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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 2010-02-21, 03:18   Link #201
Konakaga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Omen~ View Post
Still, in fairness it was a really good show... it woulda been a 10, but for such a sad ending. I dont like sad endings. Infact i havent touched the show since, jumped straight back to Love Hina and AMG. I dont know, i should probably watch SOS! since its probably humorous... but its gonna be a while before i work up the emo energy to even approach Toradora....
Personally I didn't find Toradora to have much of a sad ending; by the time it ended on a happy note since Taiga was back with him.
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Old 2010-02-21, 05:10   Link #202
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He probably thinks it's sad because his favourite pairing didn't happen, even though it was never meant to, and there wasn't really any hint of it whatsoever.
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Old 2010-02-22, 00:21   Link #203
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eyah.... the "build up" (or crush on someone who has their own plans) lasts precisely 1.9 episodes before its utterly clear that the story is about Taiga and Ryuji -- and that's only if you totally ignore the title of the series and the opening narrative.
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Old 2010-02-22, 09:56   Link #204
~Omen~
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Originally Posted by Haak View Post
He probably thinks it's sad because his favourite pairing didn't happen,
ya thats pretty much it. i also disagree with the idea that it couldnt have worked out the other way. ya it was fairly clear kitamura<->Taiga wasnt going to work from the start (not that it couldnt have changed through the series..), but frankly, from my point of view, i never saw a clear elude to the idea that Minorin and Ryuji couldnt get together. The only reasons to think Taiga and Ryuji would be based on the fact that the show revolved around them, but bear in mind that is, technically, an assumption based outside of the show. I think the show really couldve ended (continued?) with them both getting their "original" crushes....

At the same time, i do recognize the big jump the writer made by "finishing" the season. Many if not most stories leave you hanging, with no real closure. The fact that the author choose to complete the work is commendable, since there will always be opinions as to whether or not it was the best way to end. That said, regardless if major opinion is that it did not end sadly, from my point of view it did. Mass opinion in this case is irrelevant. I did not end the show happy with the results...

Still, most of the show was pretty good.. really enjoyed, i just keep finding myself getting hung up on the ending...
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Old 2010-02-22, 11:25   Link #205
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Sad? Emo? First season?
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Old 2010-03-02, 15:55   Link #206
Morbus
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So here's my general opinion about the series. In a nutshell:

Animation Quality: 8/10
I liked that it was there when it needed to be, properly fleshed out animations and that. There isn't really much else to say, other than that I don't really care too much for this technical side. Still, the drawings were good and didn't take away anything from the show.

Voice Actors: 10/10
The absolute best cast I've ever seen. Granted I'm not an expert, of course, Toradora!'s cast even tops Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei's. Ryuuji was there, Taiga's was outstanding (her seyuu's best performance IMHO), Kuchieda's was great and so were the others. I can honestly say the voice acting in Toradora! was definitely the best part of all the series for me.

Script: 4/10
And this is a borderline 3/10. On the plus side there are some interesting dialogs and good character development, but the script is just generally convoluted when it needn't to be, the characters loose consistency in relation to what the first half of the series makes us expect from them, and the ending (not the epilogue) is subpar IMHO. It's obvious that the series tries to create emotion on the viewer, time and again, and it fails to do so consistently. I'm not saying it doesn't do it for anyone, I'm saying it doesn't do it in a definitive manner. Christmas Night is an example of that, with the real highlight being one of the less worked on parts.

Soundtrack: 7/10
Can't say I found it outstanding, but it did a very good job for what it was supposed to do.

Editing: 8/10
I felt some parts were missing, but nothing that damaged the series in any relevant way.

Enjoyment: 8/10
It's a very enjoyable series thanks to excellent voice acting, good animations and steady character development, which can make up for the unfortunate script and sore ending that leaves us aching for more.

Emotional Involvement: 6/10
This is a very subjective matter, so I give a 6/10 because I was very emotionally involved at the beginning of the series and at episode 18 I lost absolutely all emotional interest. I'm not a native English speaker, but I watch the English subbing, and I clearly recall saying to myself "damn! I lost all interest!" And I'm not one for theatrical monologues. The reason...

