Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) Season 1 Part 2
While no longer a social outcast, Sawako Kuronuma still suffers from low self-esteem and difficulty in communicating her desires. As always, her friends Chizuru and Ayane, and her special friend Shota Kazehaya, are doing their best to help her overcome her shyness, but it seems that Chizuru and Ayane have some personal problems of their own to deal with. And where is the relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya headed?
Readers of my review of the First Season will remember that I was frankly a bit exasperated at Sawako, and even in this season she is still way too unassertive for her own good; in fact this time in one episode she pays a price for her timidity.
On the other hand, she really is getting better, as Kazehaya himself notes toward the end of this season; her support system of Chizuru, Ayane, and Kazehaya is slowly improving her social skills (and consequently bringing out her feelings for Kazehaya). The slow pace of the change actually adds to the believability of the show; as with the first half of the series there are moments that feel very natural and credible, and that has always been one of the show's greatest strengths.
Those who have seen the preceding episodes will be wondering how the Kurumi angle goes this time, especially since the first season ended in a kind of cliffhanger involving one of her schemes. The best description I can give of this plotline in this season- without giving too much away- is that matters are settled without being really resolved- or maybe they're resolved without really being settled? Look and decide for yourself.
A story arc involving Chizuru is given a few episodes this time, which goes a long way toward breaking the "tough girl" stereotype she was stuck with last season. I don't think you could call what she's involved in a romantic triangle; that usually involves two people vying for the same person. This is more like a romantic daisy chain, with one party having hopeless romantic feelings toward someone who can't or won't return them, while in turn not having such feelings for another individual who actually IS very much attracted to them. Certainly someone's illusions are going to have to be shattered, though the person who has to do the deed here does it as kindly and as graciously as I've ever seen this sort of thing accomplished.
After my review of the first half of Season One I was exhorted by some fans of the show to see what my feelings were about the show after the rest of it. And yes, for the effort Sawako is obviously putting in to work on her social skills, I'm willing to award her one more star than last time, though as I said I almost gave the show 4 stars before. It's not a five star show- it's a little too spare and understated for that, though paradoxically those traits are also some of the show's greatest strengths. I'm still not that happy about the rather crude character art, even aside from the show's frequent lapses into SD. But the story itself, as I've noted before, very often has quite a realistic feel to it.
Better than last season, but not even close to 5 star material. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: There's one scene of violence against a woman- one of our co-stars has (or more precisely had) a bad boyfriend- but that's about the only thing that anyone might be offended by here. There's no sex or fan service at all.
Version(s) Viewed: Digital source
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) Season 1 Part 2 © 2009 Karuho Shiina / Shueisha, DNDP, VAP, Production I.G.
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