The title Toradora comes from the names of the two main characters Taiga Aisaka and Ryūji Takasu. Taiga’s name is derived from the native Japanese word tora, literally “tiger” in English language. The other part of the name Toradora is related to ryū which means dragon, and is synonymous with doragon which corresponds to the English word dragon, transcribed into Japanese. For this reason, the title Toradora encloses the two souls of the main characters which are bounded together by the supernatural force of love.
Let’s focus on the relatonship we have on Toradora (trailer here), a Japanese light novel series conceived by Yuyuko Takemiya, with illustrations by Yasu. The anime adaptation is composed by 25-episode produced by J.C.Staff aired between October 2008 and March 2009 on TV Tokyo.
Taiga Aisaka relationship with Ryuji Takasu in Toradora.
For most of the show their relationship is actually rather unhealthy, as Ami points out a number of times during the episodes. Ryuuji does a lot of things for Aisaka, that she should be doing for herself. Their relationship is more of a father/daughter relationship than one of equals as Ami also says explicitly
Ryuuji forces imself into a “I have to take care of everything and everyone” mindset, one he got from his own home life. Later on the show, Taiga decides to demonstrate her independence from Ryuuji as a capable person of her own. For this reason she has to take care of herself, her home and family, despite the distance from Ryuuji can initially hurt both of them.
The scene after the end credits (watch it!), is a date between two new people. It’s one of mature, equal people who truly understand each other.
The role of Ami in Toradora’s characters development.
When Amy show off for the first time in Toradora she plays the perfectly behaved princess type exploiting her attractiveness to reach popularity. However, Ami Kawashima undercover a deep sense of loneliness originated from the fear that the other people reaction if only they knew her true personality.
When her mask falls apart, Ami reveals herself to be cynical and sarcastic. She’s an exceptional observer of others and can be bluntly honest to the point of rudeness. Ami Kawashima, in Toradora covers the role of narrator from inside (like in G. Verga novel’s Rosso Malpelo); she’s the eye of the audience from inside the story.
By sharply commenting Minori and Ryuuji’s actions she acts like an external point of view over the storyplot.
Ami Kawashima in Toradora
Ami’s sacrifice in Toradora ending.
Ami, together with Minori, undergoes an important effort at the end of Toradora. She has made a notable transformation from the selfish girl who was happy just to bask in the entire school’s adoration. In faxct, it may not be in a kindhearted, compassionate manner, but Ami watches over the others and repeatedly does what she feels is best for them, even pushing Ryuuji to grow comfortable with saying he’s in love with Taiga.
Is Ami an unfulfilled character in Toradora?
One may have the sensation that Ami Kawashima is a character that does not complete her maturation process. While Minori declares her intention to become a star athlete, Kitamura plans to study abroad in the United States and Taiga goes away for a year to mend the broken relationships with her family, Ami’s plans are not revealed at the end of the anime series.
Minori, Ami and Taiga in Toradora.
Ami and Minori relationship on Toradora.
Ami dislikes Minori for much of the series for putting on an always-happy act and not being honest with herself or others. Like Minori, Ami also makes sacrifices for her friends and lets go of her romantic feelings. Unlike Minori, Ami isn’t able to voice her feelings until the very end with the last talk with Ryuuji.
Ami and Ryujii, a deep love never told.
Ryuuji doesn’t worship her or give her any special treatment; instead, treating Ami like he would any other classmate, which makes her feel more comfortable opening up to him. Ami herself is well aware of and annoyed by Ryuuji’s denseness, but even so, she only ever drops hints about liking him rather than telling him in a straightforward manner.
Taiga Aisaka (left) and Minori Kushieda (right)
The apparent strength and happiness of Minori Kishieda in Toradora.
Minori, in many times during the show decides to go back to the status quo and put on her “genki” personality. She doesn’t want anything to change. She refuses to accept that things DO have to change. So she doesn’t want to get together with Ryuuji because it’ll risk their friendship with Taiga and she doesn’t want to let Taiga get with Ryuuji because, as it clearly shows at the end, she thinks that they’ll be taken away from her.
Ami Kishieda is dishonest and hypocritical with herself. She doesn’t want anyone to help her but she goes out of her way and puts in so much extra effort to help other people. The Christmas’ arch highlights these aspects of Minori. She blames herself for everything and refuses almost any help until Ryuuji fixes the star with her and tells her it’s “not for her sake”.
