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.

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