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View Poll Results: Toradora! - Total Series Rating
Perfect 10 154 42.78%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 113 31.39%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 53 14.72%
7 out of 10 : Good 23 6.39%
6 out of 10 : Average 7 1.94%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 1 0.28%
3 out of 10 : Bad 1 0.28%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 1 0.28%
1 out of 10 : Painful 7 1.94%
Voters: 360. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-04-14, 22:08   Link #101
brain
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I'm starting to feel a tinge of regret at having voted a 9 already, because watching ToraDora again, though I loved it the first time, I see so much more yet to love. There is much hidden depth that you can't really notice perfectly the first time around, starting especially with the story arc at Ami's villa. I urge anyone who liked it at all to start watching a second time... I think you'll be surprised how much more depth there is to notice once you know the main story already.
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Old 2009-04-14, 22:23   Link #102
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A ten.

Not because the technical artistry is perfect. (It isn't.)

Not because the characters all got equal development. (Isn't it sad, Amin?)

Not because the music was the best. (While good, it wasn't.)

Not because of a fresh premise, or brilliant voice-acting (although it was pretty damn good), or any other individual facet of the show.

But because the sum of these parts was one of the only romances (comedy or otherwise) I've ever watched or read where I could describe it as feeling "real", and where the ride was enjoyable from start to finish.

The only similar anime/manga that are on par with it, as far as I'm concerned, are Honey and Clover, Love Roma, and Solanin. And I really can't give praise much higher than that.

Bravo, Takemiya Yuyuko and J.C. Staff. Bravo.
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Old 2009-04-15, 03:09   Link #103
physics223
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Originally Posted by The Sandman View Post
The only similar anime/manga that are on par with it, as far as I'm concerned, are Honey and Clover, Love Roma, and Solanin.
I feel slighted by that. I'm certain you meant no offense and clearly were just voicing your opinion, but in my humble opinion, Honey and Clover was leagues above Toradora.
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Old 2009-04-15, 03:34   Link #104
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no u

The best reply, or, in other words, let's agree to disagree.
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Old 2009-04-15, 07:55   Link #105
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I really need someone to explain what Physics sees in Honey and Clover. From what I watched it's an occasionally funny show where characters inexplicably pine after a love interest in one-sided relationships with little to no validation other than "Love at first site" for years after the expiration date. How he figures it's better than Toradora which actually takes the time to justify why the characters think and feel the way they do is beyond me.

Yeah the show was funny and had some good music (Killer opening) but the romantic angle of the show was always pretty bad. By the time the second season rolled out Yamada had moved from "Sympathetic sad girl" to "the most pathetic character in the history of anime". Goddamn girl, get a grip. At least Takemoto put some effort into finding things other than his crush to occupy his thoughts.
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Old 2009-04-15, 08:46   Link #106
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Having just finished watching both seasons of H&C, I'd have to somewhat agree with typhonsentra over this. It's not really all that great, and certainly, not "leagues better" than Toradora! - IMHO, of course.
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Old 2009-04-15, 10:56   Link #107
physics223
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Originally Posted by typhonsentra View Post
I really need someone to explain what Physics sees in Honey and Clover. From what I watched it's an occasionally funny show where characters inexplicably pine after a love interest in one-sided relationships with little to no validation other than "Love at first site" for years after the expiration date. How he figures it's better than Toradora which actually takes the time to justify why the characters think and feel the way they do is beyond me.

Yeah the show was funny and had some good music (Killer opening) but the romantic angle of the show was always pretty bad. By the time the second season rolled out Yamada had moved from "Sympathetic sad girl" to "the most pathetic character in the history of anime". Goddamn girl, get a grip. At least Takemoto put some effort into finding things other than his crush to occupy his thoughts.
I guess it hit close to home. I've met people who do that, especially because I've grown up with more or less conventional people. The love at first sight angle was actually done only with Takemoto, IIRC. Mayama had grown to love Rika because of his interactions with her; Yamada was Mayama's friend even before the show started. It's better than Toradora (at least for me) because other than matters of taste, it never had the pacing issues that plagued the penultimate episodes of Toradora. But even that is a matter of taste. From where my friends and I stand, however, Honey and Clover is better.
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Old 2009-04-15, 12:27   Link #108
Vexx
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A lot of my attachment to H&C comes from that feeling of 'reality' it put out (despite the wacky surrealism) plus the fact that it was the first series I'd encountered that was set in a COLLEGE setting with college-age people who had more adult pressures. Life and social protocols in college are much less constricted than high school.

