Toradora – Anime Review

The Essentials

ToradoraName: Toradora
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Episodes: 25
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

Cast

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

Review

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.

Scores

Story: 4/5
Animation: 5/5
Music: 5/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 5/5

First Watched: October 2008 – March 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

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13 thoughts on “Toradora – Anime Review

  1. I really enjoyed Toradora! The humour never seems forced and the characters are great (Never having stupid misunderstandings). Though I couldn’t understand Taigas decision at the end.

    • Watch after the credits XD.
      There’s more (my friend told me about this today and I got mad at myself, this happens to me too much).

  2. I like Toradora… it should be more than 25 episode… it’ll be great if it is…

    If the makers could just make more episodes… :D

  3. I am really addicted to that program (which is Tora Dora) all the episodes are very amazing especially the episode when ami kawashima and taiga aisaka met.i really love the music , animation and the whole story.

  4. I definitely like this serie, the story and character development are at a point where I could say: jeez, wish other romance/slice of life/drama anime were as nice as ToraDora!’s. But I wish, even though I’m fine with how the story ended, that it should continue with an after story like Clannad did. If that happens, then it might be as good as Clannad. Right now, in my opinion, Clannad stays best.

  5. I really liked Toradora up until the last few episodes, where it felt to me like Ryuuji was basically being forced to fall in love with Taiga. I mean seriously, he didn’t even know she liked him until she confessed while on his back in the snow. I raged hard when it was revealed that the only reason Minori and Ami were pushing Ryuuji around was because they wanted him to end up with Taiga.

    Up until that point Ryuuji never even had any romantic feelings for Taiga. He cared deeply about her but he always loved Minori, and it was just really depressing that he decided to just accept what the others wanted of him and just go for Taiga.

    Ugh, this is so not how you pull off this kind of romance. If they really wanted us to accept Ryuuji falling for Taiga they should have done it from the start, or at least from the middle, not just randomly out of the blue near the end. Just because Ryuuji was diligent in taking care of Taiga and being essentially her best friend does not mean they should have ended up as a couple. Freakin’ ridiculous.

  6. I don’t know about others but I knew they were going to be a couple right from episode one. I thought it would be interesting to see how they would end up to that point which kept me watching. I have to say, I am satisfied after watching all the episodes. I thought it was a great rom/com anime.

  7. No one was forcing him, really. If you didn’t notice throughout the whole story, Ami kept telling to stop acting like a father and discover his true feelings. There were moments of jealousy too. He probably had feelings for her somewhere between the beginning and the middle, but didn’t take the glass shielding out of his eyes until near the end. I guess it wasn’t really focused on that much, and you probably had to stay keen to sight to notice, but I think it was well played out and very enjoyable.

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