Toradora Vol. 1 Anime Review

As their new approach to the entertainment industry, Nippon Ichi Software America brought a couple animes to America. Toradora, being one of the few NISA brought over, talks about the story of Ryuji Takatsu, a teenager who is often misunderstood as a delinquent due to the face he inherited from his delinquent father, and Taiga Aisaka, a really short and short tempered girl, who is often dubbed as the “palmtop tiger” because of her name. To put it simply, the story of this anime revolves around the meeting, development, and result of their relationship between Taiga and Ryuji. Toradora, which literally means tiger and dragon, where Taiga sounds like tiger in English, and Ryuji’s Ryu is dragon in Japanese.

Ryuji has a very gentle personality, where as Taiga is very short tempered and will not hesitate to snap at anyone who gets in her way. As the new school starts, Ryuji finds out that he is once again put in the same class as his best friend Yusaku Kitamura, who sees pass Ryuji’s appearance and knows his gentle nature, Taiga, and her best friend Minori Kushieda, who Ryuji has a huge crush on. Taiga and Ryuji happens to be next door neighbors, and so the anime basically resolves around how they are trying to set each other up with their best friend, and how they eventually see eye to eye with each other after being refused many times.

The anime is geared towards people who aren’t into action animes, and it has everything else an anime fan can want. Comedy, love, and even drama are guaranteed. It is one of the better high school romance comedies I have seen in years. It has a lot of character development throughout the series and it shows many different sides of each of the characters and how each of the sides interacts with the others. This anime is actually a remake from the original light novel available only in Japan, but the character development in this series is just spectacular.

NISA’s decision on only subbing the anime instead of trying to find voice actors and dub all of the dialogues is probably the smartest thing anyone in the industry has done in a long time. Many fans of Japanese animation will agree that for the most part, dubbing an anime is probably the worst thing a company can do. NISA’s translation is seemingly flawless and it blends in with the American culture very nicely.

This set of the DVDs comes with an art book style episode guide that explains the relationships of the characters and the first 13 episodes of the series on 2 DVDs. This DVD set is really pretty and well designed, and I especially like the episode guide that is included. The rest of the series is schedule to be released in August, and it will be reviewed once we get a hold of it.


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