Kimi ni Todoke (officially translated as From Me to You, more literally as Reaching You) is the story of Sawako, whose resemblance to the horror movie character Sadako has made her a social outcast. Being outcast from a young age has made her socially awkward, which only makes her more of an outcast, so it's all really a vicious cycle.The actual inciting event of the story proper is the beginning of Sawako's friendship with Shota Kazehaya, the most popular guy in school. Unlike 99% of other "most popular guy" characters, Kazehaya is genuinely nice, and has feelings for Sawako, despite her loner nature. As they get to know each other better, Sawako forms an ever-expanding network of friends, yet she and Kazehaya never seem to realize they like each other in the same way.Ultimately, a verytouching story about liking people for who they are without trying to change them.The ongoing manga has been adapted as a 25-episode anime series that started airing October 6th 2009, and the notable voice actors are listed under their characters in the character page. The second 12-episode season continues the story. There's also a light novel adaption and a live-action movie adaptation that was released on September 25, 2010. Both seasons are now licensed in North America by NIS America.
Ayane's (then) older boyfriend slaps her when she suggests that they break up.
In Season 2, Kurumi slaps Kent when he suggests that he goes out with Sawako so that Kurumi could have Kazehaya for herself.
Art Evolution: Just compare the earliest manga chapters to the most recent ones.
Beach Episode: Chapter 51, even though Chizuru was the only one who wore her swimsuit; the rest came in their school uniforms.
Beautiful All Along: Sawako; rather than changing her appearance in any tangible way, she's very beautiful when she smiles genuinely, as opposed to forcing herself (which just comes off looking really creepy).
Beautiful Dreamer: Kazehaya sits near Sawako and finally manages to say her first name while she sleeps on the staircase during the sports festival afterparty.
Be Yourself: Arguably the point of the story, and not in a heavy-handed way. Sawako makes friends and wins Kazehaya's affection by using her natural gifts and personality, not with the aid of makeovers. Not that makeovers are a bad thing, as Sawako finds out on New Year's Eve.
Sawako and Kazehaya (times 3 or 4!) in chapter 71.
And then again with Chizu and Ryu in chapter 88. He moves in to kiss her so quickly that his hat falls off.
Birds of a Feather: Subverted by Kazehaya and Kurumi. Even though many students (Sawako included) feel that they suit each other, Kazehaya only thinks of Kurumi as a friend while Kurumi pines an unrequited crush on Kazehaya.
Bishie Sparkle: Sawako's world is filled with this, as well as Love Bubbles and flowers. Even the Japanese tankobon covers have these.
Bishounen: Kazehaya, and the female side of the school is very aware of this. Ryu and Kento also count.
Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Kurumi acts sweet and nice to gain Sawako's sympathy, then tells her to keep her hands off Kazehaya. She gets better.
Brick Joke: Chizuru inadvertently causes things to become awkward between Sawako and Kazehaya by telling Kazehaya that he was the most distant person from Sawako. Ayane eventually finds out that it was Chizuru who caused that awkwardness when she (Chizuru) blurts it out by mistake while watching Kazehaya ask Sawako out formally at the beach from afar.
Brother Chuck: Shino, Sawako's old (and initially only) friend who gave her nickname, is never shown again after Episode 6.
Cerebus Syndrome: The series has definitely been growing less light-hearted and more serious as of recent chapters. It does make sense, since the characters are nearing graduation and having to make heavy decisions about their futures.
Sawako's character development is the main point of this series.
Pretty much all of the supporting cast get their fair share over the course of the series, as well.
Character Overlap: The cousin that Sawako mentions in the New Year's episodes, Eiji Akahoshi, is a character from the mangaka's previous series Crazy For You. The fanbook has a short crossover chapter where he visits her family after her first date with Kazehaya.
Chekhov's Gunman: Hirano and Endo have actually witnessed Kurumi spreading out those rumors about Sawako in Chapter 2 of the manga. This information is enough for Chizu and Ayane to confront Kurumi.
Chizu becomes an interesting variation of this towards Ryu during the Okinawa field trip; she doesn't seem to have romantic feelings for him, even rejecting his confession in chapter 59, but that doesn't change the fact that she gets very angry with the girl who confessed her feelings to him (and was thus rejected), and even, to an extent, with Ryu for not telling her about it.
Ayane has this reaction when she finds out that Chizu has no idea Kazehaya likes Sawako.
