Genre: Comedy, Romance
Aired: October 1, 2008 – March 25, 2009
Based On: Toradora light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya
Director: Tatsuyuki Nagai
Produced By: Genco, J.C. Staff
US Distribution By: Not Licensed
|Character||Japanese Cast||English Cast (N/A)|
|Taiga Aisaka:||Rie Kugimiya|
|Ryuji Takasu:||Junji Majima|
|Minori Kushieda:||Yui Horie|
|Ami Kawashima:||Eri Kitamura|
|Yusaku Kitamura:||Hirofumi Nojima|
|Yasuko Takasu:||Sayaka Ohara|
Toradora is centered around two high school students who happen to live next to each other: Taiga Aisaka and Ryuji Takasu.
Taiga, known by the nickname “Palmtop Tiger” at school due to the combination of her small stature and her fierce outward personality, has had a crush on one of her classmates, Yusaku Kitamura, for a while. She’s also the daughter of a rich family, though is currently estranged from both of her parents and live in a condo on her own that her father pays for. Ryuji, who is known somewhat as a delinquient at school due to his intense look, has a crush on classmate Minori. He also lives with his single mother, who works at a hostess bar to make ends meet and is largely a clean freak and good cook.
Taiga and Ryuji’s story starts when Taiga accidentally puts a love letter meant for Kitamura into Ryuji’s bag, due to confusing which seat they sat in. Having found out that Ryuji now knows such an embarassing thing attacks him over it. However, Taiga soon finds out that Ryuji likes her best friend Minori and the two decide to create a pact where they each will try to set the other up with their crushes (as Kitamura is also Ryuji’s friend just as Minori is Taiga’s).
Eventually, this leads into a mess where Taiga likes Kitamura, but Kitamura wants to remain friends, where Ryuji likes Minori, Minori likes Ryuji, Taiga starts having feelings for Ryuji, but both Taiga and Minori try to push Ryuji towards the other beliving that’s who really likes Ryuji/who Ryuji really likes. Throw in a fifth wheel in the popular idol Ami Kawashima, whom is really selfish, though she covers up that part of her personality around others, and you have an overall good romantic comedy.
My primary issue with this series is at the end, where I think the switch from Taiga perusing Kitamura to “discovering” that she liked Ryuji and, especially, the transition from Ryuji going after Minori to going after Taiga is too abrupt and without very much foreshadowing in the show other than Minori’s refusal to date Ryuji (which initially is taken as her just not liking Ryuji). Most of the building in Taiga and Ryuji’s relationship being romantic is mostly due to the simple fact that the story focuses on them, not necessarily anything in the story.
Luckily (or perhaps, the core of the problem) is that this transition only occurs over a couple of episodes, and the story after it gets past that point is also good, so the series as a whole isn’t too damaged by this problem. Overall, one still gets about 22 episodes of a pretty good show out of a 25 episode series, which is still doing pretty good for any series. Much of this is attributed to the comedy in the series, but there are also several dramatic scenes as well which are pulled off well in the middle and later part of the series.
On it’s technical aspects, the music is overall very good and the animation is, as a whole good, though there are a couple of exceptions.
Overall, I definitely think Toradora is a series that many anime fans would enjoy.
English Dubs: N/A
First Watched: October 2008 – March 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes