Toradora! 14

とらドラ!Episode 14

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: Ryuuji and Taiga come to school to find a couple thanking Taiga for what she’s done. Taiga has no clue what this is about and is not happy when she has to dodge two male classmates who try to touch her. It seems that the entire school wants to touch Taiga because everyone whom Taiga touched (in whatever fashion) during the wrestling event has had good luck. Now, Taiga is known as Happy Palmtop Tiger, which she finds ridiculous. She tells people that only Minori is allowed to touch her.

Rumors are going around that Taiga has broken up with Ryuuji and is now dating Yuusaku since Yuusaku and Taiga danced during the cultural festival. Ryuuji wonders if Taiga shouldn’t stop those rumors, but Taiga is pretty happy with what she hears — she’s the girlfriend of Yuusaku. By lunchtime though, Taiga is a bit weary with all the staring and when Yuusaku joins them to each, she chokes on food and refuses to drink anything but orange juice. So Ryuuji is forced to go buy some only to discover Ami near the vending machines on the phone. Ami won’t tell Ryuuji who she talked to and learning he’s buying juice, she hits another beverage button before Ryuuji can press the juice button, then leaves him to deal with this.

Ryuuji returns to the class and is met in the hall by an irritated Taiga. After dealing with an underclassman who is desperate to touch Taiga, Taiga grabs Ryuuji and drags him to where the pictures have been displayed from the cultural festival. She’s of course going to buy copies of pictures with herself and Yuusaku. Ryuuji is going for one with himself and Minori crossing the finishing line. Minori comes up and wonders what picture he’s going to buy. When she realizes which one he’s buying, she and he blush, but she decides she’ll buy one too for the memories.

After class, Ryuuji and Taiga set off with Taiga wanting something good to eat. The boy from before tries to touch Taiga, trips and falls. Taiga is not happy and gives chase to the boy to give him a beating for trying to look up her skirt and generally annoying her. This is seen in the student council room, and a girl named Sakura takes off to help the boy — Tomiie-kun. Yuusaku explains to Sumire about the new legend of Taiga. Sumire then has something she wishes to tell Yuusaku. Elsewhere, Ami is having coffee with two female classmates and discussing Tiaga and Yuusaku. She doesn’t believe in the whole idea of touching Taiga gives you good luck.

At the supermarket, Ryuuji is wondering which mean to buy — a single steak for ¥1800 or some packages of pork for the same price. Ami comes up and suggests that if he can’t decide which to buy, he should touch Taiga. Then he might get some money. Ryuuji wonders if the rumor about Taiga giving good luck is true. Ami doesn’t believe that but if it is true, Ryuuji wants to make Taiga blessed. Ami thinks Taiga is already blessed, so she suggests that Ryuuji buy the pork and go for quantity over quality. Ryuuji agrees and when they get out of the store, he gives two packs to Ami, telling her she needs to eat properly. Ami is genuinely touched by Ryuuji’s concern for her and accepts.

Taiga is a bit annoyed with Ryuuji not waiting for her but she then spots Yuusaku seated near the river and comes to see him. Yuusaku touches her, then apologizes. Seeing he’s troubled, Taiga wonders if the student council president has been bullying him. She offers to allow Yuusaku to touch her as much as he wants. She realizes what she’s saying and shuts up, but the thought is received and Yuusaku thanks her. On the street at the top of the embankment, a happy but bandaged Tomiie-kun is being held by Sakura-chan, who’s concerned that he’s OK.

Taiga comes to Ryuuji’s home and is impressed with the effort he’s going through on this western-style meal. Ryuuji lets it slip that he’s not going to lose to the fancy places Taiga’s father took her to eat. Taiga reminds him that she’s fine. When Ryuuji’s mother gets up, they eat and she’s very happy with what she sees food-wise. Hearing about the Happy Palmtop Tiger legend, Ryuuji’s mother starts rubbing Taiga’s hair, saying she can feel the goodness pouring in. Ryuuji’s mother is happy just to do that since she considers Taiga part of the family. Elsewhere, Ami looks at her hand and tells her mother she’ll stay in this town where she’s made new friends while Yuusaku and Minori also reflect on things.

Thoughts/Review: Having lived in Japan where trains and walking are common forms of transportation, I do understand the idea behind buying small amounts of food. Imagine walking a couple of miles with a case of sodas and other food stuffs. Not fun, let me tell you. However, while I also understand Ryuuji wanting to give Ami a gift, I don’t understand his excuse for giving her the pork. It must be the American in me because when meat is on sale for a good price, its freezer-bound, y’all. I may have to ask some of my Japanese contacts about this and see if the Japanese are afraid of storing meat in the freezer for a future date.

Now that the food topic is out of the way, I liked how this episode dealt with a lot of the aftermath of the school festival. That was shown in many placed, but I liked seeing Ryuuji trying to make a fancy meal for Taiga like she might find in a restaurant her father would take her to. When Minori discovered that Ryuuji was buying the picture of them crossing the finish line together, I have to believe that she knew why Ryuuji was buying that. I did like that she bought one too though. Of course Taiga gets her picture of her and Yuusaku and now everyone seems to believe that she and Yuusaku are a couple, which I found Taiga’s reaction too amusing.

The odd thing (and not in a bad way) is the obviously funny Happy Palmtop Tiger blessing that Taiga supposedly bestows on people who touch her or are touched by her. It was funny seeing everyone wanting to touch her and getting blessed by it. However, the odd part is how Taiga’s friends also reacted to it, only in a serious manner. As I said, “odd” doesn’t mean bad, but I could not find a way to express this shift from pure comedy to drama with Minori, Ami, Yuusaku, and Ryuuji all having wishes they want granted. Indeed, even Taiga has one she wants granted and in a weird way, the rumors about her and Yuusaku did just that. However, I don’t think her happiness will last though. I bet the student council president said something to Yuusaku that unsettled him.

So kudos to the writers for combining some wacky comedic moments with some poignant moments too.

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