Despite the fact that Sawako and Kazehaya are passionately in love with each other, I’ve always wondered why the show spends virtually no time on romance in the first half while flooding the second half with it. You’d figure that since they are constantly thinking and worrying about the other that there would be a constant focus on romance throughout each episode. That isn’t necessarily the case. More often than not, they just want to respond to something brought up by a quote or to resolve a misunderstanding and not so much about spending quality time together. As a result, there is no real progress in the overall plot and the first half of the episode is mostly entertaining comedy and setting up for the second half of the episode.
So why is it that the first half of the episode has no real romantic development when there is no difference in the love between Sawako and Kazehaya between the first and second halves? I’ll let you think about that for a sec by writing a filler sentence between the question and my theory. Well, it’s not much of a theory as it’s just an observation. And yes, these are just more filler sentences to either give you more time to think, to distract you, or perhaps keep you waiting just those extra few Okay, my observation is that Sawako and Kazehaya retain their original personalities and revert back to them in the early halves of episodes.
That’s right; I think Sawako and Kazehaya both have a range of personalities, spanning from old (before-romance) to modern (mainly awkward-situations). One of the reasons I think they retain their original personalities is that Sawako and Kazehaya still haven’t fully developed as characters. For example, when Kazehaya greets Sawako in the classroom, he’s still the popular, accepted teenager he was in the first episode, despite now being in love with Sawako. Sawako responds in her typical nervous, creepy style response, just like in the first episode, except she also has romantic feelings now. It just so happened that there was no real romantic development between the two in the very early episodes of the first season. Obviously, things have changed since the first couple episodes: feelings have grown, friends have been made, and the plot has progressed. Certainly there have been changes in the personalities of Sawako and Kazeyaha, but at the beginning of the episode, they revert back to their innate personas. Kazehaya did not greet Sawako out of affection, but rather, because he still does that to everyone. Sawako’s stutter and awkward reaction was not due to her swooning for Kazehaya but because she is still not fully socially adjusted. These incompatible personalities prevent any romance from progressing because they are at a stage where romance never really existed. Had this exchange been in the latter half of the episode, it would have consisted of Kazehaya shyly greeting Sawako, who, in turn, would blush and reply while both stare intently at the floor. Those are the kinds of scenes that illustrate their shy, yet deep love.
Although this is just one example, I feel that the presence of their original personalities can accurately demonstrate why the first half has little to no romantic development. Those two personas were not compatible with one another. That’s the reason why their characters developed in order the way they did. Now, they can better understand each other. That and misunderstand each other, too. Still, their romance is moving along, although it has taken a few steps back since the end of the first season. But whatever, it’s still fun.
Don’t get me wrong, I rather enjoy having the first half of the episode being amusing and entertaining rather than 20 minutes of straight shoujo-style romance. Frankly, the laughs were the reason why I started watching Kimi ni Todoke in the first place; I enjoy this style of comedy. Misunderstandings and awkward personalities are the backbone of some of my favorite comedies. And it’s not a bad thing that Sawako and Kazehaya still preserve a bit of their old selves. For one thing, it shows how their characters have developed as the series does. Additionally, it shows they have a range of personalities, instead of being a clichéd character that only has one predictable set of reaction to every imaginable stimulus. I only wondered why the episodes were able to change from one type to another.
To be honest, my observation isn’t a complete answer to my original question. I could explore this question further and try to arrive at a better answer but I think it might be fun for you readers to ponder the question yourselves and see what answer you come up with.