ToraDora – 15: The beginning of the end, or the shafting of Ami?

Let’s make one thing clear first: I don’t read the novels of ToraDora, and I have no plans until the series is over. I don’t want my impressions on the wonderful anime series muddied by what I would have read in the novels: the anime is different from the novels, and that is simply that. Having said that, I wanted to know why people decried the recent episode, so I both did some questioning and some research (the answers that were given to me).

I don't want her to be shafted ...

I don't want her to be shafted ...

I’m fond of Ami. To be entirely honest, she’s the one among the three I root the most for. The episode, in and of itself, was a decent episode, but it wasn’t as stellar as the episodes before it. First, the humor wasn’t enough to offset the angst and the emotional baggage of the episode, so it seemed extraneous. They should have removed it in the first place or made things more humorous to offset the weight. Second, they took a lot from the development of Ami (which was primarily why people decried the episode).

The episode continues to show Ami as a girl both highly perceptive and subtle, but the focus was primarily on Yuusaku, Taiga and Ryuuji. I don’t have problems with that; what I have problems with is the feeling that there was a lot of wasted time with the episode. I simply felt some scenes could have been expanded (I liked the scene between Ryuuji and Minori), and some scenes cut, like an obsessive focus on the search for Yuusaku.

There was a lot more that the episode didn’t show about Ami’s side, however, and these were important points that would influence her development further.

Quoting Soul Assassin(please be wary of spoilers, and italics mine),

In Volume 6, after finishing her turn trying to strike the ball (which I don’t know whether she intentionally missed every single one of them or simply doesn’t know a thing about how to swing a baseball bat in a game) she went to sit down beside Ryuuji who was watching as Taiga goes to the pitch for the game.

Here we see a hint of jealousy as Ami was described as “getting even more bored” as Ryuuji compliments Taiga’s successful hit on the ball. Ami then tried to make Ryuuji follow her to get some drinks, all that while grabbing Ryuuji’s arm with both of hers. Simply said it’s how your girlfriend holds on to you at the arm which basically means only your other arm is free… oops too much details here, let’s go on to what’s next.

To Ami’s surprise Ryuuji didn’t reject her request at all, and she started to feel weird upon his response and asked Ryuuji whether he’s scheming anything. Ryuuji just said that he isn’t, because he is not Ami. Ami replies she never schemed anything and follows Ryuuji, standing up to go together with him while her arms are still locking Ryuuji’s while saying there’s something she wants to do.

Ami got a little bit too close to Ryuuji, the smell of her perfume gets to him and Ami teases him about that. She then calls out to Yuusaku saying that they (she and Ryuuji) are going to take a break. Taiga saw this (Ami holding on tight to Ryuuji’s arm) and was sort of – shocked, although Ryuuji tried to tell Taiga using some signals that it was to let her be alone with Yuusaku. Later when the two left to go to where they’re going, Ami turned back and happily gave a face (she stuck her tongue out) to Taiga. And Taiga’s shock ensues…

At the vending machine…

Ami joked about how they’re finally alone together (again, Ami? Do you remember much of your “alone together with Ryuuji” has been spoiled already!?) although Ryuuji shows little reaction to it, and simply replies that he knows how she is already and points out that she’s doing it for the fun of teasing Taiga before telling her to sit somewhere as he goes and buys the drinks for her. Ami then suddenly said that she’ll buy it herself and then made another “I’m bored” remark.

Noticing this, Ryuuji then thought of making Ami pay for all the teasings she’s done to him – during that instant, and starts off with teasing her that she can’t bear it if he were to be separated from her, and pretended to hug her from behind. Ami was shocked with that gesture, however, and was immediately teased again by Ryuuji with the words “You screamed! You screamed!”. Ami, putting up a response you’d normally expect from a girl being teased by a guy (mad, etc, puffing cheeks etc) immediately asked Ryuuji to buy her a drink instead.

She’s further teased when she asked from Ryuuji honeydew juice and Ryuuji remarked whether it’s all right for a model to drink such sugary drinks, to which Ami angrily responded yes and followed with a “Don’t stick your nose into other people’s business” remark.

