Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 2
By Karuho Shiina
Published by Viz Media
Yano and Yoshida first laugh off the rumor that Sawako has been spreading stories about them. After overhearing Sawako deny their friendship, however, they begin to doubt themselves, ultimately learning just how deep their feelings for her go. Certain that her association with Kazehaya, Yano, and Yoshida is destroying their popularity, Sawako tries to distance herself from them but she too learns a lesson about her own feelings in the process.
On the surface, not a lot happens in this volume at least in terms of plot, but oh the emotional payoff! This volume is all about friendship–what it is and what it means to each of the main characters in the story, and it is a true pleasure from start to finish. Yano and Yoshida are refreshingly strong characters, not easily swayed by the herd and wonderfully self-aware. Just as Kazehaya uses his smiling, easy charm to walk through life unscathed, Yano and Yoshida use their fabulous toughness to maintain who they are in the face of whatever peer pressure dares to come their way. That it is Sawako alone who has the power to hit these characters where it hurts simply by withdrawing from them says as much about them as it does about her.
This story’s characters are alternately warm and self-protective as most teenagers (most people?) are, but the depth Karuho Shiina gives them is far from common. Yano and Yoshida, in particular, shine in this volume as they admit to each other just how much Sawako means to them, though it is Kazehaya who is able to put aside his own pride completely in order to break down Sawako’s walls and keep her in his life. It is nice, too, that this volume focuses strongly on friendship between girls, with romance (little that there is) pushed far into the background.
The truth is, this story simply shines with warmth, despite its heroine’s awkwardness at expressing her own feelings. With its refreshing cast of characters, strong female friendships, and slow burning romance, it is a modern shojo gem.
Review copy provided by the publisher.