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"There's no knowing how others are feeling unless you ask them. And your feelings can't get through to others unless you directly express them. Because we can't understand each other, it makes us feel the desire to make things even clearer. And that brings joy to my heart."
- Sawako describing the joy of communicating feelings properly, the essence behind the series

Sawako Kuronuma
Sawako
Character Name
Kanji 黒沼 爽子
Rōmaji Kuronuma Sawako
Personal Information
Nickname Sadako
Birthday December 31
Age 15 (Debut)
Gender Female
Blood Type A
Sign Capricorn
Height 158 cm (5'2)
Weight 44 kg (97 lbs)
Motto "One good deed per day."
Family Mrs. Kuronuma (Mother)

Mr. Kuronuma (Father)

Professional Status
Occupation Student
Affiliation Kitahoro High School
First Appearance
Manga Volume 1 Chapter 0
Anime Episode 1 Prologue
Media
Voiced by Mamiko Noto (Anime)

Mikako Tabe (Live Action)

Sawako Kuronuma (黒沼 爽子 Kuronuma Sawako) is the main protagonist of the series Kimi ni Todoke.

She is an unassuming, honest high school girl in search of friendship, but her resemblance to the horror film character Sadako Yamamura made this difficult. Her peculiar levels of modesty and ineffective communication skills prevented her from correcting misconceptions. As a result, she was tragically ostracized by everyone she met, and forgot how to understand others and express herself. Still, she is a pure, positive, and caring person who works hard in everything she does.

On the day of the entrance ceremony at Kitahoro High School, Sawako meets Shouta Kazehaya on the road by chance and helps him find his way. Due to his friendly and broad-minded nature, he is the first person she is able to smile genuinely around and get through to as herself and not Sadako. All of a sudden, her world begins to change as she learns to communicate her feelings and form close friendships with fellow human beings, especially Chizuru Yoshida and Ayane Yano, for the first time in her life.

Currently, she is studying to be a high school Japanese Language teacher at the University of Education with her rival and later best friend, Ume Kurumizawa.

Appearance

Sawako is a considerably petite and slender girl. Her appearance stands out among her high school population, as she has pale skin, thin lips, big brown eyes, and long straight jet-black hair, making her look like a porcelain doll. Because of this, she is constantly mistaken as "Sadako" from "The Ring". Her smile is rumored to bring good luck, due to its rarity and the fact that it is beautiful to look at. Chizuru notes that Sawako's face and figure looks like her mother's, while most of Sawako's other features, including her short frame, are inherited of her father's.

Sawako in the manga

Sawako in the manga.

Sawako usually wears her high school uniform, along with a blue blazer during winter, and a short-sleeved dress shirt during summer. Her skirt reaches her knees, as she follows school regulations and does not pull or roll it like her female peers. Neither does she care much for cosmetics or accessories.

When not at school, Sawako is known to usually wear light-colored dresses instead, but wears a t-shirt and a pair of pants during the school trip to be more at ease when walking.

Personality

Sawako is known to get nervous easily, giving her a creepy look due to nervousness along with her already "frightening appearance" which resembles a certain horror film character. Other running gag is that Sawako seems to take what people say seriously and over-analyze a situation, which tends to scare others around her when she is deep in thought. People think she can curse people, until Pin says she is an exorcist, which she can't do any of them. However, her tendency to shy away from correcting people of misconceptions prevent her from doing so.

In reality, Sawako is a shy yet honest person who really wants to make new friends and be more open with other persons and new things, which along with her nervous attitude explains her "scary character". She is always seen doing chores as noticed by Shouta, but he realizes Sawako does it because she wants to and doesn't want others to be troubled. Thanks to Shota's kind and open nature, Sawako is able to gradually make friends and have adventures with them, eventually open up. Sawako is a rather caring and kind person, though she appears to smile rarely, with Ayane and Chizuru getting surprised fast. She also works hard in everything she does, as seen when she fought back the girls from Class-A who insulted Ayane and Chizuru. Her pacifist nature and protectiveness sometimes makes her sacrifice herself for her dear ones, as seen when she avoided Ayane, Chizuru, and even Shouta, to protect them from the rumors. Sawako is a bit oblivious to the point of affecting others unconsciously though, being yelled by Shouta that avoiding others wasn't right, and that she was already friends with Ayane and Chizuru according to Chizuru herself. She also does not realize Shouta loves her at first, mistaking his confession as a rejection of her feelings.

It is shown that Sawako can give very good personal advice in an objective role, giving consultations as part of the cafe her class put together revolving around her vibe and medicinal plants during the school festival. Ryu stated that all of the dark, hateful people who went in the cafe came out purified and later on were able to confess to and date the people they talked to Sawako about. She also is quite harmonious and open-minded, noting how all things/beings complement each other. Sometimes, Sawako enjoys using her "ghostly appearance" in order to scaring her classmates.

