Kimi ni Todoke – 7
That’s exactly how I feel after watching this episode! I would have seen it and posted about it yesterday, but it was my birthday, so I spent much of the day relaxing. (And working, unfortunately!)
So this is exactly the type of episode Kimi ni Todoke needed after the relative heaviness of the last arc. Just a simple, light, fun episode, with some hints of drama here and there that are overshadowed by this group of friends having a great time together. Something that really sticks out to me in this episode is how innocent the series is. An episode like this could come off as incredibly corny to some people, I’m sure. Some of the details like Sawako’s shock that she has friends who would want to go out with her, Kazehaya quickly jamming on his bicycle to hang out, the girls packing up at 9 p.m., saying that it’s getting late . . . it’s kind of quaint, isn’t it?
But watching it just reminds me of something ghostlightning wrote about the series a while back: “What makes the show engaging to watch for me is how this world of high school love seems nostalgically ideal.” At the very end of the episode when everyone is saying their good byes and going off to their homes for the evening, I felt such a powerful wave of nostalgia. Life and the world takes on a different shape when you continue down the path. I’m working now. I have taxes to worry about (not MUCH taxes, mind, because I don’t make that much, but taxes nonetheless). I don’t know if my job will still be there in a few months (I am a temp copy editor at a local newspaper). It seems like high school — that simple life of going to school, hanging out, shooting the shit about nothing in particular and not worrying about the future for even a second — was so long ago, even though it has been a little under six years since I graduated.
When you’re trying to balance work and the realities of life with the desire to go out and have some mindless, silly fun with friends, it gets a bit tough sometimes. That’s why an episode like this is so effective to me — I had a really hard day at work yesterday. People were confused, it seemed like everyone was all over the place and I couldn’t think straight until very late in the evening. So I have a decent night’s rest, wake up, hang out with my brother and sister a bit and after they leave for college, I play this episode and am instantly transported back to a time where it was normal to just hang out, eat and screw around for a while. No worries about work, taxes or even rumors and jealousy — just good, fun times. There’s no ramen place around here, but just substitute it with the burger joint down at the end of Main Street and it’s practically my high school years onscreen.
All the little moments had me grinning: Ryu lounging about, randomly yawning; Sawako wondering if Ryu and Yoshida were together; Yano and Yoshida pranking Kazehaya by having Sawako call him on Ryu’s cell phone; Yano and Yoshida immediately noticing that Sawako has a huge crush on Kazehaya and vice versa, and ribbing Kazehaya using that information; flipping through the yearbooks and seeing how much everyone has changed; and the walk under the starry skies. (Sora no Manimani flashback alert! Wait, can I flash back to a series that I finished maybe a month ago?)
If there is one thing Kimi ni Todoke does very well, it’s capture that feeling of absolute harmony that are the best times in high school. I was a silly, immature dope in high school, and I wish I did many things differently, but man, when there were good times to be had, even someone like me could sit back and appreciate the moment, and how probable it was that there would not be many more times ahead where I could capture that feeling of pure fun and bliss.
I don’t know if Kimi ni Todoke will go back to the drama any time soon, but I would like it to keep hitting that nostalgic note. It certainly takes something strong to stir up something that deep in someone.