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Literature / Toradora!

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"In this world, there's this... thing that no one's ever seen. This thing, it's very kind and gentle, and if anyone could actually see it, there'd be a whole bunch of people wanting to have it. Maybe that's why the world keeps it hidden from everyone; if it's hard to get, that makes it even more special. Yeah, but one day, someone will find it... and whoever does, they'll be the one who was supposed to find it. Because that's the way it's meant to be."
Opening lines of the NIS America anime dub

Ryuuji Takasu is a really misunderstood high-schooler with a somewhat romantic nature and a low tolerance for uncleanliness. Unfortunately, he inherited the evil-looking eyes and facial structure of his Yakuza father, which makes people think he's a delinquent, or at least someone you don't want to mess with. People who bump into him on the streets offer him their wallets, and when he grins, everyone in the vicinity retreats to eight feet away.

As the new school year starts, Ryuuji finds himself in the same class as his friend Yuusaku Kitamura, and his crush Minori Kushieda (whom he is too bashful to approach). His class also includes Minori's best friend: Taiga Aisaka (a.k.a. the "Palmtop Tiger"), the infamous pint-sized terror of the school with a fuse even shorter than her stature.

After an unfortunate first encounter that ends with Taiga KO-ing him, Ryuuji finds out at the end of the school day that Taiga has put a love letter to Kitamura (whom she has a crush on but is too bashful to approach) in his bag by accident. This leads to Taiga breaking into his house that night to retrieve the letter and/or kill him, only to discover that she forgot to put the letter in the envelope and has inadvertently outed her crush on Kitamura to Ryuuji.

After much ado and a few sword-blows, Ryuuji and Taiga strike a tenuous deal: to use their positions as The Best Friends to help each other bag their respective crushes. Hilarity Ensues.

It's truly toradorable.

Toradora! (とらドラ!) is a light novel series written by Yuyuko Takemiya and illustrated by Yasu, which was first published under the Dengeki Bunko imprint from 2006 to 2009 for 10 volumes. It was later given an ongoing 2007 manga series illustrated by Zekkyou (both the manga and light novels are licensed in North America by Seven Seas Entertainment) and a 25-episode anime adaptation by J.C. Staff which ran from 2008 to 2009 (plus an OVA episode created in 2011 for the Japanese Blu-ray release of the series) and the visual novel Toradora! Portable for Play Station Portable based in the anime made in 2009 by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

The anime was initially released in North America by NIS America as a sub-only version to help lower their production costs. United States residents can catch the subbed and dubbed version on Crunchyroll. However, in 2014, NIS America re-released the series in a Blu-Ray premium and standard edition, much to the shock and surprise of the fans (this is also their first anime dubbed into English as well).

Taiga was chosen to represent Toradora! in the crossover Fighting Game Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax by Sega, where she uses chairs, baseball bats, wooden swords, and other items from the light novel. Ryuuji was chosen as one of the support characters.

Not to be confused with Tora! Tora! Tora! or Dora the Explorer.

Toradora! provides examples of:

