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.
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.
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.