Toradora!: A sweet, comedic story about unrequited love, requited love, friendship and selflessness.
In A Nutshell
Toradora! is a romantic comedy thaat follows highschool students Ruuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka on their quest to help each other with their respective crushes. What started out as an odd alliance with lots of bickering ends up as a very loyal friendship where looking out for the other is the most imporant thing.
Meet the Characters
Takasu Ryuuji is a kind person with a passion for doing housework. Despite being a nice, inoffensive boy, he often gets labeled as a delinquent for his intimidating face. He lives in a small house with his single hardworking mother and their parrot. He is in love with Minori. Because Taiga lives alone and is a bit of a mess, he’s always looking out for her and cooking for her.
Aisaka Taiga is quite the opposite: she’s small and has a doll-like appearance, but she actually has a feisty, aggressive personality. In fact, she’s known as “Palmtop Tiger”. Despite of that, Taiga also has a very timid, sweet personality that she only shows when she’s around her crush, Kitamura. Taiga has a difficult relationship with her parents, who left her alone in a big flat that is always too empty for her.
Kushieda Minori is a girl from Ryuuji and Taiga’s classroom. She’s a very fun, cheerful girl who’s always looking for something to laugh about. Minori is also very athletic and she’s in the school baseball team. She’s the type of girl who appears to be very optimistic and happy with her life. However, there’s a more thoughtful, melancholic side to her that she barely ever shows.
Yusakiu Kitamura is the second male protagonist and Ryuuji’s best friend. He’s one of the most popular boys in the class and the type of person who appears to have his life figured out. He’s very smart, sensible, responsible and diligent, although he believes he’s clueless when it comes to love. He is respected by everyone as the student council’s vice-president.
Kawashima Ami comes a bit later in the story and seems to be the odd one out in the story. Amy is a rich, famous model with a big ego and a very strong personality. She often teases Taiga, and it’s not strange to see her attitude and bluntness getting her in trouble with both girls. Since she’s been forced to work in the world of adults from a young age, she’s actually much more mature and often offers passive-aggressive commentary on whatever the others are doing.
A Brief of Introduction of Toradora!: the When, Where and How
Toradora! is a Japanese light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya,with illustrations by Yasu. The series includes ten novels released between 2006 and 2009 and published by ASCII Media Works. A television series produced by the animation studio J.C.Staff containing 25 episode aired between October 2, 2008 and March 26, 2009. The Toradora! anime was selected as a recommended work by the awards jury of the thirteenth Japan Media Arts Festival in 2009.
Why It’s Awesome
Romance in anime is a genre that is often used just to satisfy the shoujo audience. They’re simplistic and predictable and they always feature beautiful, flawless girls with equally perfect, handsome guys. They’re made for daydreaming and self-inserting. Furthermore, these stories are more about playing around and hinting at things than about actually resolving anything or talking about the meaning (and implications) of love.
Despite starting off as your average school anime, Toradora! takes a turn for the best during its second half when it starts to flesh out the characters a lot more and take them out of their comfort zone. The reason why the series works is because the characters feel real. At first, you feel like you’ve got everyone figured out (anime has a tendency to make characters fit certain formulas after all), but the characters actually have many layers to them and they continue to surprise the audience until the end.
Toradora! is not only a love story. It’s a story about the days you live in high school, being a good friend to others, and making the most of your youth. It’s also a story about being mentally strong, dealing with your circumstances, and still being kind enough to look out for others, even if you’re the one who needs help the most. And isn’t selflessness what love is about?