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  • A-Cup Angst: Taiga suffers from this during the pool episode. Ryuuji responds by making her some cups to enhance her bust. Which then causes problems later at the pool.
  • Airplane of Love: Inverted. When Ryuuji gives his "Tiger and Dragon" speech there are twin contrails in the sky, symbolizing his connection to Taiga. At the end of the series, when Ryuuji stands outside alone, the sky is empty, but he recalls the contrails as he vows to return to Taiga's side some day.
  • Alertness Blink: Starting in the very first episode.
  • All Periods Are PMS: Very subtly implied, but Ami gives us the right idea with this infamous quote of hers:
    Ami: (to Minori) Whatever. Talking to you feels like having a period.
  • Alpha Bitch: Ami. She's smarter (or, at least, more quick-witted) than most of them, though—she's all sweetness and smiles and "Ami-chan is so airheaded!" most of the time, and only reveals the Alpha Bitch within when she thinks she can get away with it. Of course, being one of the main characters, she's played a bit more sympathetically than most other Alpha Bitches. In later episodes, she drops the facade almost entirely, even around Kihara and Nanako and the rest of the class. Everyone knows how she really is now but love her anyway. That's because she's still a good person and shows she really cares for her friends.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: The penultimate scene of Episode 8 looks like this. It's probable that this is where Taiga began to like Ryuuji, when she yelled at everyone for not saving him, and screamed, while crying, that he belonged to her. Of course, she tries to play it off as looking after her "dog", but the overtones are still there.
    • The end of the Christmas episode. It's so anguished that it counts as a Tear Jerker.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Ami likes to catch Ryuuji by the vending machines with these. Ryuuji gets her back (without realizing it) by calling her a "kid" after Minori and Yuri praised her for her maturity. This seems to be what convinces her to stay in school, and she later admits that all she wants in life is someone who can pierce her armor.
  • Art Shift:
    • Twice by Minori when she's trying to scare someone. May overlap into Nightmare Fuel for some.
    • The foot race during the School Festival. For once Ryuuji's face looks as scary as people say it is.
    • When the fight between Taiga and Sumire begins, their movements are portrayed in a way to make the action more brutal. The color tone becomes a little drab, the characters go slightly off-model and the frame rate is rather low, which gives their strikes more impact, but make the movement still seem fluid.
    • And finally, when Minori confronts Taiga about denying her feelings for Ryuuji. Both girls are on the verge of a breakdown, and the art reflects their emotional torment.
  • Artificial Riverbank: Taiga once collapses on one in exhaustion, only to get up and try to learn how to ride a bike after a chance meeting with Yuusaku. Later, Ami and Ryuuji visit it while performing community service (more so in the novel).
  • Badass Adorable: Taiga. She floors Ryuuji with a single punch in their first encounter, she can handle a bokken, and she does well (diminutive stature notwithstanding) in a brawl with Sumire (and is completely unrepentant after being suspended from school for it). The Palmtop Tiger demands your respect. In the manga, she even does a Badass Armfold in her first encounter with Ryuuji, while mocking him.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Ryuuji has to use this to avoid being hit by Taiga's bokken when she invades his house in the first episode. It averts Blocking Stops All Damage by having him cry out in pain as he catches it.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Either calling Taiga small or by her nickname is something she hates with a passion.
    • Ami seems to trigger Minori's during the ski trip. Probably the first time Minori seems truly angry.
    • Do not, under any circumstances, compare Ryuuji to his father.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Don't make Minori angry. You wouldn't like her when she's angry. Ryūji qualifies too.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted hard by Taiga and Sumire's fight. By the end both of their faces are bruised and swollen. Played straight with Minori, who trips a lot but, despite getting a nosebleed, never seems to get a mark on her.
  • Betty and Veronica: Considering Ryuuji as the Archie, we have cheerful and approachable Genki Girl Minori as the Betty, and melancholic, ill-tempered yet kind-hearted Tsundere Taiga as the Veronica.
    • Taiga can also be considered as the Betty to Ami's Veronica, as the latter is Ms. Fanservice in all her glory and a Lovable Alpha Bitch who, while proud, vain, and sometimes harsh, is a good person and wants to do her best for her friends.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Considered one of the greatest in anime history. Between Ryuuji and Taiga. All together now... MOU ICHIDO!note 
  • Big "WHAT?!": "We're eloping."
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ami, though she's portrayed more sympathetically than most examples, and eventually mellows out in time.
  • Bittersweet Ending: In the anime, the after-credit scene turns it into a full-blown Earn Your Happy Ending of sorts but it resolves happily.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Sudohbucks Coffee is Starbucks Coffee. Even Ryuuji lampshades "How come this place has yet to be sued?" There's also Jonny's (Denny's), and knockoffs of Pocari Sweat and Asahi beer.
    • Taiga buys a donut from a shady van called "Krispy Kreamy".
    • Oddly enough, one scene of the anime contains a store named Kmart in the background. This was likely a failed attempt at being generic.
    • Episode 12 has a bottle of "Nourishment Water" show up, which is a knockoff of Vitamin Water, lowercase letters and all.
  • Bonfire Dance: Kitamura asks Taiga for a dance around the school festival's bonfire and teaches Taiga how to dance. All of the students then start dancing too.
  • Book Ends: In the anime, Taiga and Ryuuji meet through a locker. Guess what happens right before they reunite. There are (at least) three more: The birds on the telephone wire, the twin contrails in the sky and - possibly stretching it a bit - Taiga and Ryuuji's forced smiles.
  • Briar Patching: Minori, of all people, pulls this off by pretending she is scared senseless by all things Horror, when in fact she loves horror stories and intentionally invites others to try scaring her in this manner.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Genderflipped; Ryuuji is the calm, patient and kind gentle boy, while Taiga is the brooding girl, angsty and quite angry but in truth really kind and good at heart. However, in a certain sense, Ryūji is a brooder too: he's a Troubled, but Cute Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold, rejected by almost everyone at the beginning because of his Face of a Thug.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Not exactly bullying, but the constant teasing by Ami in regards to a person nicknamed "Palmtop Tiger" may fit on this trope.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Minori. Her oddness certainly doesn't seem to stop her from being captain of the softball team and having a relatively normal school- and social life, with most characters seeming to take her slight eccentricity in good stride. She's actually very smart.
