Welcome again to another review! Today we will be doing one of the most classic romantic comedy anime, Toradora! As we begin, the review normally done by LowKev will be absent, as he has yet to see this anime. As always, beware of minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: It’s Ryuji’s first day as a junior in high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and, more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her onto his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?! -Crunchyroll
The plot of Toradora! is very smooth, with each transition and development happening naturally. It is also extremely easy to follow, and is basically the perfect example of a romantic comedy plot line. However, a major weakness in the plot is its over predictability. Nothing really happens that the audience would not seem coming. This predictability also leads to the show feeling quite cliche, as it has many of the common tropes and events that scream romantic comedy or boy meets girl style story are present. Toradora! does not do much that one would consider risky or unique, outside of the initial meeting of the two protagonists. It is important to note that this does not make the anime bad, just that it does not stand out much from other romantic comedies. The ending also can leave some viewers unsatisfied, something a romantic comedy should not be doing.
As with any drama/romance story, the characters are the most important aspect, as their emotions and interactions drive the plot. Tordora excels at the characters, as all the main cast are developed extremely well and at a solid pace, with each getting ample screen time to let the audience get to know and connect with them. Every character has struggles that they overcome, and makes them feel very human and real. The characterization is so well done that Taiga is often considered the most pure example of a tsundere within the anime community. Some of the characters will feel a bit cliche or unoriginal at times, but this is easily overlooked.
For such a high profile anime, the animation is not especially impressive. It looks a bit crude at times, sometimes two or three characters will look pretty similar to one another, almost like copy-paste (for me personally, it was Sumire and Ami as the greatest example).
The soundtrack is pretty good, being sure to help set the mood for each scene quite well. It also helps to accent certain characters’ traits during certain points in the story. Nothing worth complaining about here.
Toradora! displays a lot of the same themes as other romantic comedies, such as love above all, you cannot plan love, so on and so forth. These cliches can make it hard to watch the show. These themes however come into play more significantly much later in the show, and the early episodes focus more on themes associated with the self. The most prevalent is that one cannot change their circumstances, only accept them and change oneself. This is especially true of Taiga and Ryuuji, who are constantly complaining about their situation, but both gradually come to accept it. This is a powerful message, and probably the most important theme of the whole show. The show does a decent job of also not idealizing said theme, though this is in part the reason the ending can be unsatisfying. Citing this theme as one example, this can put the themes and plot in conflict at some points, making the themes appear not always expertly instituted into the story. As a romantic comedy, the story does a good job to present the comedy without losing the serious tone that the romantic part of the series is suppose to carry. However, the predictability weakens the comedic aspect somewhat.
Final Score: 9/10
Final Grade: A
Toradora! was an amazing anime that got me to branch out into more genres of anime other than action. I was surprised to find out how good this anime was. I absolutely loved the main characters. They all had great personalities and they all grew quite a bit throughout the show. Another thing that was nice was that thing hardly ever went as planned. Romance anime always seem to be very convent as far as things working out for the main couple, but in Toradora! this is not the case. The biggest problem I had with this anime was that it was very predictable. There was never a time where I felt shocked. Everything was laid out in away were its viewers did not have to really try to guess what would be happening next. But with that said it was still a really fun anime to watch. Out of 10 I would give this anime an 8.7. It is a good anime and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a good romance or slice of life anime to watch. -B-Ro
Final Comments: Toradora! offers a traditional and classic romantic comedy that most people will enjoy, though the cliche and predictable nature of the plot could make the anime a turn-off to some.
Thank you all for reading! We hope to see some comments on what you thought of the review! Our next review will be Amagi Brilliant Park.