Toradora Review

Ryuji Takasu’s eyes are terrifying. Unknown to many people who bump into him, he’s actually a really nice guy with an extreme obsession with cleanliness. When his new class arrangements in high school put him in the same class as his old friend, hopeless crush, and the new conquering fist on campus, Taiga Aisaka, he finds himself making an odd deal for future happiness with the last person he ever thought he’d even get remotely close to.

Most violence in this is slap stick. People get thrown around, punch, etc, but not a lot happens aside from a bloody nose.

Typical YA fare all up in here. You got your d-mns and sh-ts and also a few b-word appearances. It’s nothing over the top, but not PG stuff exactly.

Fanservice definitely exists in this one. Especially with Ryuji’s mother, who is clearly played the “hot mom” card here. It’s got quite a few shots of her wearing skimpy clothes at home and whining to her son. There’s also the usual chest size stuff for the ladies. Even a scene where the lead helps the heroine who has lost a bra insert (he slips it back in himself). It’s a bit racier than what’s usually put in here, but we don’t see any details and the hero is not being sexual in any way. Even so, that’d be one heck of an awkward scene for people to walk in on…

Aside from typical shrine stuff, nothing to report. This show is a slice of life and thus doesn’t really concern itself with religious or heavy theological debates.

Personal impression:
This is yet one more show that shocked me years ago and in no small part towards the main character and the more complex love.. uh… square? Pentagon? In any case, it’s not straight forward and thus we thankfully avoid the most common romance cliche in anime where the main lead’s first love interest is the one they end up with. We also have some reasonably complex characters with motives and emotions that are, like the romance element, nonstandard. Heck, even Ryuji’s mom has more to her than first meets the eye.
As for the other elements, such as art and music, you won’t find anything too unique there. The first opener and ender are slightly catchy, but still standard Japanese pop fare. And the art, well decent, isn’t extraordinary or even all that unique.
But the proof of the pudding is in the characters here and if you like romance, but really long for something outside the usual straight forward and predictable set up, this show is for you. It also helps that there’s comedy and pretty good comedy, at that. Even if romance isn’t your go-to, you still might find this an enjoyable watch.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 25
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Slice of life, romance, comedy
Company: Cinedigm
Legal streaming: Hulu
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