Kimi ni Todoke
Episode 22: “Christmas”
I had long intended to watch the Kimi ni Todoke anime or read the manga, and finally did last year after the second series aired. I gave up way too many hours of sleep to marathon the show, which totally hooked me. I think one of the main reasons that I enjoyed the anime so much was because it and it’s hero and heroine are so innocent. This innocence is reflected in the Christmas episode, which only slightly delves into the romantic, unlike so many other Christmas anime episodes.
Sawako, who has now developed strong friendships and camaraderie with her classmates, in invited to the annual Christmas party that Kazehaya helps throw. And though she desperately wants to attend, she’s torn. As a good daughter, Sawako feels she can’t ask her parents to go, since Christmas is so important to her goofy dad.
This year, when rewatching the episode, I thought about how I might react when my daughter someday asks to spent the holiday apart. I actually gave this thought a lot of consideration, as I had watched a similar storyline the in holiday episode of Castle that had aired a few days earlier. And…I think I’m a lot like Sawako’s dad! Christmas is extremely important to me…also, I’m a wee bit silly around family.
I’m also sentimental, and I could definitely see myself saying the same as Sawako’s dad:
Sawako [or insert my daughter’s name] was our Christmas present.
It doesn’t work too badly, since my daughter was born just a few weeks before Christmas.
The sentimentality doesn’t touch on the “reason for the season,” but it fits nicely with the idea that Christmas should focus on love, particularly in light of what the first Christmas would mean for mankind. And as I mentioned, Kimi ni Todoke veers the episode away from romantic love, though there’s a desperation in the air as Sawako runs furiously to make it to the party. In fact, because of this, the episode reminds me more of a different winter holiday – New Year’s Eve! Like Harry running to kiss his love at the party before the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s in When Harry Met Sally, Sawako HAS to make it to her love before their shindig ends. There’s no kiss or hand holding, but the scene is romantic nonetheless (and remiscient of another New Year’s-type gallop in Love Hina).
And in that desperate run by Sawako, as well as in the action (or inaction) by Kazehaya, we see a little bit of pure, sacrificial, and sweet love. And perhaps there’s no better day than Christmas to think about these things, after all.