Kimi ni Todoke – From Me to You Vol 3 by Karuho Shiina Manga Review

 

Title: Kimi ni Todoke – From Me to You Vol 3

Author: Karuho Shiina

Publisher: Viz

ISBN: 9781421527574

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

Will the curse of Sadako leave her friendless for life? Sadako’s dreams come true when she finally becomes friends with her classmates, instead of scaring them off. She even gets friendly with the cutest girl in school, Kurumi. But will this innocent friendship with Kurumi make Sadako realize that her feelings for Kazehaya are more than just friendly? 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 movie character. 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!

How could I have neglected this book for so long?  It is such a cute story, with a protagonist you can’t help but like and want to see escape from the shell that confines her.  Sure, at times it can be hard to believe that Sawako could be that naive, but she is trying so hard to make friends that you happily bid farewell to reality and embrace her wonderful awkwardness.

Sawako is a girl after my own heart.  She is shy and so socially inept that she was forever hovering on the fringes of life, desperate to be a part of things, but so lacking in self esteem that she couldn’t make herself approach other people.  Instead, she kept a wall around herself, and  kept her classmates at a distance.  They, in turn, thought she was creepy and resembled a heroine of a horror movie, which only kept Sawako more isolated.  When Kazehaya treats her kindly and begins talking to her, she starts to come out of her shell.  That is what I love about this series.  Sawako is slowly recreating herself, and is learning, however haltingly, to open up and interact with the people around her.

Sawako is a gentle girl who believes the best of everyone.  She has so little experience dealing with people and drama that she accepts everyone at face value.  It is inconceivable to her that others would lie or try to use her, and I hope that she is able to keep that quality through the rest of the series.  Her classmates have treated her pretty badly, nicknaming her after a character from the horror film The Ring and spreading rumors that she’ll curse you if she meets your gaze.  Despite this, she is optimistic and just wants to be friends.  With everyone. 

The art is very expressive, and emotions are skillfully communicated to the reader.  This is a character driven story, and the illustrations are engaging and visually appealing.  I love the look of the character designs, and the more I read Kimi ni Todoke, the more I like it. 

Grade: A-

Review copy purchased from RightStuf.com

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