Kimi ni Todoke Ep. 11

At first, this show was boring, but now it’s sorta funny in a sad kind of way.

You know how some people don’t understand basic social interactions so they tend to concentrate on the details rather than seeing the whole? For example, you smile once at them just to be nice, but they take that as a cue that you’re interested. A single smile means nothing in the big picture, but to them, they relive that moment over and over and over in their heads. Did you slightly graze your hand with their hand? They’ll be dreaming of that at night. Did you say you liked video games? Oh man, would you like an invitation to watch Silent Hill at 1 AM in his room alone? Well, Kimi ni Todoke caters to those people who make a giant deal out of everything because every moment in the show is big. Every moment is HUGE. Kazehaya isn’t just wishing Sawako good luck. He’s sending her his heart! Better not wash that hand for a week.

Look at Kazehaya walking away with that dumb grin on his face — what is he even staring at? In reality, between normal people, it would just be one friendly moment between friends. But in anime…

…that boy will literally stare back at you awkwardly for a good five seconds just so you know… it meant something.

I can understand the feeling, honestly. In middle school, I used to think every isolated moment with my crush meant something more — maybe it meant as much to her as it did to me. She asked when my birthday was! OMG, maybe she likes me too?

But most people grow out of that. Relationships aren’t built on “super-moments;” if someone’s breaking up with you, you can’t trot out a laundry list of special occasions to convince them otherwise. Nerds want to define relationships in terms of isolated moments so that relationships are easy to understand, but it doesn’t work that way. I’ve been with the same girl for over three years now and I’ve never been happier, but if you ask me to name one or two special moments to define the relationship, I’d have a hard time because the whole thing is important. Anime like Kimi ni Todoke, however, caters to those people who refuse to accept that romances just aren’t made of those “super-moments” (it’s no surprise that these romance anime typically end as soon as the couple are together for good — the actual romance itself is unimportant). When anyone else gives you a high-five, it’s no biggie.

But when it’s Kazehaya-kun…

And that’s why it makes me laugh. ‘Cause I know people like this… people who think a smile is a big deal when it’s not. And when you try to convince them otherwise,  when you try to tell your friend that its creepy to IM a girl out of nowhere just because she said hi to him once at work, they run off to their little fantasy corners (i.e. TV shows, movies, fanfiction, etc.) where there are thousands of people just like them. Thousands of people who think everyone has a true love so they fret and worry over whether or not they’ve found that “special someone” — people who make up complex relationships out of nothing. Two characters in a TV show locked eyes? TIME TO SHIP IT. Take a look at Fandom Secrets:

These people love “super-moments” and don’t you dare tell them that the smile meant nothing.

If some guy saved my girlfriend from being hit in the face, I’d just be like… “Nice grab, dude; thanks.”

But not in Kimi ni Todoke. That grab… meant something. *runs off to ship Sawako/Ryu*

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12 Replies to “Kimi ni Todoke Ep. 11”

  1. Why does it feel like you’re criticisng Kimi ni Todoke for portraying relationships in a way you outright admit that high schoolers have a habit of doing? It is kind of a high school anime. And Sawako is just that oblivious to the actual meaning of things, it’s not like those tiny things (like Ryu saving her) are ACTUALLY meant to be super important.

    1. …So if people like Kimi ni Todoke, they must be just like Sawako? I wonder if that logic extends to the main characters of every series.

      And you did say middle school, and said that most people grow out of it, so please don’t nitpick.

      1. …So if people like Kimi ni Todoke, they must be just like Sawako?

        Now who’s nitpicking? Fine, I’m not saying that ALL fans of Kimi ni Todoke are like Sawako. Hell, I’m not even sure Sawako herself makes a big deal out of meaningful moments herself. We can see that the moments make her happy, and most people would be happy when someone smiles at them or high-fives them, but we don’t know that she analyzes these moments. We have no evidence whatsoever that she does. In other words, I’m not even criticizing Sawako or people like her in the post above. You misunderstand me if you think otherwise.

        The whole point of the post above is a critique of audience viewership with regards to the film (in this case, anime) in question. I don’t personally care whether or not these “magical moments” mean anything to Sawako. Instead, I was criticizing how certain viewers see these moments and how they overanalyze the moments in absurd ways. We are fed certain visual cues (sparkly backgrounds, the blurring of temporal flow, etc.) during these supposedly meaningful moments, but by themselves, the visual cues are meaningless too. These visual cues only become “something” by drawing from the viewers themselves.

        In other words, to most people, these visual cues are silly and ridiculous. Most people would regard it as young puppy love that the characters will simply grow out of. To a certain group of fans, however, they become signifiers of deep romance, which is absurd, and you can’t deny that there are people way beyond high school who act like every moment with the opposite sex is loaded with meaning. I’m not even saying that Sawako sees the moments as signs of deep romance, because if she did, she certainly wouldn’t be so clueless about Kazehaya’s feelings toward her.