The apparent happiness of Minori Kushieda.
Minori’s false strength and ‘ghosts’.
At the end, Minori is able to defeat her deep weakenss. Her whole speech while she’s running through the hallway confirms that. She’s not running away anymore, she’s trying to run towards her problems to confront them and she straight up finally tells Taiga that she doesn’t need anyone’s help to make her own happiness; she’s confident she can do it herself.
She calls out Ryuuji when he tries to maintain the status quo; she gets really angry and flips out on him for lying to Taiga yet again. In order to move forward you have to accept that things are going to change whether you like it or not.
And obviously Minori isn’t nearly happy enough with herself to think she deserves to be in a relationship with Ryuuji. The constant references to the “ghost story” makes that clear. At first she says she doesn’t know if she wants to see them then she says that she shouldn’t see them then she admits that she’s seen one but it wasn’t the right time for her to. She has the talk with Ami while shouting down the hallway that she’s changed.
Taiga and Ryuuji, the perfect match of souls.
Taiga, the girl who behaves like a tiger suffers from a lack of confidence. In particular she’s insecure about how she looks. This is something that haunts her because she realizes she can’t fix it and when people point it out she ends up getting angry about it. Taiga constantly also runs away from and ignores her own feelings. She refuses to admit she ever needs help and only accepts it when it’s offered to her although she accepts it begrudgingly. She honestly believes during the Christmas arc that no one is ever going to want to stay by her side because she thinks Ryuuji is going to leave her for Minori. In that moment, emerges her true instinctive feeling for Ryuuji.
Aisaka Taiga, the insecure tiger girl of Toradora.
These things all point to Taiga being an extremely insecure person. Insecure about her appearance, about how to act around others and about what she wants. She tries to help her friends get together because she thinks it’s the right thing to do; she never even considers her own feelings on the matter in this way until she’s confronted by everyone. During Christmas we get more evidence of this; she wants everyone to have a good opinion of her despite how she’s acted in the past. And she’s terrified of being left alone.
Aisaka Taiga in Toradora.
Takasu Ryuuji and his father like approach on Toradora.
We early learn that Ryuuji cares too much about other people. Not for selfish reasons like Minori but he does so much for other people that he often ignores his own problems. When Ami constantly brings up the “playing house” scenario, Ryuuji brushes it off and focuses on other things. When Taiga confesses that she loves Ryuuji during the ski trip, he ignores it because he actually honestly thinks she wants to not be in love with him.
Takasu Ryuuji in Toradora.
Ryuuji incapability to receive help.
Ryuuji also tries to project his own family situation onto Taiga because he thinks it’s ideal. Takasu is a guy that is able to give everything to other people but incapable of receiving. For example, he doesn’t understand that his mother is trying her best to give him a good life and all he cares about is helping her, so he tries to run away to make it easier for her, since he’s convinced that he caused her problems. Only once he actually talks to her about it does he realize that sometimes it’s okay for other people to help you. He finally wises up to the whole thing and realizes exactly what love is and realized it was Taiga he loved.
The thing Ryuuji and Taiga talks about in Ep.1 of Toradora.
The “thing” is love. Only a person who can see it are the whole bunch of people wanted to have it. This concept is therefore recalled in the conversation between Kushieda and Ryuuji about the ghost and UFOs on the beach house. Kushieda says she wanted to see how ghost looks like. It might be referred to the love we have for those who surround us. In the case of Taiga and Ryuji, the whole time spent together as ‘friends’ and never realised that was, indeed, the love.
Toradora season 2021 relase date.
At the time of writing, Toradora does not expect to have a sequel. As the story was never meant for next season, don’t wait for season 2. Its complete on its own.Also, don’t forget to watch the real ending after the finishing song in the series.
However…. something is moving? Toradora 2 in winter 2021?
The possibility of getting a new season is quite less as of now because it has been almost a decade after the first season came out. There have been some speculations from time to time about a new season but there are no confirmations yet from the studios’ end. In fact, J.C. Staff Studio seems too busy with big upcoming projects. In fact, some rumours says that Netflix is considering a renewal of Toradora with a release of a season 2. Nowadays Toradora is still popular and the new story, setup and animation may be released at best in winter 2021.