Home > Episode Reviews, Kimi ni Todoke > Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 9 – Crossing the Threshold

Kimi ni Todoke 2 Episode 9 – Crossing the Threshold

One sentence episode review: The writers are still stalling.

With that out of the way, I want to come back and praise Kimi ni Todoke to best extent possible. Yes, the plot is progressing with the haste of a tortoise trudging through molasses, and a good deal of that—the delays caused by long pauses, recaps, and drawn out moments—is obvious padding to spread the episode out to a full run time, and the series to a full episode count. Things could be moving faster.

But in another way, they can’t. The story isn’t, and has never been, just about Sawako and Kazehaya realizing their love is reciprocated. It’s about how Sawako in particular matures as an individual, coming to learn how to process and express her emotions openly. The series title confirms her ultimate goal: not Kazehaya, but the ability to reach out to others.

Sawako still needs work on expressing herself if she needs a door between Kazehaya and herself to say anything. But now, at least, she says something important

And such maturity doesn’t come all at once. It doesn’t come unearned. For the past few weeks in story time and three or so episodes to the audience, Sawako has been pushed inexorably toward the conclusion that she needs to be open about her feelings, first with herself and then with Kazehaya.

Having made that decision, she rushes to him at the start of this episode, and is about to give her spiel when Kazehaya interrupts. He offers what he thinks is a profound declaration of love, but thanks to their previous misunderstandings, Sawako can only interpret his “my feelings will never change” bit as his commitment to keep their relationship platonic.

Ryuu tries to keep a fellow classmate from interrupting the two lovebirds by playing dumb. Chizuru mentions that Ryuu doesn’t lie, which is probably why he says so little

Had this happened weeks (or episodes) ago, Sawako would have taken that as a cue to shut up and let the opportunity pass her by. In fact, that’s exactly what did happen a few episodes ago. This time, however, she’s not willing to let the moment pass. Even through she still can’t look him in the eye, she needs to be honest, and so she is.

Her confession is inartful, repetitive, and still (theoretically) could be misinterpreted. But Kazehaya, for a change, is attentive enough to tell there’s an undercurrent of emotion in her words that can’t be explained away as friendship. Likewise, when he opens the door to see Sawako’s blushing, teary-eyed face, that’s another sign that her feelings are deeper than he realized.

Here’s a shot of the two of them red-faced. It’s their default expression for the episode

Overwhelmed himself, he pulls her in close for an embrace. From there, they declare their intentions honestly and go on to live happily … wait, that doesn’t happen? They just look at each other for a while, blushing like newlyweds, until an idiot classmate interrupts them and Sawako flees? Well, I suppose some things have to stay the same.

This is what I mean about stalling. Had the series wanted to, it could have fit this moment into last episode and made it the definitive revelation. As it stands, the couple is separated and still not completely sure of where the other stands. That situation isn’t resolved by episode’s end.

Ryuu’s attempt fails, so said classmate gets to interrupt the pair to ask the oh so important question of what snacks Kazehaya wants. Kazehaya shows considerable restraint in not tossing the guy out the nearest window

So yeah, the show is still taking its sweet little time heading from point a to point b. The fact that there is still discernible forward motion isn’t quite enough to shake the feeling that the catharsis should be over by now.

But what catharsis! I defy anyone who’s been watching the show for this long not to feel a rush as Sawako makes her confession, as she breaks through yet another barrier that has until now been impenetrable. One positive outcome of taking so long to come to this point is that audience anticipation and desire for resolution reaches almost a feverish pitch—which in turn makes us emphasize with Sawako’s feelings all the more. Her desperation is ours, and we’ve had to wait with her.

Pin, in a rare moment of discernment, puts together the nature of Sawako and Kazehaya’s relationship. In an even more rare moment of maturity, he actually gives good advice

And most importantly, the two are still talking with each other, or at least trying to. The awkward greetings and attempts to avoid each other have given way to real communication, albeit of a slow off and on variety. Even now, each is independently seeking to continue their conversation.

The end is in sight, but then, it has been for several episodes. Rather, the end is now plausible. That Kimi ni Todoke cares about plausibility is one of the reasons—my complaints about stall tactics aside—that it’s a great show.

Here’s another shot of Sawako blushing. Why am I including it? Because I can

You can watch this episode here or here.

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