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SaitoHajime101's Toradora! Tv Review

Toradora! Toradora! Screenshot Main set of Characters Toradora! Screenshot One of my favorite scenes! Toradora! Screenshot A look on the art. Toradora! Screenshot Taiga and Ryuuji Episode 1

Toradora! tv Review

Ryuji Takasu was an "average" second year student who was mistaken to be a delinquent due to the pair of eyes he inherited from his father. This caused much misunderstanding to occur in his life in school. One day, he accidentally walks into Taiga Aisaka, who is also known as the "Palmtop Tiger" for having a very aggressive personality despite her smaller stature.

After a sequence of events, the two decided to help each other attain the hearts of their crushes. However, this partnership leads to an unexpected twist of events between the two and those around them.

Description: z827

Story & Characters

I will point out this, when I first heard the title "Toradora!", it made me think of the World War II film "Tora Tora Tora!". Yes, yes, only because it had "tora" in the name, but still. Any how, Toradora is also know as "Tiger x Dragon". Where people get the "x" from is beyond me, but I'll run with it.

This series is your basic slice-of-life romance story, but not with your typical "ugly" loves "beauty". In fact both main protagonists are labeled deliquents of the school. While the main female protagonist, Aisaka Taiga, is a "true deliquent" of sorts, the main male protagonist, Takasu Ryuuji, is only labeled as one because of his eyes. Oh before I forget, yes Taiga is a pun from the title where "tora" is "tiger" (Taiga being pronouced as it looks; "tai-gah", more puns in the series but thats the obvious one). Now being a deliquent doesn't necessarily mean the protagonists are ugly per se, its just the other students wouldn't exactly put these two characters on their "top people to date" list.

Now the series starts of with Ryuuji's first day of the start of his second year in high school. He comes to school with some good fortune, not only finding himself back in class with his best friend, Kitamura Yusaku, but also with his crush Kushieda Minori (also called Minorin). Now when there's something good, there's always something bad and word gets around about Aisaka (she being called the "Palmtop Tiger") and after an incident, Ryuuji gets knocked out by Taiga herself. Now to sum it all up, from there thats when the story really begins, Ryuuji somehow finds himself a "leashed dog" with Taiga has his owner. Also come to find out Kushieda (Ryuuji's crush) is best friends with Taiga. So from all that, if you're not confused already, shows how complicated things just got for Ryuuji.

Well the story itself starts out pretty predictable for about the first 7 episodes. Actually some could say the outcome of the entire series was predictable, but what made this story stand out more was the execution and characters. Stepping away from our two main characters, we get a character list that's pretty impressive considering the fact. Going with my favorite first, Kushieda Minori. She is the "athletic" character who is the type to take charge and very active. In fact at times you wonder if she even has a life, let alone wondering where the hell she gets her energy from. Fortunately enough, just like alot of the characters in the series, she's more complex than she looks. Without straying from the main plot, they allow for plenty of moments to show her "other side". She's one of those that puts up a front with people but will only show her true self amongst those she really cares for. She's not the outspoken-type despite being very ambitious. One could say all of her activity is her way of escaping her sorrowed life (however don't think its tragic or anything because its really not, just typical teenage angst).

A couple other characters who get some significant screen time are Kitamura Yusaku and Kawashima Ami. Its plainly obvious what position these characters play. Kitamura plays the "best friend" while Kawashima supplies the "rival" aspect in the love triangle. Surprisingly enough, after the halfway point, everything that made the typical "character sheet" gets thrown out the window. What I mean is, every anime story kinda follows a set format on characters (more true in slice-of-life series than anything else). Like for example, you have the best friend that provides the needed advice, or you would have the childhood friend (who in some cases can be the best friend or love interest) or maybe you might have the dense main character who can't tell when a girl/guy likes him/her. Now what Toradora did was start out with your basic format (i.e. Ryuuji = dense, Kushieda/Kitamura = best friends), but halfway through started juggling these traits around through everyone. No longer do we have the static characters that, unlike other slice-of-life shows where no matter how much their interests change, they're personality traits don't, they encompass all traits at one point other another. A good example of this is, again, at the halfway point (about episode 13 or 14, something like that), Kawashima Ami goes from being a "rival"-type to more of the "good friend"-type. Their traits change with the rest of their personality.

