Toradora! 03

とらドラ!Episode 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Taiga and Ryuuji walk to school and have a “discussion” when they hear activity coming from the ballpark and see Minori at her softball club practice. Minori is very chatty as practice goes and when it is her time at bat, she smacks a home run. This causes her to sing a whimsical song as she rounds the bases, which has Ryuuji enthralled. This does not sit with Taiga well, who gives him a Three Stooges-style poke in the eye and then proceeds to beat on him. This is seen by Yuusaka and Minori, who comment on how energetic Ryuuji and Taiga are in the morning.

Sometime later at school, Ryuuji is amazed that Minori has taken as a job decorating people’s cell phones to their specification. At home, Ryuuji is dreamily rambling on and on about Minori while a hungry Taiga waits, eventually getting annoyed because he won’t listen to her. However, the rice cooker is broken, so they head to the “family restaurant” (think Denny’s) at Taiga’s suggestion. Taiga says that Ryuuji will be glad they did and this is comes to pass when Minori is shown to be their waitress. She plops down a couple of “Taiga specials” which are not on the menu. She also tells Ryuuji that if he wants, she can hook him up with tons of french fries.

Taiga comments that Minori works at a convenience store and a karaoke place too. Minori chimes in that she’s recently added a Boiled Beef Restaurant. The number of jobs she has amazes Ryuuji but Minori says she’s actually holding back since she doesn’t want to miss any club activities. When asked why she’s working so many jobs, Minori answers that she has the free time and that she’s making a portfolio of jobs. Minori walking away has Ryuuji enthralled again, causing Taiga to again give him a two-finger poke in the eye. When Ryuuji and Taiga go home, Ryuuji still can’t understand why Minori needs to work so many jobs. Taiga reminds him of Minori’s answer and tells him that he needs to stop thinking that he’s the only one who understands Minori.

The next morning, Taiga and Ryuuji are again en route to the family restaurant because of the broken rice cooker. Taiga is annoyed by this, knowing the reason why, especially since Ryuuji dressed up. She says they should be going to a store to buy a new cooker. Their conversation is interrupted when outside of a liquor store, they find Minori working. This is yet another of her jobs, which she works from time-to-time. Ryuuji volunteers himself and Taiga to help. The owner of the store is a regular customer of Ryuuji’s mother and because of that, he won’t put Ryuuji to work, but he does task Taiga with a delivery. However, it is clear that Taiga can’t ride a bike but to save face, she takes off anyway by pushing the bike by the handlebars at a run.

Ryuuji feels guilty about not having anything to do, so he helps Minori. They are looking for a special kind of beverage to restock the shelves with when the owner accidentally locks them in. However, Minori isn’t worried and shows her normal, cheerful self. Meanwhile, Taiga makes the delivery and on the way back has a small accident that ends her up on the high grassy bank leading down to the river. She’s there talking to herself when Yuusaku comes up. Seeing the bike, he assumes she’s learned to ride a bike and congratulates her on this achievement. Taiga is amazed that Yuusaku even knew this about her, so when he finally leaves, she’s determined to ride that bike back all the way, no matter what.

Back inside the storage building, Minori and Ryuuji are singing loudly to try to attract attention but no luck. So to pass some time, Minori makes a make-shift softball and Ryuuji uses an empty bottle as a bat. Because of Minori’s constant singing and talking, Ryuuji takes notice and realizes that Minori is afraid and uses the singing and talking to face her fears. They come up with an idea to use boxes to get a platform by which they can reach an upper window. However outside, an angry Taiga has returned and is looking for the goofing off Ryuuji. So when Ryuuji makes it up to the window, Taiga is there on the other side. However, to get at Ryuuji, she knocks the ladder down and ends up inside the building. So now all three are stuck inside.

Thoughts/Review: I liked this episode better than the first two. I suppose it is in part because I’m now used to the characters. I like Minori a lot more after seeing this episode. I know it is fictitious, but anyone willing to take multiple jobs is amazing. I say this at a time when as I write this, I am unemployed and in a few months may well face the possibility of having to work a few jobs. I haven’t done that since I turned thirty, when I worked a second job to make a ton of extra cash. Now at 39, I do not relish the idea of working more than one job. Of course when I was a teenager, working multiple jobs was a lot easier somehow.

Anyway, the “locked in a storage room” scenario is an old one, but I liked how this one was done. There was no “we’re in a locked room so will we or won’t we do something” moment, rather singing and an attempt to escape. I do admit to being amused at Taiga’s discovery of Ryuuji which foiled the escape attempt. Actually, I like the scene between Taiga and Yuusaku which shows that Yuusaku had been paying attention to Taiga and she wasn’t even aware of it. That was a nice moment.

I’ll keep watching this as it is entertaining enough to keep me interested. I’m still not seeing the solid gold though.

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