        What I’m saying is that, ultimately, what you get out of Kimi ni Todoke says more about yourself and how you view relationships. Countless of anime blogs out there that take this show as serious romance: they analyze each scene as if the scenes mean something. They think a high-five from Kazehaya means he loves Sawako when that itself is ridiculous. Kazehaya blushes at even the slightest personal contact with Sawako so I doubt very much he even understands love. I’m not criticizing clueless high schoolers. I’m criticizing grown adults who watch this anime and read too much into it.

        Take a look at countless internet fandoms and how they view these moments as actual subtext. Hell, take a look at the M&M picture itself — it’s an exaggerated example, but those are the type of people I’m criticizing. People who see a red M&M staring at a yellow M&M and somehow come to the conclusion that the anthropomorphic candies are fucking each other. I’m saying that Kimi ni Todoke deliberately caters to people like this and that people like this are absurd. On the one hand, it could just be innocent, young love, but the creators knew exactly the kind of response they would get (and perhaps they agree with those responses). Does this make Kimi ni Todoke bad for knowingly evoking such a response from certain viewers? Debateable — I personally dislike it because it’s just boring — but the post above is not necessarily a critique of Kimi ni Todoke itself.

  2. This show is the first show where the soundtrack has bothered me to the point where every other scene it seems like the show is ending and I keep checking the time. That’s never happened to me before. (Though that time checking thing could have to do with the interest level….)

  3. 8/10, bit too serious for such an obvious article. Would be 10/10 if you actually insulted the r-tards more in such a way that made them undermine the article itself, showing just how incapable they are of being objective and taking criticism, aka hopeless.

    But that’s just me. I like it when shit hits the fan. And KnT definitely is too light hearted for something like this to happen, fan base/viewers/etc or no.

    Now if this was Bleach…

  4. I’m kind of surprised that you didn’t like Kimi ni Todoke.

    I personally feel that Sawako is a fairly accurate representation of a girl lacking social skills. And, unlike many animes, this lack of social skills isn’t presented in only a positive and/or comedic light. Sawako gradually grows more self-assure and becomes more assertive, and the thematic drive of this anime is that it’s GOOD that Sawako is becoming more assertive and sociable.

    Yes, the plot can be very plodding, and hence a bit boring at times. But I personally find that it’s a refreshing change of pace from typical harem anime fare, in that it clearly aims for realistic and relatable relationship dynamics, in that the male lead isn’t a doormat OR a jerk, and in that the female lead isn’t a tsundere.

    Like you said, people can make too big a deal out of these “big moments”, but like you also said, a lot of people are like that, and Sawako just reflects those people.

    I will say here that in spite of how I disagree with some of the opinions that I’ve read on this blog since just recently discovering it, it IS refreshing to read an anime blog that isn’t always ga-ga over fanservice, and actually cares about serious characterization and plot. You’re a good writer, and an intelligent person, and hence I hope to read more of your blog entries in the future. Even when I do disagree with you, I find that it makes for good food for thought, and something that I can really think about. So thanks for that. :)

  5. I’ve been watching Kimi ni Todoke. I find the innocence and slower pace a refreshing difference from other animes, but I can’t help but be bothered by several things. For starters, the characters are too perfect. And I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find absolute perfection a fault in itself. Why? It’s unrealistic. Especially Kazehaya. He doesn’t seem very real to me. A person like him doesn’t really exist.

    I agree with you in that the characters make a big fuss over the most insignificant social interactions. For Sawako, I understand slightly since she’s socially awkward, but must she fawn over every smile or invite? Also, the exaggerated emotions are bit over-the-top for me (e.g. the excessive crying).

    Another thing, this is probably just me but it’s like…with the anime the whole point is that cute guy in school won’t give you a second thought unless you stand out with your shyness and vunerability or something. I subconciously believe that it’s a bit of an insult to girls with confidence. Cute and popular (a la Kurumi)? No, that one guy who’s absolutely perfect in every way wants every oppportunity to be near the lonely girl.

    That probably doesn’t make sense, but the thing is I’m sensitive with unrealistic storylines and characters. And Kimi ni Todoke maybe isn’t the right anime for me to watch. For people who like seeing the embodiment of a shoujo fantasy and over-analysing every single moment, this might be for them.

    1. Why? It’s unrealistic. Especially Kazehaya. He doesn’t seem very real to me. A person like him doesn’t really exist.

      I agree. He’s a concept. For any romance-related anime, this is the biggest problem: the main character’s lover doesn’t seem real.

      On the flip side, you have Bakuman’s ridiculous coupling where the girl cries if the main character even thinks of reneging on their ridiculous pact by simply talking to her.

  6. I strongly disagree with you E minor… yeah I could understand that in real life.. human doesn’t act that way. That is due to their personal problems, I’m sure that somewhere out there will have a person which has the same characteristic as him. I’m sure that this situation has occur in the author’s life, if not how he/she can actually write this story?

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