Kushieda Minori.

She's the reason. I empathized with Ryuuji because he liked her, and that kept me going through the first two thirds of the show. I cannot explain it, but I just can't help but absolutely fall in love with some genki female characters. I have no clue why, honestly, and even though at first I was like "eh, Kirino [from Bamboo Blade] is better :3", Minorin just went and captivated me. What Ami said of her, she being the Sun and all, that's absolutely spot on, and for me, she was the Sun of the series. Taiga was just an annoyance that came with a superb voice actress. And then they went and faded the sun, and made something else out of Taiga. That really spoiled it for me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haak View Post
He probably thinks it's sad because his favourite pairing didn't happen, even though it was never meant to, and there wasn't really any hint of it whatsoever.
It's possible that he missed the epilogue. If he did, then it's sad. Otherwise, I don't think it is.
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Old 2010-03-02, 17:20   Link #207
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Originally Posted by Morbus View Post
It's possible that he missed the epilogue.
...as in graduation, when everyone is chatting and she comes back? the locker scene kawaii desu, but even so...
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Old 2010-03-03, 01:49   Link #208
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Minorin had her future long and carefully planned. In Japan, getting married pretty much means you're retiring (though this is recently shifting).
Minorin wants to play baseball just as Sumire wants to be astronaut. A romance interferes with that goal.

So basically, Minorin would be giving up her dream of pro sports for Ryuji.

Watch a documentary called [Senkyo] Campaign about a guy running for office in Japan - his wife is also a career person (they're quite modern) and behold the *pressure* she gets from the campaign managers to retire and be a "proper housewife". It was filmed recently (2005).
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJYUG1o22DI
review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/...mpaign-senkyo/

My impression is that the author of Toradora! (a female) wanted to write a more complex romance in which the women were having to make hard choices themselves - she intended on shaking the male readers into some wakefulness about these creatures they chase.
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Old 2010-03-03, 04:34   Link #209
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Originally Posted by ~Omen~ View Post
...as in graduation, when everyone is chatting and she comes back? the locker scene kawaii desu, but even so...
That on closes the series. That's the "for sure" that she comes back. Without that, the series ends with them apart from each other, and that's sad... I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Minorin had her future long and carefully planned. In Japan, getting married pretty much means you're retiring (though this is recently shifting).
Minorin wants to play baseball just as Sumire wants to be astronaut. A romance interferes with that goal.

So basically, Minorin would be giving up her dream of pro sports for Ryuji.

Watch a documentary called [Senkyo] Campaign about a guy running for office in Japan - his wife is also a career person (they're quite modern) and behold the *pressure* she gets from the campaign managers to retire and be a "proper housewife". It was filmed recently (2005).
trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJYUG1o22DI
review: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/...mpaign-senkyo/

My impression is that the author of Toradora! (a female) wanted to write a more complex romance in which the women were having to make hard choices themselves - she intended on shaking the male readers into some wakefulness about these creatures they chase.
Sore wa omoshiroi no nee?

Still... It sounds like a stretch. If it was meant to be deep... heh... this sounds almost weird. Still, it if was meant to be deep, we wouldn't have the three main female characters falling all for the same guy. Besides, there's no obvious correlation between career pressures and their choices in love, so I don't think it's that in particular. Specially for Minori's case, it's pretty obvious her reason is Taiga, so if Taiga didn't act like she did, she'd definitely act differently. The same didn't happen for the reppy (I forget her name), of course, but then again, Kitamura, the crazy boy he is, didn't mind being left "alone".
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Old 2010-03-09, 06:05   Link #210
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I was listening to the OP/EDs recently and reflected on the series ... actually the show was quite interesting, despite hating many of the characters during its airing, basically because they were dishonest (even to themselves), well ... upon reflections, actually it was quite a realistic depiction of how humans, especially younger ones behave, which was quite interesting, and rather rare and unique
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Old 2010-03-16, 18:22   Link #211
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Finished ToraDora, and it was a pretty good series. The ending was a bit disappointing, but it was good enough. As I expected, Taiga won, but I'll always like Minori better. Taiga did improve during the last few episodes imo, though. I just liked how eccentric Minori is. I have a soft spot for those weird, bubbly characters. Ami really impressed me because you can really see her growth. She started out as an arrogant, self-loving bitch, but as the series went on the people around her brought about a good deal of change in her. I loved how she showed genuine concern for Taiga gradually throughout the series.

