Toradora! 01

Toradora! 01
とらドラ!Episode 01

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Toradora! 01TAKASU Ryuuji lives in a small apartment with his single mother, Yasuko, who works at a hostess bar. Their apartment is overshadowed by a large, luxury apartment tower next door. Ryuuji does all the chores of the house and on his way to start a new school year, he finds that his looks still give him the reputation as a Yankee. As such, people fear him, giving him their wallets out of the blue. Ryuuji has a best friend named Yuusaku and Yuusaku is good friends with a girl named Minori, whom Ryuuji likes but finds himself flustered when trying to talk with her. The three of them are in the same class as is the short, mean-looking girl with the nickname of “Palmtop Tiger” — AISAKA Taiga. When Taiga runs into Ryuuji in the hall, everyone expects a fight and are amazed when Taiga punches Ryuuji out of her way.

Toradora! 01After school. Ryuuji is returning to his homeroom from the teacher’s room when he finds Taiga trashing the place. He tries to get his bag, but Taiga tries to insist it is her bag. Ryuuji points out that her bag is on a nearby chair but Taiga insists. However, Taiga sneezes and loses her grip. Realizing she has lost the battle, she leaves with a “baka” insult. Ryuuji can’t leave the classroom as it is, so he cleans up the place before going home.

Toradora! 01At home, Ryuuji discovers a love letter from Taiga to Yuusaka, thereby explaining why Taiga was so keen to get his bag, having placed the love letter in the wrong bag. He’s tempted to read the letter but doesn’t because there’s no letter in the envelope. About 2 in the morning, Ryuuji is awakened by a noise in the apartment. Since his mother won’t be home from her job yet, he decides to check it out and finds the balcony sliding glass door open. She’s in a nightgown and armed with a wooden sword, determined to at minimum make Ryuuji forget about the love letter. After dodging getting hit for a bit and damaging a door, Taiga is going for a finishing blow until Ryuuji says that the envelope was empty, after which she collapses.

Toradora! 01Ryuuji ends up feeding Taiga, who is apparently very hungry. Ryuuji is amazed by this and starts to ask about Taiga’s parents feeding her, but then remembers that everyone’s home situation is different. To try to make peace with Taiga, he shows her a box full of things he’s done for the girl he loves, including poems, MD’s of songs he’s made, etc. However, one of the artifacts has the name of the girl Ryuuji likes — Minori. Since Ryuuji likes Taiga’s best friend and Taiga likes Ryuuji’s best friend, it would seem an alliance is in order. So Ryuuji agrees to listen to whatever Taiga has to say, just not at the moment. This satisfies Taiga, who heads home, unworried about her safety because of the sword she carries.

Toradora! 01Making breakfast later that morning, Ryuuji gets a screaming phone call from Taiga and he hangs up right away. She immediately calls back, not happy with having been hung up on but instructs Ryuuji to go out to his veranda. He does so and is stunned to see Taiga in the new apartment building in a window just across from his apartment. Taiga threatens Ryuuji, but agrees to give him 10-minutes to finish making breakfast. Since she’s hungry, he’s bringing her some too. Entering her unlocked apartment, he finds the stench pretty bad despite this being a luxury apartment. It is scarcely filled with furniture but there is a lot of garbage and a sink full of nastiness. Ryuuji finds her sleeping, so decides to clean up the place.

Toradora! 01Taiga wakes back up and is amazed to see her apartment clean and breakfast on the small table and that Ryuuji is the cause of it all. She sits down and starts to eat without the traditional “itadakimasu” that is said before eating. Rather than give Ryuuji complete satisfaction, she decides to give thanks to the rice god and manufacturers for the meal.

Thoughts/Review:

Toradora! 01Hmmmm. Well, I head a lot about Toradora! from people also reviewing Kannagi and one thing that I noticed a lot of folks saying is that Toradora! had the edge. While I did find the first episode interesting on a certain level, I only laughed a couple of times and this certainly didn’t yank me in like Kannagi did from the start.

I do like seiyuu KUGIMIYA Rie, who’s done tsundere characters such as Nagi from Hayate the Combat Butler and Toradora! 01Shana from Shakugan no Shana, Rena-chan from Hand Maid May, and the non-tsundere male character of Al from Fullmetal Alchemist. I guess Kugimiya-san enjoys the tsundere characters because the character of Taiga certainly fills the bill. In fact, I got the impression that Kugimiya-san is combining her Shana and Nagi characters to come up with Taiga, since Taiga appears to be rich and also knows how to use a wooden sword. I have no problems with the character at this point, but I can pretty much tell were this is going to go.

HORIE Yui (Naru from Love Hina, Tohru from Fruits Basket, and tons more) is also in this, playing Minori. However, I did not recognize her voice right away as I did with Kugimiya-san.

Toradora! 01As to the episode itself, it was somewhat amusing seeing how Ryuuji is feared as a Yankee (punk, delinquent) when he’s not that type. It was amusing seeing Taiga’s fight with Ryuuji in his home over the love letter. It was amusing seeing Taiga’s luxury apartment looking pretty bad. However, I only had one laugh, and that was Taiga’s first call to Ryuuji. I only mention this because I’m watching this episode and remembering the raves people gave Toradora! over Kannagi, which DID give me some great laughs. In that regard, I find Toradora! a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting a whole lot more.

Toradora! 01I guess the other disappointment is what I’ve already hinted at — this anime feels like it has been cobbled together from bits and pieces of other anime titles I’ve seen. Part of that is the seiyuu’s chosen and part of that is that after you see a number of anime titles, they begin to start looking more and more alike.

Now, does that mean I’m done?

No. As I said, things were done in the first episode to interest me enough to keep watching. Indeed, with time this could get better to me as I know get to know the characters and follow the story. On to episode 2 then.

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7 Responses to “Toradora! 01”

  1. Hugh Roe says:

    This is one that I would recommend skipping the anime and just reading the manga.

    But then I’ve always been more of a reader…

  2. Fashionably late to the party, I see. IMHO, the balance between Kannagi and Toradora is a matter of taste. I find Toradora more to my liking and dropped Kannagi in the ep.02. But there’s nothing wrong with liking Kannagi, I’d say.

    One caveat: manga for Toradora is ongoing.

    — Pete

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Hugh — have you read the light novels yet? I believe those came first.

    @ザイツェヴ (Pete) — “Toradora” has grown on me some as I just finished writing the review of episode 4, but when it comes to the humor, “Kannagi” I found to be better on the laughs.

  4. RogerOskaner says:

    Well considering Kannagi is an actual comedy show whereas Toradora’s a romance with comedic elements, it’s not exatly a surprise you would have found it funnier, it’s not exactly it’s primary focus. It does take a while to show that it’s more than just cobbled togethered parts from other shows (I see you finished episode 4), although I liked it from the beginning as I read the novels and manga first.

  5. AstroNerdBoy says:

    And I just finished watching episode 5. Darn Japanese with their Denny’s/Jonathan’s parody place (which I’ll try to cover a bit when I write my episode 5 review). Now I’m hungry and I’m on a medical fast. *lol*

  6. Hugh Roe says:

    Now that I’ve translations of the LNs, I can read them.

  7. AstroNerdBoy says:

    Heh. As I reread this, I’m amused at how the first episode didn’t grip me that hard, yet Toradora! is one of my favorite anime titles.

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