  • Bust-Contrast Duo: Toradora! has most part of the conflict between the petite abrasive flat-chested Taiga and the nice busty high-school model Ami, not just focused on Ryuuji, but they got a grudge between them most part of the series.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Uncommon for this type of anime, but present: "Eternal Circle of Transmigration", "Divine Fist of Convenience Stores! HIGH CALORIES!", "Calcium-Chloride Kick!".
  • Cat Fight: Subverted. The fight between Taiga and Sumire is not sexy, it is no-holds-barred and brutal. There's another one in the series between Ami and Minori, it's not so brutal as the first one, but it's a subversion too.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Hilariously invoked by Minori after being commanded by Taiga to grab Ryuuji while the two are at a sidewalk intersection. Taiga then throws her bookbag at Ryuuji's face, and sprints past them before the lights turn red.
  • Central Theme: The way that love hides in plain sight, eluding your efforts to find it until you realize it was right under your nose the whole time.
  • Character Development: Virtually everybody in the cast, although the minor characters don't get much until about halfway through the series.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Minori has the ability to single-handedly gobble up whole episodes.
  • Children Do the Housework: Ryuuji learned to be self-sufficient and how to cook, clean and sew since his father died when he was young (actually he abandoned Ryuuji's mother while she was pregnant) and his Womanchild mother works late at night at a hostess club and sleeps most of the day, leaving him to do the household chores.
  • Christmas Episode: Of the Wham Episode variety (largely due to it being a barrel of laughs). That episode also happens to have some Fanservice for both the guys (Taiga and her Modesty Bedsheet, Ami in a Sexy Santa Dress and the other minor girls in Playboy Bunny suits. And then Minori in a bald wig) and the girls (this is the second time we've seen Kitamura naked. And there's a brief shot of Ryuuji and his Naked Apron).
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Evident in the first opening and ending:
    • Taiga: Hot Pink
    • Ryuuji: Orange
    • Minori: Light Blue
    • Kitamura: Goldenrod
    • Ami: Red
  • Class Trip: To the ski resort.
  • Closet Shuffle: During the skiing trip to the mountain.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Taiga initially gets upset whenever other girls get too friendly or close to Yuusaku, particularly Ami and later Kanou. Later she does this towards Ryuuji as well.
    • Kihara later on. While she hints at liking Kitamura early on, she doesn't get to spend much time with him until after he becomes the Student Council President about halfway through the series. But by that point, Noto, one of Kitamura's friends, actively tries to get Taiga and Kitamura together, which ironically he does a better job at than Ryuuji did. The two minor characters culminate in a heated argument during the ski trip about this, which causes Kihara to start crying, and creating a very sour mood amongst the group later that evening.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Minori, whose behavior is notably strange even amongst this band of oddballs. Her antics have been noted to generally steal scenes. However, she's sure one of the smarter characters (if not the smartest character) in the series.
  • Color Failure: Taiga gets a few of these moments in the anime, most notably when Ami lied to her about how Kitamura hated her for slapping the former out of nowhere, and again come the pool season.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Minori walks past by Taiga's apartment, right after Taiga ran out crying, calling for Ryuuji. Justified. According to the novel Minori went to Taiga's apartment to confront her about her feelings toward Ryuuji and was standing on the street hesitating to enter. Which makes it much less of coincidence. In addition, the preceding scene featured Minori listening to a message on her voice mail, which was made at the beginning of the episode. The message consisted of Ryuuji inviting her to the Christmas party, with Taiga's shouting for Ryuuji's attention being heard very clearly in the background. This could have prompted Minori to head to Taiga's house to find out the latter's feelings.
  • Couple Theme Naming: The main leads' name are Ryuuji and Taiga, and their names have a Tiger Versus Dragon theme; Ryuuji's name contains the kanji for "dragon", while Taiga's name means "great river" but sounds a lot like the English word "tiger". Is it any surprise that they end up together at the end?
  • Crappy Holidays: What was supposed to be a good Christmas for Taiga and Ryuuji ended badly for both of them. After surprising a sad and lonely Taiga with a giant teddy bear being Santa Claus, both Taiga and Ryuuji went happy. Then Ryuuji leaves to talk Minori to declare his feelings for her. After he leaved, Taiga realized she loved Ryuuji all the time and runs crying and screaming his name just to find he already left. And Ryuuji? He was rejected by Minori before he said a word, getting sat in the middle of the night until dawn (IN WINTER) and being hospitalized for the rest of the year. This is also the start point for Toradora! Portable visual novel.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Taiga & Ryuuji in the first episode. This is how they find each other in the Epilogue of the novel.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Not so much applicable in the anime as it is in the original novel, but Ryuuji, being the Neat Freak he is, never leaves home without a host of various portable cleaning supplies for whatever random job may creep up. The total list of these supplies would take up far too much space here.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl:
    • Taiga, especially around Kitamura, when she is reduced to a quivering wreck. Ami fakes being one; it's all part of her manipulative bitchiness.
    • Taiga is such a klutz, she falls from a bike she's merely pushing around!
  • Daddy Didn't Show: Set-up more or less from the moment Taiga's father appears. Or at least when other characters begin reacting to his arrival.
  • Deconstruction: Many of the characters are deconstructions of typical anime characters. Most notably, Taiga is a real world version of childish tsundere types like Shana and Louise.
  • Delinquents: Subverted by Ryuuji: he's one of the most patient and nicest guys you'll run into, but his eyes are permanently fixed into a death glare (which he apparently inherited from his late Yakuza father), causing people (even adults!) to be deathly afraid of him.
  • Disappeared Dad: Ryuuji's father is missing from the start of the series, possibly dead. At the end of the series his mother admits they were never married and he ran off with another woman while she was pregnant.
  • Disorganized Outline Speech: Taiga is prone to these.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: In Episode 8, the boys were smitten at the sight of Ami in a two-piece bikini (within the school pool, no less). Played for Drama for all its worth, with Ryuuji nearly drowning after being accidentally shoved over the pool, forcing Taiga, who could barely swim, to rescue him, then call them out for failing to notice him before crying that Ryuuji is hers.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Yui Horie, the voice of Minori, sings the first ending theme and the second opening theme. She's joined by the voice actresses for Taiga and Ami for the first opening and second ending.