My favorite episode was the christmas episode. Yeah, it was cliche as hell, but I loved seeing Ryuuji dressing up as bear-santa for Taiga. It really showed how much he cared for her. Minori rejected Ryuuji though, I could have done without that.

On a lighter note, I loved Inko-chan. Inko-chan is one of the funniest animals/mascots I've seen. I mean, all you need to do is take one look at him and you'll start laughing. Plus he says funny things too.

Overall Toradora was a great series, but the ending kind of disappointed me. I give it a 7.5/10.
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Old 2010-04-25, 17:55   Link #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingman32x View Post
Finished ToraDora, and it was a pretty good series. The ending was a bit disappointing, but it was good enough. As I expected, Taiga won, but I'll always like Minori better. Taiga did improve during the last few episodes imo, though. I just liked how eccentric Minori is. I have a soft spot for those weird, bubbly characters. Ami really impressed me because you can really see her growth. She started out as an arrogant, self-loving bitch, but as the series went on the people around her brought about a good deal of change in her. I loved how she showed genuine concern for Taiga gradually throughout the series.

My favorite episode was the christmas episode. Yeah, it was cliche as hell, but I loved seeing Ryuuji dressing up as bear-santa for Taiga. It really showed how much he cared for her. Minori rejected Ryuuji though, I could have done without that.

On a lighter note, I loved Inko-chan. Inko-chan is one of the funniest animals/mascots I've seen. I mean, all you need to do is take one look at him and you'll start laughing. Plus he says funny things too.

Overall Toradora was a great series, but the ending kind of disappointed me. I give it a 7.5/10.
I just finished the series, and I was about to post my impressions of it, but... you pretty much read my mind. You said 110% the same things I would have.

I was disappointed with the ending, but the bulk of the series itself was still very good. Not much else I can say except ditto what you said.
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Old 2010-05-14, 19:15   Link #213
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Animation Quality: 9
Voice Actors: 9
they were wonderful! i loved ami's voice the best!
Script: 10
it has a predictable ending, but the story has nice twists.
Soundtrack: 10
i tried to sing along to the opening and closing credits
Enjoyment: 10
definately one of my top 10
Emotional Involvement: 8
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Old 2010-07-03, 07:43   Link #214
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Finally got around to finishing ToraDora yesterday, I hadn't watched an episode since 11 was first released. It's probably the first series I've finished in over a year.

Really enjoyed it.
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Old 2010-08-25, 14:28   Link #215
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Quote:
From Morbus
So here's my general opinion about the series. In a nutshell:

Animation Quality: 8/10
I liked that it was there when it needed to be, properly fleshed out animations and that. There isn't really much else to say, other than that I don't really care too much for this technical side. Still, the drawings were good and didn't take away anything from the show.

Voice Actors: 10/10
The absolute best cast I've ever seen. Granted I'm not an expert, of course, Toradora!'s cast even tops Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei's. Ryuuji was there, Taiga's was outstanding (her seyuu's best performance IMHO), Kuchieda's was great and so were the others. I can honestly say the voice acting in Toradora! was definitely the best part of all the series for me.

Script: 4/10
And this is a borderline 3/10. On the plus side there are some interesting dialogs and good character development, but the script is just generally convoluted when it needn't to be, the characters loose consistency in relation to what the first half of the series makes us expect from them, and the ending (not the epilogue) is subpar IMHO. It's obvious that the series tries to create emotion on the viewer, time and again, and it fails to do so consistently. I'm not saying it doesn't do it for anyone, I'm saying it doesn't do it in a definitive manner. Christmas Night is an example of that, with the real highlight being one of the less worked on parts.

