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The main characters of Toradora! (from left to...

The main characters of Toradora! (from left to right): Ryūji, Yūsaku, Taiga, Minori, and Ami. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is apparently a new company, Hanabee [1], releasing anime in Australia and I picked up the first part of Toradora! and also Dream Eater Merry.

Toradora! is a high school romance series that is entirely predictable in terms of the First Girl Wins trope.  It is saved from oblivion by the fact that I had 13 episodes in hand, interesting characters, and a slightly unusual set up.

The two leads are:

  • Ryuuji Takasu who apparently looks like a violent, intimidating, thug but is actually a nice guy crushing on Taiga’s best friend; and
  • Taiga Aisaka aka the Palmtop Tiger who is crushing on Ryuuji’s best friend.

In many ways Taiga is a similar character to Ririchiyo from the later Inu X Boku SS in terms of emotional maturity and abilities to interact with others.

The initial meeting between Ryuuji and Taiga is about as violent as can be expected in a school setting but leads to an uneasy alliance to help each other in their romantic quests.

Over time this alliance has started to grow into a genuine friendship, and will no doubt have an entirely predictable result.

Whilst there have been some moments when I was ambivalent about Toradora, it has generally been a pleasant show to watch.  The characterisations have been fairly solid, and even amusing occasionally.

Some of the high school tropes in play have been a bit tedious on occasion [2], but overall Toradora! has been entertaining enough that I’ll pick up the 2nd volume when I see it.

I’ll end with the quite amusing opening credits:

[1] The Hanabee website is basically under construction. This is a pity given that Hanabee will apparently be releasing Bodacious Space Pirates locally on BluRay.
[2] The two that stood out were the summer vacation and the culture festival (which had three episodes devoted to it).