  • Don't Say Such Stupid Things!: After Ryuuji and Taiga run away from a heated argument with their mothers, Ryuuji leans over the railing of a bridge as snow starts to fall, and wonders if Yasuko would have had a better life had he not been born. Taiga immediately attacks him, infuriated he would think such a thing, and accidentally sends him over the railing into the river.
  • Door Stopper: The book series runs to ten volumes, plus three more volumes of side stories (appropriately titled Toradora Spin-off!). Even at 200 pages each, that's still a RomCom twice as long as The Lord of the Rings.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Regularly with Taiga and Ryuuji. Somewhat Downplayed, as Ryuuji usually calls her out for it and she is portrayed as having anger issues and not very good social skills. It ameliorates somewhat as the series goes on. Also happens with Taiga and her father.
  • Dramatic Irony: The main reason neither Minori nor Kitamura reciprocate Ryuuji and Taiga's affections respectively is because they see how Taiga behaves around Ryuuji and vice-versa. As such, Taiga and Ryuuji are both foils to each others intentions even though their agreement was to achieve the exact contrary. Their mere friendship is detrimental to their goals, and the longer it went, the worse it got. It's fair to point out that they did notice this and tried to put some distance between themselves a couple of times, but it never quite worked out for them.
  • Dramatic Wind: When Minori calls both Ryuuji and Taiga to have a talk about their relationship in Episode 2.
    • In Episode 7, when Minori is about to declare that Ami and Taiga will settle their differences through sports. Lampshaded with a wide shot showing that Minori's the only one in the classroom affected by the wind.
  • Dressed Like a Dominatrix: As part of her costumes for the School Festival, Ami Kawashima wears a red dominatrix cosplay, Whip of Dominance included, to cheer students (especially the male ones).
  • Dysfunction Junction: A cornerstone of the show's drama. Plus, at least the anime's art style makes it so that more often than not, the eyes of the cast look somewhat disturbing with just a tint of insanity.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Taiga moves from generic Tsundere to awkward teen girl with trust issues and a Napoleon complex during the light pole kicking incident.
  • Everyone Can See It: Just about everyone thinks that Ryuuji and Taiga would make a good couple except Ryuuji and Taiga themselves, at least until the end.
  • Face of a Thug: Ryuuji. It's apparently genetic.
  • Fanservice:
    • Comparatively mild in the series proper, although Taiga's appearance in the anime's opening makes up for that quite a bit—and then of course there's Ryuuji's mother.
    • Let's not forget Ami in all this, appearing in a Santa girl suit in Haruta's dream, not to mention her bikini for the swimming contest.
    • A bit for the girls. Kitamura once appears on the scene buck naked, casually holding a towel in front of his naughty bits in a manner that doesn't look like he's even trying to keep himself covered. Taiga is floored almost immediately, while Minorin enthusiastically photographs it with her cellphone camera. The guy proceeds to drop the towel all by himself but Ryuuji dives to catch it and hold it up before anything inappropriate is shown onscreen. Minorin says she saw something black, though.
  • Fast-Forward to Reunion: Happens in the Stinger. Taiga and Ryuuji are shown back together again, and he finally tells her that he loves her. Awww.
  • Filler: The series compresses a ten book series into twenty-five episodes. They get most of the main plot points, but details often get left out. Yet despite this tight framework, the series still contains three filler episodes.
    • "Your Song" is based upon a paragraph in the second book about how Ryuuji and Taiga first found Minori working in a local diner. Everything after the first five minutes is entirely original to the anime.
    • "That Moment's Expression" is a completely original story, except for the lunch scene where Minori notices Taiga and Ryuuji's bentos contain the same thing.
    • "The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness" is loosely adapted from a short story that was included in the third book. Its placement between the School Festival and Sumire arcs makes it something of a Breather Episode.
  • First Girl Wins: Played with. The girl the viewer meets first is Taiga, but the girl Ryuuji met and liked first was Minori. As you can imagine from the title alone, Taiga wins.
  • Flexible Tourney Rules: Most competitions are played incredibly dirty.
    • Previewed by Taiga wanting to settle her differences with Ami via vale tudo (a no-holds-barred version of Mixed Martial Arts).
  • Fly Crazy: Downplayed example in an episode; Taiga ends up slapping Ami's face in order to get a fly when the latter is mid-sentence (the former thought the flying bug in question was a mosquito).
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the first few minutes of the first episode, we see clips of Taiga and Ryuuji in their respective homes and then a shot of two shoes (which, of course, belong to Yasuko and Ryuuji).
    • Although this is the most obvious case, it should probably be noted that overall there's a lot more hints about their budding feelings for one another in both the original novel and the manga adaptation than in the anime, especially in the early part of the series.
    • Near the end of the series, Ryuuji comments on how Taiga can talk normally to Kitamura, which shows that Taiga has more or less gotten over him.
  • Foregone Conclusion: It's in the title. It should be pretty clear right from the get go that Taiga and Ryuji are gonna get together, although not without a lot of trouble along the way.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Before Ami joins, the group fits the four philosophies excluding the Apathetic: Ryuuji is mostly the Realist (being well-balanced, quiet and neither bitter nor overly optimistic); Taiga is the Cynic (being the most bitter, pessimistic and cranky member by far); Minori is the Optimist (being the one who is always ready to front everything with a smile) and Yusaku is the Conflicted (being somewhat more conflicted between his more compliant and his more rebellious side, and being somewhat quieter than Minori despite his general cheerfulness).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Still, remember everyone is kinda troubled here, even the happy and peaceful characters.
    • Sanguine: Highly energetic Minori, who is outgoing, kind and friendly, though she actually suffers inner conflict far more than she lets on.
    • Choleric: Taiga, with her Hair-Trigger Temper, who naturally does have a Dark and Troubled Past and a good heart deep down underneath her brashness.
    • Phlegmatic: Ryuuji. Despite his rather uncomfortable family situation and his being misunderstood due to his Face of a Thug, he's very calm, kind-hearted and selfless even to a fault.
    • Eclectic: Yuusaku. Though a friendly and outgoing Nice Guy - and also somewhat eccentric, but a little bit quieter than Minori - he has a more conflicted side, even with a rebellious streak, despite his general peacefulness.
    • Melancholic: Ami. Her early on two-faced personality largely hides her being more mature and her dealing often with uncomfortable situations than most people in her age, due to her woring as a model, and despite her attitude she is well-balanced overall.
  • Furo Scene: Off-screen during the school trip. The other girls compliment Ami on her swimsuit model body. It's implied that Taiga bathed on her own due to her A-Cup Angst.

