Kimi ni Todoke – 10

Sawako’s American stereotype needs a bit more swearing and random slang. Just sayin’.

Don’t have too much to say about this episode, because I think it’s just OK. Don’t know exactly where the story will go with Kurumi angling for Kazehaya (unless, of course, the show goes down the obvious path it appears to be on at the moment), so I don’t want to comment much on that, but I will say that even after this episode I find it difficult to completely hate Kurumi.

Really, in a way, she is almost as bumbling as Sawako. She projects this outer shell of calm and candy-coated sweetness, but it is clear that is not who she really is (although it may be a legitimate part of her personality). Like Sawako, she is just totally unable to be upfront about how she really feels; for as long as she has known Kazehaya, it is obvious Kurumi has never told him how she really feels about him. Instead, she is content to send wave after wave of people she knows will be rejected by Kazehaya in the hopes that she can dissuade people from confessing to Kazehaya until she gathers the courage to do it herself. She gets as far as being able to speak with Kazehaya in a casual way, but she is still unable to pop the question, so to speak.

Then Sawako comes along and scares the holy fuck out of Kurumi because Sawako has Kazehaya acting in a way in which she has never seen before. Kurumi tries to pull out the old manipulation tricks that worked so well on her peers, and she tries to cut down Sawako’s confidence in subtle ways, but it doesn’t work at all because Sawako thinks too highly of people to notice an insult unless it is incredibly direct. (Which I guess encourages people to be more honest and upfront in their communication with her, in a bizarre way.)

The whole time Kurumi grows ever more frustrated that Sawako is just not getting the damn hint. These tricks might have worked on any other random chick, but with Sawako, it’s like tossing a rubber ball at a brick wall — everything just bounces off it, and maybe the wall is even a bit happy that it can provide some fun for someone. And this is what shows that Kurumi is no less awkward than Sawako, but in a different way: She can make friends pretty easily, sure, but when it comes to what she really wants, all she can do is hide in the shadows and try to steer the other girls away from the “prize”. Kurumi’s failings with Sawako show her that she needs to step up her game, grow a metaphorical pair and make a move herself, because Kazehaya is too big a sap to do it himself.

Unless, of course, this is yet another ploy to keep a girl away from Kazehaya while Kurumi bides her time. Who knows? Whatever the case, she’s acting bitchy and manipulative, and she would be horrible in reality, but for now at least, I don’t think she is a one-note catty love rival. She’s not a deep character, and not as sympathetic as other characters, but she has some insecurities of her own, which makes her a bit more interesting. Plus, her repeated failings are hilarious.

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