Top 5 on The Strip: Anime cliches

Anime: Nisekoi
Anime: Nisekoi

1. Amnesia-stricken protagonist

Your protagonist — male or female, it doesn’t matter — is going to conveniently forget his or her’s first love. They will struggle to remember just who the person is, will struggle with their feelings for this person and then miraculously remember every detail, down to exact conversations they may have had when they were young.

 

Anime: Myself;Yourself
Anime: Myself;Yourself

2. Young romance grows up

The protagonist is quite outgoing and will make a friend or two that they will inevitably leave behind. They will encounter this person years later and will find a way to reconnect based on their previous dealings with each other. In this new age, they will rediscover that which they have in common and it will recreate a long-forgotten romance between them.

 

Anime: Toradora!
Anime: Toradora!

3. Opposites attract

The main characters that are destined to be together will not like each other. In fact, they downright hate each other. They can’t stand each other but somehow keep finding themselves thrown together in situations that require them to interact and learn something new about each other. Before long — usually by the end of the series — they will find themselves together.

 

Anime: Kimi ni Todoke
Anime: Kimi ni Todoke

4. Valentine chocolate is strictly forbidden

Giving the gift of chocolate for Valentine’s Day is a ritual for school children worldwide, and more so in Japan. It’s so prevalent that it’s usually an episode in a romantic comedy series or any type of romance series that involves school. What usually happens is that the main characters will attempt to bake chocolates or buy chocolates for their intended special person. It will either be extremely problematic or won’t happen at all. Hilarity or drama can and will ensue.

 

Anime: Lovely Complex
Anime: Lovely Complex

5. The payoff scene

Required for every romantic comedy by the third to the last episode in the series, the main characters have to have a confession scene. One of the characters has to be obvious about their feelings up to this point, and the other has to be oblivious to it until a revelation occurs that makes them take notice of the fact that the other character has been panting behind them since the first episode. What happens next is important: There has to be payoff for the buildup. They have to confess feelings and kiss, enter a relationship or resolve everything by the end of the series.

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.

Anime Lounge #03: Toradora! Ep. 1-12

Series: Toradora!

Episodes: 1-12

Premise: Toradora! revolves around two characters mostly: Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka. Ryuuji has a crush on Minori Kushieda, while Taiga has a crush on Yuusaku Kitamura, Ryuuji’s best friend. Ryuuji and Taiga have a run-in on their first day of second year, and later discover that they are next-door neighbors. Ryuuji has an undeserved reputation as a delinquent while Taiga is known as the “Palmtop Tiger” because of her diminutive size and With the mutual goal in mind of capturing the hearts of each other’s best friends, Ryuuji and Taiga decide to team up.

Is it worth watching?: If you love school/romance anime, you’ll probably love Toradora. There are some genuinely funny moments, but darker themes such as abandonment and maturation are explored. The only stumbling block that really came up immediately was the tsundereness (cold outside, warm inside) of Taiga. She kind of grates on your nerves but eventually you learn the reasons behind it. I grew to like the character immensely.

Breakout character: Ryuuji is a scene-stealer, even as a main character. He shines as the voice of reason throughout the first half of the show, and makes an impression as someone who has a lot on his shoulders but manages to keep a level head despite the inequities of his life.

Funniest episode: Episode 1 (Tiger and Dragon) has probably one of the funniest scenes in the series. After Taiga and Ryuuji agree to team up to land their respective crushes, Ryuuji visits Taiga’s opulent apartment next door. The horror that greets him forces him to clean. Taiga is completely helpless when it comes to domestication, and Ryuuji is not. Hilarity in the form of the depths of Ryuuji’s neat-freak nature ensues.

Where it’s going: With the plan to snag their respective crushes in full swing, Ryuuji and Taiga begin to learn something more about their own relationship and how to work with their growing dependence on each other. Taiga’s foil in Ami Kawashima has been introduced, so it’s interesting to see just how far Ami is willing to go to cozy up to Ryuuji, where Kitamura’s feelings have evolved after his previous confession to Taiga and her rejection and just how Minorin feels about Ryuuji.