  • Gecko Ending:
    • There was some commotion made about the cooperation between J.C. Staff and Takemiya to ensure an accurate adaptation of Volume 10, which came out near the end of the anime's run. However, there are some fairly large and important differences between versions that indicate that JCStaff had a rough outline at most to work with, most notably that in the novel Taiga never transfers, and reunites with Ryuuji and friends come third year, rather than on graduation day. There are some other differences with Filler/Anime original bits of the story that were different or absent in the original novel. For instance:
      • Minori supported Taiga and Ryuuji running away more emphatically, although she didn't give them her life's savings in the novel.
      • Minori's affections for Taiga and especially Ami in the anime is almost completely absent in the Light Novel. While Minori and Ami still end up close friends in the original novel, it's nowhere near as homo-erotically portrayed, with the anime even adding several scenes with Minori and Ami that weren't present in the original.
      • In the novel, Ami has breaks down crying when she finds out that Taiga has gone with her mother, tearfully declaring her friendship with everyone and her wish to continue the life she's had with her friends.
      • The iconic "mou ichido" bedroom kiss is unique to the anime. In the novels, Ryuuji first kisses Taiga on the bridge, leaving her rather shocked. The bedroom scene at his grandparents' runs very differently.
    • Then there's the 2011 OVA The True Meaning Of Bento, which takes place in an unspecified time to the anime, though there are aspects that show that it doesn't quite belong in the anime timeline. In there, Taiga and Ryuuji are already a couple, but they are still attending school together before their graduation, which is contrary to the anime's ending. As such, it's closer to the book's version rather than the anime's.
  • Genki Girl:
  • Gone Horribly Right: A humorous example. At the beach house, everyone but Taiga asked for curry as spicy as possible from Ryuuji. He certainly delivered, with a curry that clearly caused pain in Yuusaku, Minori, and Ami... but because Ryuuji is a Supreme Chef, it was so delicious that they couldn't help but keep eating it, going through more and more pain.
  • Groin Attack: Taiga delivers this to her own father.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Yasuko. Justified by her job working at a hostess bar, which requires her to drink copious amounts.
  • Hidden Depths: Haruta makes a professional-level script for the cultural festival, which is extremely well received and is a resounding success.
  • Honorifics:
    • Ryuuji uses the more intimate yobisute version of Taiga's name (using no honorific at all) at the end of the second episode, leaving her quite pleased. You know, after she beats him down again. Of course, she never once bothered to use an honorific for him.
      • Except earlier in Episode 2, when she calls him "Takasu-kun" as she relieves him of his "dog" duties. But that's the only time.
      • She's more pleased at being put on a First-Name Basis than just the lack of honorific, since he calls her plain "Aisaka" earlier in the same episode.
    • Ami and Yasuko frequently refer to themselves in third person with the honorific "chan", which is part of what makes them Kawaiiko (see below).
    • Mostly averted with Yasuko. Even Ryuuji calls her by her first name instead of "okasan".
    • Haruta calls Ryuuji Taka-chan and variants, which indicates a much closer friendship than what we see onscreen.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Several examples:
    • Ami towards Ryuuji. Probably justified, since she's introduced later on, and her attitude rubs some of the characters the wrong way early on.
    • Ryuuji towards Minori. Although Minori did like Ryuuji, by the time they tried to spend time together, Minori noticed that Taiga was beginning to also like Ryuuji, making her use I Want My Beloved to Be Happy on Taiga and Ryuuji and rejecting him when he finally tried to confess to her. Not that doing it was easy on Minori, who cries after finally letting them be together at the end.
    • Taiga towards Yuusaku. Although she did like him after initially rejecting him, by the time she really got to spend any meaningful amount of time with him, her feelings for Ryuuji were also beginning to blossom, and he was also beginning to like Sumire, the student council president.
    • Yuusaku towards Taiga and Sumire. Probably the most tragic example in this series, since Taiga initially rejected him, but then grew to like him but always had trouble letting her feelings to him be known properly. After Taiga's rejection, he begins to admire Sumire, who liked him as well but rejected him because she was leaving for America and didn't want him to screw his future up for her.
    • Note: at the end of the series it is mentioned that he is going to America to study abroad which implies that he's going after her and hasn't given up.
    • Kihara towards Yuusaku. She even tried to actively pursue him after Sumire turned him down, but by that point, Noto tries to hook up Taiga with Yuusaku. Although that doesn't work out because Taiga is beginning to have strong feelings for Ryuuji, and later it turns out Noto liked Kihara, so tried to keep her from hooking up with Yuusaku.
  • Hot-Blooded: Taiga, who has a very short fuse. Minori and Ryuuji can get quite like this, despite being generally calm and very friendly; however, when they get angry, it's very often for selfless reasons, and they want their loved ones to be happy.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Ryuuji and Taiga.
  • Identical Grandson: Despite being almost identical to his father, Ryuuji also resembles his grandfather on Yasuko's side of the family.
  • Idiot Ball: Painfully so. A lot of drama could have been avoided if Ryuuji had asked some very simple and basic questions, like during the time with Taiga's father. Almost all of the awkwardness and silence between Ryuuji and Minori probably could have been averted if he just asked, "Wait, why do you hate Taiga's father so much? What has he done?" when Minori found out, instead of exploding at Minori that she didn't know anything. Because, y'know, Taiga's oldest friend might have an idea what's up. Of course, she didn't bother explaining things either, even though Ryuugi clearly didn't know the whole situation if he was so readily defending Taiga's father. Conversely, Ryuuji never knew his own father and wouldn't understand why someone wouldn't want to meet their father.
  • Indirect Kiss:
    • When Minorin enjoyed an indirect kiss with Takasu off her fist, after sending him out after Taiga.
    • When Yuusaku suddenly takes a bite of the crepe Taiga is eating, she gets flustered and impulsively shoves it into Ryuuji's mouth, saying "you have some too!" Afterwards, she complains that Ryuuji stole her indirect kiss with Yuusaku. She seems to have missed the point that, since she had already been eating it, she forced an indirect kiss with her on Ryuuji.
  • Informed Attractiveness:
    • Ami. She is apparently so gorgeous that people stop in the street to stare at her (and she is even a model in-verse), but she looks no different from the other characters in the series. Most likely a side-effect of The Beautiful Elite and Generic Cuteness.
    • This is softened a little bit by the fact that she is taller and has noticeably longer legs than the other female characters, a common trait of models, and by the fact that Taiga used to have a similar effect on boys, at least until they learned to fear her.
    • For comparison, Taiga, Minori, and Ami have a short cameo in Ōkami-san's anime adaptation. Taiga and Minori are pretty much depicted as in Toradora!, but Ami is notoriously taller, curvier and more mature-looking.
