Kimi ni Todoke – 8
Ack, I am starting to fall behind pretty badly with posts lately! Been having a few connection issues recently (in fact, I’ve been waiting roughly 50 minutes to post this because my connection shut down again), and of course work cuts into my time quite a bit, so this post is coming out a day later than I hoped it would. Here’s hoping I’m able to resolve my problems soon!
Like some of my fellow bloggers, I’m actually hoping Kurumi is not as horrible and manipulative as some little hints are showing her to be. My brain says she is a schemer underneath — she is the obvious choice as the master behind the rumors ordeal, her evil eye as Kazehaya catches an eyeful of Sawako kicking a rock around in the garden appears to be a not so subtle way of announcing “THIS GIRL IS CRAZY” and she actually is kind of manipulative with her friends, subtly pushing them to nominate her as a class rep for the sports festival so that she can be closer to Kazehaya. The cynical part of me thinks it must be nice to have an active pair of shippers as friends to help one out.
But my heart wants to give her the benefit of the doubt despite the mounting evidence. If we just look at the manipulation we know for certain she has done . . . well, it is manipulation, but of an ultimately harmless sort. Kurumi is directing them to an outcome she desires, yes, and of course it would be much more forthright and honest of her to say, “Nominate me to be on the council so that I can be closer to Kazehaya.” Her friends would probably do it for her if she were to ask them for this favor. However, it is not as if pulling a few strings to become a class rep is particularly evil or anything. She’s not planning to kill, rob or do any real harm to anyone with this action — she just wants a shot at someone on whom she has a crush. That’s pretty much it. People conceal relatively harmless objectives sometimes; it’s what they do.
Right now I’d have to say I am swaying toward Kurumi being the “villain” of this arc — just too much evidence, and I don’t believe this is the type of series to pull out a bunch of red herrings on the viewer. At the same time, though, I doubt she is as full on evil and crazy as her evil eye would suggest. She’s just a bit misguided and potentially causing WAY more harm than actually intended. Jealousy will do that sometimes. She’ll probably end up friends with Sawako eventually.
Also have to say that the frown face cracked me up both times the episode shows it. Her face is just so blank, and the smoke behind her . . . ah, just too funny.
Rest of the episode is pretty enjoyable. Hopefully the creators shoehorn a “Yano messes with Sawako and Kazehaya” scene into episodes for as long as they can, because they’ve been great fun so far. Yano probably has enough tricks up her sleeve to screw around with Sawako until she’s, like, a bridesmaid at Sawako and Kazehaya’s wedding and points out how romantic it would be if Sawako were to call Kazehaya by his first name in her vows in front of everyone in the room. Sawako’s fluster levels would be beyond my ability to calculate.
Sawako’s soccer fail reminds a bit of way back in middle school when we played soccer during P.E. I was never as bad as Sawako, mind (I’m part-Mexican, so futbol is in my genes, yo), but I was on a team that did pretty well in the cross-period tournament — well enough that I was able to skip my English class a couple of times, which was pretty kickass since I hated my teacher! But, much like Sawako, I was low man on the totem pole, relegated to being the last line of defense before the goalie. What could I do, though? I was one of two 7th graders on a team of big, athletic 8th graders. So I just went along for the ride. That really has nothing to do with this episode; it’s just a memory that was called back to mind by Sawako being so crappy at the sport. This show seems to do that to me.
One final thought: I hope we get an all-out sports episode in Kimi ni Todoke. Maybe I’m biased because I love sports, but I’ve yet to see a sports-themed episode in a non-sports anime that I didn’t enjoy.