Foreign Friday: Kimi ni Todoke

“It’s Sawako. Not Sadako.” – Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You

This week’s Foreign Friday entry is Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You by Karuho Shiina.

The Story

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine… for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character – jet black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor – she’s mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary facade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that – she’s about to make some enemies too!

The Characters

Sawako is the shy, innocent and honest type. She may look scary, but her personality is so far from it that the contradiction is comedic. Shota Kazehaya, the popular boy at school, can easily be described as “nice” (and he is, constantly). His kindness is his leading attribute, but he still comes across as a normal boy. Sawako’s two friends, Yano and Yoshida, are good counterbalances for the lead characters, one being feminine and knowledgeable, and the other athletic and simple-minded.

What I Thought

Kimi ni Todoke is a shojo series about human interactions, with the focus being Sawako’s slow blossoming out of the stereotype she’d been pushed into. Full of young romance and comedy, it’s an enjoyable series. While the plot itself is not complex and in some places tends to slow a bit, the characters are well developed and add the right dynamic to make it enjoyable. Karuho Shiina’s art style fun and refreshing. There are 6 volumes currently available in English in the US.

An anime series has been made of the first 7 volumes or so, following the manga fairly close. It’s not available in English, but it can be found online in Japanese with subtitles.

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