  • In-Series Nickname: Taiga is known as the "Palm-Top Tiger", due to her short stature and ferocity.
    • The girls refer to Yuusaku as Maruo, after a character in Chibi Maruko-chan.
    • Later in the anime, some students can be heard referring to Sumire as the "Drill Sergent", due to her strictness.
  • Insult of Endearment: Taiga's nickname for Ami, "stupid chihuahua".
  • Interrupted Suicide: Invoked, and later played for laughs in episode 24. The reason Taiga reacts so dramatically at Ryuuji's self-deprecating statements is because she thinks that he's going to jump off the bridge they're standing on. Her reaction is... to push him off the bridge, which makes him fall pathetically into the shallow stream of water right under. She then starts making fun of him until he is about to pour his heart to her... to which she herself jumps on top of him just to interrupt him, as she wanted to be the first one to declare her love for him.
  • Ironic Echo Cut: A double one in the English dub for episode 20:
    [Ryuuji has just run away after getting tongue-tied trying to talk to Minori]
    Taiga: What a dumbass.
    [cut to the vending machine area]
    Ryuuji: Argh! I'm such a dumbass! Why did I run away? Sometimes I wish everything would just burn to the ground.
    [cut to classroom]
    Yuri-sensei: The whole thing just burned to the ground! (That would be the hotel in Okinawa that was the original Class Trip destination.)
  • Irony: At the end of Episode 24 Taiga remarks that she's bought more mature food than what she usually eats, after running away from home.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • To the degree that the Love Dodecahedron keeps on going because half its contenders don't try to resolve it to their advantage out of fear of denying someone else their happiness. The real kicker is that, near the end of the story, both primary love interests are mostly aware of the other's intentions and feelings. Thus it turns into a weird bizarro Love Triangle where the contest is who can give Ryuuji to her opponent first. Minori "wins".
    • Ami, of all of the girls. After being unrequited by Ryuuji, Ami decided to just stay as friends with him as well supporting his feelings for Taiga. This is also the reason why she fought Minori in the ski trip for rejecting Ryuuji and breaking his heart after Christmas.
  • Jerkass: Taiga's father Rikuro, who divorced his wife to marry a younger woman, stuck his own daughter in an apartment by herself when she couldn't get along with his new wife, and only ever visits her when he needs to publicly look as though he's doing his fatherly duty or, even worse, to profit off selling objects from Taiga's apartment after lying that he wants to live with Taiga somewhere else.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Ami reveals to be one after a bit of Character Development. She may be proud, spoiled and vain, but shows to be very selfless and caring towards the ones who have become her friends.
    • Taiga is abrasive, rude and often angry, but in truth very loyal kind and selfless.
    • Ryuuji is also one of these for the rest of the school once they learn that he's not as fearsome as he looks, although being the viewpoint character the viewers know this from the get-go. He's actually a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold.
  • Kawaiiko: Both Ami and Yasuko. With Ami it's a mask she's developed to get by in the modeling industry and is now afraid to take off because she doesn't think anyone will like her real self; with Yasuko it seems to be her real personality, but it may be a case of Becoming the Mask. Interestingly, with Yasuko, who is well above the age where it should be acceptable, it's endearing, while with Ami it's the thing that makes her Alpha Bitch.
  • Last Confession Wins: Averted. Minori deliberately withholds her confession until after Taiga's. However, the corollary holds in that Ami's the first to express her feelings towards Ryuuji.
  • Licensed Game: Toradora! Portable is a visual novel for the Play Station Portable. It was made by Namco Bandai in 2009. The first English Fan Translation patch was released in 2013. It had bugs, but a follow-up patch in 2014 corrected them.
  • Lost in Translation: NIS America's official English subtitles make some interesting translation choices:
    • The girls' nickname for Kitamura is Maruo, after the bespectacled student council president in Chibi Maruko-chan. The subtitles replace that with "Four-Eyes". The English dub uses Maruo, but because the nickname is never explained in the Japanese-language version of the show — Chibi Maruko-chan is a massively popular franchise in Japan so no explanation was necessary for Japanese viewers — there's no opportunity to explain it within the show for English-language viewers who are likely unfamiliar with it.
    • Taiga's Insult of Endearment for Ami, "baka-chi" (dumb chihuahua), appears in the subtitles as "Chi-Chi".
    • In Episode 20, the subtitles and dub suggest that Taiga is merely mispronouncing "biscuit"; in fact, she's mispronouncing "chinsuko" (a sweet biscuit sold in Okinawa) as "chinkosu" (penis), which is why Haruta is getting such a charge out of it (and why Taiga gets embarrassed and angry).
  • Love Confession: The whole story is built around characters trying to confess their love, but they're usually so tongue-tied that the other party doesn't realize what they're being told, or upon realizing it stop the other person from finishing. The more notable examples:
    • Taiga to Kitamura, though she's so flustered that he thinks she's confessing to loving Ryuuji.
    • Kitamura twice to Sumire.
    • Ryuuji tries to confess to Minori, but she stops him.
    • Minori to Ryuuji after she knows he's chosen Taiga.
    • A non-romantic version when Yasuko declares Taiga to be part of the family.
    • Taiga to Ryuuji, though she's half-conscious, suffering from hypothermia and believes she's talking to Kitamura about her love for Ryuuji.
    • Ryuuji to Taiga. He doesn't actually manage to say, "I love you," until the very last scene of the series, but he's made the message clear before that.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Ami likes Ryuuji, who is in love with Minori, who thinks that he likes Taiga (and likely has some feelings for Taiga herself), while Taiga really likes Yuusaku. It only gets worse as the series progresses.
    • Later in the series, we find out that Yuusaku once thought Taiga attractive, but now likes Sumire Kanou, who in turn apparently likes him back but can't because of high school graduation...
    • Overturned again towards the end, when is revealed that Taiga has fallen in love with Ryuuji. And her love is fully reciprocated by Ryuuji. Thankfully, that puts an end to the mess.
    • By the end of the series it's so all-pervasive that the revelation that Minori was in love with Ryuuji too had viewers wondering if her issues weren't something deeper than just another I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. To make matters more complex, Minori isn't sure whether she lost Ryuuji to Taiga or Taiga to Ryuuji.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Taiga attempts to give Yuusaku a love note, but ends up just giving Ryuuji an empty envelope instead, which kicks off the plot.
  • Love Revelation Epiphany: A major plot point is that Taiga was confessed to by Kitamura and only started to develop feelings for him after that.
  • Lower-Deck Episode: The short story "The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness", included at the end of Book 3, is told from the perspective of a freshman who believes Ryuuji is a junior yakuza who's keeping Taiga as some kind of love slave. His attempts to rescue her backfire spectacularly. The anime adaptation abandons this almost entirely, reducing the freshman to a role no larger than Haruta and Noto.

