This is the character page for the romantic comedy Toradora!
Ryuuji is a seventeen-year-old high school student in Class 2-C. Due to biological inheritance, his face makes him look like an intimidating delinquent
and causes many misunderstandings. Since he lives in a fatherless family with just his mother and their pet parakeet "Inko-chan" (''inko'' literally means parakeet in Japanese
), Ryuuji learned to be a good cook, tailor and overall house husband. He holds a crush on Minori, a girl his age in his class, and has made a pact with his neighbor, Minori's best friend Taiga, to help him win her over, even as he also helps Taiga with domestic chores.
- Animal Motifs: The dragon.
- Berserk Button: Do not compare him to his father.
- Beware the Nice Ones: During the School Race during the Cultural Festival.
- Calling The Old Lady Out: In one of his harsher moments, Ryuuji calls his mom out on getting pregnant at a young age and giving her education up. He instantly regrets it upon seeing her cry.
- Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings for Minori. He has to ask Taiga's help to get close to her.
- Character Tics: Hair twirling.
- Chick Magnet
- Face of a Thug: He is a really Nice Guy, but inherited his Yakuza father's looks. His classmates soon realize that he is a whole lot nicer than he looks.
- First Kiss: With Taiga in the end.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: Once he's all dressed up and groomed at the Christmas Party, everyone notices how good he looks in a suit.
- Heroic Bastard: He is the illegitimate son of a bar hostess and a Yakuza.
- House Husband: Already one in the making, what with having to take care of his frequently-drunken mother and a cute but socially inept neighbor.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Huge Guy to Taiga's Tiny Girl.
- Love at First Punch: Taiga punches him in the face upon meeting him for the first time, but it took more than this for him to fall for her.
- Love Revelation Epiphany: He doesn't begin to realize he has feelings for Taiga until she accidentally confesses to him.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: The feminine boy to Taiga's masculine girl.
- Matchmaker Crush: At first, he tries to hook up Taiga and Kitamura. Eventually, he develops feelings for Taiga without even realizing it.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: How Taiga sees their relationship. More exactly, she says Ryuuji's her dog.
- Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold
- Mundane Made Awesome: He takes cleaning very, very seriously.
- Neat Freak: And how! Hits absurd extremes in the last novel when his punishment for leaving school is commuted from expulsion to cleaning the faculty restroom every day and writing weekly reports about it. Teachers start to freak out when he begins indexing the hairs he finds on the floor.
- Nice Guy: Don't let his mean looks fool you.
- Oblivious to Love: Naturally. He never really figures out that Ami also likes him. Taiga and Minori have to spell it out for him.
- Official Couple: With Taiga.
- Opposites Attract: He's a guy with a Face of a Thug but generally kind, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking) who falls in love with a cute small girl with a brash, loud and angry personality and unable to properly take care of herself.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Cooks, sews, cleans, etc. This especially helps Taiga, who recently moved away from home with nary a knowledge of basic home skills.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Minori's Energetic Girl.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Yuusaku's manly man.
- Slasher Smile: His default smile but subverted in that it's his bone structure that give him this type of smile, not his intent. He is able to pull a non-Slasher Smile when he does a non-toothy half-smile though.
- Son of a Whore: Subverted. His mother is not a whore, just a late-night bar hostess, but, in some aspects, it's perceived as pretty much the same in Japan.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To his father, to his dismay.
- Supreme Chef: There's no doubt by anyone that he's an excellent cook.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: He is the dragon and Taiga is the tiger.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Turn Out Like His Father: Defied. Even though he looks like him, he pledged to never be like his father. See Berserk Button above.
- Unlucky Everydude
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: With his mother.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
Taiga is a childlike 17-year-old schoolgirl who has trouble engaging with others. Due to her ridiculously short stature at 145cm (4'7.5") and her tendency to snap at others brutally, she is given the nickname "Palmtop Tiger", giving her a Napoleon complex and a frequently sour face. Essentially, Taiga gets upset easily and is considerably clumsy. She also hails from a rich family, but due to its recent troubles, she has taken to living on her own. However, being a child of privilege barely prepared her for dealing with domestic chores. When she meets Ryuuji and learns of his talents, she begins to depend on him for them. Aside from sleeping in her own house and going to school, she spends most of her time at Ryuuji's house; so much so that she is almost considered a member of his family, and many classmates think they are dating.
