Ryuuji is about to start his 3rd year of high school and he's really excited, there's just one problem, his eyes make him look like he's always giving people dirty looks (no not sexually). This makes everyone think that he is a delinquent, even though he's not. Enter Taiga, a short girl with and even shorter temper, Ryuuji apparently picks a fight with her and gets his ass handed to him. At the end of the day he find Taiga sneaking around their homeroom, then she flips out when he gets his bag, trying to steal it form him. When he gets home he finds out why, Taiga had put a love letter in his bag that was meant for his best friend Yuusaku. Then she sneaks in the middle of the night and attacks him, but she fails, and Ryuuji accidentally revels that he has a crush on Taigas best friend Minori. So they both decide to team up to help each others love life. What I really like about this story is that it's not a love triangle and it's not a harem, it's somewhere in the middle like a love square, or a love pentagon with the addition of Ami. For about the first 20ish episode everything is fun and light hearted, with both Taiga and Ryuuji not getting anywhere with their respected love interests, but around the end of episode 19 the shit hits the fan and everything is suddenly dramatic. You know what that's fine, in fact that's great that's what I was expecting and wanted out of this show, it's just that the transformation from light hearted comedy to serious drama was a little fast and I would have preferred that it was a little more gradual, but it's a small complaint and this show has a solid romance story behind it.
Again like in my DRRR review not to much to say, the animation is nice and does its job. There was a slight dip in quality during action heavy scenes, but it wasn't Gonzo bad so I’ll let it slide. Over all it looks quite nice...moving on.
The music fits well, but it mostly forgettable, MOSTLY, because this soundtrack has one of my favorite anime songs EVER i.e. Lost My Pieces, which you should all go listen to right now, and that's about it for the OST. The voice acting, well I couldn't really say since I was too busy reading subtitles to notice, so I guess that means it gets a free pass on this one.
The characters are quite nice in this show with the two leads being very good. Taiga is a your typically Tsundere, and Ryuuji is your typically misunderstood nice guy, but it's more about their interactions with each other that really makes this shows characters special in my heart, and no I don't feel weird saying that Taiga is FREAKING ADORABLE...ahem. The secondary characters include both Taiga and Ryuujis best friends, who are both likeable enough, and Yuusaku's childhood friend, who is a huge bitch when she was introduced, but she did slowly start to work her way into my heart, and by the end of the show was also quite likeable. While Minori and Ami both do get some pretty damn good character development, especially Ami oddly enough, I didn't really feel Yuusaku got quite enough time to develop, yeah there was a whole arc about him wanting to be rebellious, but that was really all the development and for the rest of the series he's on comic relief, good comic relief mind you, but he could have been done a little better I think. Again though, small complaint that didn't really take too much away from the show as a whole.
In conclusion, Toradora is a solid romantic comedy, with a lot of drama near the end. This is probably one of the best romantic dramedys I have seen. Now the question must be asked is it as good as Clannad After Story, the anime by which all other romantic dramas must be judged, no it's not, but it's not to far behind. So if you like romance you will not be disappointed, if you like slice of life stories or Tsundere characters you will like this, if you're into drama you might have to wait a little but it's still worth your time. Overall it's good, go watch it now.
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