Kimi ni Todoke – 20
Sometimes you just need to fight it out to find yourself on the right path, even if you feel like a huge goofball for a while afterward.
I’ve got mixed feelings on this episode, but strangely enough, that actually brought me a bit closer to the series. I’m not sure what makes me enjoy this episode more than the main episodes in the Kurumi arc. Maybe the drama is simpler and not quite so contrived. Maybe the emotions are messier in a way that is understandable for both parties involved. Maybe it’s just that this is clearly not the end (not if that shot of Tohru in the next episode preview has anything to do with it).
My only real problem with this episode is that it doesn’t have anything akin to the ending of the previous episode where the image let all the drama speak for itself . . . but I don’t think that is totally a bad thing. The overall feeling of this episode is much like the feelings between Ryu and Chizuru right now — messy, bumpy, a rough ride. There are moments where it looks smooth and dignified (Kazehaya doling out advice to Sawako and Ayane for one), but ultimately it just needs to let loose and allow the characters to expel all the drama building up inside them. It’s not particularly fun to watch, nor exactly emotionally fulfilling, but maybe it’s the right episode at the right time in the story.
From what I have gathered about people’s reactions to this episode, the opinion on Ryu’s behavior is decidedly mixed. I can see where he is coming from, because I believe he has no genuine intention beyond what he states — he is glad that Chizuru is able to have her heart broken while she can take it instead of endlessly caring on the charade of pining over Tohru when a relationship between them is just not in the cards. He’s definitely a bit blunt with his words, to say the least, but I think he has good intentions, even if they could stand to be better explained.
It could be perceived that he is saying this because he wants to “box out for the rebound”, to use Kabitzin’s words (:p). But I don’t think Ryu is that type of guy. He wants to be with Chizuru, sure, but if he wanted to catch her when she is vulnerable, he would have done it when she came to his house and was potentially desperate to be comforted. However, he does not do this; instead, I think he tells Chizuru what he believes is best for her to hear. Again, he definitely could have been more tactful with his words, but it’s not as if he is telling Chizuru something she cannot see for herself. (She even admits that what he is saying is probably true — she just wishes he weren’t such an asshole about it.)
As for Chizuru, well, she definitely just needed to blow off some steam. What Ryu tells her may have lacked tact, but it’s something she needs to face, even if it hurts and sucks really badly. It appears as if Chizuru will get her closure — or something close to it, at least — in the next episode, but for now it’s good to get that shit out of her system before it really fouls her up. Nobody wants to carry around that ugliness for very long.
One last thing: I like how this episode shows the difference between how guys and girls deal with this crap. The girls are all about talkin’ this shit out and moving forward, just so that crappy feelings don’t build up inside for too long, while Ryu is basically like, “Yo, dude, wanna eat all this delicious bread I scored?” How fast do you think Kazehaya says yes to that offer?