Soundtrack: 7/10
Can't say I found it outstanding, but it did a very good job for what it was supposed to do.

Editing: 8/10
I felt some parts were missing, but nothing that damaged the series in any relevant way.

Enjoyment: 8/10
It's a very enjoyable series thanks to excellent voice acting, good animations and steady character development, which can make up for the unfortunate script and sore ending that leaves us aching for more.

Emotional Involvement: 6/10
This is a very subjective matter, so I give a 6/10 because I was very emotionally involved at the beginning of the series and at episode 18 I lost absolutely all emotional interest. I'm not a native English speaker, but I watch the English subbing, and I clearly recall saying to myself "damn! I lost all interest!" And I'm not one for theatrical monologues. The reason...

Kushieda Minori.

She's the reason. I empathized with Ryuuji because he liked her, and that kept me going through the first two thirds of the show. I cannot explain it, but I just can't help but absolutely fall in love with some genki female characters. I have no clue why, honestly, and even though at first I was like "eh, Kirino [from Bamboo Blade] is better :3", Minorin just went and captivated me. What Ami said of her, she being the Sun and all, that's absolutely spot on, and for me, she was the Sun of the series. Taiga was just an annoyance that came with a superb voice actress. And then they went and faded the sun, and made something else out of Taiga. That really spoiled it for me...
im really sure you already know this, but right now im not feeling good reading your rating... im an otaku and an otaku who loved toradora and then seeing that uber fail rating(just my feelings, you are right on some aspects and i do respect your opinions), you know, it just kinda makes me want to kill someone LOL. anyway the only reason why im saying that im going to say next is because i somehow feel as if i should say something, anything at all, that somewhat goes against your rating, cause im a guy who cant help but express his emotions after seeing something... so yeah. instead of going on a cussing frenzy ill just say this. a good drama is determined by whether the anime can arouse feelings of happiness or sadness. it depends on whether it infuences you, that makes it good. a really dramatic part(in ones opinion) can seem boring or whatver in another persons opinion. Experience,sensitivity, and personality are all factors in whether you feel something while watching a anime. Personally i dont think script or storyling matters much, considering angel beats was amazingly good in my opinion. the storyline of that anime was horrible of course, but it was a amazing anime in my opinion. And to me the Storyline is very good, and like you said before, its in your own opinion whether something is bad or not but like i said i somehow feel the need to say something to get over my feeling of hate, so bare with me lol, when you said the later half of the story isnt what you expected because of how they portayed everything from the first half. We all expect different things based on our perspectives. And when you say that the makers are trying to constantly trying to get on your emotions, they can always be trying to add something to make the story a more.. school like theme or whatever. They might had a different purpose . But of course its all down to opinions. everything i said are my opinions, and you got opinions too. my rating on the series would be 10/10 everything. And im not much of a guy for theatrical monologue either. but i have to completly go against your comment on emotional evolvement until episode 18. its from episode 16 where it got real emotional for me. My Feelings are saying: your heartless, (dont listen to my feelings lol)
anyway.. im done talking, ive calmed down. blah blah blah. i respect your opinions, but seriously i really get annoyed when someone seriously seems so heartless on their emotional rating. i got really pissed when some people said angel beats completely sucked. i was like WTF, dont go dramas if your that heartless. and once again, im just saying something to ease my anger.. but yah. TORADORA FTW. Great voicing,stroyline,emotional moments,and ect.
my opinions on toradora alone: at first i was a minorin supporter, but soon whilet he story progressed and when i saw minorins dark side, i just got plain scared when minorin started cussing at taiga to herself. in my opinion she should stop acting, that cheerful outside shell she wears doesnt fit her true feelings... i stopped being a minorin x Ryuji supporter when taiga started crying after ryuji left to confess to minorin, i really felt somewhat guilty lol. well im glad it was with taiga, amii and ryuji wouldive looked like an amazing couple, but in my opinion she doesnt deserve him. ryuji is too good for amii.
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Old 2010-08-25, 16:23   Link #216
Vexx
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People who had their rather unfounded expectations dashed (no, it wasn't a harem "choose the girl" series, it wasn't based on a date-sim game but on a light novel) tended to rate the series poorly. Some of them went to great lengths to rationalize their opinions. Its particularly obnoxious because each of these girls has their own aspirations and goals that were explicitly made clear and yet some viewers ignore what the girl has decided to do.

