Toradora! Manga Volume 01 Review

とらドラ!
Toradora! Vol. 01 (manga)  

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*SPOILERS!*

As a big fan of the Toradora! anime series, I’d love to be able to read the source light novel series. Unfortunately, those aren’t licensed and aren’t likely to be licensed.  Even if they were, most companies probably wouldn’t do them in a way I would find acceptable so why bother? *_*  So, even though I don’t normally go for manga adaptations of light novels and anime titles, I decided that in this one instance, I’d give Seven Seas some love and pick this up.

The story, in brief, features high school student TAKASU Ryuuji, who is a really nice guy though he looks like a yakuza thug.  Ryuuji’s single mother, Yasuko, aka: “Ya-chan,” works at a hostess club and so is out most of the night and sleeps during the day while Ryuuji is at school.  Ryuuji has a crush on KUSHIEDA Minori, but can’t act on it. Also in his class is AISAKA Taiga, who’s a short but pretty girl who’s known as the Palmtop Tiger, who’s just as feared as Ryuuji is. When Ryuuji accidentally bumps into her, they immediately clash. However, when Taiga accidentally puts a love letter in Ryuuji’s bag and breaks into his house to get it back, the two start an unusual partnership.

Taiga has a crush on Ryuuji’s best friend, KITAMURA Yuusaku. Taiga’s best friend is Minori. Thus, Taiga and Ryuuji agree to help each other hook up with their crushes and begin a series of plans to accomplish this.  At the same time, Taiga, who’s living alone in the luxury apartment tower next to Ryuuji’s house, starts spending more time with Ryuuji and Yasuko, eating meals with them and even sleeping over sometimes. Ryuuji even begins making her bento lunches for school. Their first plans don’t go according to plan, but the way Ryuuji and Taiga are acting together, combined with being seen together outside of school, rumors start swirling about the two.

As I said earlier, I don’t normally do these kinds of adaptations.  When I saw that Takemiya-sensei, who wrote the original light novel series, also wrote the manga, I felt that this would be as close to the original light novels as we are likely to come in English, even if there are some differences according to the manga’s artist Zekkyo-sensei.  Well, that’s not a problem because Takemiya-sensei may decide to tweak things that may not have been quite up to her specks in the light novel, or she may have decided to try out some new things. Either way, I’m good.

Zekkyo-sensei’s character designs took a bit to get used to since I’m so attached with the anime character designs. However, they grew on me over time, which is a good thing.

This volume of the manga covered the first six chapters of manga as well as an omake chapter featuring “Ya-chan” and how she spends her day and night.

As to the story, I have to admit that I enjoyed getting back into the world of Toradora! even though I know how it will all end and the medium from which I’m re-entering that world is different.  Well, a really good story will do that for you and make each return visit a pleasure.  That’s the main reason to buy anime or manga, in my opinion.  So, now I’ll have a manga with which to get a Toradora! fix when I can’t rewatch the anime. ^_^

The light novels series ran for ten volumes with a three volume spinoff addition (which I found no information regarding content).  The manga is an ongoing, monthly publication in Japan.  However, the manga may not get published every month because as I look, the manga gets one volume released per year, meaning that volume 5 in Japan won’t be published until the first of next year (2012). So, providing folks don’t mind such a slow release schedule, we could be getting this in drips and drabs for years to come, assuming Seven Seas keeps the license or is still in business then (not that I’m suggesting anything, but we all know that a lot can happen over the course of a year).

Speaking of Seven Seas, they’ve long gotten a “thumbs-up” from me for doing manga (and even light novels) in an ANB-approved form, meaning Japanese honorifics are retained. Seven Seas goes a step beyond by keeping the names in their proper Japanese form, which I approve of completely. ^_^  Seven Seas also had a few translator notes, and I’m always supportive of them.

Sadly, I realize my blog hasn’t given Seven Seas a lot of love, but I plan to add Toradora! to the manga blogging list and at least make it up a tiny bit to them. ^_^

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10 Responses to “Toradora! Manga Volume 01 Review”

  1. Mr. Jon says:

    After reading this I regret not finishing the Toradora anime. I should go back and do that now shouldn’t I?

  2. KINGRPG says:

    I love Taiga, She so cute at the school and kawaii at out side school!!! I love Taiga, She is a very patient girl..

  3. AstroNerdBoy says:

    After reading this I regret not finishing the Toradora anime. I should go back and do that now shouldn’t I?

