This episode begins with us experiencing the daily life of a high school girl named Sawako Kuronuma, and her school life would be considered pretty normal other then the fact that she looks like the girl from the ring and therefor her classmates have nicknamed her Sadako after the girl from the ring. Every time Sawako tries to talk with, or make friends with the other girls at the school, they get creeped out and run off in fear. Also, when Sawako has interactions with the other girls, they always apologize to her, so they can get away from her as fast as possible. Sawako wants nothing more than to make friends and make connections with other people.
Then we see a flashback of Sawako walking to her first day of high school where she has a interaction with Shota Kazehaya who’s one of the most popular boys at the school, she gives him direction to the school and he thanks her in a normal manner and is pretty kind to her, and from that point on, Sawako wishes to be like Kazehaya; open, friendly, and have the ability to have people around her.
Then, just before summer break, Sawako’s homeroom teacher needs a volunteer to help over the summer break, Sawako raises her hand to volunteer and her teacher reluctantly accepts. A few seconds later, Kazehaya speaks up and asks the teacher if it’s really alright for Sawako to work over the summer since she’s always doing extra stuff for the class? Well, the teacher asks Kazehaya if he’s willing to do the work if he feels Sawako has done enough? Kazehaya says yes. Sawako is shocked that Kazehaya noticed what she was doing in class, but she insists that she has nothing going on during the break, so she should do it.
Well, we find out the Sawako does have a friend after all, because, later, while Sawako is watering some flowers a girl named Shino walks up and starts talking with her. Shino asks her if anything is up, and she mentions Kazehaya name, and Shino says the pleasant one? Sawako says he’s not just pleasant, he’s 100% pleasant, and at that point Shino points out that Kazehaya is looking out the window near them and overheard everything. Sawako is embarrassed, and Kazehaya asks Sawako how he should take her statement? As a compliment, Sawako replies. Kazehaya gets a laugh out of that and tells Sawako to stay right there because he wants to talk with her. Shino tease Sadako that the popular Kazehaya can’t leave her alone.
Shino runs off saying she’s not worried about her any more. When Kazehaya and Sawako talk, Kazehaya was worried that Sawako disliked him and he’s happy that she doesn’t. She tells him that he’s kind and pleasant, he’s says that’s not always true, and she says yes, he’s pleasant. He tells her that isn’t the same true for you “Kuronuma Sawako”? Well, Sawako is overjoyed that he called her by her real name and she tells him how happy she is right now. Kazehaya smiles at her and asks her if she’s coming to the test of courage, and of course, she has to say yes.
So, when Sawako signs up for the test of courage she asks the girls running the thing if she can be a ghost, and initially they’re frighten of her but Sawako remembers what Kazehaya told her, “speak clearly, and tell them how you feel”, so she does. Hell, Sawako even admits that she’s got no supernatural powers at all. Well, one girls gets a good laugh out of it and gives Sadako credit for coming out after all this time, and she tells her to go ahead and handle the part of the ghost.
Well, when night finally arrives, everyone is gathered for the test of courage, and the two girls keep it secret that Sadako is playing the ghost. Sawako scares the crap out of everyone who tries to go through the woods and she seems to be enjoying herself by being useful. Then Sawako proceeds to pop out and scare Kazehaya who seems relieved to see her, he thought that she wasn’t going to show up, and since there was an odd number of people he’s alone, so he asks her if he can stay there with her. Later, the two girls, Yano & Yoshida track her down and thank her for the good job she did and give her a drink.
After Yano and Yoshida leave, Sawako and Kazehaya sit in the woods and talk about how Sawako has opened up and got her feelings across. Sawako says it’s all because of him and she looks him in the eyes for a good long time, he turns away and asks her not to do that and she thinks it’s because of the three second rule from the ring but he tells her he feels awkward. Sawako feels confused because she never had feelings like this, but her heart is racing.
The next day at school, Kazehaya gets his punishment for not completing the test of courage, he has to date Sadako for one week since he was with her that night. Kazehaya tells the class that dating Sawako as punishment is going to far because Sawako’s a girl and it would be just rude to her. Sawako feels that she needs to cover for Kazehaya, so she says that the time Kazehaya spent with her was because he’s kind to everyone and the time he spend with her didn’t mean anything. Kazehaya seems shocked and hurt by what Sawako said. Sawako feels she did the right thing and didn’t say anything untrue when she covered for Kazehaya.
Well, on the first day of summer break, Sawako’s parents are surprised when they see her heading off to school so she explains to them that she needs to help the teacher. While walking down the road, Sawako feels that even though she did the right thing she feels lonely & sad and begins to cry, but she tells herself that she should be used to it by now.
As Sawako is walking down the road in tears, she finds Kazehaya waiting for her with a apology gift from the class and she gets even more emotional over this. Kazehaya tells Sawako that she probably doesn’t know much about him, and she insists that she does, but he tells her that she really doesn’t. He tells her that he had feelings for her from the day he meet her on the way to the first day of high school and those feelings have grown and he wondered if they would ever reach her. Well, that’s all for this episode.
Well, since, shojo anime is all about feelings, emotions, and relationships I expect the main character to be believable and have feelings & emotions that I can really understand. So, in Kimi ni Todoke, we have Sawako, a 1st year high school girl who would be normal if it wasn’t for the fact that she happened to be born looking like a carbon copy of Sadako from the Ring horror film. Because of Sawako’s striking resemblance to Sadako from the Ring, she’s always the subject of gossip and even fear from her fellow classmates, no one even calls Sawako by her real name, and to everyone around her, she is Sadako.
Because of Sawako/Sadako interactions with her classmates she has developed into an extremely shy and socially stunted young girl. Sawako desires friendship and social interaction with her fellow students, but due to their reactions to her, and her below normal social skills for her age Sawako is unable to form those human connections she dreams of.
Throughout our lives, we all wear masks of one form, or another. When we leave our houses we put on our public masks that we wear to school, or to work, and this is a mask that we construct based on what we think that our peer groups surrounding us expects us to wear. As we meet people and interact with them, we slowly let our masks slip a little as they let their masks slip a little revealing to each other the whole person. The people who we allow to see fully under our masks become our friends, lovers, and spouses, but before that can happen, we have to have the courage to let our masks slip a little and let people into our lives. Sawako’s problem is that she wears two masks, the first is her real face that those around her associate with the character Sadako from the Ring, and there’s nothing she can do about this mask. But, Sawako real problem is with her second mask, the mask of her own creation, even though Sawako is lonely, hurt, and wants friendship she wears a mask showing nothing bothers her, and she’s happy with her current situation.
The moment where Sawako’s life changes for the better is when she finally tells Kazehaya how she feels and he basically tells her that she has to make it clear to others how she really feels, say it with words and not just actions. When Sawako finally starts to interact with others, she’s dragged from the darkness and into to the light, her heart opens and she likes the feeling. But, Sawako will find out is that when you open yourself up to the warmth of others you also open yourself to being hurt deeply on occasion. I really look forward to the upcoming episodes of Kimi ni Todoke to see how Sawako will deal with her new found relationship with Kazehaya, and how she’ll do in trying to make friends at school. Since this is shojo, I expect lots of tears and melodrama, and maybe a kiss.