This is exactly the problem the author of the light novel was jabbing at. Women do not "sit on a shelf" waiting for you to choose them. Minorin had life-long career goals as did Sumire. Ami has her own trajectory (career modeling) and recognizes she simply had poor timing in arrival. Failure to recognize the feelings of the women is one of the biggest reasons some rate the series poorly.

In a post farther down, a counter-response was:
"there's no obvious correlation between career pressures and their choices in love".
o.O

That's so in error, I can only assume they have no actual experience in the matter so I didn't bother responding.
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Old 2010-08-25, 18:32   Link #217
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vexx, your sig is hayate from hayate no gotoku right? lol
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Old 2010-08-26, 00:13   Link #218
Vexx
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Actually, it is a quote of Prism from a comic called Flaky Pastry - but I figured it was a reference to something else.
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Old 2010-09-02, 14:34   Link #219
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rofl.... she looks sooooo much like hayate XD
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Old 2010-09-02, 14:42   Link #220
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syn's review of Toradora!

Here we go.

This review is actually being written after the second time I watched this show, which has actually changed my opinion considerably.

The first time I watched Toradora!, I was honestly not impressed. I thought the show moved too slowly, the story made little sense and the Idiot Ball was being passed around far too often.

Then some time passed and I watched it again. And I realized that I was judging the show on the standards of adults--which is why a lot of people rate this show down! We're adults, and we're projecting our adult maturity and adult understanding of the world on people ten years (or more) younger than us.

It doesn't work that way, folks. They're kids. They're all conflicted and mixed up.

Anyway, onto the review itself.

This show is really quite good if you go into it with the correct mindset. The primary thing you need to understand is that the characters are children. None of them are adults. None of them have a fucking clue what they want. None of them have any sort of real sense of self yet (though Ami is perhaps the closest--more on her later).

Art
The animation style is attractive, but drifts towards Off Model anytime there's a lot of movement--basically any time Taiga does a lot of fighting (especially the episode 16 fight between Taiga and Sumire). The art really shines during the more emotional/romantic scenes--Taiga looks so adorable in all of these scenes (which typically occur late in the series).

The artists and animators really poured all their effort into Yuusaku, Taiga and Ami; it shows. Minori is often Off Model, except during her really hammy moments (and sometimes she's intentionally Off Model during those moments). Ryuuji, Minori and other characters tend to get neglected compared to those three.

I've seen better--hell, J.C. Staff's own To Aru Majutsu no Index has vastly higher quality artwork and better consistency. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun is even more well-executed. Comparing to other romance/drama/comedy, it is totally destroyed by the likes of CLANNAD and similar series.

Voice Acting
The voice acting is quite good. Rie Kugimiya in her usual role--a violent, flat-chested loli-tsundere--does her usual exceptional job (though I admit Taiga is far less grating than Louise of Zero no Tsukaima. Rie's been so unfortunately typecasted though, that I'd really like to see her play different roles...

Yui Horie gets special mention here for her work as Minori Kushieda--wow, after hearing her as Hanyuu in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, I could never have guessed that Yui could be almost as big a Large Ham as Norio Wakamoto! She's truly a gifted voice actor to be able to play two totally different roles convincingly like that.

Ryuuji's voice (Junji Majima) actually got on my nerves at first, but the more I watched, the more I grew to accept it. I don't consider it exceptional, but functional--like most of the rest of the voice actors.

