Anime Lounge #06: Toradora! Ep. 13–26

Toradora bannerSeries: Toradora!

Episodes: 13 to 26

Anime-LoungePremise: It’s the sec­ond half of Toradora, the series about a maybe-delinquent Ryu­uji Takasu and his reluc­tant friend and neigh­bor, Taiga Aisaka. Ryu­uji is on a quest to win the heart of Taiga’s best friend, Minori Kushieda, and Taiga’s work­ing to win the affec­tions of Ryuuji’s best friend, Yuusaku Kita­mura. Nei­ther has made much progress before they team up, but together they’ve got­ten a lit­tle fur­ther, or so they think. It turns out that Minori is seem­ingly obliv­i­ous to Ryuuji’s feel­ings and Yuusaku already knows and doesn’t return Taiga’s feel­ings. Thus, the turn of Taiga and Ryu­uji begins. With the title of the show being Toradora (the com­bi­na­tion of the two lead char­ac­ters’ names), you have to real­ize by now that at some point the two are going to get together. The fun is in see­ing where the turn begins.

Is it worth watch­ing?: Yes. The devel­op­ment of Taiga from a one-note tsun­dere is spec­tac­u­lar. Sud­denly, she becomes much more inter­est­ing when you learn the gen­e­sis of her actions (fam­ily prob­lems), and you see her finally allow­ing her­self to move beyond a hope­less crush on some­one who doesn’t par­tic­u­larly want her. You begin to real­ize that she missed the boat with Yuusaku and that Ryu­uji is the per­son she should be pin­ing for. Does she? That’s the worth­while part and how. Also, the devel­op­ment of Ryu­uji turn­ing from reluc­tance to all-out roman­tic hero is a good thing.

Break­out char­ac­ter: Taiga. Yes, she’s a main char­ac­ter, but she starts to shine in the mid­dle of the series and finally starts to become a poten­tially like­able char­ac­ter by the end. Once you under­stand the com­plex­i­ties of her life, you under­stand Taiga’s moti­va­tions. She isn’t used to hav­ing some­one take charge and be a sta­ble force in her life, and for Taiga, Ryu­uji pro­vides that. Once Taiga real­izes that she needs that and it’s been right there in front of her face the entire time, she becomes pretty cool.

Fun­ni­est episode: Episode 24 (Con­fes­sion). We won’t spoil who con­fesses to whom, but the con­fes­sion is one of the most heart­felt yet hilar­i­ous in a roman­tic com­edy. The actual con­fes­sion is one of delayed reac­tion and neces­sity, but that doesn’t make it any less fun, espe­cially after watch­ing the pre­vi­ous 23 episodes.

Where it’s going: Ques­tions are answered and some ori­gin issues are addressed in the finale. And, yes, Toradora finally makes sense by the end.

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