Kimi ni Todoke 15
February 9, 2013
Karuho Shiina – Viz – 2012 – 18+ volumes
This volume! I read it some time ago and probably just blocked it out because it made me cry so hard! Not fair!
There’s a little bit at the beginning about how Sawako and Kazehaya may be growing apart after the awkward, aborted kiss during the school trip, though others speculate that it might just be growing pains in their relationship. But! The real kicker here is the strain on the relationship between Ryo and Chizuru. Not only is the present situation very sad, and Chizuru’s conflict is portrayed quite well, there’s a flashback. The saddest flashback ever.
Chizuru in the present is quite touching. She thinks about how she needs to see Ryo and act normal. Then she thinks about all the things she and Ryo do together, and realize that all of it was too casual, now that she knows he likes her. She soon realizes she can never have any of that back, and it absolutely breaks her heart.
But we learn throughout the rest of the volume why the two of them are so close in the first place. Ryo and Chizuru’s families have always been close, and we see Chizuru and Ryo growing up together, with Chizuru’s eye constantly on Ryo’s older brother. But she’s also the only one that really understands the stoic, withdrawn Ryo, and is always explaining to others that he’s shy, or just doesn’t show how happy he is very well. This is a really charming and very cheery story until about halfway through, then it suddenly becomes hard to read. In a good way. I absolutely don’t want to spoil it, because I didn’t see the switch coming (although I totally should have), and it was a big part of what made this volume great. But so far, this is the best volume in what is already a pretty fantastic series. Skip Beat may be a lot funnier, but this series is the absolute best at portraying its characters in a (usually) very cheery, upbeat, drama-free, and very charming way. It’s also worth reading, and probably appeals to a slightly older crowd than most shoujo, too.
Good stuff. I’m on board for the long haul with this one.
This was a review copy provided by Viz.