My favorite voice performance though came from the homeroom teacher Yuri-sensei. Rie Tanaka is one of my favorite seiyuu ever (god I love her in shows where she gets to act batshit insane--her character in CANAAN is a great example), and hearing her play the marriage-obsessed Christmas Cake Yuri-sensei was a lot of fun. I would actually repeat parts where Yuri-sensei went off on her rapid-fire crazy-rants just because they amused me so much.

Music
I... honestly can't even really remember the music that much, even though I've seen the series twice and just finished watching it not but an hour ago. It's that forgettable.

The first OP theme, "Pre-Parade," is ridiculously catchy and will become permanently entrenched in your brain until something else forcibly ejects it. It's not what I'd call a good song (nothing compared to Gunslinger Girl or serial experiments lain OP), but it's definitely catchy, has a nice beat to it and fits the tone of the show well.

The second OP is not quite as catchy as the first--the beat's good but I think the Gratuitous English lyrics pretty much ruins it.

Both ED songs are fairly annoying and I honestly never once watched through either of them in their entirety except during major plot-relevant episodes in which the action continued during the credits.

Plot & Characters
Here's where it gets interesting.

The plot and the characters is where I originally had lots of problems after my first viewing, but now that I've seen it again and understand the story a lot better, I'm of a completely different opinion.

This show is a very intriguing picture of youth, love and life as a young person--not specifically in Japan, but anywhere at all.

One of the biggest complaints people have about the show is the fact that everyone seems to be holding the Idiot Ball for an inordinate amount of time. This is true and I agree with it--to adults like us, the behavior of the main characters, especially during the many Wham Episodes, seems absolutely fucking retarded. The entire series could have been slashed in half, had the characters been honest with each other!

But that itself is my point. They're kids. They aren't honest. They don't understand their own feelings. They're afraid of being judged by their peers for their feelings and their lack of understanding. So to us, who have blotted the horrible memories of our teenage years from our minds, they seem like they're all holding Idiot Balls the size of a house.

My analysis is simple--the rampant holding of the Idiot Ball is due to three problems:

1) Ryuuji isn't very good at picking up on nonverbal cues (like most teenage males);
2) Minori desperately trying to puzzle out her sexual orientation;
3) Ami playing both/all ends against the middle for her own amusement.

I'll go into these individually.

Ryuuji
Ryuuji, as we can plainly see, is not the sharpest tool in the shed. He gets good grades and is exceptional when it comes to domestic tasks, but he doesn't understand subtlety or intrigue.

Put simply, he doesn't understand women. This isn't too much of a strike against him--Kitamura is almost as girl-dumb as Ryuuji is (sometimes moreso). Ami points this out to him multiple times throughout the series, but he doesn't seem to understand. She has her own motives, however (which I'll elaborate more further on later).

He doesn't seem to understand Minori repeatedly shooting him down. Minori knows what he wants to do, she shoots him down before he can even confess, and he doesn't get it--it takes him a long time to understand. It's not until the very end that he finally does start to get it--and even then it took a lot of effort to push the thought into his brain.

Minori
I'm going to come right out and say it.

Minori likes the ladies.

If you haven't noticed this, you're either fucking blind or you're denser than Ryuuji when it comes to understanding women.

The show isn't subtle about it, either. Minori displays so many blatant gay stereotypes (usually played for comedic/hammy effect, but still there) that it's absolutely retarded to believe her declaration to Taiga that she liked Ryuuji as well, but contracted a case of I Want My Beloved To Be Happy.

To that I say no. Ironically, her false declaration during that scene was primarily an appeal to Taiga, to get her to be honest with herself about her own feelings for Ryuuji. Obviously, it worked.

But Minori never liked Ryuuji that way. She liked him as a friend, as someone to spend time with and to enjoy herself with, but she never actually loved him romantically. Consider it logically--she spent most of the show shooting Ryuuji down, avoiding him, trying to stay away from him. Some people may point out that she was doing this because she thought Taiga was in love with Ryuuji--to that I say no.

