Pocket Picks #3: Tiger and Dragon

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I’ll be real here, this week’s pick is stemming from the fact that I just recently finished rewatching the series, and remembering just how fantastic it is. Toradora! is one of my favorite Romance series of all time; I personally consider it better than Clannad and many others. Let me tell you why.

Time for Toradora!

Despite Ryuji Takasu’s gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent. Class rearrangements on his second high school year put him together with his best friend, Yusaku Kitamura, and his hidden crush, Minori Kushieda. Along with these two comes Kushieda’s best friend, Taiga Aisaka. Her delicate appearance contrasts with her brutal personality. Secretly in love with Kitamura, Taiga agrees to help Ryuji with his love interest as long as he helps her get closer to hers.

– AnimeNewsNetwork

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Toradora! brings a riveting story that is both entertaining and heartfelt. With great animation, a strong character-focused narrative, solid pacing and a truly emotional climax, Toradora! has everything I like in a good Romance/Drama, plus extra. You will quickly grow to love the main cast of characters, through all their quirks and flaws, and the show will likely make you laugh far more often than it makes you cry.

While it doesn’t have the sheer emotional weight that a story such as Clannad does, Toradora! does do several things far better. The pacing is smooth, as it’s a shorter show, the characters are more well-balanced, the romance is somewhat more relatable, and the music and visuals do an amazing job of complementing the story being told.

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I briefly touched on the production values before, but Toradora is truly a fantastic looking show. Maybe it should be expected, given the reputation of J.C. Staff, but Toradora looks utterly beautiful. Bright colors and distinct lines make each and every character and scene stand out, and smooth animation helps the show go down like a spoonful of honey. Where this really shines, though, is in the emotional scenes, when the shading and lines help to perfectly draw our attention exactly where it needs to go.

I could go on all day about Toradora!, but here’s what some other awesome bloggers think about it:

Holding one of the few 10/10s in my list, I consider Toradora! to be one of, if not the truest standard when it comes to romance anime — which I do believe says a lot considering how saturated the genre is. I mean, there are only so many ways you can do high school love stories, but where Toradora! shines most (in my opinion) is where others seem to falter; and that’s character development. If you’d ask me what makes Toradora! so great in my eyes, surely it’s in how I was able to see its characters grow.

Leap250

A melodrama that seems to exonerate really bad behavior towards perfectly charming characters because feelings… The plot meanders but side stories and fillers are generally likable and production values excellent.

Irina

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While some have conflicting opinions of the show, there’s no denying that it both looks and sounds great, and for many, there’s a beautiful emotional connection to be made. If you’re looking for a good Romance series to watch, it’s worth giving Toradora! a try.

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