  • Manchild: Ryuuji's mother Yasuko refers to herself as "Yacchan", and makes childish requests like wanting her name written in ketchup on her omelettes.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Yasuko to Taiga.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Ryuuji & Taiga: the former is a soft-hearted romantic-natured Neat Freak, the latter is a skilled Tsundere kendo practitioner with a Hair-Trigger Temper and a near-textbook Napoleon complex.
  • Matchmaker Crush: Originally Ryuuji offered to help set up Taiga with Kitamura, with the understanding that later she would help set him up with Minori. Due to the amount of time they spend together however, it becomes pretty clear who they're going to really end up with.
  • Maybe Ever After: Between Yuusaku and Sumire, since she admitted that she returned his feelings before leaving, and he eventually follows her to the US after graduation.
  • Meaningful Name: Ryuuji (Dragon) and Taiga (Tiger), explicitly called attention to in Episode 2.
  • Metaphorgotten: Ghosts and love, Minori even keeps using this code with Ami, who wasn't there when the discussion started.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Yasuko.
    • Ami anyone?
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Ramen shop worker from Episode 22 is WAY too into serving ramen.
    Eternal Circle of Transmigration!
  • Nausea Fuel: In-universe; Inko is considered to be this by Taiga.
  • Neat Freak: Ryuuji fits this trope to a T. If he sees anything unsanitary, dirty, or messed up clothing, he usually drops whatever he was doing in order to clean/fix it. Becomes a Running Gag later in the show, such as when they go to the girl's dorm during the ski trip, and the first thing he does is start sorting out socks strewn about the messy room.
  • New Transfer Student: Ami.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Ryuuji. According to Kihara, lots of people in the class think Ryuuji is one of these. Once they get used to his evil looks, that is.
    • His best friend Yuusaku is one of these as well.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Among the three main girls, Minori is firmly the nice one, while Ami and Taiga can either be mean or in-between mutually, depending on the situation. Taiga is more openly short-tempered and cranky, while Ami used to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who used her cute act to hide her arrogant streak, while later on she's generally quite nice, if sarcastic and Brutally Honest when she feels the situation calls for it. Both, of course, have a good heart deep down.
  • Nosebleed:
    • Minori gets one from trying to suggest that they do a haunted house for the school culture festival.
    • Seems to happen a lot with Minori, though the above example is the only one caused by being turned on. "Nosebleeds are the tears of the heart!", indeed. And later played more seriously: "I did learn one thing today. When you trip in the hallway, you get a nosebleed. When you trip in life, you cry."
  • Obfuscating Stupidity:
    • Ami. She puts on an innocent airhead persona, except to her true friends who know how she's really like but accept her anyway.
    • In the summer vacation episodes, Minori gives hints to the viewer - a secret smile here, a cryptic comment there - that she knows precisely what's being planned, as well as knowing how Ryuuji feels about her. Her uniqueness means she can dismiss whatever she says as either more inane babbling or refine it into an honest statement.
    • And in the same episode, Kitamura's lame tricks are supposed to cover his true plan. Which leads to a hilarious exchange in the novels:
    "In the cave, it was nothing but a string of failures. Didn't you think 'there’s no way that Kitamura could be this unreliable' or something?"
    "Ah, not really, I just thought, 'so this guy really is an idiot?'"
  • Odd Couple: A nice, friendly neat freak with a Face of a Thug and a short, angry, completely messy ball of cuteness.
  • Official Couple: Taiga x Ryuuji. For Pete's sake, it's one of the show's alternate titles.
  • Old Maid: The characters' homeroom teacher is thirty years old and still single. This is Lampshaded without mercy.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "What can you say about a person calling herself airheaded?"
  • Otaku: Ami is stalked by a creep with a camera who has an unhealthy obsession with her. The same guy takes pictures of Taiga for looking like "an adorable monster".
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Taiga apparently lives separately from her parents, who bought her an apartment all for herself just to get her off their backs. Later on, her father asks for her to come back and one actually sees what kind of father figure he is.
    • It quickly becomes apparent he is not much of a parent at all.
    • Turns out that Ryuuji's missing father isn't dead- he's just a deadbeat. He didn't even stick around until Ryuuji was born.
  • Parlor Games: The cast is playing Shiritori - a Japanese word game - on the bus to the ski resort, at least until Minorin drags it way off track.
  • Passing Notes in Class: Happens a couple of times — first between Ryuuji, Taiga and Minori regarding Ami, and later as class members wager Tirol chocolates (candies that are cheap and widely available in Japan) on the outcome of the Taiga-Ami race.
  • Perpetually Shiny Bodies: Downplayed. Several female characters like Sumire, Ami, and Yasuko have a bit of a gloss on their cheeks for extra cuteness.
  • Pet the Dog: Ami gets a few, like bringing out Yuri-sensei out of her depression. By the end of the series, it's become routine behavior for her.
  • Picnic Episode: The OVA "The True Meaning of Bento" ends with the main characters and their classmates eating a picnic outside (and Taiga pushed into Romantic Spoonfeeding with Ryuji).
  • Pixellation: The contents of the kitchen sink in Taiga's apartment in the first episode.
  • Playing Cyrano: Taiga and Ryuji try to help each other date the other's best friend. It fails so utterly that they instead convince said best friend that they're dating each other.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Right there in the title. "Taiga" is tiger, phonetically transcribed from English into Japanese, whereas Ryuuji is a name dealing with dragons (which would be ryu). These are flipped for the title, so we get "Tora" the actual word for tiger in Japanese, and "Dora" comes from "Doragon", which is the Japanese transcription of the English word dragon.
  • Pose of Supplication:
    • Ryuuji and Yasuko do this to beg forgiveness from Inko.
    • Yuusaku takes this further than he has to in Episode 17, when he thanks Taiga for her willingness to defend him from what she thought was Sumire's bullying.
    • And Minori does it too at the beginning of the series, believing Ryuuji and Taiga are an item and begging the former to bring hapiness to the latter. Done in a Shout-Out way to Hyûga's famous Pose of Supplication scene in Captain Tsubasa, right down to the pre-Po S badass stance.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Minori finally breaks down after Ryuuji, Taiga, and Yuusaku leave Ami's house in the second-to-last episode.
  • Property of Love: Taiga claims Ryuuji belongs to her in front of her entire class after she saves him from drowning in the pool. She then says she only meant as if he is her dog and she is his owner.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: They're all good guys at heart, but have issues and insecurities, everyone of them in his own way.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Ryuuji looks scary, but he cooks, cleans, sews dresses (Taiga's outfit at the beauty contest), and makes breast pads for Taiga.
    • Don't forget his pink boxers!
  • Red String of Fate: Class 2-C's legendary secret treasure!
  • Running Gag:
    • Inko struggling to say her own name.
    • Yuri's age/single status becomes one.

