Toradora: Episode 15 and 16

25 01 2009

A Little Intro

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So! Toradora…

This entry may seem a little odd, since if you check back on the archives, you’ll find that nowhere is there any mention, hint, or sign of a Toradora episode review two through fourteen. (Though I believe Tekky did a few short blurbs on it.) The reason is simple: I joined the blog a week or two ago, and Toradora had already been in full swing for about fifteen weeks. So instead of going back and reviewing episodes one through fourteen, I’ll simply start from episodes 15 and 16.

For those unfamiliar with the show, the synopsis begins with something like… “Despite Ryūji Takasu’s gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent”… and goes on to describe how he bumps into Aisaka Taiga–a short, mean, blunt, clumsy and totally tsundere “palmtop tiger”–on the first day of class and trouble starts brewing from there. I personally don’t really like this synopsis, since after episode three or so, no one really makes any mention of Ryuuji’s delinquent look. Sure..there are references to it occasionally, but it’s not a very big plot element at all. Rather, the show focuses on the interactions between the five main characters.

Episode 15

Kitamura in Rehab

Minorin and Kitamura always leave me feeling a bit intrigued. Though we’re pretty much halfway through the season, and we know considerably more about them by now, I still feel as if there are missing pieces to their story. I just can’t seem to understand many of their actions–for instance, when Minorin declares that she’s arrogant and dishonest. Which makes me wonder what the hell’s going on in her mind. And I can’t forget to mention Kitamura’s refusing to become student council president, dying his hair blond, and running away from home. I can just barely grasp their motives for these actions, but I don’t have enough information to really KNOW what’s going on.

This is probably what the creators of Toradora intended–they’re purposefully leaving out some puzzle pieces about both of these characters, some mysterious background story, that will just FIT when we finally learn about it. But until then, these two will remain slightly mysterious and unpredictable to me, which makes the show a whole lot more interesting. Besides, this episode focuses a lot on trying to understand someone you don’t understand. As Minorin says, “There are a lot of things you don’t know.” A hint, perhaps? I fully expect lots and lots more backstory about those two in the future.

Episode Rating: 8/10 (A good episode, with nice set-up for next episode)

Episode 16


I would be lying if I said I was expecting what would happen in this episode. I couldn’t have predicted all of this…but the truth is, everything that happened was completely in-character, and COULD’VE been predicted.

I really really liked this episode, and my only beef with it is that the animation quality definitely dropped during the fight scene between Taiga and Kanou. I’m not sure if this was intentional or if they just ran out of time, but that’s quite uncharacteristic for this show.

As for Kitamura’s confession in front of the whole freaking school.…well, he was always a pretty confident guy when it comes to declarations of love. His guts can only be matched by how amazing it was that Kanou kept her cool in that sort of situation.

Also, it practically broke my heart when I realized that she loved him too. And it broke my other heart when I realized that at this point in time, Taiga has no chances with Kitamura. Ah well, that’s just how the story unfolds.

This episode also raises even more questions about Minorin…what has she been feeling guilty about? I’m still waiting to find out what’s up with her. Maybe next time.

Episode Rating: 9/10 (would be higher if animation quality didn’t randomly drop)

~eNamorD (with character development)

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4 responses

30 01 2009
Patrick Taylor

I find it interesting that you didn’t like the fight scene. It was the high point of the episode for me. While I didn’t really notice the change in animation quality until you pointed it out, I liked how it formed an emotional climax to the tension that was building over the last few episodes.

Personally, I found episodes 14 and 15 to be less enjoyable than the previous ones in the series, but 16 reminded me why I’ve enjoyed it so. I don’t mean to criticize your review, I was just intrigued by your observation.

–Patrick “Patches” Taylor

31 01 2009
namorsol

Oh no. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the fight scene a lot too. But the fact that Taiga suddenly appeared extremely deformed kinda caught me off-guard…as I said, that was kind of uncharacteristic of the show.

As for episodes 14 and 15 being less enjoyable…is it possible that it’s because of the shift towards drama? If so, be prepared for more of it. You’ll know what I mean if you’ve seen the new opening and episode 17.

~eNamorD

1 02 2009
Patrick Taylor

Well, I wasn’t as keen on the new opening, but that might be more because Pre-Parade had a lot of musical elements that I like (the pseudo-patersong bits toward the end fill me with joy), but I think it’s a more transitional thing. What I like about Toradora! is that it’s sort of an action-romance/drama things HAPPEN, which is a relief (and probably uncharacteristic for a culture that’s built on implication and misdirection). What bothered me in the case of episodes 14 and 15 is that we knew what the real source of the problem was, but had to watch the cast NOT address it for two episodes.

Episode 17, on the other hand, set up an extremely complicated and interesting dance that the writers will have to work hard to resolve in nine (I HOPE it’s nine) episodes. Mostly, I’m hoping the last third of the first season (given the length of the light novels and manga according to wikipedia, it’ll run at least a second season is my guess) gives some real dimension to Minori who seems to me to be little more than an adorable collection of quirks at this point.

Lastly, when I watched the beginning of Episode 17, I understood a little more why you harped on the animation in Ep. 16. I nearly died from cute during the Taiga + doughnut scene, and that was ALL artwork. I remembered that the art and animation was one of the things that drew me into this show in the first place, so it’s more than fair to be disappointed when it falls even a little short.

Sorry for the long comment, it must be clear that I lack someone to discus this with. ^^;

–Patches

17 06 2011
hobbs

What did Minori have to be guilt about..? I don’t get it

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