- Action Girl
- A-Cup Angst: The focus of the Pool Episode. Ryuuji offers to help her by making breast pads to fill up her swimsuit.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: She unknowingly confesses her feelings for Ryuuji (thinking he is Kitamura) while she is semi-conscious due to falling off a cliff in the snow during the Class Trip.
- Animal Motifs: The tiger.
- Badass Adorable
- Berserk Button: Any reference to her small stature or her nickname will likely result in her punching you in the face.
- Broken Bird
- But Now I Must Go: After returning home with Ryuuji in the final episode, she leaves again to try and reconcile with her family as part of her new resolve not to run away from her problems. She and Ryuuji are reunited in the epilogue.
- Character Development: Learns to tone down her wrath as the series goes on, be more upfront with her love for Ryuuji, and try to mend her broken family (which is the reason she initially comes off as unpleasant in the first place). She also learns to be more social, since at first she wasn't interested in having any friends besides Minori, but starting in the school festival arc she becomes more and more proactive in school activities.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Towards Kitamura.
- Combat Pragmatist: When Taiga decides to take action, she'll use any advantage she can think of. A light-hearted example would be the swim race against Ami. Certainly no reason she couldn't bring practically every flotation device that she could carry with her to help her stay afloat. Or even better, to throw at Ami to distract her while Taiga uses a boogie board to build a lead.
- Cry Cute
- Curtains Match the Window
- Cute Bruiser
- Cute Clumsy Girl
- Defrosting Ice Queen: The way she eventually warms up to Ryuuji makes her one of these.
- Dude Magnet
- Embarrassing Nickname: She does NOT like being called the "Palmtop Tiger".
- Fake Boobs: Ryuuji creates padded inserts for her swimsuit, which would otherwise make her lack way too obvious.
- Green-Eyed Epiphany: On Christmas Eve, after sending Ryuuji off to see Minori, she tearfully realizes that she has been in love with Ryuuji for a long time, but with him getting a good chance to finally win Minori's heart, she runs outside her house for Ryuuji, and upon not finding him anywhere, she breaks down crying, calling out for Ryuuji.
- Groin Attack: Against her Jerkass father.
- Height Angst: She has a huge complex about her short stature.
- He Is Not My Boyfriend: With Ryuuji.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Tiny Girl to Ryuuji's Huge Guy.
- Ignored Confession: After her Anguished Declaration of Love, Ryuuji tries to pretend nothing happened and tells her Kitamura saved her and she didn't say anything. Minori is not happy when she learns about this.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: She's very aggressive, bossy and haughty, but she actually has a really low self-esteem from her childlike body and broken family.
- Instant Expert: Goes from having Super Drowning Skills to swimming amazingly fast (though with the aid of a boogie board) in the course of one practice session.
- In-Series Nickname: "Palmtop Tiger".
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: After finally realizing she loves Ryuuji, Taiga tries to suppress her feelings so he can get together with Minori. Even if she's clearly breaking up from the inside.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Especially later in the series.
- Little Miss Badass
- Lonely Rich Kid
- Love Revelation Epiphany: Only starts developing feelings for Kitamura after he confesses to her.
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Ryuuji's Feminine Boy.
- Matchmaker Crush: She starts out helping Ryuuji get together with Minori, but ends up falling for him.
- Minor Living Alone: Deconstructed. Taiga lives alone because she can’t get along with anyone in her family, but her parents never taught her any domestic skills before they (effectively) threw her out of the house, and they don't bother checking up on her once she's gone. Until she meets Ryuuji, she’s living in filth and squalor, subsisting on a diet of convenience store food and suffering from chronic allergies due to her terrible living conditions. The series emphasizes the fact that even though she’s technically living on her own, she’s actually completely dependent on Ryuuji's care and the monthly cash deposits she gets from her father. Part of her character growth arc involves her learning to acknowledge that she can't do everything on her own and start to address the issues that led to her isolation in the first place.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: Like Louise, she says Ryuuji isn't just her servant; he's her dog.
- The Napoleon: Her shortness and temperament has earned her the nickname of "Palmtop Tiger". Do not speak this nickname in front of her.
- No Social Skills
- Odango Hair: When she wears a swimsuit or a qipao.
- Official Couple: With Ryuuji.
