My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Crunchyroll Rating: 5/5 Stars
Content Rating: 17+ (Language, fan-service, adult themes)
Genre: Romantic Comedy/Drama
Check it out: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll Summary: Ryuji Takasu has learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. Despite his inwardly sweet personality, his unintentionally sharp gaze and aggressive features give him the air of a delinquent thug, putting his chances at making friends, let alone a girlfriend, next to zero. It’s Ryuji’s first day as a junior in high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and, more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her onto his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?!
Since ancient times, the dragon has been the only beast to equal the tiger. Even if you’re not by my side right now, I will leap through space and time and always be by your side. These feelings will never change. — Takasu Ryuuji
Toradora! was on every list of the best Romantic Comedy Anime that I looked at. Everyone raved about it.
The thing I loved most about Toradora! was that while it’s funny and light and ridiculous, there are plenty of serious moments that create deep relationships between the characters. Sure, the relationship between Taiga and Ryuji is absurd and hilarious, but there are also some really heartbreaking scenes that really bring them together and just make you go AWWWW.
The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was because it got really irritating that it took so long for them to get together. I know that’s kind of the point of the show, but I would have liked for them to get together just a tad bit sooner. Even just a few episodes. It got exhausting that they kept trying to set each other up with other people. It got doubly exhausting when they suddenly realized they liked each other and CONTINUED to set each other up with other people. That’s one of the things I don’t like as much about this genre is literally the entire show is them making their way towards each other, but they only get together in the very last scene of the series (that’s exaggerating for Toradora, but it’s true for other shows).
It was so incredibly sweet how Ryuuji takes care of Taiga. She totally wasn’t even fazed by it in the beginning, and pretty much expected him to do whatever she asked. This got far cuter when as their relationship developed. He makes all of her food, cleans her apartment and walks everywhere with her. Knowing that Taiga lives by herself and doesn’t have very many friends makes it even sweet that Ryuuji works so hard to keep her happy.
I know Taiga looks young, but she’s actually the same age. She’s just tiny, which is actually quite adorable because Ryuuji is pretty tall so the contrast is cute. Ryuuji’s mom is cleavage city which seems out of place, since the only other fan service is the model Ami, and it sort of becomes a plot point of comparing her and Taiga. There’s some language, and some serious subject matter, so I recommend this for a slightly older crowd, but there’s nothing too terrible in it. There are a few super fan servicey scenes with Ami, but they are actually pretty few and far between, so it didn’t bother me too much.
And then there’s the super duper creepy parrot. Like, what is going on there?