「バレンタイン」 (Barentain)

In Japan, or maybe just in anime, Valentine’s Day is a day of some serious business. It is a day to feel happy, a day to feel sad, a day to confess, and a day to experience rejection. Today is Sawako’s turn, and with her still inexperienced heart, she arrives at a tough decision.

The setup is simple, Valentine’s is coming up, and Sawako figures she should make some chocolates. Everything is easy, until she realizes that she wants to give Kazehaya some too, and through a series of events, she realizes the weight of chocolate giving, and the possible meaning behind it all. In the end, she decides her emotions are too strong, and backs out. My first response is, what? I had to think a bit on why she would do that, because if she liked him, then the obvious conclusion would be to give it to him as a confession, right? But then I reflected over the episode, and though Sawako believes she doesn’t want to give mixed feelings with chocolates, I think it’s more that she’s afraid of the rejection of her feelings, so she’s scared of putting her emotions into the chocolates where it could be stomped upon. My problem was that I had forgotten that neither of them know they even like each other, which is kind of hilarious on my part, but the episode did a good job at reminding me of where they are in their “relationship.”

Kimi ni Todoke is quite adept at not only conveying emotions, but throwing you in a pool of them, and having them seep into your brain, oozing slowly while it suddenly creeps up behind you with unforeseen shivers. I’d say that’s the show’s main strength, and is one of the biggest reasons why I like it so much. This episode was no different, and it reintroduced pretty much all the important characters, effortlessly showcasing their individual quirks with some cleverly written dialogue. Of course, the main protagonists, Sawako and Kazehaya, get the most screen time. As we left them last season, Kazehaya’s made a personal decision to take it slowly with Sawako, and let her grow at her own pace, even though he’s ready for a relationship. On the other hand, Sawako still believes they are just friends, but realizes she likes him more than one, yet is not so sure on where to go from there. This, of course, instills just enough doubt to refrain her from giving the chocolates, and Kurumi’s little test didn’t help. Kurumi’s appearance had that much more impact due to last week’s recap, and I felt a little sad from her words. Although, she definitely has something else up her sleeve, since she declared she would battle with expensive chocolates, but gave them as obligatory ones. Meanwhile, Sawako’s torn with her own purpose in the chocolates and decides there are way too many conflicting feelings to decide on obligatory or love chocolates. The emotions are simple, and while experienced daters out there are probably ripping their hair out over Sawako’s naivete, they must not forget about her character. She’s someone who has been ignored all her life, with no social relationships, and yet possesses an extremely positive optimistic approach that’s just absolutely charming. I’m pretty familiar with being an introvert from my younger years, and her decisions and worries at times hit really close to home. The sad ending here is that she succeeded where I failed. ;_;

But man, what a great episode to get back into the series. It had everything from laughs to drama, and it even introduced the new character shown in the opening, played by the fabulous Miyano Mamoru. I didn’t expect him to appear for another few episodes or so, but I guess the story works in a more gradual way, which is good, since it won’t seem formulaic. Looks like the new guy makes his moves on Sawako next week, just like a Miyano character would, so we’ll see how it goes. Also, wow, the ED transition was flawless at the end. Great song.




  1. I haven’t watched the re-cap yet. I was waiting for this to come out and I’m going to watch it on the way to work. That new guy reminds me of the guy from Otome Youkai Zakuro. Can’t help thinking it because I haven’t heard his voice yet.

    Ahh, I’m so glad this show is airing. I was in definite need of a serious love drama that I can get absorbed in. <3 Seeing as I'm a Libra and not very good with relationships, I really enjoy shows like this. Victorian Romance Emma.. Honey and Clover.. :]

    1. Does that mean your as inconsistent as I am when it comes to dating? I just can’t stay interested enough to stay in love. But the whole “admiring from afar” phase is the best. Sawako and Kazehaya are so cute. lol

  2. When Kurumi said she was special to Kazehaya, I felt a little sad. I don’t think Sawako understands the meaning behind it, and Kurumi probably used Sawako’s misunderstanding to provoke her developing feelings. Sawako not giving Kazehaya her realized love chocolates was way more significant than giving him the chocolates with mixed feelings. She knew she would’ve regretted the latter after hearing Kurumi’s words.
    I didn’t expect Show Spoiler ▼

    to be Mister Charming.

