Toradora! 18

Toradora

From now on, anyone who pigeonholes Taiga with Shana and Louise ought to be shot.

Taiga’s character continues to develop in a way that endears me more and more to her. Revealing that she had studied in a Catholic elementary school, she used to do volunteer work and it was there she met the unfortunate. That experience, plus a chance meeting with Santa-san when she was young, has somehow led her to realize something and now she continues to send presents to the unfortunate, to send a message “I am watching over you.”

It’s something that really seems out of character for her, but it’s not as outlandish as you think it is. Her earlier excitement about Christmas coming really nicely ties in to this and shows that despite a rude outlook, Taiga possess a heart of gold. I am really seeing her in a totally new light now. It’s just totally rude to classify her in the same category as Shana and Louise now.

Toradora

The “Ami moment” in this episode sees Ami weakening more in her stance of putting a strong face in front of Ryuji. Commenting on the weird relationship of Ryuji and Taiga, akin to playing ‘house’ with Ryuji as the ‘parent’ and Taiga as the ‘daughter’. She tells Ryuji to stop doing that, before all of them suffer from the awkwardness of the relationship, telling him to start over with Taiga, and in a moment of weakness, with her as well. I guess Ami’s realizing that if she doesn’t act now, she’ll slowly lose Ryuji to Minorin or Taiga.

Toradora

As for Minorin, she continues to distance herself from Ryuji, but an accident causes her to break a decorative star that’s precious to Taiga. She inevitably gets stuck with Ryuji in an effort to fix it back. The fixing of the star starts them both on a conversation where Minorin is scared of breaking things, as she doesn’t know if it’ll be able to fixed back. Despite that, Ryuji declares that it’s possible for things to be healed, even if it might not be the same as before. As usual, Ryuji’s conversations with Minorin are always chockful of symbolism. It’s this quality of dialogue that truly sets Toradora a cut above the rest.

Also this is first episode I can remember of seeing Yuri-chan-sensei act like a real teacher, hahaha.

Toradora

17 Comments

  1. Harbin Said,

    February 6, 2009 @ 4:58 pm

    This ep was great, totally made me love Ami more. (btw its ep 18)

  2. Rakuen Said,

    February 6, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

    I never thought they wouldn’t get to the ‘dere’ part of the whole Tsundere thing. I’m so glad.

  3. meganeshounen Said,

    February 6, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

    I can almost see Mike having a field day with the said symbolisms in the episode… ^_^;

  4. Ipsod Said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 4:18 am

    Little Taiga is fracking adorable. I think it’s the short hair.

    And this series keeps surprising me without fail. Character development everywhere.

  5. Magnius of the Chaos Said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 9:40 am

    Comparing Louise with Taiga was wrong from the beginning. Louise is a fucking bitch, whereas Tagia is a fracking adorable semi-bitch who can express feelings.

    On a side note, I love the music that plays whenever Yuri goes into psychotic breakdown mode. This episode, it was sped up, it seems. Actually, fuck the music. I love Yuri whenever she goes into psychotic breakdown mode.

  6. TJ Said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 9:58 am

    Minori and Ryuji’s conversation is always filled with symbolism and metaphors to the point that neither of them understand what the other is really getting at.

    @Magnius
    Yeah, Yuri-sensei is quite the scene stealer when in breakdown mode, even though characters in the show tend to ignore her.

  7. n. Said,

    February 7, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    @Harbin: same thing :)

  8. midenz Said,

    February 9, 2009 @ 6:27 am

    go ami channn!

  9. ☆Azure★ Said,

    February 9, 2009 @ 4:52 pm

    What about comparing Taiga and Nagi (Hayate no Gotoku) together? Nagi is great.

    I personally hope for Ami x Ryuji (even though we all knoe Taiga will end up with Ryuji)

  10. E.M.E Said,

    February 10, 2009 @ 12:28 pm

    Well I really loved this anime starting out, thinking, “oh man this is going to be great.” The characters seemed like they would develop really well and like the story would be amazing and filled to the brim with interesting new points of view and fusions of some of my favorite anime genres, but alas I am falling swiftly out of love with this anime. This episode helped to only reaffirm that little knot. I just think that they could have made it into a 12 episode series and it would have been a lot better. There are too many side lines, and the characters aren’t being nearly as true to themselves as they were in the earlier episodes, and it seems like we are being drawn into to many unnecessary arcs and tangents that would be best left unexplored for the sake of the over all feel of the anime.

    I understand that most anime, and much of life, needs ample time to work itself into a moment of blissful climax, but I am feeling it all fall flat.

    I love that we are seeing a new side to Taiga, finding out that despite the grudge she has towards her family she knows when to shelve it (a lesson that for most people is not realized until much later in life). However, I just feel like something has to give or else I fear that I will drop this anime. Which really is a shame because it was so beloved for me at first. I am finding that I am much more anticipating subs of the slice of life sort of anime “Zoku Natume Yuujinchou” however, which is quite interesting because most people slammed the first season for not being interesting enough.

