13
Apr
09

Toradora!

    Name: とらドラ!(Toradora! meaning Tiger x Dragon)
    Episodes: 25 + 1 DVD extra
    Airtime: 02-10-2008 till 26-03-2009
    Producers: GENCO, J.C. Staff


Alright, time for some mainstream anime. Not everyone has been watching this, so I’ll have to watch out for spoilers. Because I just finished this series, the information is still fresh. Not to mention that the anime just ended anyway. I’ve watched the anime with Coalguys subs.

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Lately dog/master relationship animes have gone popular. You can clearly see that in Toradora. Even though they were speaking about the equality of the tiger with the dragon, Taiga seems to treat Ryuuji like trash at the beginning, but then, the character development happens. Toradora is a comedy romance story involving several love triangles which keep conflicting in every situation possible.

From left to right, you first see the main character Aisaka Taiga, a tiger with a hotheaded personality an who has a crush on Kitamura because of past memories. She’s followed up by the main protagonist Takasu Ryuuji, whose appearance is so scary that he scare off others, while he’s actually a honest nice person who likes cleaning, for no reason. Then you have Kushieda Minori, the crush of Takasu. She’s a work-a-holic and a very energetic girl. Last ones are Kitamura Yuusaku and Kawashima Ami, the first being responsible as the Student Body Council and the second one being a fashion model.

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Bzzt. Bzzt.

All have their reasons and love, but there’s one thing that’s a shame with such series: You know the outcome. After the first episode, you already know that Taiga is going to end up with Ryuuji, seeing that she barges into his room to take back the failed action of sending a letter to Kitamura-kun. As she’s an airhead, she forgot to put something in the envelop and with much ruckus the 2 went to encourage each other’s  relationship. But as everyone knows, development shows how Taiga is changing.

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Whoa, have feelings gone that far already!?

But as the series goes on, I was starting to doubt if that really was going to happen, until I found out that Minori is actually trying to achieve what we thought as well, even ignoring her own feelings. She gave priority to baseball. Then there’s Ami, who apparently has secret feelings for Ryuuji, but as she criticizes others, she keeps those feelings hidden forever. While Yuusaku has feelings for the Student Body President that is going to leave this year.

Now the reason why this series isn’t so standard as many other series in the same genre, is because the plot twists are a bit more advanced than standard animes go. However, you do have those scenes where you’re going to predict what’s going to happen. But in later episodes, the things Taiga and Ryuuji will do are above standards. They also think too far, in my opinion. I’m sorry for being a little bit negative about this series, but that’s because the end was so clear, while I still hoped for Ryuuji x Minori, because I thought that would fit best. But knowing the weird logic of Minori, I knew it couldn’t be like that. The drama is mostly there at the end, even taking note of the past lives of the main characters. The truth about Yasuko and her family, it was quite sad, especially when she restrained Ryuuji from working.

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That’s quite the abnormal greeting…

To be reviewing the whole series in just 1 page is a hard job, mine is probably not enough to really judge the total worth. However, I am trying my best to show you what Toradora! is like. To simply say it: It’s a general comedy romance series with plot twists here and there, but the red thread between Taiga and Ryuuji is very visible. The drama takes place more with the individuals and support characters themselves, but in the end they’re confronted with the troubles they get. It’s a wide and open anime with much activity here and there and the ending isn’t as rushed as people think it might be. The sidestories of the support characters are interesting and the events are mostly cheerful, beside the fact that the events are mostly the usual ones. Think like Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Festivals(matsuri), etc.

Conclusion

Story(7.5/10)
The story is advanced but still flows with the general flow. But as it is comedy/romance, it’s kinda inevitable. The ending isn’t rushed but is predictable and has a lot of melodrama. The plot for the drama, however, is further than people might think it is. Because it’s mainstream, it has got a lot of attention. I, fond of these kind of genres, approve of this anime, but there’s one slight minus I should add: It doesn’t draw your attention as much. The motivation to watch is low as you’re still around half the anime.

Character Development(8.5/10)
It’s not perfect, as to say, it’s too predictable how the girls are going to change. The same with Ryuuji too, ofcourse. Though, nobody would’ve predicted how this anime would end, so I don’t say it’s bad. The case with Ami was also pretty interesting, but in the end you never really get to hear her feelings, because she doesn’t want to interfere with the others. A shame, but also taken in this mark. About Minori…well, I’m disappointed that she’s going to be left behind, knowing her feelings, but giving it up for her purpose in life. It’s honorable, but sad.

Graphics(9/10)
The DVD version is airing at the moment. I have seen the 720p encoding with Coalguys’ subs, and the concrete graphics overall look good enough. It gives an open atmosphere, so you don’t feel as if the world is locked up, so to say. The characters look good too, and Inko looks ugly, like he’s supposed to be. The OP and EDs were animated nicely. A downpoint might be that there’s no actual change in art, like making it a bit darker at drama moments, such skills.

Audio(6/10)
I do like the OP and the EDs though, you can listen to them any time without troubles. But where’s the background music that supports the atmosphere? It’s so unnoticable that you actually listen to the speakers only. At least, so I experienced it. They could’ve changed the pace with the music, because now it’s a bit monotonous.

Final Conclusion: 8.4
Yes, an 8.4 but I can’t help it. I like this genre, thus I like this series. But it’s a bit too general and monologic, so I can’t give a full mark on this. Perhaps you might influence me to change my thoughts? Post your opinions/criticism here and we’ll see!

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3 Responses to “Toradora!”


  1. 1 Aku_Shinobi
    13-04-2009 at 22:16

    wow nice work Chrouya very nice anime keep it up man hope to see more from you ^^

  2. 2 Faith
    13-04-2009 at 22:43

    Great job Chrouya, keep it up.
    My comment on toradora would be very similar with yours, but i really wished that Taiga’s seiyuu was someone else, its getting super corny with Kugyuu!


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