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REVIEW: Kimi ni Todoke Blu-Ray + DVD Box Set 2




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Snomaster1



Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 1011

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 2:24 pm Reply with quote
This seems like a good anime. It's a shame that "Kimi ni Todoke" wasn't dubbed into English. I think it would make this show even better. I hope they do this one day. I think it would be wonderful. I've read a little of the manga and it's pretty good. A good English dub would improve this show immensely. To me,that all it really needs.
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tcdelaney



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 122

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:37 pm Reply with quote
To me, a dub would have a very good chance of ruining the very delicate balance that Kimi ni Todoke maintains. As noted in the review, it wouldn't take much to make it a sappy, ridiculous show - just one poorly-cast voice could be enough to put it over the line.

You should really consider KnT as a 3-cour show, rather than 2 seasons - the second season is only 13 episodes. It starts off with a recap episode that you really should watch - it's not your normal recap.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:20 pm Reply with quote
As a lover of shoujo manga and anime, Kimi ni Todoke was a breath of fresh air. I just can't get over how sincere the characters are and how they actually try to communicate when they have problems! (As opposed to most Shoujo manga/anime where girls would seem to rather mope about misunderstandings than try to fix them) I can't praise this anime enough.

BUT! I was rather disappointed in NIS's release. It just didn't work well with their usual thing. It would appear there wasn't much extra material to be had so the book is mostly just screenshots, which made it worthless to me. The box is still pretty but I would have much rather had someone like Viz release it with a dub than a worthless book that only serves to mark up the price.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:30 pm Reply with quote
It says that Sawako and Kazehaya get romantic. Is there a confession? Do they kiss? Do they go on dates? Do they have sex? Because everything I've read about Kimi ni Todoke is about how stagnant the relationship is and that other than a bunch of staring, blushing, and bubbles, there isn't much at all to the relationship.
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tcdelaney



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:02 am Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
It says that Sawako and Kazehaya get romantic. Is there a confession? Do they kiss? Do they go on dates? Do they have sex? Because everything I've read about Kimi ni Todoke is about how stagnant the relationship is and that other than a bunch of staring, blushing, and bubbles, there isn't much at all to the relationship.


The New Years shrine visit has a definite romantic feel spoiler[although nothing happens between them apart from spending time alone together].

Spoiler for season 2: spoiler[They do eventually become an official couple, after many misunderstandings and bad assumptions].

I wouldn't consider the relationship stagnant - it's a slowly growing relationship where neither participant is sure of the other's feelings. It has its ups and downs, largely driven by Sawako's insecurity and inability to believe that Kazehaya could be interested in her, but also by Kazehaya's failure to grasp just how sheltered and insecure Sawako really is. Sawako needs to make real effort to change herself in order to feel that she is good enough for Kazehaya, and that's a process that takes her a lot of time (and by change herself I don't mean her looks or basic personality, but mainly her confidence).
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Megiddo



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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:38 am Reply with quote
I just think anime fans throw around the word 'romance' too often. If there isn't an actual relationship then there isn't romance. If the two spent time alone together for New Years as friends then that isn't romance.
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tcdelaney



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 4:23 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
I just think anime fans throw around the word 'romance' too often. If there isn't an actual relationship then there isn't romance. If the two spent time alone together for New Years as friends then that isn't romance.


There's no way it was just "as friends" - there was a relationship, and it was quite well developed at the time. The two of them were romantically interested in each other. Just because they were not an official couple doesn't mean there was no romance.

They may not have explicitly expressed it to each other, but they were both feeling it. The first few episodes of the second season make that even clearer - that night confirmed their feelings and created expectations that set up the remaining episodes.
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SethMosrite



Joined: 27 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 1:41 am Reply with quote
Of course there is a relationship. Just watch the show and see if it satisfies your criteria for romance. I found it very romantic.
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AlanMintaka



Joined: 23 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:44 pm Reply with quote
I've just finished watching Season 2. I pre-ordered from RightStuf last April and was surprised to receive it this week, before the actual release date.

Aside from the early delivery, however, I was disappointed, in a big way.

The first disappointment was one that I was hoping I wouldn't see with Kimi Ni Todoke, based on past viewing experience with Season 2 of Ah! My Goddess!

spoiler[Basically, the writers pulled the same kind of "romantic relapse" in Kimi Ni Todoke as they did in Ah! My Goddess! season 2: they completely undid all of the accomplishments of Sawako and Kazehaya's in growing closer together, and started the second season with the two protagonists about as distant as they were after their first meetings in season 1. That set the tone for season 2, "starting over", a series of repetitions of the same themes used in season 1. I was angered by this cop-out because I personally wanted season 2 to be about the relationship moving forward through all 12 episodes. That did not happen, not by a long shot. Instead, little progress was made until around episode 10, which really should have been episode 1. ]

In addition to that letdown with the general theme of season 2, I found "Episode 0" to be inane.

I don't need a spoiler warning here, because it's the very first episode and is a sort of recap of season 1. I say "sort of" because the recap is told through the eyes of Kurumi, so of course we receive a different perspective on previous events.

