Kimi ni Todoke (Reaching You) Movie Recap

A pack load of cuteness. A movie definitely for the young and the young at heart!

Presenting… Kimi ni Todoke… served hot and oh-so sizzling!

I haven’t watch the anime nor read the manga, and yeah, some of you may not agree if I say that the movie was superb and well-executed. Well, for all it’s worth, I find the live-action adorable. The simplicity and innocence works well with me. It is refreshing and relaxing. No over-the-top, insanely complicated tricks… just a plain, fun watch for everyone.

Movie Recap

Sawako Kuronuma (Mikako Tabe) is a sweet and thoughtful girl who always cared too much for others. Though genuinely kind-hearted,  she always had a hard time expressing her thoughts, thus, she grew up socially awkward. And with her eerie resemblance to the popular horror character, she earned the name “Sadako”. Yup, people actually thought her real name is Sadako! Just when she’s used to being alone, she met Shota Kazehaya (Haruma Miura).

Kazehaya is the complete  opposite of Sawako. He is popular, outgoing and, most of all, he’s the only guy who  doesn’t scram whenever Sawako’s around! Why? Well, unlike her other classmates, Kazehaya actually sees the real Sawako. He knows her every little act of good deeds. And as days pass, he slowly falls for her.

Despite Kazehaya’s efforts to break into Sawako’s world, he just can’t seem to pass through the “Sadako” vibes. It turns out, Sawako  has her reasons. After hearing about the rumors that people get cursed when they look at her eyes for 3 seconds, she purposely avoided  everyone, thinking all the while that the rumors were true. Heh!

Before summer break, Kazehaya organizes a “Courage Test”.  Sawako wants to come, but she doesn’t have the courage to sign up. As the organizer, Kazehaya personally invites her in. They had the chance to talk and he’s actually relieved that she doesn’t hate him like he initially thought.

On the contrary, she admires him. She even describes him as the guy “made of freshness”. Kazehaya laughs. It’s rather funny, between the two of them, she’s the one whose name means “Fresh Child”. Aw, he knows her name.

Sawako happens to overhear Chizuru Yoshida (Misako Renbutsu) and Ayane Yano’s (Natsuna Watanabe) plan of scaring their classmates. It’ll be really cool if Sawako could summon ghosts for real.  Sawako butts in. She actually felt bad for not having that kind of powers. Haha! But she’s willing to help them with anything. Aw, Sawako finds some friends.

The plan worked! Her classmates actually felt terrified seeing Sawako as THE ghost. And of course, she didn’t tell Kazehaya about it. It’ll just ruin everything, right?

And so Kazehaya was “pleasantly” surprised to see Sawako. Once again, they had the chance to be alone. Girly squeals coming up! Eeee!

Kazehaya wonders if she’s scared. Sawako smiles. She likes the night and she’s happy being a ghost becoz it pleases everybody.

Sawako: I wonder why it looks more beautiful than usual.

And since Kazehaya was with Sawako the whole night, he eventually flanks his own “Courage Test”. Haha! Their classmates goofs around and announces that as punishment Kazehaya must date Sawako for 1 week. Kazehaya, however, took the joke seriously and got pissed. Sawako is a girl and they are being rude!

The classmates are shocked by the way he reacted and asks if he likes her then. Kazehaya can’t seem to deny… nor… confirm the fact. Just so he won’t be troubled, Sawako explains that it’s all a misunderstanding. Kazehaya was just being nice, just like how he treats everybody else.

She walks off and Kazehaya chases her down the intersection. The place is quite memorable for them. This is where they first met. It was during the Entrance Ceremony Day. Kazehaya was lost and Sawako told him the right direction. Sawako will always remember that day becoz ever since then, he was her admiration. But Kazehaya has other reasons in mind. It was the day he fell for her.

Kazehaya: When will it reach you.. the feeling I felt that day? This feeling that has grown so big.

New term, new sitting arrangement. And unlike the previous semesters, there are actually people who wants to sit right next to Sawako. There’s Kazehaya, Yoshida, Yano and Ryu Sanada (Haru Aoyama).

Sawako gradually  opens up. All thanks to Kazehaya. She laughs. She smiles. Even Yoshida and Yano are amazed how pretty she looks when she’s not all gloomy and scary. She starts to hang out with them and they became the best of buddies.

Everything seems to fall into place. Well, not for Ume Kurumizawa (Miriei Kiritani). Kurumi has a long time crush on Kazehaya. And when Sawako enters the scene, she starts to feel threatened… Ah, never trust a girl with obsessive tendencies. Never!

