Before starting my new job, I have quite some free time, and I decided to watch an anime series. Having seen ‘Anohana’ and ‘The Anthem of the Heart’ directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai, I chose ‘Toradora’ (Tiger X Dragon) to be my company during my boring time as i know this director will not let me down.

By looking at the title (Tiger X Dragon), I thought it would be an action series. It was not until I started watching that I started to realise it was kinda a school-life anime about youth and growth. This anime, despite the slow and a-bit-too-normal start, hooked me up since the middle of it. I literally stayed up till 5am just to finish the whole series from the middle! It is a good anime with a strong after-taste, like a good slice of cheese! I used not to like anime about school-life because it’s usually terrible, but ‘The Anthem of the Heart’, ‘Your Lie in April’, and Toradora’ successfully denied my perception.

Toradora is a Japanese light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya, with illustrations by Yasu. The series includes ten novels released between March 10, 2006 and March 10, 2009, and the anime comes out in 2008. Toradora is simply an anime with a simple love story, the plot can be predicted using your knee: about a gangstar-looking guy (Ryuji) having a crush on an all-time-happy girl; and another tiny and furious girl (Taiga) having a crush on the vice-president of the student association. Something happened, then Ryuji and Taiga begin to help each other to pursue who they like.

Not to include too many spoilers, Toradora has a very simple plot, but it includes all the element of a good anime, or even a TV series. To me, the best feature of Toradora is the developments of each main character. There are many anime films or series with good plots but they often try to put too many things in it and end up ignoring the importance of a deep development of the plot, characters, and the feelings. Toradora, on the other hand, under the direction of Tatsuyuki Nagai, has a smooth development of all the main characters, thus leaving the audience a memorable impression. The connection between each character is also portrayed perfectly, especially the uncluear relationship between Taiga and Ryuji. (You will see what I mean when you watch it) Well, youth is about uncertainty, when it comes to human connections and life goals. The anime portrays the uncertainty of every character perfectly: Ryuji is uncertain whether he likes Taiga, or the all-time-happy girl; Taiga also isn’t sure whether Ryuji is of any importance in her life. The plot keeps going around the theme of uncertainty.

The other interesting thing about the anime is that, you are presented with the first layer of personality of a character (e.g. Taiga being rude and careless), and then through different events, you notice the other side of his/ her personality. Ryuji is the same, he looks useless, but when it comes to the things that matter, he has got a strong determination to make things right.

Well, maybe people would say that ‘Toradora’ is a terrible anime because many things in the anime is about uncertainty. But well, life is full of uncertainty anyway, right? If you want some easy-watching, or chill anime which  can maybe make you think, I’d definitely recommend ‘Toradora’! 🙂

 

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