Kimi ni Todoke: From me to you Vol.2 Premium Edition

We return to shoujoville to bring you Kimi ni Todoke Vol.2 from NIS America. Covering the second half (episodes 13-25) of season 1, Kimi ni Todoke kicks into high gear with nasty rumors and unrequited affection. As always, NIS America graciously releases it in a generous premium edition of DVD/Blu-Ray combos and beautiful artbooks .As always part of NIS America’s premium editions are bundled with a extensive hardcover artbook. These books vary in content depending on the titles. Stills from the show are framed like a scrapbook with little quotes that bring out character’s feelings and emotions to the reader. Other things like beautiful background drawings and concepts are littered throughout the book. The story continues Kurumi’s devious plan to separate Sawako and Kazehaya from each other by attempting to hook Sawako up with Ryu. Unfortunately for her, things don’t go the way she plans and little by little her plans begun to backfire on her. Kazehaya, brimming with jealous as he sees Sawako talking with Ryu, pulls her away and together they run off into the distance. Ayumu and Chizuru figures out Kurumi’s scheme and confronts her personally. Witnessing her plan falling apart, Kurumi finds herself saved by the least expected person, Sawako herself. Afterwards, the story shifts focus over to Chizuru as she contends with her own feelings when a old childhood crush revisits her.

The Kurumi arc comes to a conclusion and sets itself as the high point of the latter half of the first season. Setting aside all the mishaps, the show doesn’t want you to hate Kurumi. Amidst all the simple-minded characters, Kurumi is in fact the most complex. Her long standing unrequited relationship with Kazehaya drives her to the brink of sabotaging any other girl’s chances thereby keeping everyone on the same level.  I expected Kazehaya and Sawako to make strides in their relationship only for both parties awkwardness to take hold of each other. As a character, I found Kurumi perhaps a well-written character. Her innocent demeanor coupled with a manipulative, but fragile insecurity contrasts Sawako’s naive and optimistic nature. Ending with bittersweet confession, she ceases to become an integral part during the rest of the story despite becoming Sawako’s supposed love rival. Shifting the focus to Chizuru slows the series just a little bit back down. Learning about the love triangle between Ryuu, Chizuru and Toru.

Chizuru always liked Toru, but have been unable to confess to him. Knowing Toru’s many relationships, she knows they often don’t last. With Toru getting engaged, Chizuru faces the reality that he may not be there for her anymore.  helps Sawako to realize it is not only her who’s confused about her own feelings and sets new perspective her realtionship with Kazehaya. Even though it is obvious to everyone around them that the two clearly like each other. Mamiko Noto shines through as her signature voice lends Sawako her awkward, but innocence self. Her over analyzing and adorable inner monologues brim with whimsical to sometimes shock. Quite the riot indeed.

Production IG shines through with crisp clean animation with consistent quality even when changing styles and facial expressions. and a very appropriate soundtrack that helps set the slice-of-life tone of the show. The show ends with a bittersweet (I admit), unsatisfied conclusion and the relationship moves at a snail pace, but overall it is a marvelous piece of work that continues onward into Volume three.

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