Dark rumors about Yano and Yoshida buzzes around the campus. Yoshida, being a delinquent student and Yano, being a slut with hundreds of boyfriends. Worst of all, Sawako is said to be the source. Eh!

Naturally, Yano and Yoshida didn’t believe any of it. Sawako, however, blames herself for ruining their image. Afraid to be a burden, Sawako opts to avoid her only friends.

And now, she’s back to being the outcast. Kazehaya couldn’t just stand-by and do nothing. He advises her not to over-analyze the situation. Whether she’s a burden or not, it’s not for her to decide. It’s their own decision to be with her. And she better express what she feels before Yano and Yoshida misunderstand the situation.

Kazehaya: A pass won’t be received well by others if you don’t seriously think for it to reach them.

Just like Kazehaya said, Yano and Yoshida were pretty puzzled when Sawako suddenly avoided them. In the end, they can’t just leave her alone. Sawako is a good person.  And when Sawako really laughed, they were so happy. They wanted to protect her. They can’t help thinking about her. This is how friends are.

Sawako follows Kazehaya’s advise. She even practices her speech in the CR. Coincidentally, she hears some students bad-mouthing Yano and Yoshida. Sawako can’t contain her feelings and defends her bffs. These girls don’t understand anything. How kind they treated her. How they care for her.

Sawako: Rather than like… I love them!

Yano and Yoshida then comes in time to hear everything. They jump in the line and save the day.

Sawako: I’ve always given up. I’ve always wanted to be friends with everyone. I was thinking that it’s okay to just give up. But Yano-san… Yoshida-san, I won’t give up on you  two.

Group hug! I love group hugs.🙂

And so the bffs resolve to stick together no matter what. Sawako won’t be alone anymore.  They are destined to be friends, even before they knew it.

Sports festival! I love sports festivals.🙂

Kurumi can’t waste some more precious time. She must get rid of Sawako! And the infinite question- How? Easy. She’ll tell Sawako about her feelings for Kazehaya and she’ll be asking her help on the matter. Darn this woman! Taking advantage of Sawako’s unselfish nature.

Thankfully, Sawako is innocently honest. She likes Kazehaya too. She can’t help Kurumi-chan after all. Kurumi is perplexed. What does she mean? Like as in friendly like or like as  in love. It’s Sawako’s turn to be confused. Are there different kinds of like?  Kurumi concludes that Sawako is just being naive. She doesn’t really like Kazehaya. She only felt that way becoz he’s the only guy who talks to her. Why not try talking with other guys, like Ryu for instance.

And thus, Kurumi arranged a “date” for Sawako and Ryu. Since both of them are the silent-type, they have nothing to talk about at first. Luckily, Ryu is a love expert and readily answers Sawako’s probing questions. Sawako: “How can a person know if he’s in love?”

Ryu: Love is a special feeling incomparable to anything else. It’s special before you realize it. Just like what I feels for Yoshida.

And since this is a set-up, Kazehaya must find the two of them talking. And yes, he did. He did! He can’t control the raging jealousy though and drags Sawako away.

Without beating around the bush, Kazehaya asks if she likes Ryu. And Sawako simply answers “yes”. She likes him, but it’s not something special. It’s more of like as a classmate or a friend. Ha! Imagine Kazehaya’s relief. Phew!

Later, Yano and Yoshida finds out about Kurumi’s evil ploys.

Ever the good friends, they confront Kuyumi. It’s clear as the blue sky. Kuyumi is tearing Sawako and Kahezaya apart. Thinking about it, she may also be the one who spread the ill-rumors about them.

Sawako sees the three of them and joins in. Nope. Kurumi couldn’t do such things. She’s a friend. Kurumi gets furious. Can’t Sawako comprehend?! She doesn’t think of her as a friend at all!

Sawako clear things up with Kurumi. It’s true that she feels something special for Kazehaya. They both like him!

Kurumi is way too annoyed. Unlike Sawako, she loves Kazehaya since Junior High! Sawako’s feelings are nothing compared to hers. She tried her best to get in this school just to be with him. She even thought that things are getting better and she could finally confess.  But it’ll be meaningless if he doesn’t love her back. It’s becoz of Sawako! She knows he doesn’t like her. She knows becoz she has been watching him all this time! After all, she can’t be honest and straightforward as Sawako. That’s why she hates her so much.

Kurumi finally confessed that she likes Kazehaya. Though a bit touched, Kazehaya can’t accept her feelings becoz he likes someone else. I just love Kurumi’s reaction. The girl is tough, but she sure knows when to stop. She smiles and jokes that Kazehaya has no eyes for women. If he only he had, he wouldn’t let a cute girl pass by.