- Older Than She Looks
- Opposites Attract: She's a cute small girl with a brash, loud and angry personality and unable to properly take care of herself who falls in love with a guy with a Face of a Thug but who is generally kind, quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking).
- Perpetual Frowner: At first...
- Rapunzel Hair: It reaches her waist.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: With Minorin.
- Say My Name: Kanou... SUMIRE!!
- Shana Clone: A deconstructed one. She's an Older Than She Looks childlike Tsundere, has Rapunzel Hair and Grade A Zettai Ryouiki, comes from a wealthy family, is voiced by Rie Kugimiya, pretty much quotes Shana and Louise by shouting "Urusai!" or referring to Ryuuji a dog.... However, part of the roots of her short temper, besides issues with her small body, flat chest and childlike appearance, stems from lack of social skills and having to deal with a broken family. Also, her body issues due to her looks are portrayed in a more realistic way (i.e. she uses her temper as a cover for deep-seated insecurities over her lack of height and curves).
- She Cleans Up Nicely: She is already cute but everyone commented on how stunning she can be when she made the effort to dress up at the Christmas Party.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: She's generally attracted to nice men. First, she has a crush on the nice and friendly Kitamura and later she falls for Ryuuji who despite his appearance is really kind and always takes care of her.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: She's short-tempered and violent because her family issues and underdeveloped body mess up her emotional stability and self-esteem.
- Through Her Stomach: Taiga is at her most content when she eats good food. Ryuuji is an excellent cook. Do the math.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: She is the tiger and Ryuuji is the dragon.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: A deconstruction of the trope. The fact that she's tiny screws up badly with her self-worth, therefore a good part of her aggression is an attempt to compensate and defend herself from others. So under the facade of the feared and doll-like Palmtop Tiger, there's a girl who has deep emotional wounds.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak
- Trash of the Titans: Her apartment is such a mess, including a sickening stench emanating from the kitchen sink which was polluted so heavily that its contents were censored on screen, that Ryuuji's first reaction to seeing said apartment is to beg her to be allowed to clean it.
- Tsundere: A deconstructed Type A. Her mood swings and anger seem to stem more from familial than romantic issues, not to mention that to get and keep Ryuuji's affection, Taiga has to tone down her attitude and rebuild her family. This aspect of hers is also much less prevalent in both the novels and the manga adaptation.
- Tsurime Eyes
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ami.
- Waif-Fu: See the short, cute doll-like girl beating the crap out of the much taller Student Council President!
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better
- Zettai Ryouiki: The first opening even has a gratituous shot of her pulling on black thigh-high stockings.
Yuusaku is Ryuuji's best friend and the Student Council Vice-President, class representative to Ryuuji, Taiga, and Minori, and captain of the men's softball team. Yuusaku wears glasses, and has a diligent personality. He thinks he is poor at talking to girls, though Ryuuji observes otherwise; Yuusaku likes the student council president Sumire Kanou. Despite being on the Student Council, he is in violation of riding a motorcycle to school.
- Anguished Declaration of Love: Gives one to Sumire right in front of the whole school, only for her to coldly reject him (although she has her reasons).
- Chick Magnet
- Childhood Friends: With Ami.
- Delinquent Hair: Briefly.
- Demoted to Extra: Got noticeably less prominent in the last act of the series.
- Large Ham: Possesses a very jolly and energetic personality, tending to get really fired up about whatever he's doing and make larger-than-life statements.
- Nice Guy
- Oblivious to Love: Subverted with regard to Taiga. He knows how she feels about him, but pretends to be oblivious because he doesn't want to reject her and hurt her feelings.
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Romantic False Lead: To Taiga.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Manly Man to Ryuuji's Sensitive Guy.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: A rather mild version, but one episode had him nonchalantly walk into a room in full view of the three main girls with nothing covering him except a hand towel held in front of his naughty bits.
- Shirtless Scene: Four of them.
- Student Council President: Starts as the class president and the vice president of the Student Council. Gets promoted later on.
- Stupid Sexy Flanders: He even has a physique like Flanders!
- Subordinate Excuse: To Sumire.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: How Taiga described him in one of the next episode previews.
- Tareme Eyes
- Unrequited Love Switcheroo: He had a crush on Taiga one year prior to the series, but she turned him down. By the time she realized she did like him, Kitamura had already moved on and fallen for Sumire.