OTOH, Toradora! had fascination for me because it breaks a lot of the "standard crap" one sees in rom-coms. We had two physical altercations, for example, both of which were females fighting (rather than helpless submissive nonsense). The girls Had Their Own Goals -- not just passive dolls. There wasn't Just One Guy, we had a number of males in the cast who were also goal-oriented and seeking female companionship.
That's one area where it jumped in front of Lov*Com - in that series all the relationships were stable except for the central "couple" within a few episodes.
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Old 2009-04-15, 14:52   Link #109
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
A lot of my attachment to H&C comes from that feeling of 'reality' it put out (despite the wacky surrealism) plus the fact that it was the first series I'd encountered that was set in a COLLEGE setting with college-age people who had more adult pressures. Life and social protocols in college are much less constricted than high school.
I think you're romanticizing college. I'd rather romanticize romance.
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Old 2009-04-15, 15:01   Link #110
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Hmmm, I think I'm just relating that college provides many more options than high school in terms of potential story plot, character evolution, and such. High school is a pretty constricted path (which makes it easy to pump out the highly repetitive variations we usually see).
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Old 2009-04-15, 16:35   Link #111
brain
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Hmmm, I think I'm just relating that college provides many more options than high school in terms of potential story plot, character evolution, and such. High school is a pretty constricted path (which makes it easy to pump out the highly repetitive variations we usually see).
Well, I would argue that, especially in this case, usage of those common themes also provides a firmer basis for rapid character development in an anime. Because I've already seen plenty of anime that take place in a high school setting, when I watch another that takes place in a high school, it removes much of the potential distraction I would otherwise have at trying to understand a more convoluted setting.

I don't feel that the setting was pivotal in telling the story, however. The basic plot is simple character drama and romance, and I personally would not see anything strange about it taking place on a space station, or in a medieval setting with middle-aged characters, or even with a primitive or alien tribe comprising the cast. A good romance, to me, feels timeless. Wouldn't the additional contrived happenstances that one could implement in a less "formulaic" setting simply have distracted you from being able to empathize with the characters?

(Note that I don't think the story would have been worse told in an alternate manner, per se, but rather that the total amount of time within a season of an anime would make it prohibitive to tell a larger overarching story in addition to the core character drama that I loved. My favorite romance/fantasy author, Lois McMaster Bujold, constructs beautiful, epic romances, but even a single volume of one could not possibly be translated accurately into a single season of anime. There has to be adequate pacing or you will butcher the story. The pacing of ToraDora! was a bit too fast, but the story didn't have to change too much from the novels because the extended dialogues and narrations themselves aren't essential. I'm sure some fans will feel they butchered the light novels, anyway.)
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Last edited by brain; 2009-04-15 at 16:45. Reason: footnote
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Old 2009-04-15, 17:05   Link #112
Vexx
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I think you're twisting my point a bit (or we're just shooting past each other o.O). There are quite simply choices available to characters in a college setting that are not available to a high school setting. This changes the complexity that can develop. You also can factor in the additional maturity of the characters in addressing their situations. Sure you can grind a story down to "he wants her, there are obstacles and hard choices, oh the angst" but few high school stories seem to pivot on the motivations and dreams of the girl -- a deficiency of most eroge adaptations but less a problem with manga or light novel sources as we've seen.

The college (or adult situation like Hataraki Man) - most of the players are past that "first crush/love" period that high school stories tend to focus on.

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-04-15 at 17:15.
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Old 2009-04-15, 17:53   Link #113
physics223
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The college (or adult situation like Hataraki Man) - most of the players are past that "first crush/love" period that high school stories tend to focus on.
Yes.

It wasn't even love at first sight for most of them. It was suggested that Morita appreciated and slowly grew to love Hagu for her artistic excellence, just like his; Yamada was pathetic, and she was stupid, but it's not as if there aren't people like her in this world. There are women like that. And there are people who fall in love at first sight. And there are people who grow to love an older woman because of her frailties.

It's a surreal series, but I personally perceive it's more grounded in reality than Toradora.
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Old 2009-04-15, 23:33   Link #114
brain
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What's supposed to not be grounded in reality? The unrequited yet mutual first feelings of "really like" between Minori and Ryuuji? The slowly evolving, overwhelming love that unfolds between Taiga and Ryuuji? Someone's family story? Help me suspend my belief.
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Old 2009-04-16, 11:53   Link #115
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Here's where I'll differ from physics223 in that I thought Toradora had a more "realistic" feel than many high-school rom-coms (and as real as any romance no matter what the setting). *All* these stories have elements of unreality or statistical unlikeliness (e.g. Taiga's massive wealth, Ami as supermodel, Sumire as astronaut-trainee) -- but the characterization is sophisticated enough to get by those. I don't think there's any point to comparing H&C and Toradora since they both excel in delivering a feeling of reality for me.
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Old 2009-04-16, 13:20   Link #116
physics223
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What's supposed to not be grounded in reality? The unrequited yet mutual first feelings of "really like" between Minori and Ryuuji? The slowly evolving, overwhelming love that unfolds between Taiga and Ryuuji? Someone's family story? Help me suspend my belief.
For starters, let's start with the Christmas tree episode. That took a lot of suspension of disbelief, because it's physically impossible to take down a tree as sturdy and as large as Ryuuji's class's. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Inertia dictates that that tree wouldn't fall.

Another prominent failure of physics (because it's that realistic) is the fisticuffs between Ami and Minori in the snow. Minori's hairclip wouldn't have flown that far for Taiga to disappear without them noticing it if it was actually realistic. No matter how good a punch Ami gives, she couldn't have made it fly that far.