    1. I know one thing I’d hate to see. I’m sure it may happen or already has and I don’t know about it but, Show Spoiler ▼

      I hope Sawako does the same. :]

  3. Damn… This episode was emotionally devastating. I was expecting it to be a quick and quirky Valentine episode with bubbles and stars. Although I’m glad Kurumi is still a bitch. Love her character. But this episode… T_T

    1. This show is soooo damn heart wrenching, I mean that in the best sense of the phrase. While I love the pacing of this show; especially with the great drama and character development it entails, I was so sad when Sawako didn’t give him the chocolate T_T.
      The entire time I was watching this I keep thinking to myself “Go for it Sawako! Don’t give up! Just do it!” and “Damn that Kazehaya, man up and ask her out” and things of the like…
      Overall a wonderful episode, but waiting for next weeks is going to be tough.

  4. Loved this episode. I watched it with my cousin who rarely sees anime, or I’m just getting him into it (I’m 19, he’s 20); and he loved it and wanted to watch the first season to catch up.

    “Kimi ni Todoke is quite adept at not only conveying emotions, but throwing you in a pool of them, and having them seep into your brain, oozing slowly while it suddenly creeps up behind you with unforeseen shivers.”

    This is basically what I tell other people to explain why I love this series so much. 😀

  5. amazing episode 🙂
    i always imagined Miyano Mamoru voicing the character of ‘Mister Charming’ (i won’t spoil his name for non-manga readers ;] ). and when i watched this episode, you do NOT know how ecstatic i was to see my dreams come true!!

    Kimi Ni Todoke, oh how i have missed you~

  6. I feel sad for Shouta, he was waiting all day for Sadako’s chocolates but never got them. Ume made Sadako rethink about giving her chocolates to Shouta. Wasn’t really Ume’s fault just that Sadako keeps doubting herself.

  7. The new character is pretty cute. I’d totally root for Sawako and the new guy, but it never happens in these kind of shows. Just once I’d like to see it happen, for the rival male character to be much more than just a plot device to the get the main characters together…

    1. Have to agree with you there. I have ths weird habit liking less likely and less popular pairings, even though I know the in the end the rival never gets the main girl (usually some other girl).

  8. This episode sure was intense, I’m watching this together with my younger siblings and we all can’t help but cheer for Sawako, too bad she didn’t gave the chocolates to Kazehaya, anyways the timely entrance of Ume is very good. With the introduction of the new character, I’m now excited on how this new guy will drive this rather slow series. Looking forward for the next episode.

  9. yay I am looking forward to a new Kimi ni Todoke Season.
    that sparkling and bubbles

    @Kiiragi I thought today “wow you are blogging a lot of shows”. Then I noticed that you are only writing about shows which are on my watching list. (Except for Dragon Crisis – why are you blogging Dragon Crisis? )

  10. I’ve always enjoyed this part of the story (having read the manga) and this was a very good adaption. I think it really illustrates Sawako’s character, and I admire Sawako’s decision not to give him the chocolates in a a way. Although it shows that she’s not brave enough to confess to him and face rejection, it also shows that she won’t lie to him either by pretending she doesn’t have those feelings and give him obligatory chocolate filled with “hidden intentions,” which shows integrity even if it maybe isn’t the best way to think about it.
    Some people might think she just messed up the relationship, but you have to remember her character. She’s incredibly self-conscious with a low self-esteem, so every little thing she does takes a great deal of courage to do. She really needs to feel comfortable with herself before she can feel comfortable with another person, so frankly, even if she had somehow confessed, I doubt she would be ready for a relationship at this point and that might have messed everything up for good.
    Still, there is no denying that she has just made things difficult for the two of them. She has created a wall between herself and Kazehaya, but I really believe it’s what she needs at this point. She needs the struggle involved with tearing down that wall to reach him.

