Home > Episode Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke > Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 8 – Magician, Heal Thyself

Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 8 – Magician, Heal Thyself

Well, ok, maybe Kimi ni Todoke is slightly more concerned about dragging the audience along and preserving the status quo than I indicated in last episode’s review. Sure, some very important character development happens in this episode, and the finale is a cliffhanger that looks like it will lead to Sawako finally expressing her feelings, but a decent chunk of this episode is filler.

And not just random stupid plot filler, but obvious time-waster filler. Stuff like having a minute long recap at the beginning of the episode, and dropping a three minute montage (accompanied by a longer version of the opening song) about the ten days period leading up to the culture festival. There was clearly not enough actual material to pad this episode out to 20 minutes and change, so the writers just inserted scenes until they got to the length they needed.

One of the few meaningful events of the montage is Chizuru’s birthday, where Ryuu offers her a gift she appreciates. Those watchers who came in from last season should remember that Ryuu has a longstanding love for Chizuru

Complaints aside, what content is in this episode is crucial, as Sawako finally takes the last steps to find the inner courage that she needs. She’s heard it said, again and again, that she needs to be open and honest. Now, by circumstances set in motion episodes ago, she gets to learn it through the most effective method of learning possible: teaching it to others.

Sawako’s class, at Miura’s instigation, decided on “Sadako’s Black Magic Cafe” as their theme for the culture festival. With Sawako cast as the witch, she gets an absurd number of people coming to ask for help with their love life, and by help, I mean curses on their rivals.

I’m not quite certain how Sawako manages to defuse her ill-intentioned visitors with as much skill as she does, but I’m not surprised. Her goodness, once expressed, is contagious

Sawako—who is in real life about as inclined to practice black magic as I am to kick a cat—winds up dispensing relationship advice instead, nearly always appealing to the better nature of her clients and convincing them to work on their love life honestly and forthrightly. And she’s introspective enough to figure out that her advice is what she should do, as much as those who come to her.

What’s preventing her from expressing herself is both her natural fear of rejection and her feelings of unworthiness. But the other side to her being unworthy is the idolatry that surrounds her view of Kazehaya. She doesn’t just think he’s a great guy, but the greatest in the world, without flaw or failing. This makes her relationship with him doubly blocked: Not only can she not measure up to the Kazehaya she’s built up in her mind, but she can’t imagine that a perfect Kazehaya would be tonguetied, nervous, or unable to plainly express his feelings for her if he had them.

Miura manages to butt in and say something that gets radically misinterpreted, again, but this time the misinterpretation inclines Sawako toward the right action

Of course, Kazehaya is just like any other teenage boy when it comes to the girl he loves. That is, he’s fumbling, easily flustered, and even a little possessive. It might well be that because she could never see Kazehaya’s flaws, she could never never see his love for her driving those flaws to the surface.

And by the end of the episode, she still hasn’t figured out that he loves her. She’s still convinced, thanks to Miura’s earlier prompting, that Kazehaya is interested in some other girl. She “knows” that even if she confesses her love to him, she will need to win him over to her side, to convince him that she is the one he should love. And yet, in a moment of absolute clarity, she realizes none of that matters.

Sawako’s view of Kazehaya, ironically, bears much similarity to Kazehaya’s view of Sawako. He admits to Miura in a rare moment of openness that he’s always admired her, using much the same language that she used about him

What does matter is that she loves him, and that she makes sure he knows it. What matters is that she comes to the conclusion that if she really wants a relationship with him, she should stop treating him like a savior and start treating him like a man. Remarkably simple stuff, but points which Sawako, until this point, has heard yet not understood.

Accordingly, the last moments of the episode have her running to where Kazehaya is, ready to be completely honest with him for the first time. This is all the more brave because she thinks she’s coming only to be rejected, and yet she comes.

I want to take a moment to note that the animation, while not as fancy as what once would see with a high profile action series, is still first rate. Note the attention paid to the layers of shadow and the folds of Sawako’s clothing as she runs

Of course, the episode ends before their meeting, thanks to all the filler than the audience had to sit through earlier. On that bright side, that will let next episode’s conversation have as much time as it needs. And the two do need time. The miscommunication the pair has had over the last few episodes won’t be resolved with a simple declaration.

But it will be resolved. Episodes earlier Ayane admitted that she couldn’t really help Sawako and Kazehaya come together, because as long as Sawako felt she was unworthy of him, the two could never have a healthy relationship. Sawako, only now, has come to the conclusion that she deserves a chance at happiness like everyone else. It only remains for her to claim it.

You can watch this episode here or here.

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