Sawako is grateful (and at first worships) of Shouta for giving her the opportunities to make close friends, which come to include Ayane, Chizuru, Ryu and Shouta himself. The former two admitted that her 'like' to Shouta might be even more than Ayane and Chizuru themselves though. After noticing her feelings for Shouta, Sawako begins to become more nervous around him, in fear of her own greediness. Later on though, she works hard on trying to confess her feelings to him, which leads to them getting together. After they start going out, Sawako tries to become a bit more bold, trying to hold Shouta's hand and change the look of her uniform to impress him, also beginning to love Shouta even more after hearing more about his own feelings.

Abilities

Enhanced Speed: Sawako is incredibly fast at running and jumping, to the point where people believe she is teleporting. This is revealed during a soccer match at the School's Sports Festival.

Cooking: Sawako is very good at cooking, tending to make meals for her friends, who often become delighted and ask for a second round.

Relationships

Shouta Kazehaya

Shouta is Sawako's outgoing, friendly classmate, who she considered her idol since they first met on the first day of school. After getting to talk to him more before summer break, she begins to be with Shota more, as well as find new oppurtunities and make new friends. Shota is someone who has influenced Sawako's life greatly, because if it was not him, she wouldn't have been able to make friends (like Ayane and Chizuru) or rivals (Kurumi), along with experimenting so many new things. He also cheered her on when she tried to be friends with Chizuru and Ayane, and thinks how she could always hear Shota's voice inside her head.

Sawako has admitted that she could never hate Shota to him during the rumors about her, Chizuru, and Ayane, and was troubled greatly when she had to avoid Shota so he wouldn't get hurt, showing how much she cares about him. Later on, Sawako begins to realize how she has become greedy when it is involved with Shota, wanting to spend more time with him alone during New Year. She becomes troubled, and is too nervous to even talk to Shota, to the point of not being able to give chocolates to him on Valentine's Day. She begins to be unable to speak to Shota due to nervousness and of her feelings coming out, and misunderstands Shota's confession as a rejection.

After being scolded by not only Kurumi but Chizuru as well, and a bit of support from Ayane, Kento, and Ryu, Sawako truly realizes what her true feelings are. She thinks to herself how at first "he was so incredible for her" but figures out the one she fell for was just an ordinary guy. She goes after Shota, and confesses her true feelings, but is interrupted before she can hear Shota's true response (although he had hugged her). The next day, Sawako confesses she wants to try to have a new relationship with him, since she felt there was a wall between them, and Shota confesses to her right after in front of everyone. Sawako is shown to be more nervous around Shota, but also smiles more with him. At this point, they have finally held hands, and admitted when they first started to like one another, with Sawako noticing it was when he first said her full name. They have also tried calling one another by first names, but quickly go back to the usual last names.

After the field trip, Shota is more self-conscious of himself and becomes a bit more distant to Sawako because he wants to treasure her. They have tried to kiss before in the manga during the field trip, but are interrupted, and have begun to become awkward around one another. However, during their second Christmas, Sawako feels lonely because Shota is so busy managing the party that he does not spend any time with her, even wondering whether he still likes her. Eventually, Sawako confronts him on their relationship, also asking him if he still likes her and questions their relationship. She then closes her eyes for 5 seconds, hoping the awkwardness between them would be resolved (Shota later then asks her, "W-what's wrong... Kuronuma?" while blushing after she opens her eyes), and Sawako breaks out in tears and calls him a liar. He then kisses her 4 times.

Ayane Yano

Ayane is a close friend of Sawako, as well as one of the first few people who noticed Sawako was being avoided, as seen in Chapter 1. She is different compared to Chizuru when trying to help Sawako, as she instead finds the truth and is more calculating, which Ayane notes herself. Ayane also helps Sawako with makeovers, although usually uses light make up on her.

Sawako cares about Ayane a lot, as seen when she avoided her and the others to protect them from the rumors. Although she is usually calm and collected, Ayane is easily infuriated if someone hurts Sawako and not hesitate to attack the one she believes is responsible (frequently Kazehaya) with kicks and sharp words. She also was the one who discovered Kurumi made those fake rumors, and had proved it to Sawako herself. Ayane greatly watches over Sawako's relationships, and seems to enjoy watching it. Sawako's affection for Shota also makes her to start questioning her own relationships.

Chizuru Yoshida

Yoshida is another close friend of Sawako and Ayane. She tends to cry a lot when Sawako says something sweet or does something for her. Yoshida and Ayane try to help Sawako gain more friends and they also try to set up Kazehaya and Sawako. Chizuru is someone who will fight back head on for Sawako, and cares for her greatly. At one point, she even scolds Sawako for not believing in herself, leading the latter to think more about her actions, although Chizuru also regrets yelling at Sawako right after. They make up right after, leading the two girls to be really happy.

Sawako has always felt Chizuru and Ryu would make a good match, although Chiru loves Ryu's brother, Toru, instead. When Chizuru began to feel rejected by Toru, Sawako began to worry about the fact she couldn't do anything, but gets advice from Shota to just be by her side. After Sawako cries for Chizuru, she is able to make Chizuru cry and say what she really feels.

