Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) Volume 23 focuses on Sawako Kuronuma, a high school girl who was a loner due to her looks. Her life changed after meeting Shota Kazehaya, the most popular boy in class. Over time, they progress from being friends to being a couple.
Even though Sawako and Shota both appear in Volume 23, they aren’t the main focus of the story. Instead, this volume tells the story of Sawako’s friend, Ayane Yano. She and her boyfriend, Kento Miura, are having problems.
Volume 23 sees Ayane wrestling with her feelings. Does she want to go to the same school as Kento for college, or does she want to go to the school that she really had her sights on? This topic alone makes conversation between the two of them rather difficult. The tension that begins with this topic continues to build over the course of the volume. As a reader, I could feel the tension and awkwardness between these two characters as I saw their interactions.
This volume is also very emotional, especially when it comes to Ayane. She finds herself thinking that she’s not a good person for how she’s treated Kento and starts feeling bad about herself. It’s during a visit with Sawako that she hears encouraging words and realizes what it is that she needs to do. But her decision brings about strong emotions, both from Ayane and Kento.
Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) Volume 23 is full of the drama of teenage love, but it’s not saccharine or forced. The depiction of the tension between Ayane and Kento is realistic, and I actually found myself feeling a little sorry for these two characters by the end of the volume.
When it comes to the art, I thought that Shiina was more minimal with it than I’ve seen in previous volumes. But considering the drama and tension that’s taking place in Volume 23, this minimal approach actually works for the mood that’s being conveyed.
Fans of the series will appreciate seeing the plot progression for Ayane and Kento in Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You) Volume 23, but may also be disappointed in the outcome if they had been shipping this particular couple. Even though what happens to this couple may not be what some readers hoped for, I think this was the most realistic way to evolve their relationship. But if you’ve been following Kimi ni Todoke (From Me to You), then you won’t want to miss reading Volume 23.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media