Kimi ni Todoke Vol.1 by Karuho Shiina
Series: Kimi ni Todoke #1
My rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Genre: Romance, Slice-of-Life, Shojo
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Release Date: August 4th 2009
Synopsis: Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine…for a horror movie. With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, she’s often mistaken for Sadako, the haunting character from Ringu. Unbeknownst to but a few, behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Shy and pure of heart, she just wants to make friends. But when Kazehaya, the most popular boy in class, befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that–she’s about to make some enemies too!
My thoughts: I really didn’t know what to expect when going into this manga. I have heard a little about the main focus of the story but not much else. I would say that the first volume has left me impressed!
Sawako is a girl who has trouble interacting with others. Despite this, however, she is a very sweet girl and is eager to help out. If only her classmates would ignore the fact that she looks like a girl in a horror movie. Her appearance strikes fear into the hearts of her classamates. This causes her to become a social outcast. One day the popular Kazehaya becomes Sawako’s friend. Because of this, Sawako is finally able to open up to others.
My heart went out to Sawako. Her self-esteem has been horribly damaged by the bullying she has been through. Sawako is afraid to afraid to open up to others as she is under the belief that everybody hates her. As the reader of the story, I was able to see that Sawako is really just a shy but sweet girl who has been through a lot. I found her to be a painfully realistic character and she had a lot of depth to her.
Kazehaya could have easily been one of those characters that are as flat as cardboard but he wasn’t. He was realistic and very likeable. He is a very popular kid but he still gets embarrassed and shy. He is a very positive influence on Sawako and helps her reach out to others and make friends.
I loved reading about Sawako and Kazehaya’s friendship. It was realistic with all the awkward moments, fun times, and the positive feelings that friends should be able to give each other. Kazehaya does have a crush on Sawako but Sawako sees him as more of an older brother. This will probably change as the series progresses.
Kimi ni Todoke is a refreshing manga that focuses on the power of friendship and I enjoyed it immensely. I would recommend it this anyone who wants a realistic but also cute read.