Follow the relationship between Ryuji and Taiga “Toradora”

Toradora follows the lives of Ryuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka in their second year of secondary school, (or the equivalent of high school in the US). Both Ryuji and Taiga are awkward around others, though for different reasons. Ryuji intimidates his peers with his mean looking face and height, while Taiga is often rude or aggressive to others. In fact, upon their first meeting, Taiga and Ryuji bump into each other, causing Taiga to lash out physically at Ryuji.

However, that does not define their relationship as they become closer after getting to know each other and seeing past their first impressions. The audience is able to see clearly that Ryuji, despite his looks, is in reality a gentle and kind soul, and behind Taiga’s usual bluster is a shy and thoughtful soul. 

Toradora is 1 season with 25 episodes and based off of a light novel with 10 volumes. The anime can be found on Netflix, and it faithfully follows the light novel story. It carries genres such as slice of life, as it depicts everyday life for the two, as well as the genre of romcom. Overall, it is a lighthearted anime following the development of Ryuji and Taiga. However, that does not mean everything is lighthearted. There are many instances of angst and other emotional outbursts. It would not be uncommon for someone to shed a tear a few episodes after dying of laughter.

One of the best aspects of this anime is having 25 episodes to watch Ryuji and Taiga grow closer together. The anime is, afterall, named after them. Toradora means “tiger dragon,” and that is Ryujia and Taiga’s names put together. Ryuji’s name means dragon and Taiga’s name is essentially tiger in pronunciation. The two initially form an alliance to help each other get with their crush, but as the story goes on, their dynamic shifts. Both characters find comfort in spending time with each other and they often tell each other things that they have not told others. Ryuji and Taiga both involve themselves with each others’ personal lives, a sign of closeness.

I would recommend this anime to people who enjoy romcoms, or stories about young people growing up. It is a funny anime, and I found myself laughing quite often. There is the element of high school, and kids just trying their best to enjoy life. Both Ryuji and Taiga grow more mature throughout the span of the anime and have to make decisions regarding their futures. It is a good anime for people not too exposed to anime to watch, but also can be enjoyable to veteran anime watchers. And it is not just Taiga and Ryuji that get screen time. Toradora follows their friends as well as they also go through their lives.

The characters within Toradora are also complex, each with multiple faces that they pick and choose when to show as well as different desires. As the episodes go on, you can begin to see that not everyone truly wants what they initially said. It takes a while for the group of friends to figure each other out and this makes the viewer also have to look deeper than the surface. If any of these things appealed to you, add Toradora to your watchlist, or stream it now!

Photos by author


Writer: Timothy Jung