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
The complexities of not confessing your love and the heartbreak that follows.
Karuho Shiina-san, you have shown me a good time with the first four volumes of your shoujo manga series and made me laugh at Sawako’s awkward attempts at fitting in but now you have officially crossed the line and turned my interest in this series into an obsession with Volume 5 of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You. Consider this the volume where things get a whole lot better.
Still reeling over her failure to make Sawako look like the wrong choice for Kazehaya only to have her plans blow up in her face thanks to some investigating done by Chizu and Yano, Kurumi is left a crying mess in the beginning of Volume 5. Everything that could have gone bad did and now Kazehaya believes that Kurumi is in love with their teacher, Mr. Arai, instead. It’s not helping that Sawako is still hanging around with her.
Yes, the truth has finally come out in the last volume and Kurumi now knows that Sawako has romantic feelings for Kazehaya. While both girls agree on many of Kazehaya’s good qualities, it is Kurumi who has had a long history of loving the boy. She had first realized her feeling in Junior High when Kurumi realized that all the girls were spreading vicious rumors about her because of her good looks. The only one who saw her for who she is was Kazehaya and that was it for the beautiful girl.
So Kurumi shows up the next day at school wearing sunglasses and not caring about anything and anyone. While Sawako tries to make peace with the girl, Kurumi flatly refuses to have a friendship with the girl. In fact, she makes it loud and clear that she is Sawako’s rival and will never support her relationship with Kazehaya. We are certainly going to see more of her and the fact that she’s not on friendly terms with Sawako will only make the situation even more interesting.
In the meantime, Sawako is trying to make sense of her feeling for Kazehaya and how to proceed. She doesn’t want to push things and declare her love for him because she’s still getting use to being a part of her fellow students’ lives now. However, Kazehaya might actually have feeling for her as well as he grows closer to the girl he sees is trying hard to be a part of something rather than just hanging about in the shadows.
While Sawako finds comfort in her two best friends who are now visiting her at home, our girl realizes that Chizu and Yano have a complicated love life as well. Yano is in a relationship that is no longer an enjoyable one and Chizu … well, Sawako knows that Ryu is in love with her but she sees him more of a brother than a love interest. So Sawako just goes ahead and asks if she likes somebody and is surprised that Chizu does like somebody but it isn’t who she expected.
Meanwhile, we follow Chizu who really does think of Ryu as a brother seeing as she is very welcome at his house as she hangs around playing video games with him. Like Sawako’s parents did when they first met her and Yano, there’s more to Chizu and Yano than meets the eye that makes people like them anyway despite their juvenile delinquent appearance. It’s no wonder that Ryu likes her in a way that’s not just a brotherly love.
Things get a bit dramatic and intriguing when Chizu attempts to do something for Ryu’s birthday as well as the arrival of Ryu’s older brother. Unfortunately, her attempt at making Ryu’s birthday gift a secret makes Ryu think that she’s avoiding him. Even after her told her not to visit his house, Chizu, Yano and Sawako head over there anyway when a twist in this part of the story takes an even more interesting turn.
It’s like I said, Volume 5 of Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You is the volume that will make you glad you have invested your time and money on this series. As enjoyable as the first four volumes had been, the story just got even more interesting as another relationship takes the spotlight. We cannot wait for the next installment of this series.
MANGA REVIEW BREAKDOWN
After a failed attempt at making Sawako look bad in front of Kazehaya and not getting what she wanted, Kurumi finally shows her true colors and becomes Sawako’s rival. Sawako, on the other hand, realizes she has true feeling for Kazehaya but just doesn’t know how to express them yet. Meanwhile, Chizu reveals she has a crush on a guy that turns out that is not who Sawako expected.
Like in the past four volumes of this series, Volume 5 continues the tradition of mixing more than decent shoujo-styled art with a refreshingly healthy dose of comedic visuals that works brilliantly for this series. Sawako, Chizu and Yano never fail to crack me up.
Things get dramatic and complicated in Volume 5 of Kimi ni Todoke and it works beautifully since the story never loses its charm or good sense of humor. While still concentrating on Sawako and Kazehaya’s relationship, the story steers to a love triangle between two other interesting characters. I am now official hooked on this manga series and looking forward to Volume 6.
Review copy provided by VIZ Media