Kazehaya tells Sawako that she’s changed for the better and reassures her that it’s okay. He thinks that she gives off a good impression and even recalls how she smiled when they first met. From that, he thought that she was a good person, but she turned out to be much more. Kazehaya ends up getting embarrassed and suggests that they go line up for the shrine. All of this causes Sawako to think about how she wants Kazehaya to think that she’s cute, unaware that this is already how he feels. Meanwhile, Ryuu gets tired of waiting around and decides to go get some amazake before heading home. Chizuru goes after him and wants him to be a bit more sociable, so she tries to get him to say chi, but he refuses. He does tell her though to leave Sawako and Kazehaya alone because Kazehaya can handle things, and he shows her how things are going well for the two by the shrine. While waiting their own turn, Ryuu reveals that his brother is coming back again with his girlfriend, but Chizuru doesn’t mind and promises to come play. She also vows that if anything happens to Ryuu, she’ll be the one to comfort him this time.
The New Year soon arrives, and Sawako exchanges customary greetings with Kazehaya in person and with Chizuru and Ayane through text messages. After she and Kazehaya pray, he helps her down some slippery steps, and the two go to collect their omikuji. Unfortunately, although Kazehaya’s promises great fortune, Sawako’s promises bad fortune. Sawako does notice however that her fortune advises her not to hesitate romantically with the person she’s with. When Kazehaya sees her bad fortune, he decides to give his to her as a present and doesn’t care if she takes some of his luck. The two then leave the shrine together and on their way home, they pass by the spot where they met that spring day. Kazehaya eventually drops Sawako off at home, and they both express how much fun they had. Watching Kazehaya walk off, Sawako reads how the fortune he gave her advises to devote love for happiness. She thinks about how he’s her classmate and the guy who sits next to her but not her friend. Instead, he’s something farther than friends – he’s the person she likes.
Well that was an interesting finale. I enjoyed it for the most part, but it came up short at the end. I wouldn’t call it anticlimactic, but, as with last week’s episode, I had been hoping for something more significant to happen. It was great seeing Kazehaya and Sawako get even closer and have several very sweet moments together (Chizuru & Ryuu and Ayane & Pin too), but they didn’t get to the point of confessing their feelings or kissing or anything along those lines. I can understand that the anime writers are following the manga and that the story hasn’t progressed that far yet, but if you look at it just in terms of this anime, it makes the ending underwhelming and incomplete. I mean, the very last shot was of Sawako reaffirming that Kazehaya is the person she likes, and that finished things on a hopeful but rather bittersweet note because she was shown all by herself. Showing them back in school together or something would have made a happier ending, and this way just screams sequel, which is probably what they were going for.
I know I might seem overly critical about this finale, but it’s because I had such high hopes for how things would end after how much I enjoyed the middle episodes, particularly with regard to how Kurumi, Ayane, and Chizuru helped shape Kazehaya and Sawako’s relationship. The series ended up with so many sweet moments between Sawako and Kazehaya that I was expecting it to culminate in something more. I still of course think that Kimi ni Todoke is a worthwhile series to watch if you enjoy romance and drama series – it’s got some great characters, a wonderful soundtrack, and quality animation by Production I.G. Just be prepared to wait for a sequel or to read the manga if you want the full experience.