The school festival is nearly over and we have Sawako and Kazehaya together, alone in the vacant classroom. They’re far removed from any potential threats (I’m looking at you Kent, Kurumi, and Pin) and the next episode is titled Confession, so yeah, we’ll finally be getting that coveted and elusive relationship progress. So get those party poppers ready for next week’s episode.
And with the fruition of romance imminent, you can’t help but notice another blossoming take place in the series. Well, perhaps blossoming isn’t the right word but rather utilization. But then utilization doesn’t make for a better metaphor, so I’m going back to blossoming. Yes, it’s eerie how Sawako’s medicinal herb garden is a metaphor for the relationship between Sawako and Kazehaya this season.
Dating back to the second episode of the season (third aired, if you count the Kurumi recap), Sawako was chosen as the class life representative for her diligence in taking care of the flowerbeds for Tomo. Wanting to combine her botanical skills and compassion for others, Sawako set out to plant a medicinal herb garden with helpful signs to shows what each herb could cure. Of course, people, including Ayane and Chizuru, would mistake the signs thinking that the plants would instead cause those ailments and the herbs were never used for their intended purpose. It wasn’t until Sawako took the initiative to recommend the plant to a classmate before its potential got noticed. After that, the blossomed herb garden began being used in teas and sweets for the school festival.
It’s similar to how the story has progressed between Sawako and Kazehaya this season. This season began with the chocolate disaster, where Sawako failed to give Kazehaya her homemade chocolates on Valentine’s Day. However, wanting to be closer with Kazehaya, Sawako follows her own path to develop their relationship. Through several misunderstandings and pests butting their heads into matters where they don’t belong, the relationship stagnated and even declined through the middle part of this season. It wasn’t until Sawako took the initiative to cure her ailment by reaching out to Kazehaya. And from this point on is the unknown, but hopefully it will follow a similar path as did the herb garden. That is, I hope to see Sawako and Kazehaya’s love be used to make teas and sweets for the class, if that makes any sense (and no, it doesn’t, don’t try to think about it).
Between these two themes in Kimi ni Todoke, there are many similarities (that is if you generalize things enough). The breakthrough in both cases is due to Sawako’s ambition to make things right. The garden, on one hand, was never used because people kept looking at the situation and taking it the wrong way. It wasn’t until Sawako’s desire to help her classmates utilized the herb and showed the true purpose behind the garden she cared for. In the relationship aspect of this metaphor, the relationship was distorted due to the constant interfere from outside parties, as well as misunderstandings and vague conversations between the two leads in the series. And it looks like it’s up to Sawako’s initiative to make things right, to show Kazehaya what the relationship can become once the misconceptions and hardships are toppled. And hopefully the relationship will blossom, too.
It is important to note there is a major difference between the two sides, which is why the relationship has suffered whereas the garden remained strong. And that’s due to the difference between Sawako’s botanical skills and her relationship skills. Sawako was able to communicate with others about the benefits of her garden, as that is an area where she is masterful and knowledgeable. In the department of relationships and other social skills, Sawako is a dunce despite her improvements. She was unable to identify the source of the problems in her relationships and, even if she could find the multiple causes, she wouldn’t know how to deal with them. This difference is one of the reasons why the relationship between her and Kazehaya has had this adversity. Even without knowing all the proper social skills and how to correctly express her feelings, Sawako is taking the steps to fix these painful feelings and is going to confront Kazehaya. And I can’t wait to see the result (buying party poppers).
Also, can’t we get a little more than a few clips of Ryu and Chizuru together. I mean, during the insert song, all we see are Chizuru’s birthday party in the classroom and then Ryu handing her a present. Absolutely no dialogue, no build-up, and no resolve afterwards. It’s such a tease. Why can’t they just devote a couple minutes to the both of them each episode? Secondary characters need love, too!