ToraDora! #25 — Clawing Out of the Wreckage

March 25th, 2009

 

Well, at least it wasn’t into more wreckage.

Impressions:

*sigh* What are we going to do with you, ToraDora? After completely blowing the climax last episode, I’m not even sure how or where they should be going on this point. On one hand, I’m glad that they wrapped up the really stupid Yasuko subplot within the first 4 minutes, but on the other hand, that just drove home how trivial and totally machinated it was in the scheme of things. If they had spent more than a grand total of 7 minutes on it, I’m sure it would have at least felt at least somewhat more fitting instead of shoehorned in at the last minute. They could have seriously skipped it entirely and we wouldn’t have lost anything except a ponytail scrunchy.

The Taiga/Ryuuji makeout scene also made me laugh instead of feeling whatever warm and bubbly feeling it was supposed to represent, probably because we already passed that revelation. First a little quick unromantic peck. Then another. Then a round a tonsil hockey more fitting for low end pornography or the backseat of a prom limo. I’m pretty sure it progressed from there to a bout of fumbling OCD Ryuuji/clumsy Taiga sex pan up and fade to white.

Well, whatever. It was about as good as they could have done given the absolute disaster of the previous episode. The music was especially nice through the episode and very fitting for the ritalin they apparently pumped into the water for the cast. Then again, I think the only way they could have made things worse was by announcing that Yasuko was pregnant with Inko’s baby. Although… nah… it’d never work. Where would they get enough burlap?

Also… holy crap, that looks painful.

Final thoughts at the bottom.

Final Thoughts:

ToraDora really excelled at the first 1/2 of stories. It introduced likeable characters who were long on charm and confident in their interactions. Unfortunately, it was by and large terrible at leveraging that into decent stories. It hit its peak around the beach episodes, and after that everything got drowned in a sea of angst. All the charm and confidence was replaced by sad girls (and yes, I’m including Kitamura as a girl) being sad. Some characters didn’t even have a particular story or even resolution attached to them. Ami just did some freeform goth poetry at Ryuuji for a bit and that was the end of that.

Even that could have been forgiveable if they hadn’t flubbed the big moment. The confession/first kiss/balcony scene is the big payoff, the final solution, the money shot of a romantic story. It is supposed to be when all those pent up feelings that they’ve gently attempted to stroke and caress out of you for the past 20 episodes well up and then burst out in a sticky blubbering emotional wetness all over a very poorly conceived metaphor. Instead, it was distracted by a subplot created and brought to its conclusion over less than the length of a single episode and destroyed even further by skipping the pink hearts, soft music, and tender looks for a business-like proposal devoid of even the ugliest cherub tooting a bent horn. The sudden understated marriage is practicually a standard joke in comedies, not as the big romantic moment.

So where does that leave us? Production was rather haphazard throughout, although the music (aside from Silky Heart) was consistently good, the ending was rushed and rather painful, and naked Kitamura flopping onto Ryuuji is probably the lasting image I’ll have of the final episode. Shame on you all for doubting the proper Kitamura ending… AT ANY COST. If they had managed to keep the charm of the first half of the series, then this would have turned out so much better. Unfortunately, every character became an introvert and lost all that confidence that made them fun to watch in the first place, and all we got for it was… well… a half naked Kitamura. Not something you want to take to the bank, even in Amsterdam. It all depends on whether or not you believe that the inertia of the first half is enough to outweigh the endless angst and hamhanded writing of the second. C’est la vie.

Posted in ToraDora | 34 Comments »

34 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Chen says:

    Excellent.

  • Fhal says:

    I think it was a great series, regardless. It’s just a shame that it didn’t live it up to the original material they’ve got.

  • Son Gohan says:

    It seems that you only enjoyed the comedic part of Toradora and disliked the drama completely. I cannot agree with you when you say that the show went down after the beach episodes.
    Actually it was then that the real story began. There was some much needed character development and the shedding of the masks that these guys were constantly wearing.
    I concede that the last couple of episodes felt rushed due to the time constraints but overall I feel that Toradora always remained above average if not excellent.

  • Lollerman says:

    The issue I have with romantic comedies is that the second the comedy stops, it all starts to feel either too heavy or too contrived. Even though the Ryuuji Vs Taiga connection was the only one that could have worked, I still think that it would have been far more interesting if they had gone School Rumble style, and allowed the characters around Ryuuji and Taiga to grow some more. Still, for what it’s worth, most people had fun most of the time, and that’s all that matters, right?