- Yes-Man: To Sumire, when he's still the Student Council Vice President. Justified that he's also in love with her.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Possibly just Hair Color Dissonance, since while he does have dark bluish-green hair, he later bleaches it, turning it blonde. People react to this, but that's probably because he is the student council president.
Voiced by: Yui Horie
(Japanese), Christine Marie Cabanos
"Just as much as I'll want to doubt them, thinking 'Do they really see ghosts?', I'll end up thinking 'Are they really in love?'. I just don't see it. As much as I believe, it continuously eludes me. I've never experienced any of it for myself, y'know. These things that other people speak of as simply natural, they've never happened to me. And so that's why, I just can't believe in such things. I'm left on the outside... I want to believe, but I've kind of given up. The most I can do is enviously watch 'the ones who can see' with my finger in my mouth, cheering them on from the sidelines. Just that, is a connection, I guess... What a bunch of lies! It's all a delusion! A figment of your imagination! is what I want to shout because I still can't shake my doubt."
Minori is Taiga's best friend as well as her, Ryuuji and Yuusaku's classmate. In contrast to the negative Taiga, Minori is always smiling and cheerful, but is also a natural airhead. She is very athletic and is the captain of the girl's softball club at school, though at the same time she holds many part time jobs. She is a glutton when it comes to food, but is also constantly combating with dieting.
Voiced by: Eri Kitamura
(Japanese), Erika Harlacher
"I’m not the Palmtop Tiger who’s always sticking around with you; neither am I Minori-chan, who’s your sparkling sun. I, Kawashima Ami, am standing in the same land as you, walking on the same path as you. It's just that I’m a few steps ahead of you."
Ami is Yuusaku's childhood friend who transfers into his class midway through their second year of high school. She is very beautiful and even works as a model, and although she has temporarily stopped upon her transfer, she still tries to maintain her figure. She is always kind and generous towards others, though this is merely a deception. In truth, she is arrogant and will not hesitate to use others for her own benefit.
- Alpha Bitch: Initially.
- Animal Motifs: The chihuahua (Taiga calls her "baka-chi" ["stupid chihuahua"]).
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: An excellent example, though she matures with time.
- Broken Bird: As a School Idol she faced many unpleasant experiences, which no doubt hardened her into the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing she has become when she was introduced.
- Bromantic Foil: Tries to be a major player in the game of love but ends up as this for Ryuuji, Yuusaku, and (arguably) Minori.
- Character Development: Possibly the best example in the show.
- Childhood Friends: With Yuusaku.
- Cry Cute: In the final volume of the light novels, she breaks down crying after she realizes that Taiga has gone with her mother, confessing that she wanted to keep her friends close to her. This served as the climax of her Character Development in the novel.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: Thanks to Yuusaku, Ryuuji sees past Ami's facade early on (when she was in full Bitch in Sheep's Clothing/Alpha Bitch mode), when Ami tries to taunt Taiga by saying that Ami will take Ryuuji from Taiga, even though she thinks very little of him. This convinces Ryuuji that Ami just likes to play around about liking him... which bites Ami in the ass later when she does grow to like him, but Ryuuji won't take her seriously.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Her main objective, arguably.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold
- Kawaiiko: Tries to pass herself off as this. Grows out of it eventually.
- Magic Skirt: She sits between the campus' two vending machines in a manner that would normally shows her panties.
- Manipulative Bitch: Pre-Character Development.
- Ms. Fanservice: She usually fills the role aside from Ryuuji's own mom, Yasuko.
- New Transfer Student
- Only Sane Woman: Yes, she may not care about other people's feelings, but when you get past her tactless, unpleasant self, you realize that her words are much more down-to-earth and sensible than she is given credit for.
- Pet the Dog: Several of these occur as her character develops.
- Proud Beauty
- Rich Bitch
- School Idol
- Statuesque Stunner: In the novels, at least, where she's described as being the same height as Ryuuji.
- Tareme Eyes
- The Tease
- Third-Person Person: Sometimes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Taiga and Minori.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair
Yasuko is Ryuuji's 33-year-old mother, though she refers to herself as eternally 23. Soon after Ryuuji was born, her husband died, leaving her to raise him by herself (though in reality, he ran off with another woman)
. She works at the "Bishamonten Kuni" bar, where she goes by the name "Mirano" and singlehandily supports her family financially. However, she is also childish and, due to her job, entrusts household chores to Ryuuji. She instantly takes a liking to Taiga and already regards her as a member of her family.
