Romantic comedies have been my favorite genre of anime, ever since Fruits Basket which is one of the first few animes I started with. I love the humor in anime because it is funny but in a different way to everything else. But when it has romance to back it up it makes the anime so much more enjoyable giving the series sentimental moments and the characters have more depth to them. Toradora is known as one of if not the best romantic comedies anime because it can easily be mistaken for a shojo but it has this shonen energy to it which makes it easy for both shojo and shonen fans to like this series. So how do I feel about Toradora, well here is my opinion on the show.
Ryuuji Takasu is often mistaken as a delinquent due to his eyes and many of his classmates are intimidated by him when really he is a extremely kind-hearted who is obsessed with cleaning and enjoys cooking. He bumps into the small yet ferocious Taiga Aisaka who much like Ryuuji is also feared by others but another thing they have in common is their love interests, Ryuuji liking Minori Kushieda who is Taiga’s best friend and Taiga liking Yusaku Kitamura who is Ryuuji’s best friend and after a certain incident Ryuuji and Taiga discover each other’s love interests and promise to help one another.
The romance in Toradora is honestly very predictable. We all know who our main couple is and how this romance will go. But the last episode is something else which takes the anime to a more realistic and beautiful turn making the ending to this series brilliant. The comedy was great with a variety of comic relief characters but my problem is that Toradora is not much or a romantic-comedy by episode 11. After that point the series takes this massive turn from a light-hearted romantic comedy to this overdramatic romance with sprinkles of comedy and drama isn’t a huge problem but when you introduce a series as a romantic-comedy settling the mood for this series as a fun yet sentimental anime and then you change its mood to something more heartbreaking yet touching then it’s a problem I mean I compared Toradora to Bokura ga Ita because of its drama but at least Bokura ga Ita introduced itself that way Toradora changed itself completely.
I think what makes Toradora really good is its characters. Ryuuji is very likable but this is mainly because of the relationship he has with the other girls. His relationship with Taiga although predictable I can’t deny is truly a beautiful one because of how empathize with each other and how they can deal with each other, lets face it Taiga is hard to deal with but Ryuuji can handle her very well and Taiga knows Ryuuji better then anyone. Ryuuji and Minori were great as well and honestly I did kind of hope they’d end up together instead but even so these two worked well from the way they bonded and got to know each other. Ryuuji and Ami were great because they understood one another and it is no doubt the most saddest relationship of them all because Ami obviously grows to like Ryuuji but knows her feelings aren’t mutual and she watches his romance with Minori and Taiga from the distance.
Taiga is likable herself however I feel like her tsundere character was a little bit forced. I do agree she is the queen of tsunderes but it did seem forced because I question why Taiga never behaved like a tsundere with Kitamura when she liked him for majority of the series but did towards Ryuuji when she only started to like him by the end of it. My personal favorite is Minori who is the genki character being very energetic and bubbly and her unusual and optimistic character is what makes Toradora a lot of fun particularly in the first 10 episodes. Kitamura is the most realistic character of them all being fun and really weird yet very gentle. Lastly Ami who was introduced later, I enjoyed her development the most because she started as a model who seems nice, ditzy and kind but is truly selfish, cold and arrogant and at first you HATE her but when she realizes she doesn’t have to pretend and starts opening up slowly you actually enjoy her character even at her bitchy moments. She is the character who knows what is going on and advises Ryuuji. The supporting characters were all hilarious including the teacher, Yuri-sensei who is exactly the kind of teacher I would be if I were a teacher.
Toradora has been done by J.C Staff who I know for doing Doki Doki School Hours (which has shitty animation). They also did Azumanga Daioh, Honey and Clover and Kaichou wa Maid-sama. The animation is pretty good being colorful and at its more sadder moments the anime goes dark. Now the character designs though they look good it really annoys me how Ami and a character in the anime Sumire Kano look exactly ALIKE
That’s the thing usually when characters look alike it’s not much of a problem but when they look so similar that I confuse the two then that is annoying. Oh yeah not putting this anime down or anything just need to mention it but nice under boob Ami.
The OST in Toradora is beautiful. This is mainly aimed at the song Lost My Pieces because that song is so emotional and so great. It is one of those OSTs that make you more emotional then the scene itself and that’s why it works. But to have that kind of music in a supposed rom-com is kind of weird but I’m not going to question that because I already talked about it. The first opening is perfect for Toradora because it showed all the quirks of our characters. The second ending is my favorite out of the two openings especially how it worked for a series that went very dramatic losing it’s extremely upbeat nature.
The Japanese is fantastic. Rie Kugimiya is perfect for Taiga, she is famous for voicing anime tsunderes and Taiga is her best performance. Yui Horie does a great Minori as well. However the dub is different. It’s pretty good but compared to the Japanese it is nothing. My biggest disappointment is Cassandra Lee as Taiga, I mean when you’re compared to the queen of voicing tsunderes Rie Kugimiya you’re naturally going to be a disappointment and she did do alright as Taiga it’s just still disappointing, she kind of sounded like a knowledgeable 7 year old when you expected a childish yet tough voice. I’m not very impressed with Erik Scott Kimerer as Ryuuji because it just seemed bland, I mean he did a good job and it wasn’t exactly dead voice acting it’s just nothing significant at all. However I really did like Erika Harlacher as Ami and absolutely loved Christine Marie Cabanos as Minori, this is definitely one of her greatest performances. But the best of them all in the dub is Wendee Lee as Kano, I mean when I found out the voice of Haruhi Suzumiya was doing Kano I had no idea how this will turn out so I listened to it and OH MY GOD! This is a grand performance, I thought her best performance was Faye Valentine but her performance as Kano is perfect… too bad she’s only a supporting character.
Grading (Music): B
Grading (Voice Acting): B-
Toradora is not the best romantic-comedy anime at all. It describes itself as a romantic-comedy but honestly it was only everything I like in a rom-com anime in the first 10 episodes and then became the pile of drama. However as an anime, it is great. Yes it changes its style drastically but it was still enjoyable and although it got overdramatic I still liked how they developed the anime. Ryuuji and Taiga’s relationship makes this anime worthwhile and so does every other character in the show. I recommend you don’t watch Toradora if you don’t like tsunderes but other then that, Toradora is a great anime and I do recommend you watch it. I grade it with a B.
If you like Toradora, I recommend;
What makes the two so similar is mainly how they both start off with the main characters who bicker a lot yet relate to each other decide to help each other with their love interests, however this changes a lot faster than Toradora considering Toradora dedicated half of the series with this whereas Lovely Complex spent only one episode doing this. Both animes are great really.
The thing is every time someone talks about Toradora I am reminded of Oreimo and vice versa and this is mainly because I was recommended to both animes at the same time and watched them both at the same time. But I do see similarities between the two animes. They’re both tsundere animes and I really felt the need to recommend a tsundere anime in this review and what came to mind is Oreimo. Also this little harem involved in both animes.
Till next time! 🙂 Next review is Black Butler