Whether Taiga was in love with Ryuuji is mostly irrelevant to Minori. She avoided Ryuuji because she was desperately trying to work out her own feelings for Taiga. And this is eminently understandable--the two are best friends, and Minori has romantic feelings for her. Minori knows that Taiga is not gay.

But she can't completely understand her own feelings, so she ships Taiga at Ryuuji for two reasons: one, because she believes (rightly so) that the two of them would be happy together; two, because she does not like Ryuuji in a romantic capacity and wants to "take him off the market" to protect herself.

She broke down at the end because her plan worked--but in making her friends happy and protecting herself from Ryuuji's advances, she also lost Taiga. Ami knew this all along and pointed it out; it's somewhat subtle, but it's there.

So Minori's excessive holding of the Idiot Ball is explained by her own coming to grips with her sexuality. This is actually very understandable if you think about it. These kind of questions of self can be extremely hard to deal with.

Minori's Large Ham tendencies, while a major turnoff to many viewers (to the point where she almost enters Scrappy territory) are just her way of dealing with her inability to understand herself. I never gave them too much thought--but it does explain why she has so many friends.

Ami
The entire series could have been halved if Ami had point-blank told everyone what was going on with everyone else and to stop being idiots.

But she didn't. At first, it was because the drama amused her. After she became more and more involved, closer with Taiga, Minori, Kitamura and Ryuuji, her reticence to blow the lid off everything was more based on being really pissed off at everyone for being stupid.

Ami is the smartest character in Toradora! and also the only one with something close to an adult's sense of self. She's a bitch, sure, but she's an awesome bitch. Ami figured everything out--Kitamura having a hard-on for Sumire, Minori being a lesbian, Taiga being in love with Ryuuji and Ryuuji's inability to understand Taiga's feelings--fairly early on in the series.

It's pretty noticeable if you go back and watch when Ami's use of the word "idiot" goes up significantly.

Ami is my favorite character in the entire show purely because she's so smart, so snarky and such a glorious bitch. She had some really good zingers, and her insults actually moved the plot along on several occasions.

Remember the scene during the ski trip, when Ami is calling Minori out, while the boys and Taiga are hiding in the closet? It's never actually confirmed, but I'm almost positive that Ami knew at least Taiga was hiding there and possibly knew Ryuuji was with her. I don't know if she knew--or cared--if anyone else was there, but I'd bet money she knew Taiga was there, and the entire "fight" was a calculated move by Ami to try and delete both Minori and Taiga's Idiot Balls.

It worked to a degree, and obviously it moved the plot along. It finally gave Ryuuji the answer he needed--that Minori doesn't love him.

From a plot perspective, Ami is the most important character in the story, even if she's not the main character. Her machinations, her meddling, actually keeps the plot moving. Without Ami, Toradora! could have gone on for twice as many episodes without resolution!

But instead, Ami stopped being amused by the stupidity, dishonesty and fear and started using her snark to get her friends some meaningful resolution. Her presence and actions were vital.

The plot and characters of Toradora! are easily the best part of the entire show. Ami in particular gets special mention. She's introduced as a two-faced bitch, a perfect example of The Libby--but she gets better, undergoes character development, takes several levels in snarky-badass and basically resolves the plot through her actions.

Overall, I rate Toradora! a 9 out of 10. It's a great show, with great voice acting, wonderfully interesting characters, a solid and very real plot--you just have to be in the correct mindset to appreciate it.

Edit/A Note About Pairings: As someone else mentioned, this story is not a dating sim. It's not a choose-your-favorite-girl romance. In my opinion, based on watching the series twice and considerable analysis of the dialogue and actions of the characters, Ryuuji really had no chance with any girl except Taiga.

Think about it. Ami only went after Ryuuji to annoy Taiga. Minori is gay and likes Taiga. There was only one possible outcome from this entire endeavor.

Edit 2: ... but I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't want a "Minori After" story in which Taiga and Minori hook up.
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