Kimi Ni Todoke Volume 14

Kimi Ni Todoke Volume 14 by Karuho Shiina

It was a nice contrast reading Kimi Ni Todoke right after the latest volume of Dengeki Daisy, because while Dengeki Daisy makes a point of occasionally sarcastically commenting on shoujo cliches, Kimi Ni Todoke delves so deeply into some of the standard shoujo plot elements that it actually makes things like the dreaded school trip volume seem fresh again. Sawako and Kazehaya are going to Okinawa with all their classmates, and they are still in the early stages of feeling out their new relationship. Sawako is just overwhelmed with the idea that she’s actually accepted as part of a group, and she’s able to do simple things like take group pictures with her friends. Since her social life before was basically nonexistent, every new experience no matter how small is something to be cherished. Because Sawako cherishes the memories she’s making so much, simple panels with illustrations of her observations of her friends or Kazehaya visiting an aquarium become suffused with importance. This volume really captures the process of making memories.

The complications of young love abound, as Sawako and Kazehaya come perilously close to a first kiss, while her friends Ayane and Chizu have their own relationships to negotiate. Ayane is dating someone that she really doesn’t care for, and Chizu might finally be realizing that there might be more than just friendship between her and Ryo. While the plot developments in Kimi Ni Todoke might be a bit on the slow-moving side, the expressive art and depth shown in the character development for the series ensure that this manga is always entertaining even as it doesn’t go for cheap and easy plot tricks to propel the story forward. Instead we have a volume of summer vacation memories, capped off with the realization that things are about to change in the fall.

Review copy provided by the publisher

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