I started Kimi ni Todoke after a recommendation from my friend, since I’m not usually that keen on romance anime, I wasn’t exactly in a rush to watch this. But am I glad that I did!
Story - 8/10
Kimi ni Todoke is to put it simply, a brilliant anime; it blends the first school love, with comedy and drama and succeeds without making it awfully cheesy like most of the anime out there at the moment.
The storyline, although it can be awfully cliché at times, it succeeds in monopolizing a great, original concept which remain entertaining for the full 25 episodes, without ever getting boring! Big shocker for me since I have a short attention span!
Sawako is a school girl forsaken by most in her class because she has an uncanny resemblance to the Girl from the Ring, and because of this she is dubbed “Sadako” by her classmates, with the exception of one boy, who is actually the most popular guy in the class! Through a sudden seating change, they end up sitting near each other, and in doing so grow to know each other, and develop feelings for each other. Not that it isn't evident; it is a romance anime after all. But being a shoujo anime, many obstacles stand in the way to their love and true happiness, thus presenting the drama that takes place in Kimi ni Todoke, such as rivals and Sawako and Kazehaya themselves.
These obstacles, as mentioned earlier, are pretty mediocre, as in, they are present in nearly all shoujo anime and manga, even shounen contains these obstacles, however Kimi ni Todoke has something that makes it so different from every other anime, something that makes it so good that you can't even put it into words.
Animation - 7/10
Yes.. I'm giving it a low score! I love the animation in Kimi ni Todoke, however there is something that gets in the way of this, and that is THE CHIBI MOMENTS!!! Seriously! I'm all for chibi moments but in careful moderation, however in Kimi ni Todoke I don't think it can go five seconds without one of the characters going all chibi! This really annoyed me! But other than that, I think the animation is pretty good.
For a shoujo anime, I think the art is really cute. The colours were pretty and interesting to look at, and its clear and sharp and well done, as well as characters being well polished as well, with the exception of the chibi moments...
The lip syncing was amazingly good also, basically, to sum it up, I have no complaints except that it was very, very annoying sometimes!!!
Sound - 9/10
The music in Kimi ni Todoke was one of the best things about it. The opening song is so sweet, and corresponded perfectly to the overall feel of the anime, the soft shyness of it, and the evident romantic feeling about it. The ending song too, was relevent, and I actually have them on my itunes because I love them so much!
As well as the opening and ending song, there are also the voices to consider. The voice actors they used, do their job well; they project the character's feelings so well, that you can almost feel what they're feeling, and imagine what they must be thinking at the time they say it. Sawako's voice wasn't annoying, or at least it wasn't as annoying as some girl voice actors out there, and I think she portrayed her character really well. The other main character, Kazehaya was voiced by Daisuke Namikawa, a popular voice actor who is in almost every anime I've watched! I swear! He's a really talented voice actor, with his roles ranging from Italy in Hetalia: Axis Powers, to Ulquiorra in Bleach, which is an extreme contrast. However, because he's so popular, I think for me, this is what brought the anime down a bit, at first, I couldn't concentrate because all I could picture was him standing up and shouting "PASTAAA!", yet he does do his job well, and about halfway through the second episode I just rolled with it.
The background music is also nicely done. It sets the scene nicely, and I have no complaints about it, except that now, looking over an episode, the music really reminds me of something off Harvest Moon, which is really bizarre.
Characters - 8/10
The characters were mostly original, except for Kazehaya, however I found that I liked him more than Sawako.
Sawako is, as mentioned above, supposed to look like the girl from the Ring, however she has a bright personality, and is very shy. This is what annoyed me! Come on! I'm really shy and even I can speak my mind more than this girl! Seriously, I felt myself wanting to jump into the screen and shake her until she says to Kazehaya, "I like you". IT'S NOT THAT HARD! Granted, it probably is when it's someone you're in love with, but honestly, she could hardly speak to anyone!! Not only this, she was really annoying when her friends, Chizu and Ayane, did something nice for her she's always apologizing! She's always worrying, which in my opinion is not an accurate portrayal of a school girl, even if she is meant to be really shy!
Half the time I just wanted to shake the characters or whack them over the head or something!! But I did really like most of the characters, even the bitchy girl Kurumi had an interesting character, so it was okay!
Sawako and Kazehaya are one of my favourite couples out of anime ever! Just beating them are Azuki and Mashiro from Bakuman and Tamaki and Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club.
Overall - 8/10
In conclusion, yes, Kimi ni Todoke has an original concept that pulls through in the anime, however there are some factors dragging it down in my opinion. If you like this kind of girlish, romantic anime, with cute chibi moments, then I definitely recommend it!