Have you ever experienced an anime so much fun that you just can’t stop? This was basically my experience with Toradora . At first when I heard about it, Toradora seemed unappealing and a regular school comedy, but due to its high popularity, I decided to give it a try. I watched the first five episodes, and put it on hold because I didn’t want to get into lots of new anime at the time, but about a week after the last episode was released, I decided to get back into it, and before I knew it, I was about to enter the realm of addiction.
Toradora starts off with the male lead, Ryuji Takasu, who is trying to make his best effort to make himself look good for his second term of high school. Despite his caring, gentle personality, his eyes resemble as of a dragon, which is why a lot of people are afraid of him and why Ryuji is called a delinquent throughout the whole school. Ryuji then starts off his first day, happy to know his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura, and the girl Ryuji has a crush, Minori Kushieda, are in the same class as him, But soon enough, Ryuji accidentally bumps into the most dangerous girl in school “The Palmtop Tiger”, Taiga Aisaka. Taiga usually has a negative attitude towards others, so after meeting Ryuji her first impression of Ryuji is that she really doesn’t like him. It also turns out that they end up being in the same class as well. Later that day after Ryuji is called up to the front of the school, he finds Taiga holding onto his school bag. He then fights for it, and endsd up getting his bag. Later at night, Ryuji figures out that the bag belongs to Yusaku, and that Taiga slipped a love leter in his bag. Taiga ends up in Ryuji’s apartment to “kill” Ryuji after him finding out about the love letter. She was able to barge in because it so turns out she lives in the rich apartment next to Ryuji’s apartment. Ryuji is able to convince Taiga to not hurt him by saying that he likes Minori. Oh, and did I ever mention Taiga and Minori are best friends? So basically they team up so they can end up with each other’s best friend. Another character that is important to the story shows up around the fifth episode, Ami Kawashima, a model that is Yusaku’s childhood friend. Ami has a liking to Ryuji, and hatred towards Taiga, so basically Toradora is a love pentagon. Pretty weird, huh? Toradora stats off sounding plain, but in later episodes it brings more uniqueness to the story, having episodes involve, Taiga VS Ami in a 50 meter relay, Taiga’s family difficulties, Christmas, and a tragic field trip in my opinion that was unforgettable. Toradora has a really strong story, and the relationships between everybody are very strong, basically all of them close friends.
Onto the OST and VA’s. The opening, which you’ve hard at the beginning of this review, is really spunky and has a Lucky Star quality to it. The second opening is very nice as well. Unfortunately, I can’t say for the ending themes, because they don’t give me the music quality I necessarily want. The soundtrack fits the mood throughout the series, and can be pretty calming at times. And the VA’s do an especially good job portraying each character, especially Rie Kugimiya, who has played such roles as Alphonse from Fullmetal Alchemist, Kagura from Gintama, Mizore Shirayuki from Rosario Vampire, and Shana as Shakugan no Shana. Throughout these aspects, you can tell she did a spot-on Taiga.
The art in my opinion is absolutely flawless. Maybe it’s because I watched the episodes in high quality, but it was shining and the colors were simply beautiful. The artwork shines throughout the series. I think this is probably one of Toradora’s high points.
Now the characters. The characters in Toradora are basically a hit-or-miss. There are characters in Toradora that are praised throughout the anime community, like Taiga, but some characters are neglected throughout the anime community, like Minori. I liked the characters, but for each character there was something missing between each one. Yusaku really got annoying after the last 10 episodes, Ami was a whiny bitch throughout the series in my opinion, and what really annoyed me is that characters that are basically extras throughout Toradora get rolled as “important characters”. But even so, I do believe that three of the main protagonists, Minori, Taiga, and Ryuji, are really good characters. Minori is very thoughtful of everyone around her, and is always putting her friends before herself. Ryuji is also thoughtful of everyone making their lives enjoyable, such as Taiga and his mother Yasuko. Taiga is perhaps the best tsundere I’ve witnessed throughout the anime community. She can be stubborn to people, but when she gets to know them more as friends, she can be very kind and thoughtful towards them, and, well, beating the crap out of people when they get in her way is pretty cool, too. So the characters have strong points and weak points towards them.
So overall, Toradora was a fun experience. Do you want to know how much I enjoyed it? 11 episodes in a row without stopping, making a new record for me. Toradora has a great plot, great character design, great music and VA’s, a nice set of characters, and a nice feeling after each episode. Toradora is a great experience that I think anyone could enjoy, so I recommend it to you, and my final rating is a 9.5 out of 10.
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