Finding the Invisible God in…Kimi ni Todoke
Kimi ni Todoke is a wonderful series for a number of reasons, but perhaps most of all for its two leads: the socially inept Kuronuma and the popular and kind Kazehaya. Shojo manga and series, like any other, often fall victim to convention, but it’s through these characters that such conventions break. Kuronuma is a painfully awkward lead, but an always sincere one – her look and personality defy expectations. Meanwhile, Kazehaya flaws, beneath his shining exterior, feel very real.
As the series progresses, (SPOILERS ahead), the two develop a romance. Strangely enough, their road there and the romance itself reminds me of something very spiritual. It’s reminiscent of the “romance” between God and his followers.
Setting aside the reality of Kazehaya, I’ll focus on how Kuronuma feels about both him and herself. Though perhaps not pitiable, Kuronuma sees herself as imperfect. She has the humility to understand that. On the other hand, she sees Kazehaya as being perfect – he has the looks, the popularity, the athleticism, the smile, and most importantly, the kindness. And while she would like to get to know him better, Kuronuma feels clearly out of his league.
An individual must feel a similar sense if he or she is to develop a relationship with God. A holy God is clearly out of our leagues. Prayer demonstrates this relationship; we are properly going to God with our humble selves, placing Him in His rightful place and ourselves in a lower position.
A further analogy goes like this: there is a gap between sinful man and a holy God. We are far apart; what can connect us?
The answer is, of course, grace. Through Jesus’ atoning blood, God sees Him in us. When Christ comes to dwell in us, the Bible states that we are given new hearts. Likewise, Kazehaya sees Kuronuma’s heart; he sees the goodness within.
Thus, the two fit firmly into their roles as believer and God. But what of the entire romance analogy? It’s a bit odd to express the relationship between God and believer as romantic, but the Bible certainly does just that. Though the entire book is likely about King Solomon and one of his lovers, in light of the NT, portions of Song of Songs can be read as the relationship between God and his people:
Let him lead me to the banquet hall,
and let his banner over me be love.
- Song of Songs 2:4
The New Testament is less subtle in the analogy, as the church (God’s people) is referred to as the bride of Christ in the book of Revelation. Paul takes the analogy further by expressing how husbands should sacrifice for their wives as Jesus “gave Himself up for her,” referring to the church (Ephesians 5:25). Jesus’ parables, too, demonstrate a God who is desperate like a loving husband.
Notice how this romantic emphasis switches some. While the bride/church/Kuronuma wants to engage in a relationship, God/Kazehaya do as well. In fact, God and Kazehaya both are painted as desperate, jealous, and joyful as they seek their loves. And that’s appropriate to meditate on – as much as Kuronuma loves Kazehaya, he may feel even more strongly; and about God’s stronger love for us, there is no doubt.
- Kimi ni Todoke: Reaching You (dreamingworldswritingdreams.wordpress.com)
- Kimi ni Todoke S2 ep2: “Love is all about timing.” And yours is terrible! Just terrible! (donkangoljones.wordpress.com)