Fall 2009 First Impressions: Kimi ni Todoke

So what is a shoujo show? Is it a guy singing the OP? Is it a girl being the lead? Is it the lack of any semblance of a harem? Is it featuring a guy who’s cool and competent, but sensitive and vulnerable? Is it flowers and pastels? If so, I guess Kimi ni Todoke’s got the shtick down pat.

Oh so deluded.

Fansub group: FMS-Sunberries

Things I liked:

  • I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve heard Mamiko Noto in a lead role. Nogizaka Haruka might’ve been the last show… which was a.) terrible and b.) not a great role for her. Based on the first episode, I think she fits Sawako a lot better.
  • The whole Ring parody seems old and played out, it’s like horror/comedy’s version of bullet time. But I was surprised to get a few chuckles out of it. Mostly at Sawako’s early naiveté. Still, I’m hoping they’ve run the gamut of the Ring jokes. There’s only so much of those I can put up with.
  • Kazehaya’s a likeable guy, but too much of a softy for my tastes.
  • Interesting use of colors, especially in the backgrounds. Sort of looked like a waterpainting.

Things I didn’t like:

  • Tears from episode 1? Uh oh. This isn’t fated for heavy Key-esque dorama later, is it?
  • Character art was umm… interesting. I liked Sawako, and her chibi form wasn’t bad. But otherwise it looked rather unattractive. Is that part of the shoujo charm? Make all the non-lead girls look ugly?

Random other thoughts:

Part of me really liked Kimi ni Todoke. The story was solid. The flow was good, the atmosphere was nice and it mixed in the comedic moments well with the more dramatic moments. Sawako is instantly likeable (and relatable in many ways), and I’m glad they didn’t pound the Ring shtick too far into the ground. The budding romance between her and Kazehaya felt pretty natural, and not over the top. And the supporting characters are not bad, but not as unlikeable as I first thought they’d be.

On the other hand, maybe it’s the shoujo angle, maybe it’s the tears, but I have this funny feeling in my gut that the show may end up differing from what I expect. I was thinking that Kimi ni Todoke would be about 60% comedy, 30% slice of life/random classroom hijinks, and 10% romance drama. That’s close to the ratio I prefer, heavier on the comedic side, with a smattering of romance. But instead, I feel like the show is quickly going to get heavier with the romance drama and lighter with the comedy – which would be an instant turnoff for me. Is there anybody that follows the manga who could provide some insight?

In the meanwhile, I’ll continue watching cautiously.

6 Replies to “Fall 2009 First Impressions: Kimi ni Todoke”

  1. Yeah, it sometimes happen in shoujo manga that nonessential female characters look ugly…even essential characters sometimes look lucky.

    I got my fingers crossed for this show…the preview for the next episode looks to be more humor then romance, and sometimes they lay the drama out flat, then go into the funny.

    I’m a little addicted to shoujo manga.
    .-= Janette´s last blog ..Kimi ni Todoke episode 1 =-.

    1. I hope they keep it pretty light. The show definitely has potential. I wonder what sort of humor they’ll really on, now that the whole Ring thing seems to be done.

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