    To all the haters out there who will blast their accusatory marks at me, hey, slow down and realize that this is only my opinion of the culmination of the last, probably 3 or 4 episodes. I liked it in the beginning, I really did, but maybe other people are feeling the funky lull as well. If not, then I am just one person and this is just an opinion. It has nothing to do with moe or me not appreciating a good anime, because in a way I really feel it could have been condensed and made much better.

  11. Kaisos Said,

    February 11, 2009 @ 10:36 am

    Wait. You want it to be condensed even MORE?

    It’s already an incredibly condensed version of the original novels…

  12. Veggies Said,

    February 11, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

    “characters aren’t being nearly as true to themselves”

    You’ve heard of such a thing as ‘character development’ correct? This is one of the few anime’s that doesn’t seem to completely wipe out whatever changes in personality the characters seem to occur, not to mention actual fallout and reactions to previous events. Most romance shows are pretty much unwatchable if you have half a brain or aren’t attached to a character in the first 2 episodes, this series is actually legit.

    And as Kaisos says, they cut so much from the novels for the anime, I’m surprised it works as well as it does. Too bad we’ll never get really good translated (or at least well edited) versions of them.

  13. lord_jagganath Said,

    February 11, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

    Oh veggies?, gone to bakatsuki yet? come and help make the editing good… no seriously, they could use some help :)
    but its true though… i’m still waitng for some translations to come in before they can edit. We must do what we can to help them!!!

    oh and i promise, episode 19 will be quite heart wrenching

  14. E.M.E Said,

    February 12, 2009 @ 2:30 am

    In response to Veggies, what I was saying was that the characters weren’t so much developing into deeper and more profound versions of themselves, so much as they were warping into visions of themselves that I personally don’t appreciate. Ami is much more strong than she is portrayed in this episode and it crosses the line of being vulnerable and showing a sense of honest frailty and making her out to be some whiny girl who’s only aims are to make those she can’t directly control into piles of self loathing messes. As for Midori, it is almost like they are over exaggerating ever emotion she portrays because they can’t seem to find a well of emotion in other characters. It feels to me that Ryujii is the only one that has consistently stayed true to not only his original aim (which was to work up the courage to profess his feelings to Midori which he slightly did when saying he will wait for her at the dance) but also staying true to his characters faults and strong points.

    It is not a matter of character development, it is a matter of the characters becoming something that they shouldn’t have been. Anyone who has interacted with enough people knows how people can change when certain circumstances are presented to them, but it seems like the “transformations” are not only over dramatized but also wholly unrealistic. I always thought that the aim of animes like this one without the fantasy element is to show true human interaction with a bit of control, but it feels like the characters are losing their control.

    As for the half a brain comment, I could boast the same to you for not looking at more than the surface of this anime and realizing that sometimes without a critical eye you let mediocre portrayals of human life progressing and transforming take a hold of you and give birth to your delusions of how great this anime is.

  15. Ipsod Said,

    February 12, 2009 @ 6:13 am

    You know E.M.E., you’re being confrontational more than necessary. For the lull that you’re experiencing that others are trying to understand, you’re not explaining yourself very well. I would like to know why as well. A character not being true to themselves is a trait that most people would.. appreciate, perhaps; simply because real people sometimes don’t always act like they initially portray to others.

    It is also not wise to try and quantify someone’s appreciation for something as a comparison to your opinion. Given by your writing tone, telling Veggies he has delusions of how much he likes Toradora! is essentially being rude.

  16. Veggies Said,

    February 12, 2009 @ 3:09 pm

    “As for the half a brain comment, I could boast the same to you for not looking at more than the surface of this anime and realizing that sometimes without a critical eye you let mediocre portrayals of human life progressing and transforming take a hold of you and give birth to your delusions of how great this anime is.”

    Yes, because my thought that this is a good show translates into me thinking THIS IS THE GREATEST EVER AND IF YOU DISAGREE YOU ARE RETARDED. Clearly what I was implying. Obviously.

    … :/

    Anyway, I’m simply applying Sturgeon’s Law here. Certainly you can be free to disagree with that, but I will stand by my thought that these, “mediocre portrayals of human life progressing and transforming” are a good deal more interesting than the stock character types most SERIOUS DORAMA romance / harem / romantic comedy shows produce. I wouldn’t put TD! in any pantheons, but from the negative tone of your post, if you find it so bad I’d suggest not wasting the time watching it and rewatching Kanon or Kimi Ga.

    @lord_jagganath

    I’ve considered it and I think when I get some free-time, I’ll end up proof-reading and doing a few chapters worth. Most of the editing actually isn’t that miserable, it simply needs to be touched up and proofread a bit.

  17. Kaisos Said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 2:01 am

    I’d put TD! in a few pantheons, myself. But that’s because I love it.

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