Toradora has been my favourite anime this season, and the season finale certainly didn’t disappoint. So many anime start out well but have horrible endings, but Toradora kept up the drama all the way until the end. I figure there’s a bunch of other blogs where you can read about what happened, so I decided this time to just discuss what I thought about the main characters and their development through the story.
The so-called “Palmtop Tiger” really didn’t interest me as a character at the beginning. Sure she added a bit of humour to the series along with Ryuji, but the way she acted timid around Yusaku all the time was really annoying. To me, she just seemed like your typical anime tsundere girl, and tsundere girls in anime are way overused nowadays. I didn’t start liking her until around episode 9 or 10 when she started to show some feelings for Ryuji. I guess at that point she seemed a bit more open than she did previously. The whole thing with trying to hook up Ryuji and Minori even though she has feelings for Ryuji also made me so sorry for her (the scene with her sitting at home alone by a candle on christmas eve comes to mind). It was also good to see how Taiga had changed from someone who beat up anyone that got in her way to a person that cares for the people around her, even going so far as to leave all of her friends to make her mother happy. I loved how she reunited with Ryuji though; hiding in the locker in the corner of the classroom. I actually would’ve liked to see her roll out of it again, but I guess that’d just ruin the mood.
I think Ryuji personifies the saying that the best things in life are right under your nose (really though, the height difference between him and Taiga is so great that she’s literally right under his nose). Right from the beginning of the first episode, Ryuji is complaining about how is looks scare people away (I think he should’ve taken advantage of this and made some money). Anyways, throughout the series Ryuji is so obsessed with trying to get closer to Minori that he really doesn’t notice Taiga’s growing feelings towards him at all. What I didn’t like about Ryuji is that he kept chasing Minori until she finally rejected him, and right after, when Taiga accidently confesses her feelings to him, he suddenly loses interest in Minori. Pretty soon after that, he ends up asking Taiga to marry him. I don’t know about the rest of you, but Ryuji seems like a fickle person to me.
Minori is one of those characters that you love one moment and hate the next. At the start of the series, she could be classified as the person that’s always happy and smiling, the type of character that everyone likes. That changes a few times in the series, revealing a character that’s torn between her best friend and her own feelings. I think the first time that Minori wasn’t putting on her “happy” act was at Ami’s summer villa when Ryuji was trying to find the right time to confess to her. That scene was a bit confusing the first time I watched it, but after seeing the whole series, you realize that even that early on Minori had at least some feelings towards Ryuji but was trying to steer the conversation away from who likes whom because she knew Taiga liked Ryuji. When you go back and think about how much Minori has sacrificed so that Taiga would be happy, you can almost forgive the time she broke the christmas tree or the time she rejected Ryuji without even giving him a chance to confess. On another note, I believe that Minori is bisexual, if you don’t trust me, you should take a look at this post on Sankaku Complex.
My favourite Toradora character, Ami is a teen model keeping a low profile to hide from stalkers. When you think of models, you usually think of the stereotypical no brains and all beauty, but that’s certainly not the case with Ami. I think Ami is the hardest character to understand in Toradora. Some of her comments and actions really contradict each other. For instance, when Ami was alone with Ryuji in a cave during summer vacation, she told him that she’d be a better choice because he’d get burnt if he got too close to Minori, but then after the cultural festival there was the comment she made to Minori about not having to feel guilty about liking Ryuji (and pushing her on to accept his feelings). I think that Ami really means well, but she has a bad habit of toying around with people so she ends up getting on their nerves. Everything turns out well in the end though, so I’m happy :)
This guy is like a masochistic exhibitionist, I’m not joking. Just think about it, he was originally the one who confessed to Taiga back when she was still beating people up, he mentioned that he liked Ami’s bitchy side more than her cute side, and he had a crush on the dictator-like student council president. As for the exhibitionist part, I don’t think that needs any explaining since he’s almost naked half the time.
Overall, I liked the way the character development went in Toradora. The only thing I thought was left out was whether or not Noto and Maya got together in the end.