January 20, 2011

Kimi ni Todoke S2 Ep2: An Extra Wheel

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke tagged , , at 8:51 pm by meotwister5

Loud and obnoxious people are people you can’t really avoid.  I mean sure you may have some friends who are like that, but me personally I have a relative dislike for people who are loud and distinctly tactless, moreso if they intend to be that way in the first place.  Hell, even more if they’re getting in the way of something important and they know it.

Kenta is, for a lack of a better term, a fifth wheel who seems to know that he’s a fifth wheel.  Okay perhaps he doesn’t know just yet, but I surmise he will eventually.  How he will act and get in their way is up to anime viewers to speculate.  To say any more would be spoilers so yeah.

She may be regressing.

A new year brings new faces and new beginnings for the group.  Yes I know that was so fucking corny but it’s true even as you roll your eyes to the cliche.  Pin takes it upon himself to make sure that the same bonds remain bonded in their second year, going so far as to convince the school to keep the main cast as classmates.  Of course not everyone remains, and there are new faces to go with the rest of the class.  One of them is Miura Kento.

A rather big gap has grown between the Shota and Sawako to the point that sometimes they just pass each other friendly glances but nothing more.  Both are obviously not fine with the situation, more so on Shota’s part, but indeed the reason really stems from both of their inabilities to be honest with their own feelings.  The entire episode, in turn, is a result of two people still struggling to come to terms with what they honestly want.

What a dick.

For all of Sawako’s niceness as the core of her personality, there’s really such as a thing as being too nice for one’s own good.  Ume has (unintentionally?) inserted into her mind the idea that “Shota is for everyone.”  For one that’s one of the angles that Sawako thinks of him, which is something excusable, considering that Shota really is a nice guy to everyone no matter their social standings in the school.  He made no distinction nor special consideration for Sawako and treated her just like a classmate, even though he does have other ulterior motives for doing so.  It just so happens that, for the longest time, Sawako thinks that he’s just being nice because that’s who he is.  That’s true for the most part, but she’s not getting the idea that Shota thinks of her very, very differently.

The thing is that Sawako’s excessively selfless and nice personality has led her to think that she does not possess the right to “claim” Shota for herself by giving in to her ever growing attraction to him that she just recently noticed.  She has come to think that she should not lay her stake on him because he’s “everybody’s man”, and taking him for herself would somehow deprive everyone else of Shota for her own “selfish” needs.  In her mind she’s putting everyone else’s needs before her own, as she is that kind of person, but in the process fails to realize that in reality there isn’t always the need for an equivalent exchange.  She doesn’t need to give up on him for everyone’s sake.

That’s just so far from the truth.

A moment reserved for other pairs.

The debate whether Kento is just annoying for the sake of being annoying or that he serves a bigger purpose for the story is academic for some, but you can’t deny that we have yet to see someone act enough to get the usually calm and positive Shota to get all riled up.  In the end Shota’s still a guy after all, and any guy would get riled up if some dude none of you have ever met before starts hitting on (or just simply hitting) the girl you like.  In a way we get to see a darker side to Shota that we have rarely, if not never, seen before.  The jealousy in his heart stirs a bit.  He is human after all.

That jealousy makes him act and react in ways we’ve never seen before.  He second guesses himself a lot in this episode.  He also becomes more nervous than he usually gets around Sawako and his mind suddenly gets dominated by ideas to rectify this uncomfortable distance between them.  From that point of view, Kento serves his purpose: for whatever annoyance his character is , his presence forces both Sawako and Shota to question their situations.

Fix the problem dammit!

This is what I usually call the Shoujo Angst Point of Saturation (SAPS).  As is the requirement of practically every show in the genre, there will always be a section of the story where the angst reaches it’s highest point to drive some drama and character development into higher gear and in respects this is (so far) that point for the series, no matter how saccharine and fluffy it can usually be.  This section of the story, for me, tends to be the section of a Shoujo story I dislike the most.  It’s not that I dislike angst-driven story arcs, but for the most part it just makes the drama and the story feel somewhat contrived, cliche and forced.  KnT isn’t exactly that much different from it’s brethren, considering it doesn’t really make itself that much unique from other Shoujo manga.  It’s not bad per se, but it isn’t the sections of the story I really look forward to.

A lonely road home.

Despite my relative dislike for these story arcs, it was still a pretty good if pretty slow episode.  In the end though, this show has always been about Sawako’s baby steps towards acceptance, and these are still the types of episodes in the series that I enjoy to watch.

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