    1. Nicely put. I see what you meant by putting a wall between Sawako and Shouta. Kiiragi mentioned, Shouta did make the personal decision to let things go slow and easy with her. That’s possibly easier said than done for him. At the end of last season, he did say it would be hard to not rush into things. He also mentioned he could be selfish about things…This Valentine and the new guy are both obstacles our little future “couple” will have to overcome.
      Even though the journey for them to become an official will be rough, I got faith in both of them pulling through.
      I just finished rewatching the whole first season in one seating and still suprised I got teary eyes. Hopefully this will be as great but WHY does this 2nd season have to be so short!

  11. I love how each episode is such a roller coaster ride for me. I found Kazehaya’s time of finding out how everyone is getting Sawako’s chocolates to be the funniest, especially with Pin. Kazehaya is so cute when he was younger.
    (LOL) And Sawako looks like a cat in this screenshot to me.

  12. Masaomi, you have no chance on Anri. Mikado has always been “first-choice.”

    Oh wait…

    What I really meant is this:

    Kento, you have no chance on Sawako. Shouta has always been “first-choice.”


  13. Sooooooo depressing…. but then again, this is Kimi Ni Todoke we are talking about here :()
    even from a non-experienced dater’s perspective, Sawako should still gives out her chocolate… but I guess from being an extremely shy kind of personality, it is really hard to do.
    and galactic pretty boy crossed over to here? Lol, he even had the blond hair 🙂 though I doubt he could do any better than countless other catalyst before him in stealing the heart of their target…
    Can’t wait to see next episode!
    Ps. Kiiragi, good luck to your life, and don’t be depressed 🙂

  14. While playing the 1st Kimi Todo DS game and after watching some Star Driver; I inadvertently mentally slated Miyano’s voice for Blonde pretty boy. I was far too amused at how perfect it would be, and very elated and amused that he was chosen to voice this role ^_^;.

    Also, I think i’m not going to worry about what to watch in future anime seasons, just find what Kiiragi is covering and watch that. <3 Kimi todo, Gosick, and Yumekui.

  15. Oo I haven’t finished the 1st season yet and they’re throwing Kimi no Todoke second season. Oo..

    I wonder when Parfait Tic will see the light of day to be animated. I hope the taiwanese adaptation could do pafechiku some highlight.

  16. The animation quality is flawless as usual. 🙂
    I love how the story is going exactly along with the manga and despite the fact that I already know what is going to happen, I can’t help but be excited for the next episode.
    The ending is starting to really grow on me now after this one.

  17. Aargh
    Pin is such a cockblock
    Kurumi’s a bully
    I just wish her pace in relationship with Kazehaya would go faster. I mean seriously its just giving chocolates.

    This episode was great though and it showed us that NO we’re not going faster with our relationship and we’ll keep in pace until we can hold hands by the next decade(I read the manga up to chapter 44 though so that was a total lie… i think? :)) ).

  18. Another great episode
    The animation is awesome as always 🙂
    And a lot of drama over giving choclate to the one who love the most. But that’s why I love Kimi ni Todoke because the story is so real and I love Sawako <3
    So will Kazehaya get Sawako anything the day when males are suppost to give gifts to their ladies?

  19. What I find most admirable about Sawako is how honest she is, not just with others but most importantly, with herself. For example, when Kurumi told her that she (Kurumi) was intereseted in Kazehaya and asked Sawako to support her, she stood her own and said she couldn’t. This is in stark contrast to Kurumi herself, that made a career out of encouraging some girls to approach Kazehaya. This same honesty shined through again when Sawako realized she can not give Kazehaya her choclate in false pretense (i.e. freindship choclate). Even though that way he would accept her choco for sure, it would be dishonest of her to pretend not to be interested in him romantically (which is what Kurumi has been doing for the past few years).
    I don’t think its coincidental that Sawako is brutally honest and was a social outcast. It’s hard to join in the social game when you’re not willing to bend the rules.


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