Home > Episode Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke > Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episodes 5 and 6 – You Know What Happens When You Assume

Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episodes 5 and 6 – You Know What Happens When You Assume

I’m sort of at a loss to characterize the last two episodes of Kimi ni Todoke. By one reckoning, everything has changed between Kazehaya and Sawako, but on another level the problems that have always plagued their relationship have only grown stronger. For two people so obviously meant to be together, seemingly everything conspires to keep them apart.

By far the greatest problem they have is that they can’t visualize being in a relationship with each other—and it’s hard to blame them, because almost no one else can either. A few scattered individuals have figured out that Sawako likes Kazehaya or that Kazehaya likes Sawako, but only Sawako’s good friend Ayane and her romantic rival Kurumi (and probably Kazehaya’s closemouthed friend Ryuu Sanada) have figured out the attraction is mutual, and they aren’t talking.

For everyone else, the prospect of the two lovebirds coming together is basically inconceivable. And that consensus of opinion is what frames all of Sawako and Kazehaya’s interactions.

Pin can normally be counted on to say stupid things, but he seems to have noticed that Kazehaya might like Sawako. Of course, he misinterprets everything that comes after

This episode should be where everything breaks out into the open. Kazehaya has been backing away from Sawako, uncertain of his place in the face of her panicked reactions to him and growing increasingly upset of Miura taking her under his wing. When Pin, insensitive jerk that he is, taunts Kazehaya about losing his “woman” to another guy, Kazehaya takes the bait only to find Miura in the middle of confessing to a crying Sawako.

Kazehaya remains reasonably under control, but his anger is palpable, and it only gets worse when some other students wander into the discussion. Seeing Sawako caught between two popular guys, they first start joking that she’s in the middle of a love triangle, only to be shocked when Kazehaya affirms that she is, and says outright that he likes her.

Even after Kazehaya confesses his feelings for Sawako, his fellow students can’t buy it and start to explain it away as him just being friendly. Their words only confirm Sawako’s most deeply felt beliefs about her own inadequacy

He proceeds to affirm that three or four times, both in public and later in private conversation with Sawako. That should be enough to clear the air between them, to cut through the misapprehensions both have about how they feel about each other. But when Sawako tearfully admits that she likes him too, he concludes that they like each other in different ways, one romantically, and one as a friend.

That’s Sawako’s conclusion as well, of course, but she just takes his statement and applies it in the opposite direction. Both are so primed by their previous interactions with each other and with everyone else that they’ve come to accept the narrative that the other doesn’t/can’t/won’t like them in that special way. And so a mutual confession of love only leads to separation and heartbreak.

This is Sawako crying. Get used to it—she starts at the end of episode 5 and doesn’t stop for most of episode 6

Aside from Kazehaya’s poorly timed “clarification” about how the two of them like each other in different ways, it’s hard to not put the blame in Sawako’s corner for the current set of misunderstandings. From an outsider’s perspective, she’s done nothing but cut herself off from Kazehaya over the course of the last few months, even when her social skills have been developing in most other respects. And she can’t talk about her relationship with him in language other than in terms of respect and gratitude, over his deigning to spend time with her at all.

In effect, Sawako is too selfless, and too humble, to understand that the wonderful Kazehaya would help her out of anything other than charity. Having come to accept being isolated as a way of life, she in turn places him on such a high pedestal that the two can’t reach each other. Her first and only worry when Kazehaya admits his affection is that others will think he likes her romantically, which could harm his reputation.

Miura also deserves some credit for the mess; in trying to get Sawako to give up on Kazehaya (and accept his love instead), he explains that Kazehaya already has a girl he likes. Neither of them guess that the girl in question is Sawako

This fear has been present with her since the first episode of the first season; whenever Kazehaya publicly defends her or expresses affection, she “defends” him just as publicly by explaining that nothing romantic is happening between them. With enough such “defenses,” it’s no wonder Kazehaya thinks she doesn’t love him back.

So the day ends in total disaster, with Sawako skipping classes to cry over her official “rejection” and Ayane and Chizuru left to pick up the pieces. But despite all that has gone wrong, Sawako’s closest friends manage to convince her to press on, not by revealing that Kazehaya really does love her, but by convincing her that she should love, and have respect, for herself. They also press home that the way Sawako won their friendship was by finding the strength to express her feelings.

Oddly enough, it’s the usually clueless Chizuru who takes Sawako to task, noting that it’s a bit insulting to treat your friends as if they are spending time with you only because they are too nice to ignore you

Therein lies the hope: that Sawako will pull herself together enough to express herself openly to Kazehaya, and to actually work to show how much she loves him. To do this well, she first needs to convince herself that she actually does deserve him. The episode ends on a note which suggests she might be ready to do just that.

The next episode preview, however, suggests that things are still going to get worse before they get better, perhaps taking things from Kazehaya’s end and seeing how his perceptions are going to be further confused. I don’t think Kimi ni Todoke will drag on this conflict for too much longer; it will keep it going as long as it can, but unless there’s recourse to the idiot ball, something will have to give soon.

The first half of episode 5 is taken up by Chizuru attending the wedding of Ryuu’s older brother (whom Chizuru has always had a crush on). It’s a throwback to a major plot thread in the latter half of the first season

The greatest strength of Kimi ni Todoke is that there is no idiot ball—no matter how frustrating the situation gets, it doesn’t have to rely on arbitrary character stupidity to keep the plot going. Impartial observers like the audience may know the sources of confusion and rail at them, but for the characters themselves, the traits and foibles which are keeping them apart have been there from the beginning. And only by maturing out of those foibles will Sawako find happiness.

You can watch these episodes here and here, or here and here.

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  1. March 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm

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