Completely Missing the Point: One of Sawako's defining traits and a main point of comedy — being honest to a fault, she assumes everyone else is as well and takes everything literally without hearing any of the pretext behind it. Thus, she thinks Kurumi is flattering her when Kurumi writes down her name in the "Bastards Who Call Me Ume Note".
Nicely touched upon in the last episode of season 2 and its corresponding chapter where Sawako shows Kazehaya the beanie and chocolates she made for him yet couldn't give to him on Christmas and Valentine's Day respectively.
Kurumi attempts to make Kazehaya think Sawako and Ryuu are an item. It ends with Kazehaya and Sawako walking off together, with Sawako realizing her feelings for Kazehaya, who in turn asked her out. Pin then came to where Kurumi waited for Kazehaya to come back, and, thinking Kurumi was going to confess to him, rejects her just as Kazehaya came back. The guy then promised to "not say anything". Ouch.
Everyone can see Sawako and Kazehaya's feelings for each other. Acknowledging it, though, took some time for most of them.
A different variation with Chizu and Ryu; Ayane comments on how they "might as well be dating" and Sawako thought they were at first (not to mention she obviously imagines them like that a lot), but Chizu usually reacts to these thoughts with the expected horror and embarrassment.
Evil-Detecting Dog: Well, you can't call Sawako "evil," but Maru still has the right idea...
Extreme Doormat: Sawako, at least initially. Part of her Character Development has to do with mustering enough courage to not agree to things she cannot go along with. Thus, Kurumi gets a big surprise when Sawako flat-out refuses to help hook her up with Kazehaya out of her own feelings for him.
And yet not really- Sawako may come off as an Extreme Doormat, but part of her charm, at least to Kazehaya, is that she's always enjoying whatever she's doing. She doesn't do things because she feels forced, she does them because she likes being helpful. Exemplified early on in the manga when Yano jokingly suggests she learns how to tell scary ghost stories and Sawako is *sparkling* with excitement. She's got the looks, she's got the aura, she might as well do it right.
Chizuru/Ryuu and Kazehaya/Ryuu are on this basis, which indicates their close friendships.
Sawako eventually comes to be able to do this with her new friends, including Ayane and Chizuru who in turn stop using her nickname Sadako.
Sawako mistakes Kazehaya to be doing this to Kurumi, until she finds out Kurimi is merely a shortened version of her surname Kurumizawa. It relieves her a bit which is one of the first signs she's fallen for Kazehaya.
Toru becomes this once he marries his fiance. They even go on to have a child.
Heel-Face Turn: Kurumi earns a heartwarming redemption in later chapters, when she defends Sawako from a bunch of girls jealous of Sawako's relationship with Kazehaya. She then gets Put on a Bus, only to come back later an even more redeemed and mature character, with her relationship with Sawako steadily improving.
Pin - the Heart of Gold is evident when he actually offers decent advice to Sawako and Kazehaya in the anime, and it REALLY shows when his students come to him for advice about their futures after finishing school.
Just Friends: Sawako and Kazehaya, and Chizuru and Ryu. The latter two are just a little more convincing. Both couples get the Relationship Upgrade eventually, though it takes the latter much longer.
Sawako is initially happy with this even after she realizes her feelings for Kazehaya, and is puzzled when Ayane tells her she should confess her feelings as she's happy with how their current relationship is.
Just The Way You Are: One of the best features of the series as a whole is that Sawako is constantly rewarded for being herself, and not having to change to please anyone.
Sawako and Kazehaya, even though they do manage to switch to First Name Basis now and then.
Letting the Air out of the Band: When Sawako starts telling the story of her life, the standard sentimental music plays. It's all very sweet till we see that she spent a lot of time on her own; then the music drags to a stop as she hears herself and, Blue with Shock, wonders if she's killing the mood.
Like Brother and Sister: Chizuru and Ryuu claim to be brothers. Yes, no gender-related doubts; as long as she can be the older "brother," Chizuru is fine.
Loners Are Freaks: As it turns out, all three girls were outsiders before befriending one another. The most obvious example is Sawako, but Chapter 50 reveals that before Chizu and Ayane became friends, Chizu felt like a loner for always known as One of the Boys and Ayane was somewhat alienated for Urban Legend Love Life.
Love Confession: At various points onscreen - Kurumi to Kazehaya, Chizuru to Toru, Sawako to Kazehaya, Kazehaya to Sawako, Ryu to Chizu, and Chizu to Ryu. . Several others also occurred offscreen, but they were all rejected and mostly just happened to trigger a Green-Eyed Epiphany or establish a character's popularity.