Ryu Sanada

Ryu is a good friend to Sawako. Sharing similar soft-spoken, honest personalities, the two are on friendly terms. Throughout the series, they often support each other in pursuing their respective romantic relationships. Sawako was the first person Ryu ever confided in on his romantic feelings for Chizuru, and for some time she was the only other person who knew and supported him. Likewise, Ryu is aware of Sawako's own romantic feelings for Shouta and plays a major role in helping her realize them. Later on, when Sawako was unable to communicate to Shouta due to her anxiety, Ryu helped her out by making her realize how silly she was acting. Finally, when Sawako mustered enough courage to tell Kazehaya how she felt, Ryu guided her by telling where Kazehaya was. Ryu is glad for both Shouta and Sawako when they finally get together.

When they first met in Kitahoro High, Ryu originally does not remember Sawako's name that well, comically misspelling it as "Kuroyama Takako", etc. However, it is a commendable fact that unlike most of the class, he never avoided Sawako. Not caring about her supposed supernatural powers or even believing in them, he had no problem sitting in the seat behind her. He also did not doubt her trustworthiness in spreading rumors against Yoshida and Yano, aware of her thinking process.

Ryu has stated more than once that he likes Sawako, but not in a romantic sense. Similarly, Sawako has stated that she also likes Ryu, but sees him as a fellow classmate rather than a romantic interest.

Ume 'Kurumi' Kurumizawa

Sawako had met Kurumi a few times before finally formally getting to know one another. She had thought of Kurumi as her role model since she was always so nice, even wanting to become pretty since she saw Kurumi. After Kurumi asked Sawako for her help in getting together with Shota, she said she couldn't help thus noting her true feelings towards Shota, leading Kurumi to start showing her true personality to Sawako. Despite this, Sawako didn't hate Kurumi, even after finding out that Kurumi started the rumors.

Sawako admitted to herself that the Kurumi who is in love with Shota was the cutest, and they start to talk more about Shota's good points. Later on, Kurumi confessed, due to what Sawako had said to her before, and announced they were rivals the next day. When Sawako and Shota had accidentally rejected one another, Kurumi scolded Sawako stating she was not her rival, since Sawako had not tried hard in confessing unlike her, leading the latter to think about what she did. In the end, after Sawako and Shota get together, Kurumi thanks Sawako for being a good rival, and says it was because of Sawako that she was able to confess to Shota.

Recently, Kurumi has returned and revealed that she wishes to study to be a teacher, just like Sawako. She and Sawako form a closer bond with one another as they both prepare for this mutual career, with Kurumi accepting Sawako as a study partner and promising that she'll do her best to push Sawako along just as Sawako will do for her. Kurumi also helped Sawako deal with a problem she was having on Valentine's Day, which made Sawako call her "a good person", vehemetly denying it when Kurumi insisted that she had a "bad personality".

Shino

Shino was Sawako's elementary school classmate and the only person who Sawako talks to as the series begins. During elementary school, Shino called Sawako "Sadako" by mistake, causing others being afraid by Sawako's appearance, heard rumors that she was known as "Sadako".

It is because of this, that Shino feels guilty, thus caring about Sawako and whether she is fitting into high school. She is in a different class and regrets that she doesn't get to see Sawako very much. Perhaps for their occasionally interactions unless something happened with other people, Sawako is too modest to consider her as a friend.

Kento Miura

Kento sat beside Sawako in the second year, eventually developing an attraction towards her. He tried breaking them up but ends up making Shouta confess to Sawako but since both of them never understood what the other person meant they ended up separating and things turn to his way but failed. In the end, Kento realizes Sawako only sees him as a friend.

Quotes

"Do one good deed a day." - Sawako's motto

"I'll try not to scare anyone on my way home."

"The longer you are with someone, the tougher it is to part ways."

"I have never done anything against my will." - Sawako to Chizuru and Ayane

"During elementary school, I wasn't particularly disliked, but I didn't have a close friend either. I lacked a social circle. One day, a classmate of mine accidentally called me "Sadako". Ever since, I've been mistaken for the character. My middle school classmates made it a joke. Before I knew it, I was known as a "ghost magnet". Then, when I entered high school, that single rumor spawned many other myths. That being said, when I reflect on how I was in the past, I think I was fortunate. While I did get depressed at times, I never felt absolutely miserable." - Sawako reflects on her past self

"You're all blind to the truth! While everyone else ignored me... they never feared or avoided me. You don't know how kind they really are! You don't know them at all! You can't know how much I care for them! It's way more than "like". I love them!" - Sawako to her bullies about Chizuru and Ayane

"My hobbies back then? Hmm... I would tie some strings around chairs and jump around. One-man volleyball too. Aren't these depressing?" - Sawako to Kazehaya

Trivia

  • Her name means "refreshing child."
  • She was given the nickname "Sadako" in kindergarten by her childhood friend Shino. This is where all her problems begin.
  • She is played by Tabe Mikako in the live action movie.
  • Although her estimated birth date was December 24th, she was late and finally born on New Years Eve.
  • Her childhood dream was to become a firefly.
  • When she first encounters Kurumi, Sawako wishes she could have curly hair, too.
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See also