I remember very well how my school days looked like. Often times did I think that my life was about to fall apart when I got in a fight with a friend or the one I had a crush on couldn’t answer my feelings.
Toradora builds on the nostalgic sentiment of school life where you anxiously try to confess your feelings to your potential lover. In hindsight your anxiety wasn’t necessary or you realized that there is a better match out there.
Ryuuji and Taiga are two teenagers who have a crush, but not for each other. Taiga has a crush on Ryuuji’s friend and Ryuuji likes Taiga’s best friend. Together they devise small schemes to assure that their loving feelings will flourish and have the relationships they’ve both been dreaming about.
Romance anime can border on the utopian, but Toradora tries to give it a twist by not letting everything go that smoothly. That’s a welcome development and gives credibility to the story. The characters fall and stand up along the way, but it has to be admitted that Toradora tries to force certain sentiments onto the viewer.
Toradora tries to achieve this by inserting an emotional soundtrack at key points. The sometimes vague dialogues have to create metaphors for true love(probably) and the main cast can overdramatize certain events. But as I stated before, at a young age having the feeling that the world is crumbling is common.
Because Toradora is set in a high school setting and the romance is centered towards a teenage audience, I dare to say that Toradora is more relatable for a younger audience that is just in this phase. The phase of young romances at school.
Although the romance can become very sugarcoated at times, it still remains refreshing. This is partially achieved by the main characters Ryuuji and Taiga, that aren’t the ‘popular hot guy and super cute girl’ or ‘super hot girl going for not so super hot guy’, but who are actually sort of misfits who try to have their go at love. This helps Toradora become more approachable to a group of mere mortals, such as me, who get the feeling that not being perfect is actually pretty good too.
Toradora is perhaps one of J.C. Staff’s best productions. The animation is steady, which isn’t always the case with J.C. Staff and the story development was well executed.
The soundtrack of Toradora is especially good as it enhances the vibe of a particular scene. Just like the soundtrack in AnoHana, it stimulates certain emotions such as sadness or happiness.
Toradora is a refreshing romance anime and although it uses some stereotypical melodrama, the series remains true to its genre. The melodrama can sometimes be too much and some characters can break the overall story development. Yet Ryuuji and Taiga are one of the better anime couples and create an out of the ordinary series. Therefore I rate Toradora an 8 out of 10.