

The other thing about this show, and what I think its real draw is, is how it's not just about romance, but also about friendship and how Sawako eventually finds her place among her peers. She eventually makes two good friends, Ayane and Chizuru, who become important characters that support her throughout the series, and who have their own fair share of troubles themselves. Also playing an important part is Kurumi, who is Sawako's most notable romantic rival, and who is actually quite a complex person. All these different characters have a lot of depth to them, and this makes the show quite amazing when dealing with things other than romance. In fact, I'd say the romance is the weakest part of the show... not that it's bad, by any means.

It's also worth noting that this show does count as a romantic comedy, and that it can actually be quite hilarious at many times. It's not as dedicated to its comedy as some other shoujo rom-coms are, but when it does do comedy, it's quite effective.

Visually, the show is brilliant; a fine work from Production I.G. The show also features some great seiyuu talent; Mamiko Noto's soft-spoken voice makes her a perfect Sawako, and for any Aya Hirano fans, I personally consider Kurumi to be her best role; she does a perfect job in bringing out just how complex of a character the girl is.

NIS America's Premium Edition releases don't provide anything particularly noteworthy (the artbooks are mostly just a collection of stills from the show, including ones to show off the scenery, which is gorgeous), but the overall packaging is so beautiful that it could still be very worthwhile.

Objectionable Content

None. NISA gives the show a rating of "Everyone", and I'll definitely say that there really is nothing in this show worth objecting over. It's all good, clean fun.

Bonus Links

TWWK has an excellent post that highlights the central romance of this show and looks at how romance stories can reflect the relationship between believers and God (a subject I have talked about before). [Beneath the Tangles]

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