From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke review: A warm coming-of-age romantic drama series
From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke is a feel-good Japanese romantic drama series that made its arrival on Thursday, March 30, 2023, exclusively on Netflix.
The series has been adapted from a popular manga written by notable manga artist Karuho Shiina. Shiina has also acted as the screenplay writer for the series, along with Hayato Miyamoto. The Japanese series has been directed by Takeo Kikuchi and Takehiko Shinjô.
As per the official synopsis for From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke, released by Netflix:
"First-year high school student Sawako Kuronuma finds it hard to fit in with her classmates and is mockingly nicknamed “Sadako” because of her long black hair and pale skin. As she lives her lonely school life, she meets a boy who talks to her and doesn't care about the rumors."
It further continues:
"His name is Shota Kazehaya, and he is the most popular student in his class, loved by everyone for his cheerful personality. By talking with Kazehaya, Sawako slowly begins to open up to her other classmates. As she lives the high school life she always dreamed of, her feelings toward Kazehaya begin to change..."
Despite its slow pace, the series presents the audience with a heartwarming storyline that is gently woven to provide an esthetic and feel-good factor throughout. The leading pair in From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke is Kuronuma Sawako and Kazehaya Shouta. The two are quite charismatic and have great on-screen chemistry.
While the series may feel a bit unrealistic at times, it is visually pleasing and makes for a joyous watch.
A review of Netflix's From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke: A delightful story elevated by visual esthetics
An enthralling story presented in a delicate manner
From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke depicts a coming-of-age love story involving an awkward and shy teenage girl named Kuronuma Sawako and her love interest, Kazehaya Shouta, who is a charismatic and popular teen at their school. Their story begins slowly as the two become friends and then develop romantic feelings for each other.
They find many obstacles in their way, but the two always find their way to one another's hearts. The series shows how a simple love story can become so special with a touch of delicacy. The series is written by Shiina and Miyamoto in a way that is quite absorbing and alluring. It has the potential to engage the audience with its fantasy-like piece of life story.
Despite its sometimes unrealistic plotlines, it successfully establishes a connection with the audience through its impactful writing.
Despite its gorgeous visuals, the series' slow pace is one of its drawbacks
Without a shred of a doubt, the biggest strength of the Japanese series is its picturesque visuals and backdrops. The directors of the series Takehiko Shinjô and Takeo Kikuchi have done an impressive job of capturing the series' sequences in the most esthetic way possible, giving viewers a soothing watching experience.
Scenes such as the one where the lead pair first meet under a stunning tree, or the one where they spend a tender and passionate night together before parting ways, or the one where they embrace each other after re-uniting, are beautifully woven and extremely pleasing to witness.
However, where the series falls short is at its pace. Even for a feel-good delicate series, the pace feels too slow, which makes the series a bit monotonous at points. The sequences, especially where the lead pair struggle to confess their feelings for each other, feel too stretched and a bit overdone.
Engaging acting performance by the series' lead pair
Actress Sara Minami as Kuronuma Sawako has done an amazing job of portraying the shy and awkward girl in high school, slowly getting out of her shell with a bit of encouragement. Minami is as gentle as the character needs to be and quite captivating in her portrayal of the character.
Actor Oji Suzuka as Kazehaya Shouta has complimented Minami's character perfectly. His charming on-screen presence and promising acting performance have positively added to the success of the series. His on-screen chemistry with Sara Minami is also engrossing to watch. Undoubtedly, Suzuka is the perfect fit for the character Kazehaya.
Other actors on the cast list for From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke include Rinka Kumada as Ayane Yano, Jin Suzuki as Kento Miura, Atsuhiro Inukai as Toru Sanada, Naho Toda as Yoko Kuronuma, and several others.
Don't forget to catch From Me to You: Kimi ni Todoke, which is currently streaming on Netflix.