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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 3 (Premium Edition) (Blu-ray)
Kimi ni Todoke: From Me to You, Vol. 3 (Premium Edition) (Blu-ray)
NIS America, Inc. // Unrated // July 3, 2012 // Region A
List Price: $69.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Neil Lumbard | posted July 31, 2012 | E-mail the Author
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Kimi Ni Todoke V3 Blu-Ray Review

The Series:

Kimi ni todoke
(From Me to You) is absolutely one of the best anime series that I have been lucky enough to see over the past several years. It is one of the best romance anime series that I have ever seen altogether and it has the kind of emotional power to give viewers the butterflies that other shows are never quite capable of delivering to the following audience. Simply put: If you enjoy anime and consider the craft a genuine art form this is one of the series you must see at one point or another. This is an essential romance series which has enough wonderful characters and animation to satisfy even the most critical of anime fans.

The story setup isn't that complex (at least in theory). We are introduced to a high school girl named Sawako Kuronuma. Almost everyone at the school calls her Sadako (otherwise known as that creepy girl with long black hair from the popular Ringu film series). This sort of suggests that some of the other students consider her creepy and are convinced that she is capable of communicating with ghosts. Yet this doesn't ring true of Sawako at all. Nothing about the sweet-natured, good hearted and charming Sawako is reminiscent of that creepy nightmare-inducing horror movie icon. Sawako is one of the most gentle and good-natured anime characters I have ever witnessed in the art-form. She is pure of heart and incredibly feminine too.

The series begins by giving us some backstory on Sawako's character and then thrusts us into one of the main elements of the entire storyline. This is a romance show with one of those "generally unspoken" connections between two of the characters. Sawako has an unmistakable crush on one of the most popular boys in the school. Shota Kazehaya was Sawako's crush for a long time but she is only just now starting to understand her own feeling towards him. Likewise... it turns out that there might have already been a good connection between the pair that simply wasn't understood before. As viewers, we are quickly aware that these characters would make a perfect couple but one of the things creating the drama and conflict is that the characters don't seem to understand how to express their complete feelings to one another and it makes the romantic-journey one consisting of bumps along the road.



Shota Kazehaya is an incredibly nice-guy. It's interesting that Sawako frequently says a comment or two about wanting to be like him someday when she is essentially the same sort of person - only with a different gender differentiating the two like-minded, beautiful, and compassionate minds. Both care deeply about others and are social-beings. Well... the matter still remains that Kazehaya is superbly outgoing and Sawako is more reserved with others. That doesn't change much. Sawako just needed a little time before befriending a duo of slightly-more-rambunctious sweeties that go by the names Chizu and Yano-chin. These girls are the best of friends before meeting Sawako but it isn't long before these friendships become intertwined and one of the enjoyments of the series is to watch the progression of Sawako leaving her more solemn shell behind to become so close to the other kind-natured classmates around her daily.

There is no doubt that this is essentially a slice-of-life series with a heavy romantic and comedic element. It's beautifully romantic in a way that is sadly uncommon but this is something which makes the show stand out even more as a wonderful artistic creation. There were so many moments where I felt pulled into the world of these characters in astonishing ways. It was a joy to simply be able to discover such a beautiful, romantic, moving, and entertaining piece of art.

The series has left quite the impression on me. The animation is unbelievably good. It doesn't falter at any point during the show. The character designs were distinctive and memorable. The background artwork is remarkably detailed: you can see the immense effort that the animators put forth into this production in the sunlight on the trees or in the detail on the school environments. Each scene seems to have some remarkable poetic and romantic imagery that captures the tone of the series ridiculously well. I was awestruck by the beauty of Kimi ni todoke in every scene.

There is so much genuine emotion. The combination of the direction and writing makes for one massively powerful double-whammy of artistic excellence. It's unsurprising that this is such a gigantic success in Japan and that the original manga series was so popular as well. There aren't many series that can entirely claim to have excellence in almost every area of production. Who can dismiss such beautiful animation, emotive storytelling, fun characters, and the wonderful heart at the core of it all? It's authentic in the best possible way. It has the ability to remind us of how moving a romantic anime series can be when made with a authentic voice. It's as the title suggests. "From Me to You" is from the heart and it was a series made especially for you.

This is easily one of the best looking anime series made recently, and I often find myself in wonder, considering how much time and effort it surely must have taken for the staff to bring together detailed layouts, character designs, and elements as visually stunning as what we have found here. It feels impossible to not be transported by the art. I literally cannot even begin to fully understand how much genuine artists it took to deliver the animation on Kimi Ni Todoke; no words properly describe the impact it has in each frame.

