Anime(2008-2009) Series 25 Episodes, 24 minutes each
Ryuji Takasu (高須 竜児, Takasu Ryū)
Taiga Aisaka (逢坂 大河, Aisaka Taiga)
Minori Kushieda (櫛枝 実乃梨, Kushieda Minori)
Yusaku Kitamura (北村 祐作, Kitamura Yūsaku)
Ami Kawashima (川嶋 亜美, Kawashima Ami)
There are many support roles in Toradora! But most of what happens in this story takes place within the MC group itself
TORADORA Toradora! (とらドラ!) begins with a linguistic trick concerning how the name Toradora is derived. Toradora has no specific meaning in the Japanese.
Ryuji Takasu (高須 竜児, Takasu Ryūji)
Ryūji( 竜児) literally means “young dragon”. When the English word “dragon” is transliterated into Japanese, it becomes doragon (ドラゴン). Contracting this to its first sound gives dora(ドラ).
Taiga Aisaka (逢坂 大河, Aisaka Taiga)
Taiga(大河) literally means big river. When the English word “tiger” is transliterated into Japanese, it becomes taigā (タイガー) which is about the same sound as Taiga(大河). The Japanese word for tiger is tora (とら).
Putting tora (とら) together with dora(ドラ) gives the title of the story, Toradora! (とらドラ!) which then becomes the actual central pairing of ( Ryūji X Taiga ). There is nothing subtle about this, because the title says it all, and is it’s own spoiler.
Yes, our main characters are the central love interest of Toradora! And it is clear from the very beginning, that these two are made for each other, but neither of them are aware that they are supposed to be together. Ryūji and Taiga live next to each other in separate buildings, and in fact their bedrooms are directly opposite to the other.
Ryuji lives with his mother and takes care of her, his Yakuza father having left them. Taiga lives alone and has basically been abandoned by her mother and father, although the father does support her financially. Taiga is very much alone.
As a result, Taiga has substantial anger issues. She is called, “The Palmtop Tiger” and most of her schoolmates fear her. She introduces herself to Ryuji by attacking him with a wooden sword, and this begins a bumpy relationship to say the least. Ryuji is a very responsible and caring person. While Ryuji has a crush on Minori, he cares for Taiga as a little sister, and he the big brother, but Taiga treats Ryuji as her dog, to serve her on command because she is crushing on Yusaku. So the pair settles down to a long term hostile codependent relationship attempting to help each other’s Romantic interests. One can see clearly where this is going a mile from the starting line, but it’s the journey that makes “Toradora!” interesting.
At one point, Taiga actually attacks Sumire Kano (狩野 すみれ, Kanō Sumire), the student council president because of her treatment of Yusaku, and this percipitates one heck of a girl fight. We are not talking about scratching and pulling hair. We are talking weapons and fists to the face. Both girls inflict some serious damage on the other. Ryuji eventually comes into the classroom and pulls Taiga off of Sumire. But the end result of this fight is that Sumire admits that she does love Yusaku, only she is leaving to prevent Yusaku from becoming an idiot about her (but he does anyway!).
There is a lot of idiocy to go around, with most of the characters in this story, acting in peculiar ways! In fact, most of what does happen in Toradora, is almost random. If you think the story is going in one direction, suddenly it will take off and go in the exact opposite direction. So in that sense, the story often feels very life-like, but sometimes the feeling is that the author is reaching for this rather than the event being organic to the characters and the story.
But all in all, an enjoyable anime and story.
© 2021 Folwine P. Pywackett (mox012)