    Right.

  • sage says:

    Yasuko is love.

    Taiga made mHNNNNNNGGGGG!

  • Ray P. says:

    So glad I dropped this back around episode 10 or so.

    Aroduc, watching bad shows so we don’t have to~

  • sheryl says:

    Beautiful story excellent ending great series.

  • Loals says:

    So… Taiga ending, eh? While it was painfully obvious that they would go down this route, I still believed in them. I still believed that someone would restore his sanity and stop this situation (or should I say, MADNESS?!).

    How foolish of me.

    So, that makes 3 Kugi (fail)tsunderes that win the harem championship. The appeal is beyond me.

  • Rawr says:

    Well, from what you pointed out, I think what the series suffered from was pacing. Seeing as the last two eps were the entirety of volume 9 and 10 respectively, they must have done an incredible fucking cut and paste job. See how that works? It only feels haphazard, contrived, and convoluted because it was stressed in pacing to begin with. That said, for me personally, I found it to be an enjoyable ride all around, even if I could have done without the useless angsting personally. Still, this is a love comedy/high school drama, so angst is entirely applicable in these types of show, and should have been expected.

    The series as a whole has been pretty gratifying for me. I for one was a RyuujixTaiga shipper, so I was actually happy to see the development, and the kiss scene did make me feel all warm and bubbly. What sort of made me awestruck was Taiga’s change in character, or rather her true character. This is one of the rare series that gave character actual character development.

    Imo, Taiga is one of the best tsunderes I’ve seen in a long time, so god knows how people still hated her by the end. Most tsunderes lose their initial charm after a while, but Taiga actually gained more charm by the end. It’s amazing how that works. I actually feel sorry for people who skipped this series with their initial impression of Taiga’s character, or people who continued on blind and misplaced faith that she wouldn’t be the one he ended up with. She changes quite a lot for the better imo, it’s sort of frustrating to see people still hate on her character just because they didn’t get the coupling they wanted. If they had just stopped for a moment and realize who the leads are and saw how they fitted together, they might actually have enjoyed that end.

    On another note, I don’t see why some people consider it a bad end. Seeing as neither Ami or Minori was actually interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with Ryuuji, this is ultimately the good end, and probably the best of the three. So haters, be gone imo.

    Well, in its entirety, Toradora, imo was one of the better animes I’ve seen as a whole in this godforsaken genre. Peresonally, I liked the ending, seeing as I was supporting that coupling from the very start as they were my two favorite characters. I’d give this best lovecom of the year just because the only other lovecom that could have possible received this was clannad, which honestly, despite its length sort of butchered it the relationship of the main couple early on due to lack of emphasis on the relationship itself.

  • Ryan A says:

    Sure I kinda wish they did things differently, notably with Kitamura’s seemingly never ending story and episode 24 seemed to come out of left-field (and subsequently vanish after the first 5 minutes of 25), but in the end it was just fine. Not the greatest thing in the world, but the production was usually above acceptable for me, likable characters, good development of Ami and Minori, Ryuuji wasn’t a typical idiot harem lead, and the Taiga X Ryuuji outcome, no matter how corny that kiss scene was, worked well.

    Yasuko was f’ing adorable.

  • Haesslich says:

    Damn it… why does Ya-chan have to be that cute, and why’d they dress Taiga up in a Shana-like outfit? I’m pretty certain that’d be J.C. Staff writing in that outfit, given they had an outline (if that) from the author before the last volume of the novel was written.

  • […] Forget the haters; I loved the ending. So, I’m assuming at this point that the anime ended similarly to the way […]

  • Yue says:

    Kampai! here’s to Toradora! [drinks hot milk cocoa with oats] I guess it will be some while until be get another engaging series of this caliber. Thanks Arudoc for handling this series. ^o^

  • GreenStains says:

    Might have been better if they did a better job with the pacing. Some eps were unreasonably really fast. Still, it’s a good series.