Basically the definition of Kazehaya and Sawako's relationship for a good duration of the manga and the entirety of the anime's first season, despite their feelings being mutual. Also applies to Chizuru when it comes to Ryuu. But it's an enjoyable torture for the series audience because the next step feels much, much sweeter as a result.
By the time the New Year's Eve episode rolls around, Kazehaya is dropping anvil-sized hints that he really likes Sawako n and yet she still doesn't catch them.
Pet the Dog: In Chapter 45, when Ayane confesses that she doesn't believe she's kind (compared to Sawako and Chizu) because of how cunning she can be in front of Pin, she dreads another Small Name, Big Ego lecture from a surprisingly quiet Pin, who instead stares at a candy Ayane gave him because he was whining about not getting one after the festival. Then, Pin literally pats Ayane on the head and reassures her that she is kind before walking up the stairs, leaving Ayane (and the readers) speechless that Pin could actually have a Pet the Dog moment.
Please Don't Leave Me: The latest arc of everyone preparing for exams and finding out what to do after school is abound with these.
Chizu doesn't take Ryu's planning on going away to university very well, breaking down crying and saying "Don't go!" over and over again. She feels bad about it afterwards.
Kent practices saying this to the mirror for Ayane after finding out where she truly wants to go.
Serious Business: Sawako's dad is EXTREMELY serious about checking if Kazehaya is appropriate enough to be his daughter's boyfriend.
Serial Escalation: The anime takes this to heart with its prevalent and spectacular use of Bishie Sparkle, Love Bubbles, and other stereotypical shoujo frills. Hell, one of the first times Kurumi grabs Sawako's hands, an entire flowering bush sprouts behind the former.
On multiple occasions, Ryu is seen wearing a hat that reads RHCP, and in chapter 32, Chizu is seen wearing a t-shirt embellished with the same logo. Kazehaya also wears a t-shirt with the logo on in a later chapter.
"Shut Up" Kiss: Kazehaya and Sawako's first kiss together is one of these in chapter 71.
Sibling Triangle: Ryuu likes Chizuru, Chizuru likes Ryuu's elder brother Tooru, who is engaged.
A lot of the major Ryuu/Chizu scenes involve snow. The most blatant examples would be in chapters 23, 27, 62, 63 and 69. Of course, this occurs in most of the chapters involving snow with some pairing or another, given that, well, this is a romantic manga.
Sawako and Kazehaya spend some time together on her birthdat/New Year's shrine visit and have their First Kiss in the snow.
Unnamed Parent: Both of Kazehaya's parents, Ayane's mother and Chizu's father have all made appearances but lack first names. Averted with the others, however; Chapter 62 refers to Chizu's mother as Chiaki and Ryu's mother as Tetsuko. The anime's official blog reveals two more names: Genji Sanada (Ryu's father) and Youko Kuronuma (Sawako's mother). And according to a quiz in the magazine the manga's published in, Mr. Kuronuma's first name is Kitao.
The Unsmile: Sawako gives one whenever she tries to force a smile out.
The entirety of Volume 14 (covering most of the Okinawa field trip) dramatically changes not only Sawako and Kazehaya's relationship but also Ryuu and Chizuru's. It's also difficult to look at Ayane's character in the same way afterwards. In fact, the field trip was probably the turning point in regards to the change in tone, although some might argue that it was already growing serious beforehand.
Later on, chapter 63 hits hard in regards to Ryu/Chizu, even on rereads.
And in regards to Ayane's storyline, Chapter 92 definitely qualifies, regardless of who you ship her with.
When She Smiles: Two things can happen when Sawako smiles, depending on whether the smile is forced or natural: either it comes out as The Unsmile, or everyone watching gasps in awe.
Chapter 44 is a flashback within a flashback. Kazehaya flashes back to his point of view of the very first chapter. The end of his flashback reveals him hugging Sawako after her confession, the same scene shown in Chapter 39.
Chapters 62 and 63 also entirely consist of flashbacks, save for the first few pages of 62 and the last few of 63. It focuses on Ryuu and Chizuru's childhood, especially the former's mother's death.
Woman in White: Sawako wore a white dress to play the role of the ghost during the test of courage. She always dresses in a white kimono in their costume parade.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Pin really lost the way to his sports Shounen series. Yoshida and Ryu may have been heading there too.