    I recommend it. NIS America ended up doing a pretty good job on the release with the extras and such. I think the ending of the anime suffers a bit due to trying to end when the light novels did but otherwise, all’s good.

    I love Taiga, She so cute at the school and kawaii at out side school!!! I love Taiga, She is a very patient girl..

    Well, Taiga is interesting to be sure, but I was partial to Ami, at least in the anime after it was clear she wasn’t quite as evil as she first appeared.

  4. ejqwek says:

    i like this story, somehow it makes me giggle….

  5. Pawel says:

    Hi, so honorifics are included with cultural nuances/references as well? I know that Seven Seas is a great publisher (their Strawberry Panic LN translation is awesome and faithfull!, same goes to almost all their manga), but I want to be sure.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Seven Seas has retained the Japanese honorifics in all of their releases of Toradora. They stopped doing translator notes as an extra. They might have notes in the margin, but that’s about it. Someone from Seven Seas told me that their research indicated that very few people wanted translator notes, so they dropped them. I was shocked that so few people seemed to care. *_*

      • Pawel says:

        Oh, that’s sad 🙁 I love TL notes when I’m reading books, manga or when I’m watching anime. I can “feel” the whole situation much better because of this. And it’s one of the reasons why I sometimes prefer to buy good translation than original (I’m able to read Japanese, but I can easily miss some sub-contexts as well). Anyway, even without TL notes, it’s still whole universe better than our Polish official release where they removed honorifics, replaced jokes to our local ones, simplified the whole thing and changed personalities of characters…

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Yeah, the lack of translator notes are always a disappointment to me.

          Anyway, even without TL notes, it’s still whole universe better than our Polish official release where they removed honorifics, replaced jokes to our local ones, simplified the whole thing and changed personalities of characters…

          Ah. Localization, only for Polish. Yeah, I can’t stand localization at all. American adaptations used to be that bad. TokyoPop started making things a little more acceptable at times. Del Rey really led the charge on using honorifics and translator notes. For the most part, Kodansha Comics has kept that up after taking over from Del Rey. Seven Seas is really good about keeping honorifics. Yen Press is as well, but they do have a few titles where they don’t. Viz mostly doesn’t use them, but they do on occasion like Hayate the Combat Butler. But Viz has zero translator notes. 🙁

          • Pawel says:

            The worst thing is that all Polish publishers are doing the same thing.
            I stopped buying all Polish releases, because it is just pathetic. It’s not just localisation, removing honorifics and changing names, take a look on this ( I mean – removed original sounds and replaced with WordArt-like font, disgusting):
            https://rascal.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Clamp-Kobato-JPF-001.jpg
            https://rascal.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Maybe-Tasogare-Otome-x-Amnesia-Waneko.jpg
            https://rascal.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Tadano-Nobuaki-70-Oku-no-Hari-JPF-002.jpg

            They should learn how it should be done from Yen Press and Seven seas…

            Same goes to censorship… They released ecchi manga (Hatsukoi Limited) and censored it with sounds, take look on this:
            https://rascal.pl/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Hatsukoi-Limited.jpg
            Left – Polish release, right – scan. One of our publishers released a hentai title (Witchcraft) and… well, they removed few pages. No.. it’s not funny 😀
            I don’t want to read something like this even if they would give me it for free.

            I wrote a long text about it, and I compared it to English releases.
            https://rascal.pl/anime-manga-japonia/jakosc-polskich-wydan-mangi/
            But it’s in Polish, so I don’t think that you will understand anything, but you can check the photos 😛

            When I’m buying English releases, I need to pay around 3x more for single volume (thankfully bookdepository exist – they are offering free shipping for Europe) but it is totally worth that money. And if it comes to manga, I’m buying more and more original Japanese releases.
            I don’t even mention about Polish fansub scene, because it’s far worse than Commie or even Hadena.

            Anyway, nice to see another person who care about translation quality.
            I need to subscribe your blog 🙂

          • AstroNerdBoy says:

            Thanks for the examples. 🙂

            While American publishers have become more keen on using honorifics, sometimes, they do still resort to localization. I’ve noticed in some manga titles like D-Frag where the adaptation is tweaked to try to make it hipper or the like. The manga is so funny and good that I let it slide, but I wish adapters wouldn’t do that.

            Anyway, nice to see another person who care about translation quality.

            Likewise! ^_^

            I need to subscribe your blog

            By all means! 😀

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