Toradora Episode 1

Misunderstood guy meets aggressive girl.

We meet Ryuuji Takasu, a young man who lives with his somewhat ineffectual mother in a run-down apartment that has just had a luxury apartment complex built next door. Ryuuji complains about the mold that has kept popping up in their apartment and the fact that the laundry doesn’t dry like it used to as a result of the luxury apartments blocking the sun from their apartment. As he leaves the apartment, his mother comments that he’s looking for like his father, much to his chagrin.

On the way to school, classmates avoid Ryuuji, and generally treat him as if he would harm them should they upset him. As he looks at the boards posting homeroom information, his best friend, Yuusaku Kitamura, shows up; they’re in the same homeroom together. As it turns out, so is Ryuuji’s crush, Minori Kushieda.

Right before homeroom starts, Ryuuji accidentally walks into Taiga Aisaka, and suddenly everyone in the hallway starts whispering excitedly, as they see it as a clash of the titans of sorts. It is a clash that Ryuuji loses very quickly, although he himself doesn’t realize that that was what it was going to be.

Later, Ryuuji rubs at his jaw in the classroom. Yuusaku comes over to him, and points out that people are already realizing that he isn’t a delinquent after all, even though he looks like one. However, his homeroom teacher hasn’t figured that out yet, and worriedly tells Ryuuji that its ok if he turns in his counseling questionnaire as long as he does turn it in.

Ryuuji returns to the classroom late that afternoon after school after having spoken with his homeroom teacher. As he opens the door, all the furniture goes flying, and Taiga rolls out of a locker. Ryuuji asks if she’s ok, but then resolves to just pretend nothing has happened, so he goes to get his bag. But Taiga freaks out and tries to steal it away, although she fails and leaves. Ryuuji fixes the disrupted classroom before going home.

At home, Ryuuji works on his homework. He opens a drawer of his desk and discovers a picture of his mother and father, and glares at it, blaming his father for the fact that he looks like a delinquent. There’s a flashback to Ryuuji as a child, his mother telling him that his father is in heaven… but that he was a really cool guy, and used to put magazines under his shirt in case someone tried to stab him.

Ryuuji picks up his bag to get something, and discovers a love letter addressed to Yuusaku from Taiga and realizes why she was trying to take his bag. He accidentally opens it, but discovers that there is no letter in the envelope.

In the middle of the night, Ryuuji wakes up to find that someone has broken in, and is attacked by Taiga with a boken. Ryuuji narrowly escapes harm when she keels over from hunger, and he makes her a meal. Taiga is embarrassed by the love letter, and for this reason has decided she needs to make Ryuuji forget about it. Ryuuji insists that it isn’t that embarrassing, and shows her a box of things such as CD’s and notebooks. In the notebooks are poems he’s written, songs he’d play for a girl he liked if he could do a concert for her, and mix CD’s that they could listen to in the car; Ryuuji says that all this is clearly worse than a love letter, but that he’s not embarrassed by it. When Taiga opens one of the notebooks, she discovers that he likes Minori.

To get Taiga to leave, Ryuuji promises to help her out with her crush on Yuusaku, and even agrees to be Taiga’s ‘dog’. The next morning, as Ryuuji makes breakfast, his phone rings, and he quickly realizes that she really meant it when she told him to be her dog. Ryuuji goes over to her apartment with breakfast, as it turns out she lives in the luxury complex next door. Ryuuji is impressed by the complex itself, but is horrified by the state of Taiga’s apartment. When he discovers Taiga still sleeping, he decides to clean the place.

When Taiga wakes up, she gets annoyed with him for cleaning the place. But she eats the breakfast he made her, and although Ryuuji is irritated by her initial reaction, he ends up just shrugging it off.

Impressions:

I actually really enjoyed this, somewhat to my surprise, as I was expecting something like Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu or another thing of that sort. Also, I was under the impression that this was aimed at a male demographic, at least in the light novels… and, yet, the male lead isn’t a loser – I’ve come to expect bad male leads from ‘romantic comedy’ for guys, so I was pleasantly surprised – why can’t I meet a guy like this? Seriously.

There’s nothing terribly stand-out about this show overall, in terms of premise, but I feel that it is being executed very well, and the twists in the premise do it a huge favor of differentiating it from the crowd of light novel romcoms out there. I’m looking forward to seeing Ryuuji and Taiga’s friendship develop, particularly since from what I’ve read they both stick to having crushes on each other’s friends.

I was impressed with the animation, honestly, although I couldn’t say exactly why – I just kept noticing things they got spot-on, such as when Ryuuji speaks with his teacher after school (the background was done well in this case). Sorry I can’t clarify a little better =/

Interestingly enough, Taiga reminds me of Shijima from Nabari no Ou. Taiga tends to have a weird, slouching posture at points, like Shijima did, and they’re both short and look younger than they are. That they’re both pretty vicious helps the comparison.

I’ll definitely be watching this, and depending on how much I like the other stuff from this season, I might even blog it. But I’ve barely scratched the surface yet for autumn shows, so we’ll see.

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1 Response to Toradora Episode 1

  1. JohnBlack says:

    “There‚Äôs nothing terribly stand-out about this show overall”

    My thoughts exactly. The animation was nice (and Ryuuji’s mom looked hot) but I thought it was kinda boring. With a dozen of new shows starting this season I’ll probably won’t be watching this.

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