This story and character list were well written and really starts to blossom after the first 7 episodes or so. If you're one of those that got bored with it during the first couple episodes and stopped watching it, I suggest picking it back up again.

Side Note: Everytime I think of Inko-chan (the parrot), I think of the bird from Beck Mongolian Chop Squad (hah!).

Rating: 8

Art

Definitely a step up from alot of shows over recent years. This is one of those series that really does its best to show off the good animation and direction but keeping the sharpen and bright look of the series. Its like when, say, you watched something like Beck, where you want some of the good animation to be accompanied by some clearer and more detailed art? Thats not to say Toradora is extremely detailed or anything, but it does supply the feel that it is. I guess one could say Toradora is like the jack-of-all-trades in art. It wasn't the best in any one area, but it did good enough in all aspects of the art that you can't say its average or worse. Its supplies exuberant amount of bright colors that it gives off the right impression of a light-hearted, comedic yet romantic-at-times anime.

It has its faults however in the fact, as said before, it doesn't excel in any particular area. In every average to above average anime, there's always something that it excels at. Unfortunately for Toradora, Art wasn't where it shines the most. For me it was the story, not the art that charmed and made me come back for another dose. Yes its a step up from other shows in recent years, but there are definitely a number of series that excel better in the Art area than this series.

Rating: 6

Sound

Ah, always my favorite section because music in anime have generally been nice to me. The series surely doesn't disappoint but it does have a number of insert songs that probably sounds better to others than it did me. Now the opening and ending songs were good for this series. "Pre-Parade" was a energetic song that really symbolized how energetic the first half of the series was. Bouncing off of that you head into the ending song for the first half which was "Vanilla Salt". I can safely say I haven't really listened to that song much because it just doesn't hook me enough. Good lyrics is one thing, but if the music itself doesn't compliment the lyrics well enough, you're going to have problems. For me, I just didn't get good vibes from it. Going into the second half of the series, you have "Silky Heart" for the opening and "Orange" for the ending. Probably the most listened to song out of all of Toradora is "Orange", followed by "Silky Heart". When watching the ending video and listening to "Orange", it made more sense to me for the tempo the second half of the series kinda followed. "Silky Heart" felt more in tune to the feelings of the characters and how they felt when you came up to the end of the series. I had the unfortunate experience of watching the official music video for "Silky Heart". Problem there is the dance steps and direction for the video really did nothing for the song. It felt like everything in the video sucked away all the energy that the song had in it. Warning for you all, don't watch the official music video for "Silky Heart", it does nothing good for the song in my opinion.

The insert songs are a different story however. They enhanced and played well in the anime, but when I listened to them full-length, outside of the anime, I didn't get the same feelings. Its like they lost all emotion when set on their own for me. Prime example is the "Holy Night" insert song. Played great and greatly improved the episode it was played in, but outside of it, I felt it lacked. Songs like these really shouldn't be put on CDs but again, when dealing in the anime world, fans just want to have everything from their favorite shows (yes I am one of them, heh). A completists' dream.

There's not much to say for the VAs. They were good as to be expected for their roles. I will say they have an impressive cast list. Not just for the main set of characters but for the supporting list as well. They had some up-and-coming VAs along with some established VAs in the industry. For example, just a couple seconds ago, while I'm writing this, I was taking a look again at the cast list for this show (been about a year and a half since I've seen the show) and I saw that Nonaka Ai (who played Ibuki Fuko from Clannad, a prominent character in the series) played the role of a supporting character known as Kihara Maya. Reason why I didn't know this is because I didn't see Clannad until the summer following the ending of Toradora (Toradora ended in March of 09, watched Clannad in the summer). To see such a cast list is really promising. There's nothing to be worried about in the VA department of this series.

