March 26, 2011

Kimi ni Todoke Ep10: Reach

Posted in Kimi ni Todoke tagged , , , at 4:21 pm by meotwister5

A few years ago it was argued by me and a few others that the entirety of Clannad’s story, as well as After Story itself, existed for the sole purpose of bringing about episode 18 of the latter.  Indeed it stands out as the climax, the pinnacle, and the very core of everything that the two seasons were always ever about.  It brought full circle everything that Tomoya had been, become, and had learned in the process.

In the same vein, I argue that episode 9 and 10 are in the same way:  the two seasons of Kimi ni Todoke existed solely for this hour when, finally, they lived up to what the title itself says.  In one hour, not only Sawako but also Kazehaya had finally reached.

Reached out for each other,

That would be beautiful if it wasn't also terrifying.

Who wouldn’t be excited?  After barely a few minutes of talking to each other, Sawako and Shota had finally said the words they were unable to speak for so many months.  Sure they came closer over that time, but only recently had feelings finally been conveyed clearly.  Joe may have been irritating dumbass, but what was needed to be said was said, and now they can hardly wait to see each other again and speak.

When they do, sure there is a bit of the shy awkwardness after the adrenalin had worn off during that night, but the feelings were still clear.  As they prepare for their float they are both so excited that Shota had no second thoughts of brushing aside his horrible friend to do what it right, and one must thank their friends for stepping in to assist as only real great friends can.  No mo hushed tones and no more embarrassments.  Both make it clear just what they feel for each other, and now they will go beyond the realm of mere friends.

Shota can finally say it out in public:  “I like you!”

Oh... hello...

People have easily voiced their irritation on how the first half of the series went and rightfully so.  I had previously said how I wasn’t a fan of the content of the manga during that time, but I also understood how it was all a lead up towards what is arguably the climactic event that would finally bring them together and erase all doubts and frustrations from both the viewer and the characters themselves.  In that emotional high they finally found themselves and each other after so long of being unable to speak or act in the way they wanted.  For Sawako it was understandable, for Shota less so, but you cannot deny the fact that both struggled to get where they are today despite the things they had experienced in the past.

This of course could not happen without one of the best supporting casts I have ever seen.  The two girls are as best as female friends one could ever hope for who, in their own unique ways, have always done their best for Sawako and Shota.  Likewise Ryu deserves an epic brofist for his wingmanship, something you seldom see in a medium populated by idiotic best friends.  Sure he may be almost narcoleptic and excessively quiet, but he knows exactly what needs to be done and when, and does it well.

... Wow...

The Sawako of the past 2 episodes is really a far, far different Sawako from the one we have seen at the first season and the start of this season.  It does indeed take time for people to open up, as they experience the things they haven’t seen or felt before, and the way she had finally opened herself despite the fear of pain and rejection is a joy to see.  For someone who has again been nothing more than a strange scary alien to her peers as a child, as a teenager going into adulthood she has shown tremendous growth from a quiet and reserved person to one who has become willing to stake her claim and say her mind, no matter the consequences.  The fear is still there, and we can see it on her face, but she has learned that this fear is nothing compared to a lifetime of regret she is bound to face should she continue keeping things in and not saying what she wants to say.  It’s easy to just keep quiet and watch how life pushes things along, but it is a far more difficult yet far more satisfying thing to take life into your own hands, even if the results aren’t always what you wanted.

I’m sure she regrets nothing about it.

Do it.

Shota on the other hand has always been portrayed as the Mr. Perfect Nice Guy type, but the past few episodes have shown the nasty cracks in his mask, and by his own admission he isn’t really the guy everyone paints him as.  Sure he does his job to keep up some sort of appearance, because part of it is really who he is, but he’s not so much the real deal and the whole package he is seen to be by others and even his friends.  Ryu knows this better than even he does.  In a way Shota is also socially inept like Sawako, though not as bad.  He too has been denied romantic relationships in the past due to girls fighting over him, the flames fanned by Ume in the process.  It’s not so much a compelling reason as it is for Sawako, but that’s perhaps signals how similar and different they both are:  While both of them have their share of social problems, Sawako is always trying to be honest while Shota occasionally hides behind his mask.  This mask contributes to his problems more than anything else.

Watching him finally drop the act and be honest, not matter what anyone says, is the most important step towards her that he could have ever made.

Reach.

We have reached the climax, and at least for the season, the time for the conclusion has begun.  While I’d wish to see another season of this story I know it’s not very likely, but for what it’s worth we’ve seen the best of what the story has animated and stellarly adapted.

I think I can live with that.

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