- Berserk Button: Although she's very sweet and friendly, don't wake her up, as Kitamura and Taiga find out.
- Children Raise You: Since Ryuuji's father died when he was young and she works late at night and sleeps most of the day, Yasuko leaves him to do the household chores.
- Cute Clumsy Girl
- Gag Boobs
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Justified by her job as club hostess.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Acts to the trope quite well but she's no hooker, just a late-night bar hostess, which, in some aspects, is perceived as pretty much the same in Japan.
- Lady Drunk: Justified with her job.
- Ms. Fanservice: Another trope justified by her job.
- Not a Morning Person: Again, justified due to her job. Kitamura and Taiga waking her up in one episode prompts her first on-screen example of genuine aggravation.
- Older Than She Looks
- The Pollyanna: Seriously. The only time she breaks down in tears is when Ryuuji got mad at her near the end of the series.
- Single Mom Stripper: Again, not exactly a stripper, but close enough according to Japanese standards.
- Tareme Eyes
- Teen Pregnancy: She was about 16 or 17 when she had Ryuuji. Comes heavily into play near the climax of the series.
- Wacky Parent, Serious Child: With Ryuuji.
- Woman Child: She acts this way most of the time. However, she can also be highly perceptive at times (almost superhumanly so). For example, she could accurately guess that Taiga's father was pretty much a self-centered jerk from what Ryuuji told her (note that Ryuuji was, at that point, still under the impression that he was decent), when she had never even met the guy before.
Yuri is the 29-year-old homeroom teacher of Ryuuji's class. She likes to do things at her own pace and is timid towards Taiga's way of speaking out. Since her twenties are almost over, Yuri is in a hurry to get married soon and she even tries to dress well so as to be able to get into a relationship quicker. After she becomes thirty without getting married, she develops a twisted and depressed personality, which does not help that when Taiga talks about her, she emphases her single status.
- Butt Monkey
- Character Exaggeration: In the anime, her status as a Reasonable Authority Figure got toned way down and her status as a Butt Monkey and Christmas Cake way up. Consider some of the things in the novels that were changed or dropped outright:
- Her freakout during the wrestling show is scripted. The students are so impressed by her performance that they vote her MVP and invite her to the after-party.
- When Kitamura announces he's quitting the Student Council and storms out the class, she cancels a date and spends the night trying to contact his family. When he tries to leave school the next day, she physically restrains him and has a substitute teacher cover for her so she can spend the day talking to him.
- In the last volume, she tells off Taiga's mother for expecting her daughter to abandon the people who've taken care of her for the last year in favor of a mother who abandoned her. Then when Ryuuji returns to school, she puts her career on the line to prevent him from getting expelled.
- Christmas Cake
- My Biological Clock Is Ticking
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Moreso in the novels, as she's subjected to the aforementioned Character Exaggeration in the anime. Even so, it's clear that when she's not worrying about being perpetually unmarried, she's a responsible teacher who cares about her students.
- Shrinking Violet
- Slasher Smile: When wrestling is approved as the theme of the festival.
- Stern Teacher: Sometimes. She does cower when threatened, though (at least in the anime).
- Tareme Eyes
Sumire is the student council president and always manages to get the top grades in school; she is in fact a Scholarship Student
and has horrible eyesight. She has a strong-minded personality which she depends on to be a figure those will follow. Her younger sister is Sakura and her parents own a supermarket. Sumire likes Yuusaku and as a result is the object of an one-sided hostility from Taiga.
Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese), Jason Baker (English)
A male student in Ryuuji's class who wears glasses. He was also in Ryuuji's class the previous year and is on good terms with him.
A male student in Ryuuji's class who is on good terms with him. He is regarded as a class 'idiot' and that opinion is deepened by his poor school marks and overly energetic behavior.
A female student in Ryuuji's class who often hangs out with Nanako. She is a kogal and has a crush on Yuusaku.
A female student in Ryuuji's class who often hangs out with Maya.
Sumire's younger sister who attends the same high school as Sumire though her grades are horrible. She later starts going to out with Kouta.
A first-year student who is the main character to Toradora Spin-off!
. He works on the student council in general affairs, and gets good grades. He always had a crush on Sakura, and later he succeeds in starting a romantic relationship with her.