January 6, 2011

Kimi ni Todoke S2 Ep00: A Certain Point of View

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke tagged , , , , , at 8:26 pm by meotwister5

Some people might find it odd that the recap episode that starts off a new season would come from the point of view of the character most people consider the antagonist of the series.  Such characters usually don’t have a very positive opinion of the main characters, or at least the ones they don’t like, but I can’t deny that such an approach really gives as a more fleshed out characterization of the lead cast, but also to the supposed “villains” themselves.

I can’t also deny that this is one of the best recap episodes I’ve ever seen.

It's easy to get used.

I’ll call her Ume now.  Ume Kurumi sips tea by her lonesome on a cold February evening, inadvertently listening to the gossip of students from other schools about their love lives or lack thereof.  She ends up remembering the days she spent not only with Kazehaya but the way their lives changed drastically with the arrival of a shy and introverted girl named Sawako.  Slowly Ume unravels the days when they started high school and the experiences they all shared together, most important of all the rivalry she had felt towards Sawako, who had unknowingly captured the herat of the guy she’s been pining for since middle school.

Bubbles and flowers everywhere.

I have a general dislike for recap episodes, but Production IG showed how to do it while mixing in character development without feeling like a slide show of past events.  Kudos to them.  It’s a good thing this is the first episode, because it makes it a nice way to start the season.

It’s been a whole year or more (I can’t remember heh) since the show aired, so it was a great idea at least to have it at the start rather than at the middle, so it serves as a nice refresher of the series for those of us who haven’t really rewatched it or reread the manga.  What’s more is that it wasn’t a pure recap episode but rather showed us the more important scenes in context to the character who felt it to be most important to them.  Kurumi has been one of the more interesting characters in the show and doesn’t even fall under the strictest sense of an antagonist, so the episode which runs through her memories also managed to give her a lot more depth than similar characters in the genre usually get.

Yes yes we all know what it's loosely referencing.

It’s so easy to dislike Ume and at the same time so easy to be apologetic for her actions.  In the end, for me, I don’t see her as atrociously evil character, but her actions and attitudes aren’t exactly that easy to forgive.  At the end of the day she was selfish then, and she is selfish even now.  She claimed to have liked Kazehaya and yet in her passive aggression almost all but ruined his romantic chances in middle school just so that she could get close to him, and even then she never did.  She indirectly chased everyone away for a plan she never enacted.

That in itself is ironic because the person she would lose to is a person who never acted to get Kazehaya as a boyfriend in the first place.  Talk about karma.

Someone must really like bubbles at IG.

We get very little Sawako or Kazehaya in this episode, if at all, because it’s pretty much Kurumi’s episode.  As it stands we know that she doesn’t plan on giving up on him, so expect perhaps to see more of her these coming weeks as the second season plays out.  For something she narrated herself almost entirely, it’s a really good start on what stands to be a stellar second season.

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