When Sawako Kuronuma was ostracised by her class due to her gloomy disposition and resemblance to a character from a horror movie, she never would have guessed that there are so many nuances to interactions with other people. Because of her inexperience in this area, she hasn’t learned to be distrustful, and so accepts as genuine the friendly advances of Kurumi, a girl who wants Kazehaya-kun for herself.
Kurumi does everything within her power to convince Sawako, who is growing increasingly curious about the depth of her feeling for Kazehaya, that what she feels for him isn’t anything special, and that she ought to try chatting up some other guys for the sake of comparison (then arranges for Kazehaya to witness this, of course). Things backfire for Kurumi, though, as Sawako manages to interpret this advice in the best possible light and ends up confirming and accepting that what she feels for Kazehaya is genuine love.
This is a huge step for Sawako, and her happiness at this achievement in self-discovery is contagious. In fact, the depiction of her thought process as she works this out is simply terrific throughout, as is that of Kazehaya as he realizes that, no matter what he may personally feel, Sawako is still not ready to begin dating anyone. The skill with which nonverbal and internal storytelling convey these revelations to the reader elevates Kimi ni Todoke beyond other sweet love stories and into the realm of great manga.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Review originally published at Manga Recon.