  • manaka_junpei says:

    OMG!!! Taiga is Transfer to another school without saying she loves Ryuuji

  • Anonymous says:

    You nailed my thoughts exactly. I joined the bandwagon because it was a fairly enjoyable light-hearted comedy. Then midway through the season every character lost what made them appealing and just flailed around meaninglessly in the sea of angst that the plot turned into. We had the Kitamura crying over the president girl, and then right after that problem gets solved, we get Minorin angsting over Ryuji…

    I dont even know why so many people are such adamant fans about Toradora. I was a fan too once, but just because I was a fan doesn’t mean I can make excuses for anything the show does. The second half was horrible and the conclusion was even worse, there are no excuses for that.

  • Nyapuripuri says:

    The first half was annoying in my opinion. Sure it was funny and developed your liking for a character but it felt too cookie cutter, which is why I stopped watching at first. Then picked it up again when i caught up with all my manga (unrelated to Toradora). It turned out to be be still funny but have an outstanding craving for more feel to it for the second half. Although I do agree last two episode were really rushed(like most animes that end in there 20s) but it still left me quite satisfied with the series. Not spectacular… but satisfied.

  • Ex14 says:

    I think the whole prob with toradora is as what an anon had said, the pacing.

    If the series had been slightly longer, The ending and previous ep wouldn’t be soo rushed.

    Still it is one of the better anime i watched so far.

    Now there would be no more toradora to keep me happy/busy.

  • TJ says:

    23 (well maybe 22) episodes to build up a great story only to be toppled by episode 24. Yeah I agree with the rest there was a pacing problem. The finale was satisfactory as at least the characters came back to their senses, but no real payoff at the end as Aroduc had said.

    At least we have a MinorixAmi ending lol.

  • Irie says:

    I actually enjoyed the ending. The way they handled family relationships felt heartwarming. I think the series may have lost some focus and the relationship between taiga and ryuuji became secondary. This was a series that focused on emotional growth of the individual characters and not their pairings. Every single major character commented on a personal realization. It even included the bird!

  • Luj says:

    The light novel version truly has a lot of internal thinking going on which rationalizes a whole lot of the action. The anime has less than 1% of these monologues remaining, which is why most events seem out of whack. I suppose it is a result of the pacing problem.

    Also, in the novel ending, Taiga was gone for only two months then she rejoined everybody in the same school in the 3rd year and she stays in the same town and then happy ending. I have no idea why the anime version thinks it should skip ahead to graduation and make Taiga transfer out.

    re: Rawr

    About people disliking Taiga and the coupling … I think it’s the other way around. IMO it starts by them not liking Taiga’s personality in the first place (even AFTER she changed) which is why they prefer another coupling. It’s not that they prefer another coupling and so hate Taiga for being “the one”.

    Also I disagree about Minori and Ami being uninterested in pursuing romantic interest with Ryuuji. However, Ryuuji leaves so little opening and does not react to any hint whatsoever. Ami knows from the beginning that Ryuuji likes Minori. Minori then knows from the middle that Taiga likes Ryuuji. The fact that they’re always together doesn’t help.

    As for me, I don’t have a problem with this ending, but the story didn’t rationalize itself sufficiently. Also it’s not Taiga that I hate. I hate Ryuuji. How could he not see anything in Ami?? >_<

  • Jon says:

    yo dude! on point review. it’s like at some point you knew exactly how every episode would go: each character explains her insecurities to the others, then there’s violent face-slapping outburst, then each character explains his insecurities again. this happened following kitamura’s confession, in the snow episode, and in the final. the only thing pukier than kawashima’s nihilism was kushieda’s waxing philosophical. just say what you mean!!!

  • Tal says:

    Extremely good series. There aren’t many series where i can rewatch random episodes from time to time and enjoy them.

    Didn’t even feel rushed as some pointed out (maybe cause i didn’t read the original material), instead i liked the pacing which was, quite different from “ordinary” romatic comedies, efficient and believable. A refreshing lack of usual, predictable mishaps which throw the relationships back again and again to drag out the show.

  • Chaos says:

    I did not notice many problems with pacing. While I think that 24 would’ve been a better ending overall, 25 still gives Toradora better (and more satisfactory, sans shippers) closure than to most works out there, animated or not.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pretty much feel the same way. I picked up Toradora because the first half was genuinely funny with likable characters. By now I am so goddamn tired of tsundere characters, but they did Taiga well, so that was a huge plus too. But then it nosedived into this angst ridden tween drama portion, and honestly the only reason I finished the series was because I cannot stand to leave shows I have watched midway through.

