Toradora! (don’t forget that exclamation mark) is your standard anime about normal people, who do normal things. No metaphysics to see here! But I thought it was a fun anime. It’s a comedy show, but it has a story to it that can get dramatic at times too. Which is a good thing.
Ryuji Takasu is a junior-year high school student. However, his eyes are scary-looking and make people think that he’s a dangerous delinquent, when he’s actually a really nice guy. He excels at cooking, and is obsessed with keeping things clean. (Even at other people’s houses.)
Taiga Aisaka is a girl in Ryuji’s class. She gets upset very easily, and often snaps out at people. Because of this, and the fact that’s she’s very short, she has the nickname “Palmtop Tiger.” She comes from a well-to-do family, but due to issues in her family life, she lives by herself. Because of her spoiled upbringing, she doesn’t know how to do any household chores. And so she relies on Ryuji to do that stuff, and spends most of her time at his house, then goes back to her apartment to sleep. (Their houses are right next to each other. You can get from one to the other via windows without even touching the ground.)
Yusaku Kitamura is Ryuji’s best friend, and also the guy Taiga is infatuated with. She kind of shuts down whenever he enters the room. Yusaku’s a very diligent guy, and he should be. He’s the vice-president of the student council after all.
Minori Kushieda is my favorite character. She’s a close friend of Taiga’s, and has a really opposite personality. As opposed to Taiga’s violent nature, Minori is always smiling and cheerful, with a seemingly endless supply of energy. She’s the captain of the girl’s softball team, and holds quite a few part-time jobs on top of it.
Ami Kawashima is a childhood friend of Yusaku’s. She is rather pretty, and even works as a model. But she took a break from that when she transferred into Ryuji’s school. She appears to be kind and generous to everyone, but this is merely a deception. In truth, she’s a selfish, arrogant person who is quite prepared to use abusive language on people. She tried this on Taiga, who responded with a slap in the face. Since then, they became rivals. Ami teases Taiga at will, and Taiga always refers to her as “Baka-chi” (Stupid Chihuahua).
The title Toradora! is derived from the names of the two main characters: Taiga Aisaka and Ryuji Takasu. “Taiga” sounds like “tiger” in English, and “tiger” in Japanese is tora. “Ryuji” literally means “son of dragon” in Japanese, and a transcription of the English word “dragon” into Japanese is dora-gon. Ryuji and Taiga, the dragon and the tiger, form an unlikely team as they learn what love, family, and friendship truly mean!
Toradora! Volume 1 & 2 are both available at Amazon.com
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