I haven’t watched much shoujo anime in my lifetime. Simply put, shoujo anime is the chick flick-equivalent in the anime world, meaning they are shows geared for girls and female audiences.
As a guy of course, I prefer to watch the shounen (boy) stuff normally, but there are times where I feel like giving other anime genres a shot out of curiosity. Kimi ni Todoke (you can translate this title a lot of ways, but I prefer to say “Reaching You”) is a very popular shoujo romance manga/anime series. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Sawako Kuronuma, called Sadako by her classmates for her resemblance to the character from The Ring, has always been feared and misunderstood because of her appearance. There are rumors that Sawako can see ghosts and curse people. However, despite her appearances, she is a sweet and timid girl who longs to be able to make friends with everyone and be liked by everyone else. When her idol, popular boy Kazehaya, begins talking with her, everything changes. She finds herself in a new world, trying to make friends and talking to different people and she can’t thank Kazehaya enough for giving her these opportunities. Slowly, but surely, a sweet love blossoms between the two as they overcome circumstances and obstacles that stand in their way.
What actually got me to start watching Kimi ni Todoke was after I stumbled across the anime’s first opening song. I found it really catchy, which prompted me to find a couple of episodes to view. From there, I was hooked. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
|Original/Romaji Lyrics||English Translation|
|Yasashii hidamari ni chaimu ga direi suru
Hoho wo naderu kaze ibuki wa fukakunatteku
|In that gentle spot warmed by the sun, the chime is delayed
The wind brushing my cheeks turns into my deep breath
|Toomawari no namida namae tsuketa ashita
Kasanaru miraiiro no rain
|Roundabout tears, the tomorrow we named
Are all overlapping future-colored lines
|Adokenai konna kimochi mo
Hajiketobu hodo waraiaeta hi mo
Taisetsu ni sodateteikeru youni
Togiretogire no toki wo koete
Takusan no hajimete wo kureta
|These childish feelings
The days we laughed together happily
I hope we come to treasure them
You surpassed this disconnected time
And gave me lots of firsts
I’ll connect them to you, I’ll reach you
So yeah, it’s a lovey-dovey kind of story, but it’s a very well done one at that. Like, this is THE anime to show to someone if you wanted them to understand what shoujo is all about. This anime is the epitome of the genre and then some.
The one thing I would stress, though, is this anime is “very Japanese.” You have to take what you know about the Western ideas of romance and throw them out the window. Asia approaches these kind of things differently. For instance, it’s quite significant in Japan when a boy calls a girl by her first name without honorifics. STRAWBERRY TIME!
Nonetheless, what can I say? I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. Besides the romance elements, the plot also has a lot of heartwarming aspects about friendship and people learning to understand one another better. In particular, I really liked how Sawako developed throughout the anime. Sawako begins as a misunderstood girl who is labeled as cursed and creepy, but others gradually realize that Sawako is a nice and wonderful person when they give her a chance to open up.
This anime has a great cast of characters, lots of touching moments that range from funny to serious and I thought the voice acting was superb and done extremely well.
Sure, it’s a shoujo anime. It doesn’t have flashy, over-the-top battles or anything like that … It may be super girly, but it’s a clean, wholesome anime about innocent love and whatnot.
I highly recommend Kimi ni Todoke.
This anime is very entertaining.
I had so much fun with this anime that I even watched the live-action movie.