    I don’t know, maybe all the tsundere ends have left me incredibly jaded. They became very close friends halfway through, why is it such a bad thing for them not to continue that to the end of the series? It just seemed like the Taiga end was forced onto the viewer, rather than making it seem like a natural progression. Perhaps the light novel makes it more obvious.

  • […] Seiha odió el final de Toradora! con toda su alma, igual no lo culpo… opinaría más al respecto pero no quiero spoilear a […]

  • zero says:

    first off, i was ruujiXami, and although she got so little screen time (and she didnt even make an attempt to steal him), I am still ok with ruujiXtaiga. I wish they would have put more into her though.

    Secondly I have to completly disagree with your assessment of Toradora. I came off of Itazura na Kiss being the best RomCom I had seen and this one blew me up. Not only did the characters have a surface personality, but they had depth and something deeper, hinted at at 1st, but then exposed later.

    Yes the inko resolution was rushed, but if they just jumped to the part where taiga was like ‘your son got hit by a car and hes gonna die, come to…’ moms running im sorry.

    Besides that it seams like you didnt get a lot of the romance stuff, and to be honest, the scene in the bedroom at night gave me nastalsia b/c almost the exact same thing happened to me. So its not like its just some ‘lets show this so the dumber viewers can get it’, it was there 1st kiss, every girl wants to get married, even taiga (after she asks for ruuji to immitate a mariage) says she didnt think she would. So acting it out was like a scary step down a dream come true path. Also she could just have been trying to find an easy way to get ruuji to kiss her (b/c hes the pansy and she owns him). Plus fans would have been pissed if they never kissed (i mean they didnt even kiss in the end, unless you count that head to face contact as a kiss).

    All in all besides being too cynical or over simplifying the situation instead of looking at it for what it was, it was the perfect ending (putting fruits basket, Special A, Ouran High School Host Club, Ichigo 100%, etc to shame).

  • Abby Nipp says:

    You hater! Toradora was a very good series, and I think i just kept reading your blog because you got so much images that I can see before the raw. but, well, at least it ends and you could not still blame at it.

  • […] actually enjoyed the endings for ToraDora! (Aye: Totali and Kurogane | Somewhat dissenting opinion: Aroduc) and the fourth season of MariMite and, what’s more, found myself cheering on KugiRie charas […]

  • Arbitrary says:

    I agree, I find that he totally missed the whole story behind Toradora. If you take the time to read the novel you’ll see that there’s much more character development, especially for Ami, which makes the series much better. After reading most of the novel, I don’t believe that Toradoa was meant for those people who are simply looking for comedic relief in an anime.

    This was certainly one of the best comedy/romance animes I’ve seen. The plot was great and in addition to that the characters’ personalities and interactions were done really well.

    I suppose its just a matter of a difference of opinion.

  • Manji88 says:

    I liked the series a lot…until Taiga walked away from Ryuuji for a year, with no contact, so she could build a relationship with her so-called family.
    Suspension of disbelief only goes so far.

  • Tremere says:

    I have noticed something about you Aroduc.

    Even when you express cynicism or hatred for some shows, the fact that it is featured on Tenka Seiha is a reason for me to watch and enjoy it, especially when you bother to cover the entire series.

    I really enjoy Toradora! And I will buy the light novels to get a better picture.

  • Anonymous2 says:

    I agree with Anonymous that posted on March 27, 2009 at 8:14 pm. Ryuuji and Taiga falling in love was completely forced and contrived. I can see Taiga falling in love with him but Ryuuji falling in love with her? Come on. He was practically forced to after he was rejected by Minori (and her reason to reject was pretty stupid, she just wanted him to be with Taiga even though she had feelings for him too). Throughout the majority of the show Ryuuji and Taiga came off as just close friends who really cared about each other and took care of each other and there was no romance or sexual tension between them at all. So the resulting romance between them was ridiculous.

    I guess my point is they could have done a better job to get to that result. IMO they screwed up.

  • Maruku says:

    Matter of difference in opinion or not, a certain amount of maturity, experience, and realism is needed to thoroughly enjoy this series. For me, it was kind of scary how easily and accurately the makers of ToraDora depict your typical teenage high school problems. Only, they went on to show that how terrible the side-effects could be, with good things going on in the amidst of things. I found this series quite the series to analyze. The deeper meanings are not that deep (as in it’s relativity easy to find and understand), and they really hit home. At least with me.