Everyone who enjoys a well-told romance and animation that is pure artistry will find some worthwhile aspects with this soon-to-be anime classic Kimi Ni Todoke. It doesn't matter if viewers are men or women, boys or girls, because this show is made for everyone with an interest in well-done anime series with a solid heart and a pure soul. I love every moment.


The Collection (Volume 3, Premium Edition):

Kimi ni Todoke has quickly skyrocketed on my list of great anime series. I was so immersed and impressed by the first two collections and I am thrilled by this final collection of episodes. This series really is one of the best romantic series out there. It is increasingly rare to experience an incredible series as well developed as this one is and the hard work of everyone involved is so clear and precise with each episode.

Rather unsurprisingly, the series remains in top game and is a good top-off to the show that began twenty-something episodes ago. It's a bit sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful series. It doesn't have to end... does it? I love these characters. They are so well written and the art combined with the storytelling makes for a great experience

I'm keeping things as simple and sweet for everyone: at this point in the series run, if you've been following the series with dedication you should definitely check out the final collection to see how things wind up for this amazing group of characters. If for some reason you are reading this review and you haven't checked out the other sets yet: Start at the beginning and watch the whole show. Kimi ni Todoke is a true gem worth cherishing and remembering for everything beautiful and heartwarming it accomplishes throughout its entire run. I love the show, and I think most anime fans will find something to enjoy in this modern-classic. Kimi ni Todoke is a must see.

The Blu-ray:

Kimi ni todoke, Vol. 3 Premium Edition contains 12 episodes, collector's packaging and an art-book entitled "Their Memories".

Please Note: The images featured in this review are from the DVD editions in this Blu-ray/DVD combo release.


Video:

This was a stunning presentation. NIS America has released one of the most gorgeous looking anime series onto Blu-ray disc. The series is presented with the proper 1.78:1 aspect ratio and with AVC MPEG-4 encoded 1080p picture. It is difficult to imagine a reaction to the beautiful animation being anything less than completely stunned. What amazing presentation. It left me feeling speechless and completely absorbed in the incredible artwork. The colors seem so well saturated and accurate while the line detail is also surprisingly strong. The clarity of the image won't disappoint fans hoping for a solid presentation. Everything about the PQ is remarkable.

Audio:

The audio is as impressive as the video is on this release. After hearing a lossless uncompressed PCM presentation for the 2.0 audio mix, I doubt many will find issues with the quality included. These episodes have amazing aural clarity and the dialogue and music are reproduced with such a high-end quality that it is one of the best non-surround audio tracks I have heard in anime. The high-resolution Blu-ray audio format was entirely well utilized. The audio has been presented in Japanese with optional English subtitles.


Extras:

This time around we have a couple of bonuses! The first one is labeled as an actual episode. Episode 0 is a compilation episode designed to catch viewers up to speed with the show. There are a few new moments of animation but most of it is rehashed if you want to skip the episode. There are also two Mini Todo Theater episodes that are based upon Snow White and Cinderella. Both of which have no real linkage to the plot of the series... but they are admirably cute, funny, and entertaining. You won't want to miss them because they feature the characters you've grown to love on the show in these silly premises. Quite cute. The other on-disc extras are closing opening/ending themes and trailers for other NIS America anime releases. Both the OP/ED songs add an excellent element to the show and are worth seeing without the credit overlay. Please note: these are newly created opening and ending videos (new theme music and animation) and they are not the same sequences found on the previous collections.

The packaging both looks and feels like an extra though, and is as consistently amazing as the other Kimi ni Todoke release and other NIS America products. The series is packaged in a stunning over-sized box with artwork on either side of the package.

Kimi ni Todoke has been included on both Blu-ray and DVD discs in two slim-line DVD cases. There is a large art-book with some illustrations and character dialogue. It's really not that in-depth as far as offering anything substantial as a bonus, but it still manages to be a nice book to look at for the chosen artwork that is featured. Like the book included in the previous collection, Kimi ni Todoke has again received a book that really feels highly supplemental and not in an expansive or exciting way. Mainly, expect to only enjoy the inclusion for the artwork. I still insist that I would have preferred an episode guide to go along with the artwork.

Final Thoughts:

I know some might not feel inclined to give the show a reasonable chance because of the lack of an English dub and because of the fact that this is a romantic anime. Guys especially might worry that it's a show only for girls. I find that idea silly. This is one of the best anime series I have seen over the past several years. This isn't a series that is going to appeal to everyone, of course, but if you are even remotely a fan of anime and animation you owe it to yourself to check out this show and soon. I think that a wide range of people would love this series. It is one of the best in it's genre. The story is heartwarming, the animation stellar, and the presentation (PQ/AQ/Packaging) is first-rate and exactly the kind of thing that helps to keep anime collector's interested in the market. It's entirely worthwhile and a necessary purchase for fans of the show. Highly Recommended.

Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.

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