5 May 2012

Kimi ni todoke Manga review

English: From Me to You
Synonyms: Reaching You
Type: Manga
Volumes: Unknown
Chapters: Unknown
Status: Publishing
Published: May 25, 2006 to ?
Genres: Romance, School, Shoujo
Authors: Shiina, Karuho (Story & Art)
Serialization: Betsuma
The anime review is right here CLICK

"Reaching you", no other words could have been the best title for this manga. 

Kimi ni Todoke, when you look at its cover, seems like generic Shoujo romance manga with obvious development and obvious characters. However, not much people notices how much shoujo cliche that Kimi ni Todoke broke in order to become one of the current most popular shoujo manga. It has so many appeal points for anyone who is not experienced with female-targetting series and it also hooked me up instantly. This review will be mostly about why Kimi ni Todoke is successful, why Kimi ni Todoke is one of the best shoujo manga to the date.

The story starts with a single girl called Kuronuma Sawako. One key point about this character is that she is 'not normal'. Most of shoujo story deals with 'ordinary girl' with 'ordinary appearances' who experiences 'unusual situation' and 'unusual love', and later ends with becoming 'special person'. 

 Even though she is beauty who is basically good at everything, she is extremely shy and always with various rumours involving exorcism (...). She does not know how to communicate. She is way too pure and naive, definitely lacks some general social skills and way to express her feelings, which is already apparent in the various start of the series. As series develops, Sawako's appealing personality hasn't changed, but her 'attitude' is the major thing that changed. It adds a layer of realism 

However, if there is a reason why Kimi ni Todoke also appeals to Male viewers, Kazehaya Shouta is much definite reason for it. Situation that character confronts are... just unbearably cute and honest. It is 'VERY REAL', except Sawako's introvert personality. He is, compare to Kuronoma, very ordinary. If we exclude the fact that he is the most popular guy in the school, his reaction to ongoing romance and situation is extremely realistic, ordinary and even cute for male-standard. The way he blushes and react to Sawako is as if seeing ourselves in love there. Kazehaya Shouta's love interest is a single person from the start to the end, Sawako. It is also true for vice versa. Sawako's love interest was never a person other than Shouta. This makes things clear why Kimi ni Todoke is appealing. This is a manga about 'pure love', which was pretty rare in recent shoujo. 

Another key point is, that 'pure romance' is NOT the only enjoyable plot point it has. In has relatively few sub characters and all of them represents one of the key themes that act as strong point of Kimi ni Todoke. Sawako's relationship with her new friends, Chizuru, Yano and Sanada is never set aside from the plot. She is not only reaching to Shouta, but also her friends. It is interesting how Sawako, Chizuru and Yano is very different from each other, yet became best friends to each other. Even though they all have different personality, one thing they share is that they are all kind. They respect each other and they share each others thought. There has never been a serious fight between each other other than misunderstandings. Thus, viewers can enjoy this manga really relaxed, without worrying about some crazy development or accidents we normally see in other shoujo manga. Whenever I read Kimi ni Todoke, always have smile on my face, never annoyed by character what-so-ever.

Art, is brilliant. Honestly, art was one of the major reason why I started this series. Compare to usual Shoujo manga with huuuuuge eyes, long eyelids, male character with triangle shaped head, extremely cold and tall and, most of all, never ever showing any realistic expression on their face. Art style of Kimi ni Todoke is acceptable for any readers, due to its sense of realism in terms of character's expressions. It is also beautifully drawn without those usual shoujo-style exaggeration I mentioned above, too; it has its own charm and uniqueness.

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