With the ending of school finals and the start of the summer break, it is time to strap ourselves in for some amazing posts! Well, that is debatable but, I will have a lot more time to do just that! So folks, lets strap ourselves in, and prepare ourselves for one heck of a emotional ride as we review… Toradora!
The Anime: While not a newer anime, this anime originally launched on October 1, 2008 .This anime follows the genre of romantic-comedy and does it oh so very well but what it doesn’t do so very well is to warn the viewer about how much of an emotional investment this anime will cause you to have. You fall in love with the characters and you connect with each and everyone of them, no matter how small they may be. The anime focuses on our two leads, Taiga and Ryuji, as they fumble through the awkward school love life, only to figure out that their is more to their friendship than either one of them can see. Honestly though, this anime follows the romance formula to a T and still manages to impress, captivate and hook you in . Out of the group of friends that have seen this, everyone of them told me the same thing, they were invested and could relate to character in this anime; The great story and character depth helps to drive that focus home ever more. The anime itself comes in at 25 episodes total and can easily be finished in two to three days (one and a half days for myself as that’s how invested I got with the anime) and also has a dubbed variant too! While I am picky about my dubs, I have heard that it is fairly good and is able to retain the same emotion, however I will have to ponder that once I actually see it dubbed. Where this anime shines is the simple pursuit of romance. It doesn’t shy away from giving each character their own way of thinking about romance and how it works. That is what gives this anime a higher standing above the rest. They have human flaws when it comes to notions of love and they fumble through on their journey to find that love.
The Animation: Art style is very fresh and holds up very well, heck, when I began watching it, the art style seemed like it fit more like the past few anime’s have been like for these past two years. But this anime debuted in 2008 and has a wonderful art style and just draws you in all that much more. There are times where the animation does seem to drop but most of those are during the very few action intense scenes with complex movements. However from scene to scene the animations are solid. I can’t express how gorgeous this anime looks on the eyes and is very well done.
The Characters: The characters and how they can interact with one another, as well as the audience, often makes or breaks an anime or any type of filmed media. Especially when it comes to the romance genre as a whole. If they seem flat or too unreal, we disconnect. However, Toradora dances that line and comes out victorious. Both Taiga and Ryuji produce enough personality and character to get the attention of the viewers. Even the non lead roles like Minorin or Yusaku manage to give us some connection and relation. This was the first anime for myself personally where I could actually relate to the male lead. They produce such human like emotion and affection for being just 2D images, yet it is the emotion, the gusto behind the talented voice actors and actresses that gives us that final connection, the real breath of life. The character dynamics are what evolve from this and you as the viewer are able to guess and play off of. As far as how the romance is involved, well the characters act on what their conceived notions of how romance should go. Both Taiga and Ryuji act on what they feel they know and what they develop together in order to help one another. Nothing is more real or tangible than a character that relates to you on one level and we all have had our share of romantic blunders or success.
The Music: What can I say about this animes music. The emotional depth, the variance. Everything mixes so well and with such feverish passion that this is what truly makes or breaks any show. Toradora! is able to impliment this perfectly and it all carries such weight and emotion on its own. This anime does have two rather fantastic openings. The first song I haven’t been able to locate but the second song, Silky Hearts By Yui Horie, is an example of the wonderful and peepy beats this anime is capable of, however there are plenty of other upbeat sections of the animes official soundtrack. Here are some provided samples of the depth and the overall emotion that this anime is capable of producing when watching this all at the same time. Engaging feels.
Final Thoughts: While not wanting to provide spoilers, this anime is both phenomenal, emotional and is one that will linger with you. While I do not have a greater list of anime that I have seen, this one easily tops my list, easily. Love isn’t what we always want it to be or how we see it. Sometimes you have to turn a blind eye to it. Because the notion of love is something that is uniquely Taiga’s, Ryuji’s and you the viewers. I believe that is what gives Toradora! the connection it needs to keep an audience invested and captivated. By showing that love is unique and yet foreign to us all, even when we feel so sure about what we see. If you have time for a 25 episode anime that is full of laugh, charm, love and emotion then feel free to give this a look on both Crunchyroll and Hulu.
Offical Site (Japanese only): http://www.starchild.co.jp/special/toradora/
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