I found it most interesting to read from a cultural perspective. I felt I learnt a lot about Japanese high school life, and superstitions.
Manga novels, traditionally written in Japanese, are read right to left, and it took a minute for me to adjust. The English translation is a bit humorous, as well, and now that I've read a fair bit of manga I realize this is a common eccentricity. Its as though I can see the translator in his room holding an English Thesaurus in his hand and he is wondering which word will best describe the equivalent Japanese word. After much googling he finally chooses a word he feels is perfect, when actually its seemingly centuries old to the average North American.
However, the odd peculiarities of the English spoken only add to the unique experience of Kimi ni todoke.
Sawako Kuronuma is a very pretty young girl who tries to do a good deed everyday, but unfortunately she is the spitting image of a character from a horror movie, Sadako, and is treated like a ghost.
Her shy, and subservient demeanor doesn't seem to help her much as most misunderstand it for anger or coldness. A rumor is spread that no one can look in her eyes for longer the 3 seconds without being cursed. Even the teachers become superstitious.
All except Kazehaya-Kun, who always acknowledges her with a friendly "hello." Even remembering her real name, and not the mean nickname that everyone has given her.
Kazehaya sees how kind and good she is, and he wants to get closer to her. However, there is a problem, he too can't seem to look in her eyes for longer the 2 seconds.
Kuronuma believes his interest in her is just kind benevolence, no more.
It is a sweet story highlighting the virtues of kindness and modesty that heroines so often lack.
I can't wait to read book 2 to see how this love story develops...
Click here to see a copy of Kimi ni todoke vol 1 by Karuho Shiina