  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Kitamura does Gendou glasses when luring the others into scare "traps" he laid in a cave during a Beach Episode, as well as several other times during the series.
  • School Festival: Gets a whole novel/three episodes devoted to it.
  • School Swimsuit: Taiga, Minori and Ami go shopping for one, which sets off Taiga's A-Cup Angst. Subverted later by Ami, who wears a bikini for her race with Taiga, claiming her school swimsuit hadn't dried.
  • Share the Male Pain: After Taiga's Groin Attack on her father, Ryuuji can be seen cringing and instinctively covering his own family jewels.
  • Ship Tease:
    • So much that some fans want an "After Story" featuring either Ami or Minori with Ryuuji.
    • Since Minori at one point states to have feelings for Taiga as well, even a Taiga × Minori shipping would be thinkable.
  • Shipper on Deck: Everyone, to everyone, at one point or another.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Minorin makes a duel about looking at School Festival pictures.
    • This is just the tip of the iceberg; Minorin is a veritable fount of bizarrely out of place refrences: "Sigh GET!" and a Yu-Gi-Oh version of her pudding bucket; "ORA ORA ORA" when choosing which pictures to buy; pretending she's Golgo 13; Nozumo Itoshiki's lectures being the inspiration for her multiple jobs; she has a Twitter Whale cup, etc.
    • She sings a lyric-altered version of the Princess Mononoke theme song at the beginning of episode 17.
    • Minori references Fist of the North Star a few times. At one point in volume 7 she delivers rapid-fire taps to Taiga's forehead while imitating Kenshiro's AH-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA-TA battle cry, and then starts singing a lyric-altered version of "You wa Shock" (FOTNS' first opening theme) to Ryuuji afterwards. Her "Divine Fist of Convenience Stores" is also a parody of Kenshiro's Hokuto Shinken ("Divine Fist of the North Star") attack.
    • Kana and Touma from Minami-ke are shortly seen walking by in one scene.
    • On a snowy night, leaning on a bridge's rail, Ryuuji wonders if Yasuko's life wouldn't have been better if he hadn't been born. Angel Taiga has clearly seen It's a Wonderful Life and overreacts a bit.
    • In Episode 4, Taiga and Ryuuji go to Sudoh Bucks (Starbucks Coffee), located next door to the Furukawa Bakery. A couple who look a bit like Tomoya and Nagisa is also seen strolling in front of it.
    • Taiga once refers to Ami that her name is written exactly the same way as Sailor Mercury's.
    • The music playing during Taiga's learning to swim montage is an obvious knock off of the theme from Chariots of Fire.
    • Taiga's overenthusiastic "Oha!" greeting to Kitamura in Episode 4 is done in the style of "Shingo Mama", a character played by a cross-dressing Shingo Katori (member of the boy band SMAP), and demonstrated in the song "Shingo Mama no Oha Rock".
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: In episode 4, the class recites one of Touchstone's lines from As You Like It for their English assignment.
  • Shower of Awkward: Subverted, as when Ryuuji walks in on Ami in the shower, she's actually fully dressed. But then played straight when Taiga walks in on her a few minutes later.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Between Taiga and Ryuuji at the very end.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Ryuuji does this whenever he's cleaning.
    • Of course, for Ryuuji any smile looks like a Slasher Smile...
    • Ami gets in a pretty good one, too, when she's stomping her stalker's camera to pieces. That the expression freaks him right the hell out is icing on the cake.
    • Taiga lacks nothing in this department, as Episode 3 shows.
    • Even their teacher gets one when they choose wrestling as theme of the festival. Looks like Toradora! is the non-action anime with the greatest number of slasher smiles.
  • Slow Clap: During the School Festival, Ryuuji starts this up with Minori's help after Taiga's Jerkass father ditches her during the beauty pageant. Played realistically in that nobody joins in until they realize that it's the delinquent Ryuuji clapping, and he looks ready to kill someone, so better go along.
  • Spit Take: Beautifully synchronized with Ryuuji and Taiga in the fifth anime episode: they both take sips of water to calm down after seeing Ami come into the restaurant, then spit it out together when Kitamura walks in and greets her.
  • Spoiler Opening: Ami Kawashima appears in the opening from the first episode on, even though she doesn't first appear until the fifth episode.
  • Spring Cleaning Fever: Ryuuji.
  • Stepford Smiler: Minori is a Type A.
  • Stock Sound Effects: A non-Public Domain example; many of the anime adaptation's sound effects are from the Hanna-Barbera and Hollywood Edge sound libraries.
  • Student Council President: Sumire, who acts very close to a Drill Sergeant Nasty by bellowing out orders to the students with a megaphone.
  • Super-Deformed: Toradora SOS!, four mini-episodes created as bonuses for the Japanese DVD releases, featuring the main characters as chibi-fied versions of themselves trying out various foods. Cuteness ensues.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Taiga has this, though she can kick really well.
  • Supporting Harem: As it is suggested by the title, this is more of a romantic comedy with two extra girls than a Harem Anime.
  • Teen Rebellion: Taiga the delinquent girl is willing to hit anyone who's in her way, and some of her insecurities and pent-up frustrations are not helped by her parents' constant fighting in the past. However, as time goes on, she mellows out.
  • Tempting Fate: When Minori and Ryuuji are in a dark storeroom, Minori comments that it'd be interesting if they were to suddenly get locked in there. Cue door being shut by the manager who thought she left the door unlocked.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ami gives a particularly harsh one to Minori during the ski trip. It seems to legitimately piss off Minori for the first time ever, and while it seems they let it slide, the next day Ami seems to keep getting hit by the sled ridden by Taiga and Minori. It's likely that this happened because Ami likes Ryuuji, but was told in an earlier episode by Taiga not to interfere with him while he tries to confess his love for Minori. But Minori continues to hide behind her Genki Girl facade, and act as if nothing happened. Considering all the mistakes and slip ups Minori was making in earlier episodes, Ami has reason to be angry, since she can't stand Minori not being true to her feelings, and at least giving Ryuuji a clear answer so in the event she rejects him, she could then legitimately move in on him.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Episode 14 "The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness", involves a rumor that touching Taiga will bring you good luck/happiness. She spends most of the episode trying to avoid contact with people until she runs across Kitamura looking down and tells him "You can touch me as much as you want. Touch me lots and lots!" followed immediately by the realization of what that sounds like.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • Noto and Haruta.
    • Those Two Girls - Kihara and Nanako.
  • Through Her Stomach: Ryuuji's main method of taming Taiga is feeding her.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The main motif of the series. The title itself is a combination of the Japanese word for "tiger" (tora) and the Japanese transliteration of the English word "dragon" (doragon). The main characters are even named Taiga (whose name actually means "great river", but sounds a lot like the English word "tiger") and Ryuuji (whose name translates as "dragon child/character"). Ryuuji himself references the symbolism in an early episode of the anime.
  • Training Montage: Ryuuji teaches Taiga how to swim. Comes complete with a Chariots of Fire sound-alike and a balancing exercise on a pole against a sunset!
  • Tranquil Fury: During their first meeting, Taiga calmly slaps Ami when she tires of her bitchy behavior.
  • Trash of the Titans: Taiga's apartment when Ryuuji visits her the first time.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: The main plot of the visual novel Toradora! Portable. After Ryuuji went hospitalized after Christmas because of getting hypothermia after being rejected by Minori, he goes into a Convenient Coma awaking without memories and all depends of the player to recover his memories and follow the original ending or choose one of the other girls (yes, including Minori).
  • Troubled, but Cute: Mainly Ryūji, Taiga and Ami; however, one of the themes of Toradora is that almost all the characters have some kind of trouble, but overall they're all nice and kind-hearted.
  • True Companions: Yes, it's a Love Dodecahedron, and yes, they ''all'' have issues, but they really do care deeply about each other.
  • Two-Teacher School: Yuri-sensei and the Phys Ed teacher "Muscle" Kuro.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: This series is rather fond of this trope. Taiga falls for Kitamura after rejecting his initial confession; too bad by this point he's moved on to pine after Sumire. Towards the end of the series, Minori finally admits that she returns Ryuuji's feelings for her - right after he's realized that he's moved on and is in love with Taiga instead.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ami and Taiga. Ami and Minori appear to have this kind of relationship by the end of the series, although the vitriol is more light and playful than it was in the former example.
  • Waif-Fu: Despite her frail, doll-like appearance, Taiga manages to put up quite a fight against strong adversaries.
  • Whip of Dominance: During the culture festival Ami gets Dressed Like a Dominatrix, complete with a long bullwhip that she teases she'll use to "punish" misbehaving students with, and she even cracks it when she wants the audience to quiet down.
  • Wilhelm Scream: Last episode of the specials uses it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Taiga and Ryuuji. Pretty firm on the 'They Will' side, though, given that the show's title means 'Tiger and Dragon' (Taiga x Ryuu, in other words).
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Minori, although its hard to tell what genre she thinks she's in. Probably all of them.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: In the novels, when the boys propose a Cosplay Café for the School Festival, several unnamed girls counter with a Yaoi Cafe:
    "Instead of drag, how about we have a 'BL Cafe'? The butler will be seme, while the slightly haughty waiter will be uke. They’ll be affectionate and mean to their customers simultaneously… How's that? Kya! I've said it!"
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • In Episode 2 when Taiga throws a fit about how nobody understands her, Ryuuji joins in and kicks the light pole with her to show her that, yes, there was somebody willing to understand her.
    • In "The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness" episode, Ryuuji chides Ami for her diet, gives her an extra pork cutlet (since they come in a pack of four and he's only feeding three) and says she acts like a kid. This comes after a day in which Yuri and Minori have both praised her for her maturity and she's received a call from her agent begging her to return to modeling full time. The episode ends with Ami telling her mother she wants to remain in school. Towards the end of the series, she confesses to Ryuuji that she stayed because she'd finally found someone who understood her and liked her for who she really is, even if he doesn't love her.

Note: Write an apology letter. -Yuri

"FOOL!" -Taiga's postcard


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Toradora


Holy Night

A special ending theme in Toradora is a Christmas song by two of the characters: Taiga Aisaka and Ami Kawashima.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChristmasSongs

Media sources: