Anime Reviews #7

Toradora is a complicated school life anime about teenage life.

Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka are two students at Ohasi High School often misjudged by their appearance. Takasu attempts to dissuade his bad reputation. Taiga exacerbates her bad image, usually with cursing and violence.

It was a light novel by Yuyuko Takemiya and illustrated by Yasu.   Made into a manga Illustrated by Zekkyo.  Adapted to an animation by Mari Okada. Directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and premiered on Japanese October 2008. 

I am not a 100% sure when I found this anime, if it was borrowed from a site that offered subbed animes or Crunchyroll.  I do know it was before Netflix got it.

Despite their appearance, Ryuji and Taiga are gifted with two best friends in Minori Kushieda for Taiga and Yasaku Kitamura.  Unfortunately, they each have awesome crushes on the others best friend.  Through a series of weird circumstances, Taiga and Ryuji confide in each other about the people they like.  It turned out that Taiga and Ryuji are neighbors.   They decide to support each other in gaining the affections of their significant others.  It seems like an easy gimmick, right?  Except Kitamura had confessed to Taiga and she turned him down.  I’m sure Ryuji got a chance to confess to Minori but never took the chance.  Neither Ryuji nor Taiga know how to express or define their feelings.   With the addition of Kawashima Ami, the group is complete.  A childhood friend of Kitamura’s, she works as a model and is used to people telling her how pretty she is. She pretends to be nice for attention.   Ami joins the group and becomes frenemies with Taiga and love rival with Minori.   

All the characters are in some kind of emotional turmoil.  Kawashima as the observer of the four tends to notice things before the others do.  Each character would sacrifice for friendship.  It is admirable but not exactly healthy.  Throughout the anime, which is the school year, they all explore, face the fear and come to a realization. The results are heart felt emotional breakthroughs. 

By the end of the series, Ryuji and Taiga love each other and are willing to confess to each other.  I think they even plan to get married.    Feelings were hurt, but honesty is appreciated, and friendships are intact. 

I liked this anime and is always willing to re-watch this anime because of those reasons.  They have the obligatory episodes, the beach, the pool, the class, school festival and of course Christmas.  It was based on a manga; it is possible they have filler episodes, stories that are not part of original story, but they don’t feel like them.  Each episode shows the friendship between the five main characters and other students.   Another thing I liked about the characters were that each of them had their own thing going on.  Taiga had her height and agility.  Ryuji was an excellent cook and housekeeper.  Kitamura was the class rep and part of student government.  Minori was an athlete and movie impersonator.  Ami a model.   Their characters were developed enough for their actions and emotions were credible.  The three did not revolve around the two main characters in an unbelievable way.   The romance was inevitable but the journey to it was wonderful to experience.  The growth and change in the characters were visible.  It hit all my percentages.   Toradora was also complete in 25 episodes.  I read in Wikipedia that there was a spin-off.  There might have even been an anime movie.  In conclusion, I will recommend it for anyone who wants to watch a light school life story.  Light because the feel-good ending that doesn’t lead you to have questions later. 


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