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Toradora is at its core a giant love pentagon focused around an ever expanding cast of highschool students. Now if that sentence didn't immediately trigger some sort of retching gag reflex for you, Toradora may be worth checking out. The overarching plot centers on Face Of A Thug Loser Nice Guy Ryuji and the tsun-tsun-dere-dere pettanko Taiga as they each try unsuccessfully to hook one another up with the other's friend. If that seemed like an awful lot of blue text it's because characters in this show stay very close to stock tropes for much of the series. Its not necessarily a bad thing because the various characters, cliche though they may be, are executed very well. In fact their interactions drive the entire first half of the show, and manage to do so quite well. This is precisely when the viewer is hit by Toradora's famous curve ball, and where the base irreparably breaks.
The later episodes darken very quickly and weight much more heavily towards drama than comedy, and Toradora's biggest liability is undoubtedly in the Mood Whiplash this creates. At its core its almost two different shows. A slice of life comedy at the beginning and a romantic drama at the end. Neither one is bad but they often highlight diametrically opposed parts of a characters personality and the sudden change can be jarring at best and seriously strain believability at worst. Your Mileage WILL vary when it comes to the ending. Whether you think it is well executed character development or cheap emotionally exploitative dross crow-barred in to the ending will depend a lot on you and your expectations for the show. But either way, its well worth finding out. For all the hatedom its engendered Toradora is an ambitiously scripted and well executed show that tries (if not necessarily succeeds) to buck genre expectations.
This little weird story began when I saw the first opening and asked some friend about it. It was the first op from Toradora! (the exclamation mark is in the title, it's not that I'm screaming or something)
When I saw the series I loved it a lot, even some things that disturbed me a bit, like Ami (all of her still disturbs me) and some scenes when Minori gives (specially Ryuuji) some creepy eyes.
More recently, I need to watch it again, and Minori's creepy eyes looked more justified, because she has some issues, and she's basically crazy in the head. And I love her. In fact, I love all the characters; except Ami, although I accept her existence as necessary for the plot, her role is very important. Crucial, I dare to say. Everything was going OK until I found that some nice dudes translate the ten novels into English. I went nuts. I read the ten books in less than a fortnight, watching the TV series at the same time, without subtitles.
I love the novels for so much details, some gags that the TV series hasn't (although the manga has them), and the climax that each novel build at the last pages of each of them, specially the last ones. The novels wins over the series in almost every subject, except the ending (ep. 25) where the TV series is formidable. That black sailor fuku is simply gorgeous, but more importantly, what it represents, in terms of time, space and feelings.
In a more personal point of view, some situations reminds me some events of my personal history. The feelings of unrequited love, shattered hearts revived, but it's a bitter-sweet feeling. I consider myself very romantic. Or am I a masochist?
Anyway, I love Toradora! (this time, the exclamation mark are mine)
I hope you find its good points, and could enjoy it.
Before starting off with this review, I would highly recommend this anime to all of those who had enjoyed animes like: Clannad, Angel Beats ect. or just any high school setting/romance/comedy/slice of life anime in general.
I stumbled upon this anime out of pure randomness and immediately I was intrigue by its characters and story. It tells the story of a nice guy name Ryuji, who is mistaken for a delinquent by everyone due to his fierce-looking eyes and how he meet a loli/tsundere girl name Taiga and develop a romantic relationship with her. Although, they started out liking the other person's friend, it is no surprise that they will end up liking each other instead the person of their crush. Even the name of the anime foreshadows that conclusion.
However, even though knowing in advance what is going to happen, it is the journey of how do they get there is what really draws you in. It started out with lots gags and jokes and not that much characters development in the first half but as soon as you hit the beginning of the second half, that is when things started to become more dramatic and we get to see more characters development.
For me, I started out not knowing what to expect but I set a really high expectation and I was right for doing so because it totally nailed it. Every single one of those " here is the part where you should cry" moments are incredibly well done.
I loved how it builds up a lot of emotions and then just exploded at the right moment, especially the Christmas Eve festival episode. It was one of the series biggest highlights and probably one of the best attempt at a dramatic moment that I have ever seen. That episode contain my favorite moment (an incredible transitional moment) in the entire anime as I was very moved by that particular moment when that "certain someone" had a love epiphany.
And another great moment was the ending. At first, I felt that I was cheated( I literally screamed when this happened) but later the anime redeem itself at the very last moment which was a welcoming surprise.
As silly as it may sounds, Toradora change my view of love and relationships and made me realize the beauty and the power of true love. I was left truly speechless after watching Toradora. So bottom line, if you the have time then you shouldn't miss out on this anime.
Here I am, just finished watching Junni Kokki, and discovering it's intended audience is young japanese females. So I pick up Darker than Black, intent on expunging any hint of tarnish on my manliness WHICH HAS BEEN IN MY FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS. And then, I picked up Toradora by accident, when I was taking a brief break from hurtling towards Darker Than Black's.... finale. And wouldn't you know it, but I couldn't put it down. I mean, it's not as though I had any real empathy for the characters, or laughed helplessly at four AM over one of the running gags involving a parrot... Urusai, urusai urusai!
So I liked it!
So what?! Stupid Dog!
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