Review: Toradora (Episodes 1-12): Why is it so good?

Why is Toradora so good?  Toradora is so good because it accurately captures the high school crush.  It’s that feeling you get when you’re enamored with how your crushee looks, behaves, and what he/she does.  You’re so enamored that when your crushee even hints at returning affection, you freeze up!  The two toughest characters, Taiga and Ryuji, are perfect examples.  Taiga likes another boy Yusaku, and Ryuji likes another girl, Minori.  Taiga is known as the Palmtop Tiger, because of her being short and her fiery, short temper.  Ryuji is often referred to by other students as a delinquent because of his sanpaku eyes (i.e., the white of his eyes is visible between the iris and the lower eyelid)–just one look and his fellow classmates are terrified.

Left to right: Ryuji, Ami, Yusaku, Minori, Taiga

Taiga and Ryuji just happen to live next to each other, and can even talk with each other through Taiga’s window and Ryuji’s balcony.  After revealing to each other the person of their crushes, Taiga and Ryuji team up to support each other in enabling the other to get closer to their crushes.

I’m only halfway through the series, and there’s one hint that Taiga and Ryuji will end up with each other:  they both dream that they’re married to each other.  Because Taiga treats Ryuji as her slave dog, Ryuji also dreams that he and Taiga have children, who turn out to be puppies!

Although Taiga teases and physically abuses Ryuji, they get along very well together.  They talk about things, and Ryuji cooks for Taiga, who doesn’t know how to cook because her wealthy father raised her in luxury.  Getting along is one of the main ingredients for a successful, long-term relationship.  The problem with a crush is that the crushee can be inaccessible, or that the person with the crush is so in awe of the crushee that he/she isn’t truly being himself/herself.

Who’s Ami?  She’s primarily a catalyst, and a sounding board for the other characters.  She’s inaccessible because she’s a model, is vain, and isn’t really being herself most of the time.

More to come as I get farther into the series!

Happy New Year!!

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