But to what end? Viewers of season 1 already know about Kurumi. In fact her character and her interactions with the rest of the cast were explored fairly well in season 1. As for new viewers, this recap would have told them nothing at all about the "real" Sawako, Kazehaya and friends. Instead the new viewers would have been treated to a cast of radically different personalities starting with episode 1.

In short, episode 0 was a waste of extra storyline space. You could say the same about any recap, I suppose, but in this case the waste is magnified by the distorted perspective presented to new viewers. In addition, recaps do serve a purpose for previous viewers whose memories are as limited as mine. Someone like me needs a recap of what actually happened as a sort of refresher course. What I got was a recap of only one character and only those events affecting that character. It wasn't enough.

Besides, there's just an overall inanity to the decision to present the recap through Kurumi's eyes. It was stupid, and, in fact, stupidly done. The contrast here can be seen in later episodes of season 2, in which Kurumi's character is explored in much more depth, and, believe or not, in which she seems to grow more than the other characters.

It would be hard for another character not to grow more than the two protagonists in season 2, at least in the first 9 episodes. spoiler[Instead we see them grow further apart, seemingly as a result of a combination of bad luck occurrences and Sawako's insecurities/obsessive thinking. The problem here is that even with those factors present, an undoing of the closeness between Sawako and Kazehaya at the end of season 1 just doesn't wash. Perhaps this is why there are very few references to the holiday scenes in that season. A few ambiguous still frames here and there, an occasional obsessive burst of irrational fears on Sawako's part... that's it. None of the tenderness or closeness is actually shown, or even implied very well. I think the writers must have known that if those scenes had been recalled to any extent, it would have blown the whole premise of season 2.]

In short, "give me a break, "oh come on now", etc. If you don't react that way, I'd be very interested in knowing why, believe me.

As for the episodes starting with 10, spoiler[ they were a disappointment because they didn't proceed far enough with the development of some kind of relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya. Sure, all kinds of "official" things are said (I didn't coin the use of the word "official" in this context - Kazehaya did), and the characters actually hug! Shocking! The problem is that during these interludes of supposed physical closeness in those hugs, Sawako always looks shocked, if not terrified. I don't know about Kazehaya, but Sawako still has a long, long ways to do in that department.]

The next spoiler concerns some things that are said and done at the very end of the series, after the closing credits (as usual with Anime). Here too I was disappointed. spoiler[They meet for a date at a Planetarium showing. Later in the seats they're shown panicking and turning flaming red just because they're sitting closely and looking at each other. Remember, this is still happening at the end of 12 episodes following the holiday scenes in season 1. Really? Really?

After the Planetarium showing, they're sitting together on an outdoor bench. Here the second "hug" of the entire series takes place. In this case the "hug" seems even more terrifying to Sawako, who keeps her arms pulled in tightly at her sides, hands close to her own shoulders. At least in that first classroom hug, she dared to return the affection by clutching at his shirt. In the last scene she looks as though she isn't screaming "Rape!" only because she's paralyzed with fear. Notice the expression on her face, when you can see it - that's shock, nothing more or less. I know that what she says prior to that belies that sort of fear - that's the problem here. Her panic and withdrawn posture just don't jive with the rest of the scene. ]


spoiler[Then there are those last few lines of dialogue. Huh? I hope viewers who understand Japanese are reading this, because I'd love to hear their perspective on the translation here. The subtitle version goes something like this (bear in mind that I'm paraphrasing a Swiss-cheese memory):

Sawako: I must seem like a hypocrite. I want time to fly so that our being together will quickly become the norm.

Kazehaya: (hugs her while she reacts with a shocked expression as described above). I would never be that wasteful. I'm sorry. At first I thought I was in a one-sided crush. Now I'm worried that I'm monopolizing all our good times together.

Sawako: (to the fourth wall) I told Kazehaya how I feel. And he feels the same.

End of last scene.

What the hell? Does "he feels the same" reference that insecurity about monopolizing their time together? If it doesn't and instead references their feelings for each other in general, then why include his statement of concern about "monopolizing" at all? What is the point of this final dialogue?]


(I didn't hide the following in a spoiler tag. Think of it as another comment about season 2 in general, though it does also apply specifically to that last scene.)

Good grief. Anyone could argue that relationships are always experiencing irrational "growing pains" and transient discontinuities like this. That goes without saying. Usually, however, such, er, "irregularities" (think "herbal garden" if you want some insight into the best possible metaphor the writers could have imagined) are understandable as such. This one not only defies the common sense associated with the trials of new relationships: it defies competent writing. Really, now. Couldn't the writers have done a little better with that last dialogue? What was their problem here?

I wrestled with whether or not to hide the bottom line in a spoiler tag. Personally I don't think it needs one, but I'll err on the side of caution.

spoiler[Bottom line: perhaps the Sawako, Kazehaya, and their relationship do grow somewhat starting with episode 10. It isn't much growth considering how far they'd gotten in season 1. But should they and their relationship really be the showcases at all in this series? Maybe I was wrong about using Kurumi for the recap episode after all, because if anyone at all in the series experiences some major positive changes, it's Kurumi. Her insights when she's lecturing her former cohorts are spot on. Her tone is bitter and angry, but the message certainly rings true.

