Read 君届 14 [Kimi ni Todoke 14] by Karuho Shiina Free Online
Book Title: 君届 14 [Kimi ni Todoke 14]|
Date of issue: September 13th 2011
ISBN 13: 9784088466958
The author of the book: Karuho Shiina
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 32.90 MB
Read full description of the books 君届 14 [Kimi ni Todoke 14]:Spoilers, Spoilers, Spoilers: Read at Your Own Risk
It's amazing how much a few months can make a difference. Back when I first read the chapters of this volume (via their Japanese releases), I was...annoyed, to say the least. "Shiina," I thought, "why must you drag this out so much?" (Aside: given one of the author chapter notes in this volume, I think I have an editor to blame for some of the pacing issues.) But, now that I've read the chapters once again, I feel much more "at peace" with the developments (and setbacks) of this volume.
The characters spend all of their time this volume in Okinawa on their second-year class trip, so it's fun to have the change-up to the school scenarios a little bit. This volume is rather three-pronged in that it tackles more than just the relationship between Kazehaya and Sawako and goes beyond to focus on some character conflict for Yano and hints of change for the friendship between Chizu and Ryu. Given that it's become rare to find shoujo manga that focus on the supporting cast, I'm glad for the shift in focus.
First off, the initial focus of this volume: Kazehaya, Sawako, and their budding sexual tension. Even though rebellion against parental ideals and wishes is quite common in teenager-centric media, I think it's somehow a bit more uncommon to find the just-as-realistic struggle of a child trying to balance his parents' ideals and his own desires in the hope of not disappointing the adults in his life. The latter is exactly the conflict Kazehaya faces in this volume: though he wants his and Sawako's relationship to go to the "next level," he knows that doing so would go against what their fathers wanted, so he resists, even with an almost-kiss (paced across 16 pages) nearly causing him to "break their confidence in him."
But here's the thing I hate, even -- again -- as it's realistic to what a teenage boy such as Kazehaya might do: never does Kazehaya tell Sawako these things or share with her what "boundaries" their fathers wanted their relationship to follow. Sawako is left in the dark, and she ends up blaming herself for the distance that appears between her and Kazehaya. It frustrates me to no end that Kazehaya doesn't seem to view Sawako as enough of an equal at this point to speak the truth to her. Instead, as if she were a child, he leaves her with clipped sentences, assumptions, and false impressions. You may talk the talk about valuing Sawako, Kazehaya, but you're not walking the walk as far as I'm concerned. Shape up, boy, or I may just take you off my list of fictional crushes.
Yano's conflict seems to be the crux of this volume, and in many ways she also proves to be the most interesting character in this installment. In a relationship with a boy she doesn't love or even really know, she finds herself wistful as she recalls how wholehearted and serious her friends were in their romantic pursuits. Though Yano is the most "mature" of the three girls, she still has a lot of growing up and learning to do, especially given that she has yet to experience "love" as her friends have. Take these thoughts from her, for instance: I thought he asked me out because he cared, and I thought his affection would make me respond in kind. That's what I wanted. The sad thing is that Yano wasn't unrealistic in believing this. I think that's a plight common to many unhappy romantic relationships: one side was the one to be "pursued" and eventually settled for such a one-sided connection because no one "better" came along. This person then keeps hold of that (often unhealthy, restrictive, or stagnant) relationship, believing that "love will grow" and that happiness can be found in a relationship with no mutual respect and desire.
My favorite dialogue of this volume also connects to Yano and her boyfriend plight as she realizes that Mogi asked her out under false pretenses:
Mogi's friends: He's not that bad! He just expected too much [intimacy] from you!
Yano: So he was disappointed over expectations he never shared with me? Nice.
Oh, Yano, I love you. I really hope you find a guy who will treat you well and respect you. (Note: I am not a fan of Kento's newfound interest in Yano. Why? Because, from my take, he sees her as one-part challenge and two-parts "wounded bird" he needs to save. Although I do think he respects her, I don't think his intentions are "right" for what she wants and needs. Also, truth be told, I think Shiina had always intended Yano to pair up with their teacher, Arai, sometime post-graduation, but somehow Shiina was dissuaded from it because the pairing might have been too "typical" [given that Yano seems "the type" who might date a teacher] or too "shocking" [given that I've seen the "forbidden love between a student and teacher" trope less and less in shoujo manga over the last ten years, probably due to a rise in real instances of student-teacher relationships]. Even so, I'm not finding the potential Kento/Yano pairing very organic at all. Must we see all these characters paired up together in neat bunches? Really? Why not introduce some new characters then?)
Ending this volume is a focus on Chizu and Ryu as they come to a crossroads in their friendship. I love how, earlier in the volume, Chizu defended her friendship with Ryu and seemed really hurt by the fact that someone told her that she should stay away from him if she didn't like him romantically. (I, just like Chizu, felt very offended by this because WHY is there this false belief that a girl and a guy can't be platonic friends?) Of course, Chizu's steadfast denial crumbles as she is confronted with the fact that, yes, Ryu doesn't see her as simply a friend...and thus there is the promise that things will get really, really complicated with them henceforth.
Overall, volume 14 was a solid installment (even with my qualms about how these character setbacks affect the next few volumes). Even though there may come a day when I look back and think, "Why was I attached to this manga so much?", I hope I never forget that this manga made me recognize facets of myself, others, and our society within its pages.
(Endnote: At the time of my writing this -- July 2012 -- it's been exactly three years since I started reading Kimi ni Todoke. Yay for milestones!)
Read information about the authorSee also 椎名 軽穂
Karuho Shiina was born and raised in Hokkaido, Japan. Though Kimi ni Todoke is only her second series following many one-shot stories, it has already racked up accolades from various "Best Manga of the Year" lists. Winner of the 2008 Kodansha Manga Award for the shojo category, Kimi ni Todoke also placed fifth in the first-ever Manga Taisho (Cartoon Grand Prize) contest in 2008.
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