I also assume a hairclip is opaque in the dark. No, I'm pretty certain it's opaque in the dark. I am quite certain that it won't be seen (had it really flown that far in reality) by the naked eyes of Ryuuji in a snowstorm. Even with the sharpest eyes you couldn't see much in a snowstorm.

Also, why didn't the rescuers find Taiga? They're supposed to be good at their jobs, aren't they? I mean it's quite obvious Taiga fell through that deformed part of the fence, but it's probably because the snowstorm clouded their visibility to that extent, in which case a small hairclip shouldn't have sparkled.

That's just from the tip of my thoughts, for a show that's supposed to be grounded in reality, as you say. H&C never had those pretensions: it knew it was surreal. I'm sure you could complain about the magical unicorns in one episode, but it never pretended to be realistic. Its surrealism merely directed me, at least, to perceive what was really important, which were the interactions among them.
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Old 2009-04-16, 14:10   Link #117
Keio
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What's supposed to not be grounded in reality? The unrequited yet mutual first feelings of "really like" between Minori and Ryuuji? The slowly evolving, overwhelming love that unfolds between Taiga and Ryuuji? Someone's family story? Help me suspend my belief.
As a personal rule, I always expect a work of fiction to have things that sound absurd in reality. I don't expect it to follow physics/science/math/what have you closely because if it did, a lot of plot devices won't work.

If I wanted reality in my shows, there's always Mythbusters.
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Old 2009-04-16, 15:47   Link #118
brain
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For starters, let's start with the Christmas tree episode. That took a lot of suspension of disbelief, because it's physically impossible to take down a tree as sturdy and as large as Ryuuji's class's. The bigger they are, the harder they fall. Inertia dictates that that tree wouldn't fall.

Another prominent failure of physics (because it's that realistic) is the fisticuffs between Ami and Minori in the snow. Minori's hairclip wouldn't have flown that far for Taiga to disappear without them noticing it if it was actually realistic. No matter how good a punch Ami gives, she couldn't have made it fly that far.

I also assume a hairclip is opaque in the dark. No, I'm pretty certain it's opaque in the dark. I am quite certain that it won't be seen (had it really flown that far in reality) by the naked eyes of Ryuuji in a snowstorm. Even with the sharpest eyes you couldn't see much in a snowstorm.

Also, why didn't the rescuers find Taiga? They're supposed to be good at their jobs, aren't they? I mean it's quite obvious Taiga fell through that deformed part of the fence, but it's probably because the snowstorm clouded their visibility to that extent, in which case a small hairclip shouldn't have sparkled.

That's just from the tip of my thoughts, for a show that's supposed to be grounded in reality, as you say. H&C never had those pretensions: it knew it was surreal. I'm sure you could complain about the magical unicorns in one episode, but it never pretended to be realistic. Its surrealism merely directed me, at least, to perceive what was really important, which were the interactions among them.
Okay, I see what you're saying. I agree that those are pretty far-fetched happenstances, and I wasn't at all thinking of those as the class of things you would be referring to when you say you have a hard time suspending your disbelief. I thought that you were saying that some aspect of the familial or romantic relationships seemed really off. The barrette event itself did seem quite contrived, absolutely, but that didn't prevent me from shedding melancholic tears at the scene of Ryuuji carrying Taiga back. The emotions the characters expressed felt genuine.
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Old 2009-04-18, 01:12   Link #119
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I'm late in posting this, but I did say I was going to.

Toradora! is really quite a wonderful series. I walked into this anime (just as it was about to end, so I got to marathon the entire thing) expecting a retard-ass harem anime (I was reluctant to watch it, and I was even more bewildered when I actually started doing so - this is what I get for not doing the research before properly checking it out), but I found myself subtly liking the first episode. I pressed on, and a few episodes later, I was quite hooked. It really wasn't anything like my expectations at all - well, most of them, anyway. Ryuuji is actually an admirable male lead rather than one among the hundreds of ball-less Keitaro Urashimas I've seen over the years, and even though I wasn't a fan of tsundere characters, I found Taiga to be surprisingly enduring, and her bond with Ryuuji even moreso. Each of the supporting characters really helped to get the series moving along without ever detracting from it, and I found each of them likable in their own ways. I wish Yuusaku got a little more development, though, at least as much as the other girls.

I was quite sad to see it end, and personally, I felt the ending itself is a little rushed (I've expressed before of how I'd love if there had been just one more post-series episode detailing how all of the characters are doing in their lives, as well as focusing more on the bond between Ryuuji and Taiga), but it was still pretty satisfying. I liked how it wasn't a reset ending and that it definitely secured the relationship between the two, so as to not leave their futures negatively ambiguous. That doesn't mean I don't want to see more of these characters though, pft.

I walked into it with extremely low expectations, but what I got was a pleasantly surprising romance with enduring characters and a fun observation of these characters' relationships with one another. This is definitely one of the best rom-com anime I've seen, anyway. I'll be watching it again in the future.
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Old 2009-04-18, 23:20   Link #120
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Just finished watching last episode after stalling for a while. What can I say that hasn't already been said? The character development was the main attraction to the show. The studio developed each character really well and made really nice scenes without the overused gags.

As people have said before, it's easily the best high school romantic comedy.
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