Naturally not content with merely showing Kurumi's growth in contrast to the torturous meanderings of Sawako and Kazehaya, the writers decided to slip in a little last-minute dialogue stupidity for her too - although she herself doesn't spew the imponderables. Surprisingly, Ayane assumes responsibility for the nonsense speech in that scene (this further speaks to the incompetency of the "final scene" writing, since it's totally out of character for her).

Kurumi: (bemoaning her fate to Kento, this season's male foil) I was relieved because maybe I'd found a way out of this..... Kazehaya could never like me because of the things I've done.

Ayane: (suddenly approaches and places a hand on Kurumi's shoulder) You know that it would be different if I were a male. I'd accept all your dirty little secrets.

What the hell (redux)? Ayane's tone and manner suggest consolation. The content of what she says suggests a cerebral aneurysm, at least. At least Kurumi manages to display a little intact gray matter. She sneers and says

Kurumi: It's none of your business. (and walks away)

Bravo, Kurumi!

Aside from that little interruption, courtesy of the anime end-scene writers, the growth of Kurumi in the series is clearly shown as heads-above that of anyone else. In fact, I wonder if the message "From Me To You" is better delivered from Sawako to Kurumi. In their final dialogue on the school's roof, Krumui essentially thanks Sawako because "you (Sawako) exist" and because "you were my rival". Indeed, Sawako was the "way out of this" for Kurumi.]


Well, I'm out of steam. I wonder if my expectations were just a little too high for season 2. Whether or not that's really the case, it was a big letdown for me.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: NZL

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:15 pm Reply with quote
AlanMintaka wrote:
Well, I'm out of steam. I wonder if my expectations were just a little too high for season 2. Whether or not that's really the case, it was a big letdown for me.


This review was of the second half of Season 1, not of Season 2. So your thoughts on Season 2 don't really belong here (certainly not on this sort of scale). It would have been better if you had posted in the series discussion thread in the Anime sub-Forum.

That said, I heartily agree with you that Season 2 really dropped the ball with the central relationship. It was constantly frustrating to watch, sometimes very much so. Even the resolution we got was poorly handled and didn't really resolve much.

I don't think your expectations were too high at all.
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AlanMintaka



Joined: 23 Oct 2011
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 7:48 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
AlanMintaka wrote:
Well, I'm out of steam. I wonder if my expectations were just a little too high for season 2. Whether or not that's really the case, it was a big letdown for me.


This review was of the second half of Season 1, not of Season 2. So your thoughts on Season 2 don't really belong here (certainly not on this sort of scale). It would have been better if you had posted in the series discussion thread in the Anime sub-Forum.


I understand this, but some of the other commentators herein had already mentioned speculations about season 2 - as did Carl Kimlinger in his last few sentences. In addition, there isn't a review thread for Season 2 yet because there isn't a review. As such, and not knowing where else to go, I posted my message here.

In your comment you mentioned the "series discussion thread in the Anime sub-Forum", but didn't provide a link. So I went looking for it and found a TV thread here, with the last posts over a year old:

Kimi Ni Todoke (TV) Discussion Thread

As old as it is, the posters do discuss events in Season 2. Is this the one you meant?

I hope it is, because I just cross-posted there. "My shame knows no bounds," said the disgraced high-hurdles runner. Because of that shamelessness, I also tried to "make it better". Hmm.. Maybe I'm getting some insight into what makes anime writers so lousy at endings.

BTW the consensus there is that they all loved season 2. Looks as though you and I won't be winning any popularity contests over there!

In that sense, do you feel as though you wasted your money on this set? I'm getting that feeling myself. I think the ending of season 1 was a far better place to shut down the series - and cheaper, too!
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AlanMintaka



Joined: 23 Oct 2011
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:06 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:

That said, I heartily agree with you that Season 2 really dropped the ball with the central relationship. It was constantly frustrating to watch, sometimes very much so. Even the resolution we got was poorly handled and didn't really resolve much.
I don't think your expectations were too high at all.


HI again dtm42,

I just noticed "NZL" for your location. Is that New Zealand? I don't mean to pry here - the reason I ask concerns the subtitled translation of that last scene. If the release you saw was different from NIS America's, was the subtitling any different from the way I paraphrased it?

I'm hoping against hope that maybe part of the problem there involves the translation.

Out of bad habit I always lambaste the writers for ending scenes like that. However I also know that sometimes the unavoidable limitations of translating such different languages and/or cultures can badly distort what the writers were really trying to say.

Anecdotal folklore says I'm too old to learn a different language like Japanese. I wonder.... If I ever have the bucks for Rosetta Stone, I should give it a try just to give myself some kind of real insight into what's happening in anime and manga. Ah well...

Anyway, if the version you saw has subtitles to the effect of "To hell with everything! Let's hop a cargo transport to the States, hitch a ride to Vegas, and do it right, in one of those Elvis Chapels!!!!", then that's probably something I should know about....


Last edited by AlanMintaka on Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:35 pm Reply with quote
Hi there.

I've put my reply in the discussion thread. See you there.
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