Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: VIZ Media
Author: Karuho Shiina
Genre: Graphic Novel (Shojo Beat Manga)
MSRP: $9.99 US
Rating: T (Teen)
Release Date: Available Now
I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.
Once you break out of the shell there is really no going back and in the case of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Sawako Kuronuma is no longer a social outcast thanks to a young man who saw right through the rumors that she communes with the dead or can curse you if you look at her for too long. Yet what happens when more rumors spread throughout the school that could very well threaten the new friends Sawako has made? This is exactly what we will find out in Volume 2 of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You.
So happy that her parents even notice the change in her behavior, Sawako is glad to have Kazehaya in her life. Even more so, she is even glad to be close to the rough-yet-kindhearted girls Yano and Yoshida. Unfortunately, there are a number of rumors spreading wildly throughout the halls of the school about both girls. Never mind that the rumors have Yano went out with 100 guys in her last school or Yoshida is so bad the police know her by name … the source of these rumors, they hear, comes directly from Sawako’s mouth.
Interestingly enough, Yoshida and Yano do not believe that Sawako is capable of spreading rumors like that or any rumors at all for that matter. While it wasn’t that long that they became friends, both girls – like Kazehaya – could see right through the girl to see the real Sawako. In fact, both girls seem to like Sawako considerably. Still, the rumors continue to spread uncontrollable until Yoshida suggests that they go up to Sawako and ask her what she thinks of them. When they do ask, Sawako – clearly not the wordsmith – doesn’t give them a direct answer and a great misunderstanding occurs.
That’s not the bad part, however, because Sawako hears another rumor about her that paints her in a different light. She’s accused of befriending Yano and Yoshida to get close to Kazehaya and thus become the most popular girl in school. The part that makes her withdraw, though, are the rumors that Kazehaya’s popularity will be hurt by being near Sawako.
Withdrawing, Sawako avoids her two new friends and Kazehaya. She plans to never talk to them again but a part of her realizes the fact that she no longer wants to go back to being alone. She wants to be a part of their lives again but the rumors just makes her realize that doing so would be selfish of her. Thankfully, Kazehaya steps in and tell Sawako what she needs to hear. On top of that, when a group of girls begin to pick on her, Sawako gets help from the two people she never thought would ever speak to her again.
While Sawako is really starting to grow on me as a likeable main character, quite possibly the best thing about Kimi ni Todoke is Yano and Yoshida. Clearly, these girls have stepped out of the cookie cutter mold and developed personalities that make them downright hilarious and fun to follow. It’s amusing to see Yoshida put on a tough act one second and then start crying in the next panel or the fact that Yano comes off as if she doesn’t care about anything when clearly she does care.
Another great aspect of the series I’m enjoying is the fact that Karuho Shiina is taking her sweet time with the Sawako-Kazehaya relationship. Instead of forcing the blossoming affection to become something more serious, Shiina-sensei just makes us realize that both of these characters have an interest in each another but does Kazehaya have an infatuation with her? That remains to be seen and that’s Ok with me.
Volume 2 of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You now has me very interested to see what more will develop from these characters that are actually starting to flesh out a little more to the point that they’re absolutely amusing. As the girl that was once a social misfit becomes better acquainted with the people that saw something good in her, Sawako’s journey is one we will continue to follow and gladly.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As word gets around that Sawako is spreading vicious rumors about tough girls Yano and Yoshida in their school, the two girls ask their new friend what she thinks of them and Sawako isn’t able to answer … thus making it seem like she is the one spreading the rumors. Meanwhile, Sawako decides to avoid the two girls and Kazehaya in order to keep them from getting hurt even more.
Karuho Shiina’s art isn’t bad at all with Sawako’s many expressions being the highlight of the series. I’m serious, I crack up every time she gets confused or nervous.
Just as Sawako is starting to become accepted by others, awful rumors begin to shatter her confidence and this threatens her friendship with the two girls that accepted her. Volume 2 of Kimi ni Todoke is delightfully and surprisingly engaging thanks to the supporting cast of characters that are starting to become far more likable. We are now definitely going to continue following this series.