Toradora! 08

Toradora! 08
とらドラ!Episode 08

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Toradora! 08It is decided that a 50-meter freestyle swim will determine the outcome of the battle between Ami and Taiga, with Minori being the referee. The class starts betting on the outcome and while they try to hide the fact from Minori, Ami, Taiga, and Ryuuji, the note being passed through the class ends up in Ryuuji’s hands anyway. Seeing what is up, Ryuuji sends the note over to Taiga, who upon reading it and seeing Ryuuji’s bet, stands up in class and gives everyone an evil eye, causing them to hide their faces in fear.

Toradora! 08At the pool, Taiga is not making good progress learning to swim and the comments of her classmates make her vow to do no more training in front of them as she can’t even put her face underwater. So, she begins visualized training, reading a book and practicing on her bed or on the floor. One rainy day, Yuusaku hands Taiga and Ryuuji a couple of tickets to a local pool amusement park with the comment to keep working hard at practicing to swim. He also indicates that he’s betting on Taiga.

Toradora! 08Later in the day, Ryuuji finds Ami sitting between two vending machines at school. They talk for a bit with Ryuuji asking Ami to layoff antagonizing Taiga so much. After school, Ryuuji is about to walk home in the rain when Minori comes up. She’s happy for everything Ryuuji is doing for Taiga and while she’s the referee and can’t officially take sides, she is pulling for them. That night, Ryuuji hangs a Teruterubouzu and prays for good weather the next day. Sure enough, the next day is mostly sunny, so Ryuuji thanks Teruterubouzu-san, but he’s not amused at Taiga’s pretending to swim while in the kiddie end of the giant amusement park pool. Using an inner-tube, Taiga shows she has great leg strength and thus speed in the water. Ryuuji tells her this and that he thinks she has a chance of winning. Taiga thinks about this for a moment, then says she will win.

Toradora! 08The rains return, so the training has to come to a stop. While they wait, Ryuuji makes a flippant remark about spending the summer with Ami which angers Taiga. Ryuuji doesn’t understand why Taiga is getting upset over his joking remarks, nor why she’s been acting weird ever since she found Ami in his apartment. Taiga is upset about about people claiming to understand her (like Ryuuji) when she’s doesn’t even understand herself. So she storms off crying, leaving Ryuuji to wonder what he did wrong.

Toradora! 08Late that night, Ryuuji is still up when his drunk mother comes home. Seeing a prepared dinner for Taiga wrapped in plastic untouched, Ryuuji’s mother asks if Ryuuji and Taiga had a fight. Ryuuji tells her what Taiga had told him — that he didn’t matter. Ryuuji’s mother explains that Taiga always says the opposite of what she feels, thus Ryuuji does matter to Taiga. His mother then passes out, forcing him to put her to bed. The next morning, it is raining again when Ryuuji meets Taiga on the street. He has a bento for her, which she takes only because the bento did nothing wrong, and words saying that he really did want Taiga to defeat Ami.

Toradora! 08The sun comes out and the match is on. Ami decides to play the crowd by wearing a bikini, but Taiga doesn’t show up. After a long time, Minori is just about to call the match when Taiga shows up, decked out in flotation devices. Just before the starters whistle, Taiga distracts Ami by saying “hair,” then when the whistle blows, Taiga throws everything but a paddle board at Ami, causing her to fall into the water. Taiga dives in and before Ami can react, Taiga has taken off Ami’s bikini top.

Toradora! 08Taiga is off with her paddle board as Ami gets her top back on. Taiga cramps up, causing Ryuuji to dive in to help her. This allows Ami to catch up and get ahead before Taiga is able to go again. However, an accident causes Ryuuji to nearly drown, so Taiga loses the race to save him. Once out of the water, Taiga cries and demands to know why no one else tried to save Ryuuji. She then declares loudly that Ryuuji is hers and cries heavily.

Toradora! 08Sometime later, Yuusaku, Ami, Ryuuji, Taiga, and Minori are having iced coffee at a coffee shop. Taiga announces that she’s going to Ami’s mansion along with Ryuuji. Yuusaku is in favor of this, so Ami decides to verbally jab Taiga about the “Ryuuji is mine” scream at the pool, which means that Taiga doesn’t want to be separated from Ryuuji. Taiga readily concedes that is exactly it — she doesn’t want to be separated from Ryuuji. However, she continues that Ryuuji is her dog, and that as master, she can’t have her dog doing things he shouldn’t be doing. She looks at Ryuuji, asking if he was expecting her to say something else. He denies it. Ami whispers to Ryuuji that they’ll still have chances to be alone together during the summer.

Thoughts/Review:

Toradora! 08I suppose this episode marks where Taiga officially admits (howbeit with a denial) that she has some feelings for Ryuuji. I suppose it makes sense in some regards — Ryuuji takes care of her like a butler. Of course, there hasn’t been any romantic feeling coming out of this for me, so it could be just Taiga realizing how great Ryuuji is as a friend and companion and thus her words saying that Ryuuji is hers. However, such a statement would seem to imply more, even if more hasn’t been shown. After all, she still gets flustered and happy over Yuusaku. So while Ryuuji and Taiga getting together may be the ultimate goal of the story, for now, I see a lonely girl who has someone to care for her and she doesn’t want to lose that.

Toradora! 08While there’s not much to say about Taiga training for her swim competition with Ami, I will say that her strategy made me laugh, though the sudden cramp to allow Ami to actually win in the end was a stretch from me (no pun intended). Still, I did like how Taiga was able to swim to save Ryuuji. I also liked her concession to Ami at the coffee shop. I’m interested to see how things play out here, though I am saddened that Minori no longer really is in the picture as a love-object for Ryuuji apparently. Ryuuji doesn’t seem to get flustered around Minori anymore and we don’t hear about him trying to win Minori over.

 

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One Response to “Toradora! 08”

  1. Hugh Roe says:

    There’s a spin-off novel about Minori, too bad I can’t read the Japanese. The illustrations in there though….

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