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6/28/2011

ANIME REVIEW: Toradora



One of the anime genres that I’ve always liked are the drama/comedy ones, since I was a teenager I’ve always felt great affection for series like Love Hina or Lovely Complex so when one of my best friends recommended me ToraDora I decided to give it a try immediately. Fortunately, the series is very good and though it is no different from other series of the genre I can say that it’s one of the best I’ve seen.

The series tells the story of how a short girl with a horribly bad temper called Taiga Aisaka slowly becomes really close with a really quiet guy named Ryuuji Takasu who has a bad reputation in school because he looks like a thug.

Taiga, who lives alone in an apartment next to Ryuuji’s small house, always invades the poor guy’s home in search of food and help to find courage to declare her love for one of their schoolmates, a guy named Kitamura who is a member of the student council.

At the same time, Ryuuji is in love with Taiga’s best friend, a red-head girl named Minorin Kushieda who a member of the softball club in school and always spends her free time working part-time in local stores.

At first, Taiga is severely feared in school because of her bad temper, which got her the nickname “mini tiger” since she always ends up punching and kicking people when she gets angry. But as her friendship with Ryuuji and the other characters starts to develop, her attitude gets better and people slowly start getting fond of her.

The same happens with Ryuuji who, at the beginning, is feared because he looks like a bully but the poor guy is always quiet and helpful with things, he has a strong obsession with cleaning and is an extremely good cook, this raises his fame in school until he and Taiga become two of the most popular students on it.

The series focuses a lot on developing the relationships between the characters keeping a good balance between drama and humor. There are a lot of things we’ve seen tons of times in anime series, like the typical school festival, the trip to a beach in summer and a school trip somewhere in Japan. Fortunately, the content is very balanced and never gets boring in any of its 25 episodes.

Unlike other series in the genre that focus entirely on the two main protagonists, ToraDora has several secondary characters who slowly get their own backstories explained and each one has at least a couple episodes to develop their personalities and characters.

 Besides Kitamura and Minorin, there is another girl who is a beautiful model named Ami Kawashima who ends up in the school because she wanted to get away from the modeling world for some time.

Ami is a really arrogant but funny character at first and she always pisses Taiga off on purpose which usually ends in Taiga punching and kicking someone in the scene, especially Ryuuji. The pretty girl starts as a secondary character but slowly becomes vital to the series’ events.

The art style is very good, unlike other series where it is very common to see that the drawings of the characters or environments were rushed to simply not done at all. ToraDora features very good animations, colors and drawings which is extremely important for these things.

The environments and locations are the typical ones found in these kinds of anime series. The vast majority of events will take place inside the school (who looks exactly like every other high school in a Japanese animation) or at Ryuuji’s house but we’ll usually see other locations like supermarkets, parks, streets and other character’s houses here and there.

The voice acting in the Japanese version is also great; the synchronization is very good and never sounds weird when a character is angry, happy or sad. The only character with an annoying voice is Minorin but it’s nothing unbearable fortunately. The series also features a few good music tracks for several scenes which fit perfectly into what’s happening in the series at the moment.
 
For closing comments, I can say that this is definitely one of the best drama/comedy anime series I’ve seen. It is very entertaining and the balance between the serious and funny moments is nearly perfect. The events in the story are surely to keep almost anyone at the edge of their seat and most importantly: interested in what’s happening on it. It’s not a long series fortunately, only featuring 25 episodes so it can be completed in a couple of weeks easily. 100% recommended.

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