Home > Episode Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke > Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 2 – Opened and Closed

Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 2 – Opened and Closed

Kimi ni Todoke, it seems, has no trouble with telegraphing future events. Last episode ended by introducing a blond haired bishounen of questionable motivations, and the next episode skips the timeline ahead two months to coincide with the start of the new school year (which is in April in the Japanese school system). Now, guess who happens to have been switched into Sawako’s class?

I spoke last time about the stereotypical male lead in shoujo romances, and particularly his tendency to possess seemingly limitless self-confidence. I’ve already explained how and why Kazehaya, for all his charms, lacks this key feature. While it makes him more likable, it’s also the key thing keeping him and Sawako apart. Were he simply less sensitive, he would have asked her out already.

Ayane is livid that Sawako and Kazehaya haven’t made progress in two full months—and that she hasn’t been able to do anything to help

Kento Miura, one of the newcomers to class D, can be credibly accused of many things, but lack of self-confidence would never be one of them. He’s handsome and charming, and fully aware of it. He’s gone through life flirting with women with little lost as a result, and that leads to a certainty about his own charm that is almost self-fulfilling.

Of course, it also means that he lacking in respect for certain social barriers. By chance he happens to be seated next to Sawako, and he promptly goes about violating her personal space. He does so in a his typically charming manner, such that he is clearly not being malicious about it. But he’s acting like a bull in a china shop, and something’s going to be knocked out of place because of it.

Sawako’s avoided most forms of overt bullying simply because her classmates are often too afraid that she’ll curse them. Miura’s openness shocks the entire class, especially Sawako and Kazehaya

That something could be the relational rut that Sawako and Kazehaya find themselves in. Kazehaya is clearly upset by (and more than a little jealous of) Miura’s behavior toward Sawako, and that—along with a little pushing from Ayane—seems to give him some impetus to make his feelings known. For the first time, he asks for a private conversation with Sawako for the purpose of finding out what she feels about him.

But when he asks even the basic question of whether he’s her closest male friend, she completely freezes up. She wants to give an answer, clearly, but she’s too flustered, too overwhelmed by her feelings to respond. She’s shown this behavior in the first season; it happens not due to a lack of emotion, but because she’s overcome with emotion and can’t figure out how to put it accurately into words.

Sawako’s heart starts racing just by being in close proximity with Kazehaya; with that as her baseline interaction, trying to answer a question about their relationship is sure to fail

Seeing her consternation, Kazehaya drops the subject. This, again, separates him from Miura, who wouldn’t have a problem pushing forward until he got a straight answer. Kazehaya, by contrast, is deeply concerned about Sawako’s own comfort, and thus doesn’t want to push her harder or faster than she is ready to go.

The problem is that Sawako could use just a little push, and seems to sort of want one. She’s taken off guard by Kazehaya’s question, but she’s also upset she wasn’t able to give a proper answer. So while Kazehaya puts on a brave, cheerful face as he leaves, so as not to further trouble her, she appears crestfallen as he goes. And that’s the scene Miura accidentally observes.

Miura’s conveniently timed appearance is as much a suspiciously fortuitous coincidence has his winding up in Sawako’s class and in the seat next to her. But there are some coincidences in every narrative you just have to accept

For all his breezy charm, Miura is hardly unobservant; he promptly deduces that Kazehaya is the guy Sawako wanted to give chocolates to, the one with whom she is in love. He doesn’t have much cause, however, to think that the perpetually popular Kazehaya reciprocates her feelings; what he just witnessed would indicate the opposite. And this observation seems to intrigue him all the more.

It’s hard to get a read on what Miura is thinking. Given his tendency to expound on how all girls are cute and to start flirting at the drop of a hat, there’s not in the way of irrefutable evidence that he’s developed a singular liking for Sawako. He’s offered some hints in that direction, but it could just be him being, well, himself.

Miura’s goodwill toward Sawako seems quite genuine. But he might do this for all the girls

Of course, it’s standard for shows like this to have a rival love interest for the heroine’s affection, and Kimi ni Todoke is about due. Plot logic alone would dictate that Miura’s interest is more than just friendly curiosity. The distinct irony of this show is to have that rival fit the mold of your typical male lead, and the male lead fit the role of the typical rival (who is often more respectful of the female lead, even if he’s also less manly or impressive).

Assuming this show keeps up on its course, it will not only give an example of a nice girl finding love against the odds, but having a nice guy win out in the end, too. But for that to happen, Kazehaya and Sawako need to find a way to communicate, a way which is at the same time true to themselves. And that’s the riddle Kimi ni Todoke will have to solve.

You can watch this episode here or here.

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