Kimi ni Todoke – 19
Maybe I am just softening to Kimi ni Todoke‘s charms, or maybe it is just getting better at nailing these moments (or perhaps a bit of both), but the drama has really taken a step up to me in the past few episodes.
The ending of this episode is a good example. While the plot is fairly predictable (probably 9/10 people at the very least guessed that Tohru probably had a girlfriend/fiance), the feeling behind it shines through. Chizuru is obviously hurting. Maybe she can convince herself on the outside that she can let a crush that has developed for seven or eight years float away relatively easily, but that love leaves a mark. It hurts to let it go; admitting to oneself that a dream — even if it is a farfetched dream — won’t come true is a tough moment for anyone. Chizuru walking away from Ryu’s house, an outsider when she believed she was an insider, is such a perfectly melancholy moment. I felt it right in my gut.
Chizuru probably feels as though she needs to be strong right now — she certainly cannot break down in front of Tohru because 1) He presumably does not know about her crush (though I wouldn’t be surprised if he had an idea, even if he does say he considers her a younger sister), and 2) Bringing up a ton of drama around the time a guy brings his bride to be home would go over about as well as taking a massive dump on their wedding cake. She’s thinking of Ayane here, too; she just went through a literally painful break-up, and while Ayane doesn’t want her friends to walk on eggshells around her, it’s tough to burden your friends with your problems when you believe it is not really necessary, as Chizuru believes right now (even though she probably could stand to talk it out with someone). For now, Chizuru is taking the high road, which often ends up being the painful road.
This episode is one where the titular theme of feelings reaching others (or perhaps failing to do so) really hits home. Chizuru’s feelings have been in limbo since she was a little girl — all she can do is wait until she is old enough for Tohru to see her as a woman. (She’s about 15 or 16 right now, I believe, which would put Tohru in the 23-24 range.) Unfortunately, that taste of adulthood doesn’t come in a way that Chizuru cares for too much. Sometimes the world just does not allow shit to go your way. All she can do is let her feelings float around, unrealized.
Meanwhile, Ryu desperately wants to let Chizuru down easy so that she won’t have to go through the sudden shock and pain of seeing the man she loves betrothed to another. (Way to make that sound all super dramatic, right?) Circumstances prevent him from doing so, but really, he just cannot stand to hurt Chizuru at all. It’s the classic conundrum — stem the pain yourself, or let it happen naturally but possibly more painfully? It’s never easy to hurt someone you care for deeply. I don’t know that I could do it, especially as things drag on and it becomes tougher to spit the words out. And ironically enough, doesn’t Ryu have a similar problem to Chizuru? Not just the whole being seen as a sibling thing, but also the not being seen as a potentially loving, caring adult dealie. Just like Chizuru was going to wait until she grew up to pursue Tohru, perhaps she’ll look at Ryu in a different way if she sees how much he has grown up.
And then Sawako and Ayane simply feel terrible for not being able to comfort Chizuru in her time of need — they want to speak up, to say something that will reduce the pain (if not make it disappear entirely), but the words just don’t come to their heads. What can they say, really, aside from offering trite words and support? While I don’t think Chizuru being super tough about this will hold up, I do believe she needs a bit of time to sort the whole thing out in her head. I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to process anything my friends told me in this situation; I’d want to figure it out for myself, or at least clear my head. Still, it’s frustrating for the friends to not be of any help.
Chizuru probably figures things out a bit more the next episode, and Ryu will finally be able to talk it out with her. Looking forward to how everything is resolved!