many months ago a friend of mine told me how one of his fav slice of life/shoujo anime series is Toradora! I had heard about it and seen character designs but it never interested me enough to seek it out. i knew NISA had a box set for it but as much as i love anime i'm actually not a fan of blind buying cause my tastes are so specific and i have been burned many times.
Still he said i should come over and watch it cause he happened to own the premium edition (or at least his brother did, the two of them kinda share their collection) so i did and got a few episodes in and it was okay... the animation while very emotive had some quirks that annoy me (read as their mouths go really far down their face and any high action is heavily smudged and floaty) still the story seemed to be fairly sweet.
Tall scary looking guy Ryuji is in love with captain of the softball team/oddball genki girl Minori.
Monori's best friend is Petite but powerful Taiga who despite her cute face is quite vicoius... Taiga has a huge crush on the class president Kitamura who happens to be ryuji's best friend.
also apparently Ryuji and Taiga are neighbors.
so i think i ended up watching 4 or 5 eps at his place before i had to leave....
and then our schedules never managed to mesh again.... i had work, he had class so i was doomed never to finish this series.
that is until Crunchyroll started putting up some NISA titles, what they do is to avoid makign people blind buy they put up the first 6 episodes for free and to see the rest you need to be a subscriber. On both NISA's side and Chrunchyroll's side i personally ADORE this idea and when Natsume Yujinchou season 4 and Hanasaku iroha second half release i probably will tack on toradora standard edition to my oder (unless it's sold out...)
anyways wonderful business partnerships aside... what did i think of the show.
for most of it i was on the fence... i have watched a lot of shojo, some good.... most terrible and cheesy and horrible depictions of love...
so when i heard, boy and girl help each other get with their best friends.... you know EXACTLY where thats going to go.... theres only one place for that story to go.
so i figues i'd would be like 13 episodes of them trying to hook the other up... them gettign what they want only to reaslise they wanted each other the whole time.
and.... then that didn't happen... so that got me intrigued but i still had issues.
it is still harem-esque that so many girls like Ryuji.... but it's not handled like other shows... it's handled in a way of how do i show i still care without stepping on my friends teos and destroying that relationship... how do i call out others bullshit without being hated by them.
the pacing was slow but it made the shift in characterization more palatable cause it wasn't like one second they like one character and the next they like someone else.
it grew as we got to learn more about these characters.
after the 20th episode or so the show finally got me to cry... so yeah really glad i didn't watch it at my friends cause i HATE crying infront of people and i'm a big crybaby so... watching sad stuff makes it tricky.... but the moments that made me cry were genuine... they weren't like "oh we're going to do something tragic and that'll make you cry" it's just... characters reacting to information... or saying something and seeing the pain in their face... all done through animation more so then actual dialogue. It was different from most other shoujo's i've seen that rely on tragedy or sparkles to convey emotions.
emotive characters who aren't overly perfect or overly flawed who feel like they could exist in this universe.
subtle but appropriate music throughout the show though i'm not a fan of the first intro
both a very small and a very large cast... you get to know the bulk of students in the class and you can see their motivations and stories.
the not so good:
pacing is a bit odd... i htink some of the later stuff coudl have been hinted at a little sooner but this is such a minor gripe.
again animation not my fav but for this show it works pretty damn well.
on character who had one of the more interesting arc kinda gets pushed to the side and i really feel bad for her : (
but again thats just me empathizing for the unloved character.
oh... and that ugly bird gives me nightmares..... scary scary thing...
Seriously though pick this show up if you can and you like slice of life/shojo, if you are unsure go watch the first 6 free episodes over at crunchyroll... cause it's free so why not? Here's the link so go enjoy.
i have 5 chibi's to finish, a painting to paint, a book to read and a burned finger to tend to... so i'll see you guys later!