Rating: 7

Presentation

This series was slated as a 25-episode series, but I guess they wanted to maintain the 26-episode length that the anime world is notoriously known for, so they threw in a special as the 26th episode. Its obviously not an episode needing to be watched in regards to the main story so no need to bend over backwards to see it. Any how, theres alot of good things to say about the series but for a change of pace, I'mma head straight into the bad first.

Fact is there's nothing really standout-ish about this series aside from some pretty well written characters. Now some would say thats a good thing and why others would list this series as "perfect", but thats not correct. For a perfect series everything would stand out and make for a long discussion about each part. So far the only portions I've elaborated on where the characters. I talked a bit about the sound but thats only for tidbit information I thought was interesting to include. Unfortunately its a pretty hard stretch to sit here and talk about Toradora for more than maybe 10 minutes before you start repeating yourself. Thats pretty much how long this reading should be, give or take a couple more minutes. If it was up to me, this entire presentation section would've been put up in two sentences but I figure I'd be better off explaining myself a bit more.

This series' re-viewability is extremely small. Once you've seen it once, you remember everything. I stated earlier that its been year since the ending of Toradora and I haven't rewatched it since yet I was still able to give you a pretty good summary of what happened in the first 10 or so minutes of the first episode. I could literally sit here and tell the entire story, episode by episode, without having to rewatch any of it. Thats a good and bad thing.

Toradora was a well executed series and has a charm to it that makes watching it fun and interesting, yet one could say the charm was too strong. Take your favorite movie for example. You get drawn back into because not only did you not catch everything the first time, but you enjoy it enough to watch it over and over again without getting tired of the same ol' stuff. Toradora on the other hand was too strong where you loved watching it, but paid too much attention to all the details which makes you lose the need to rewatch it. I will give this series credit though, the jokes were pretty funny and I found myself laughing time and time again.

Overall, definitely one to pick up and watch through. In fact I urge people to at least give it a shot for the first 14 episodes (second half starts at episode 15), after that make your decision. However don't be surprised if you decide to include this in your DVD collection (when in hits store shelves in the U.S. sometime this year from NIS) that you never watch it more than once more for a long time.

Rating: 6

Final Verdict

6.83 (above average)

Reviewed by SaitoHajime101, Mar 01, 2010

Comments

  1. Rapshield31 Mar 04, 2010

    Wow! Nice rewiew!
    I take this opportunity to say that is one of the most beautiful anime!^_^

  2. Warpten29 Mar 19, 2010

    This great!

    merged: 03-19-2010 ~ 01:33pm
    i think this review is fine. its just simple

    merged: 03-19-2010 ~ 02:00pm
    i think this review is fine. its just simple

    merged: 03-25-2010 ~ 05:06am
    Well you did your best.
    So i guess its fine

  3. SchRita May 01, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  4. rukasu04 Mute Member May 15, 2010

    Nice review :D

  5. emina07 Mute Member May 28, 2010

    it is not the most beautiful.. but i appreciate the anime

  6. SchRita Aug 27, 2010

    I heard it's really good but now I'm not sure whether to watch it or not...

  7. Warpten29 Feb 07, 2011

    Watch i highly recomend it. If you dont watch it you'll be missing one of the greatest anime that posses a genre of drama, slice of life and comedy.

  8. Baraka-Senpai Jul 05, 2011

    Very cute! Love forever! *-* Perfect end!

  9. ai-yame Jul 08, 2011

    Fairly decent review here. Nice job! I agree about Toradora as a well-executed series, attracting fans with this certain strong charm. :)

  10. back07 Sep 26, 2012

    thanks for the nice review
    :)

  11. notahero Sep 01, 2015

    This series defines "dem feels". The trouble is it doesnt finish in a very satisfying way. I dont mean the outcome of the two main characters, which is good. I mean that you end up loving every character and hoping the best for them, and want to know what officially happened to them (instead of just dreaming about the possibilities).

    Also another let down is because the series is old you cannot find much merchandise. Mostly its all sold out! :)

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