Flip the Switch : Teens aWake

Anime Review: Toradora

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This summer has been incredibly busy for me but nevertheless I had time to watch an anime that was highly recommended by a friend of mine. It took some doing, since I generally try to avoid romantic slice of life shows, but he eventually got me to watch it and I found that I really enjoyed Toradora, and you should see it too!

Toradora is a show about a high school boy who looks like a juvenile delinquent, Takasu Ryuuji. His scary looks completely overshadow his gentle personality. However, this year takes a turn for the better as he arrives at school and finds that he’s not only in the same class as his one and only friend, he’s also in the same class as the girl he’s completely smitten with. Unfortunately, it’s then that he runs into another girl in his class: Aisaka Taiga, nicknamed the “Palmtop Tiger” as a play on her name and a reference to her diminutive stature. She then proceeds to knock him flat with a punch.

The rest of the show focuses on Ryuuji’s relationship with Taiga and how they fare when they try to use each other to get to their crushes- Taiga is in love with Ryuuji’s best friend, and vice versa for Ryuuji. Hijinks inevitably ensue.

I think the best part about this show was the way it managed to avoid the generic pitfalls that most slice of life anime fall into, which inevitably make them seem boring to me. The early episodes are slow, but are chock full of character development that really shows different sides to initially one dimensional characters. This is especially true for Ryuuji’s crush, who becomes entirely three dimensional later on in the series. I am particularly happy that in this way they managed to avoid the dreaded filler episodes that I really hate- every episode really had purpose. On top of that, they managed to balance the angst and comedy particularly well, and weren’t too heavy handed on either. This made the anime seem especially well though out to me.

The characters, however, are what really bring this show life and make it so wonderful. I really enjoy the character interactions and it made me happy that even “villainous” characters were made sympathetic. There was no simplistic black and white morality, only shades of grey. (But thankfully not fifty.) The interaction was really fun to watch and the way the characters grey, rather than remaining static, made me want to continue watching the show to see what else happened. They were incredibly realistic and that could only add to the enjoyment factor.

All in all, I found Toradora to be a very solid and well written anime. I highly recommend it, even to people who generally don’t like slice of life anime. I would personally rate it pg-13 for some inappropriate themes and…yeah. Inaproppriate themes.

Here’s the second OP! Because I really didn’t like the music in the first one.

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