With Kurumi admitting defeat, Kazehaya begins to make his own move. Unfortunately, Sawako is  impossibly oblivious. Every time he tries to confess, there’s always somebody or something that hinders him!

But then, it seems Kazehaya ain’t the only one having some love problems. Ayane broke up with her possessive boyfriend. Yoshida, on the other hand, had her heart broken when her unrequited love, Turo (Ryu’s brother) came home with a fiancé.

It’s winter time, and so Sawako’s dad decided to let her take the school bus. And as an SOP, Sawako gave her student handbook to Pin (the homeroom teacher), who in turn, clumsily misplace it.

At long last, Kazehaya finds the perfect time and place to confess. He even wants to spend Christmas Eve with her. But then Kazehaya’s unexpected confession is too much for Sawako to handle. She didn’t even consider the slightest possibility that he might like her. Just in time, the bus arrives, giving Sawako an excuse not to answer.

Sawako admits that she  likes  Kazehaya very much to Yano and Yoshida, but somehow, the situation makes her worried. Yoshida is disappointed. Does that mean she rejected him? There he was properly confessing his feelings and all she could do is walk away?! It’s just the same as having no confidence in herself and not believing other people’s feelings!

Yano: It may not work out, but it’s better to convey your feelings too.

It’s not too late. She still has the chance to tell him. Kazehaya will be very busy during the winter break, but surely he’ll be joining the class during the fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. The problem is… it’s the same day with Dad’s concert.

It’s New Year’s Eve and everybody’s anticipating the joyous occasion, except for Kazehaya, who is noticeably NOT in his usual bright and sunny mood. Thankfully, Ryu is there to comfort him. Ryu casually tells Kazehaya that he knows about the confession. And out of the blue, he asks him what kind of girl Sawako is.

Kazehaya: Kuronuma is the type of girl who always look down. She always gives her best. She’s innocent… her heart’s easily touched. She’s honest and straight-forward.  She always thinks of others before herself…

Right then, he realizes that he hasn’t even thought of how Kurunoma really feels. And miraculously, Pin appears out of nowhere. He found Sawako’s handbook and tells Kazehaya to return it for him. At the back of the handbook, something special is hidden. Oh, what could it be?

Thinking it through, Sawako finally tells Dad that she has something important to attend to. Fortunately, Dad understands. Dad: “When you really want to see someone, you can just abandon everything else”.

Sawako runs as fast as she could. But it’s to no avail. Kazehaya already left…. that’s what she thought. And when she was about to go home, feeling down and depressed, there he was… at the memorable intersection.

This time, she’ll never back down. She’ll tell him. Definitely! Surely! She likes him. And with that sweet smile, we know he loves hearing it.

Kazehaya: It’s like a dream. I’ve finally reached you.

He returns her handbook. And Sawako excitedly checks if the special “thing”  is still there. Well, it’s the heart-shaped Sakura petal that fell on her head during their first meeting. Awww.

Even though, they didn’t spend Christmas together, he is very much thankful that she’s with him at the start of the New Year. And he hopes they’ll be like this from now on.

 

Posted on March 22, 2011, in Japanese Drama/ Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank you! Thank you for bringing this wonderful movie to my attention. Tbh, I had no idea there was even a movie out and considering I love the manga and anime, I almost had no right to call myself a fan. Anyway, I agree with all your assessments about the movie. It left a sappy smile on my face and I’ll probably rewatch it in days to come.🙂

  2. Totally agree with you. I found that I loved this movie more than I had hoped. Most Japanese movies seems to be a big miss or just plain weird for me. I loved the innocence, the blossoming friendship and love and how this small group of friends eventually grow up with each other and become stronger because of their relationships. I definitely will be rewatching this in the future and will probably fork out the money for it when it is released on DVD with English subtitles.

  3. I truly enjoyed watching this movie🙂 I don’t think anything really happens, but so many things… happen. LOLOL Hopefully that made sense? I also loved the innocence of the movie. 2 hours went by pretty quickly for me… I wouldn’t mind more of Kazehaya and Sawako🙂

    Anyways, Kazehaya is❤. I loved the beginning when he would watch Sawako from afar. Plus, he is played by Miura Haruma<3 Sawako is cute too. It was frustrating whenever she would put others before her, but that's what makes her Sawako. I love how she is straightforward and clueless. I found it especially cute how every time Kazehaya tried to do something with her… she would bring or invite another person along. LOLOL

    The ending credits were adorable too hehe Yoshida + Ryu (sweet buns!). Yano + Kurumi (become friends through a kitten pouch thingy lmao). Sawako's dad + mom (very adorable).

  1. Pingback: Kimi ni Todoke « gizhworld

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