Toradora 01 (or is it Doratora 01)

Anyone craving Shana on drugs? Anyone craving Shana’s PMS mood? Do you want to see a video titled “Tsundere gone wild” without seeing any T&A fanservice (because it is anime)?

Anyone?

“…Quirky and funny, with a touch of heart…” — Raybert

“…Kugimiya Rie reprises her role as Shana, only moodier…” — Mikesko

“…Exaggerated and perhaps as funny as anything you’ve seen…” — LA Times

“…Taiga’s bokudo technique rivals Shana’s tachi strikes…” — Washington Post.

“…Uh, I must say, as the demon from hell I’m impressed how stoned these guys above were when they talked…” — Krauser II

Whew. Tough audience today, tough audience in the bloggersphere everyday.

But really, back to the show itself. The premise obviously pokes fun at a big problem in today’s Japanese high schools, namely bullies and bullying, and our protagonist comes from a family with Yakuza influence. As far as my drunken-ass eye could see last night (here in Taiwan it’s daytime right now), Ryūji Takasu, our protagonist, was seen like a bully in the show because he looked like his father, who was a gangster.

As a result, he often “found” lost wallets and being such as nice guy, he always return them to lost and found. Some premise.

In the story , he goes to classes and he’s feared by everyone as a violent and bad tempered individual. Strangely, however, he’s actually a mild tempered guy. One would think with his crazy-ass hostess of a mother (?) he’d be portrayed at least a little insane. But he’s shown as a calm, mild, and even hard working guy with one fetish or obsession – cleaning.

Well, maybe not fetish but he has the urge to clean out that girl’s place, which isn’t messy compared to my living room AKA garbage-dump.

Ryuji cooks well and cleans with hyper-efficiency and he takes care of a massively dirty sink and somewhat unorganized place in 15 minutes, before school, with breakfast prepared Japanese-style, with a smile.

But he’s rather boring, not bland, just a little boring, as he should be in character in the show, and he is a total contrast with Taiga Aisaka.

Taiga is a short-statured, Hinano (guess which one if you didn’t know already) -sized girl, and Ryuji describes her as “like a little doll.”

Yeah, a doll on permanent Shana-with-a-severe-case-of-PMS-in-battle mode!

Shana: “Shut up Shut up Shut up!”

Taiga: “Shut up Shut up!”

(Krauser II: “You pig sluts can both shut the fuck up before I publicly lape you!”)

I guess she’s a slightly quieter than Shana.

Taiga is a quirky character who doesn’t get along with anyone at all. She acts like a real bully.

These are the main characters, and the creator gives each a loyal friend who understands.

Ryuji has Yūsuke Kitamura, and Taiga has Minori Kushieda.

And a classic plot ensues. Ryuji likes Kushieda but he’s too shy to admit, and Taiga finds out and…

Well, you’ve seen enough anime, right? You know, they (Ryuji and Taiga)…

They’re now bound together.

Hey, I didn’t say the plot was anything revolutionary. These days, no plot is (prove me wrong, please). But for Kugimi-fans who can’t get enough of Shana-esque personality, this will be all that more interesting. For me, character dynamic and that almost heart-warming and somewhat reserved feeling will be what’s important. I found episode 1 plain otherwise.

Somewhat enthusiastically recommended.

P.S. I missed the fact that they’re also bound together because Ryuji found out about Taiga’s actually a tsundere and has a crush on someone. Adds up the bounding factor…not bondage, bounding!

P.S. Great Maka cosplay, you definitely captures her spirit.

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