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.