Episodes: 13 to 26
Premise: 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.