Toradora: Episode 17

6 02 2009

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Episode 17 means that we’re pretty much more than halfway through the series. It also means…a new opening and ending animation!

To tell you the truth, the new opening is kinda depressing, especially when compared with its more upbeat predecessor (♫ Pre-Parade ♫). The main characters spend the first half of the opening walking around with a glum look on their faces. At the very end of the opening, the five main characters do end up smiling, happy and on the same screen, but the fact that there’s only a white background gives it a very…distant…feeling–as if this is something that happened quite awhile ago in the past or in the distant future. Also note that Kitamura makes a minimal appearance in the opening and doesn’t appear AT ALL in the ending.

From the OP and ED, I get the feeling that the show is definitely moving more towards drama, and it’s also setting up a plot that focuses much less on Kitamura (i.e. more Minorin!). Which makes sense, I guess. It’s clear that Kitamura has no feelings for Taiga (at the moment, at least), and he does not have a major role to play in the plot-to-be.

In this episode, it becomes quite clear that the reason for Minorin’s depression is (surprise surprise) Ryuuji. The reason still isn’t completely clear, but there’s two possibilities: she either likes Takasu….or she doesn’t. If she does, then she probably feels guilty about taking away Taiga’s man. If she doesn’t like him, then she’s probably just jealous that her best friend no longer goes to her for everything. I don’t know which one for sure (probably the first one), but Ami seems to know…

Nevertheless, the show hasn’t lost all of its comedy. Taiga acting good for Santa Claus was a good gag, and Haruta’s weird dream had me ROFLing for a good few seconds (I have a soft spot for weird dreams). And then there’s the part where Takasu and his mom beg for their parrot’s forgiveness. I figure if the producers manage to keep a good balance of comedy and drama, then I won’t mind the transition so much.

All in all, not a bad episode–it’s a good transition from last episode’s epic arc conclusion and it sets up quite a few things for the coming episodes. The new opening isn’t bad, but gives me a different impression than the first opening. The new ending–well, I liked the previous ending song because it used the metaphor of adding salt to sweet things, and now I like this song because it talks about eating a sour orange simply because it’s a reminder of one’s self. Wonderfully stoical metaphors, if you ask me.

Episode Rating: 8/10 (Good, standard Toradora fare)

~eNamorD (with Noto’s sexy MP3 player)

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