Ryuuji asked whether it’s okay for him to apologize and then saying how he was only joking, just like how Ami is jokingly sticking to Ryuuji. Ami then says she’s not angry about that so this [sic]lead to him asking back what is it that makes her angry. She just replied “never mind” before saying there are things Ryuuji will not understand. The conversation seemed to end that way, but not when…

… Ryuuji asked her back whether she’s angry from all the events that led up to that time, such as frustration from work, Yuusaku’s attitude, and his teasing of her; and Ami replied it’s not that she’s upset with. Ryuuji then remarks that Ami is such of a woman too hard to be understood. She just coldly replied with, “If that person isn’t willing to make that kind of effort to understand me, then he has no right to become my other half. And……I’m worth the effort right?”

Ryuuji then said that she’s not the only one who’s hard for him to understand, and said something regarding Yuusaku, then asks whether what Yuusaku said was the truth, which made Ami go “Huh~~?” before replying with this:

“That’s—why—I—said—regardless of whether its true or not, Yuusaku is hoping that ‘someone’ would……never mind, I said that I wouldn’t get involved in this, so you don’t have to report such things to me. I feel stupid just by being together with Yuusaku.”

Then you heard it – the ZOMGTAIGAWONAPRIZE alarm from the baseball pitch, back to where Yuusaku and Taiga is. Basically, Ami is being interrupted again, [just like] after Minori’s scream during the Kawashima mansion arc.

... I think everyone wants to shaft her, though, including me.

... I think everyone wants to shaft her, though, including me.

That’s a lot of development lost (as it couldn’t be found in the episode). It leads me to wonder whether they gave a concession to Ami’s seiyuu and gave her the spotlight during ep14 because they were going to shaft her this early. I’m terribly, terribly hoping I’m wrong, but that’s a lot of development that’s tentatively erased by J.C. Staff, development that would at the very least lead the viewers to understanding Ami’s thoughts a little bit more.

I hope J.C. Staff will fix this in the next episode; most probably, however, the Taiga x Ryuuji ending has started its gears.

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9 Responses to “ToraDora – 15: The beginning of the end, or the shafting of Ami?”

  1. Son Gohan Says:

    Well, not every single scene from the novels can make it to the screen. These two were nice scenes that I would have loved to see animated, being an AmiRyuu fan myself, but I don’t think they add much to what we already know of Ami’s personality and feelings.
    As you said, Ami’s role was a bit expanded in episode 14 and a bit sacrificed in 15. This episode was focused on Kitamura, Ryuuji and Taiga, so I understand why they decided to cut some random Ami moments.
    I trust the scriptwriters of this anime, they proved that they know what they are doing until now. I am satisfied with the pace of the story.

  2. houkoholic Says:

    It really doesn’t add anything to her thoughts except for shippers hoping that Ami has romantic feelings for Ryuji because Ami is flirting with Ryuji again, and shippers are hopelessly clinging to the possibility of a Ami x Ryuji pairing, despite everyone with half a brain cell would know that it was always going to be TaigaXRyuji. Ami’s intentions are not entirely romantic, which are made quite clear in the latest novels, in fact these flirting she does actually muddles her true intentions and were designed to keep the readers guessing to make things interesting, but on hindsight are just really teasers.

  3. Ryan A Says:

    Yea, I was hoping for more on Ami, and I hope whatever was in the earlier episodes isn’t the end of her roll. She needs more fleshing in the current state of things, as does Minori (though she did express a bit about Ami).

    Wah, 15+16 would probably have been good to watch together.

  4. Lehq Says:

    I don’t about others, but I was actually quite happy with the way the anime was being adapted from the novel so far.

    The only scene which I found it a pity to not have been animated was the swimming ep where in the novel Taiga actually brought her sword along. But hey that didn’t really affect the main plot so I wasn’t really bothered.

    @Son Gohan
    “I trust the scriptwriters of this anime, they proved that they know what they are doing until now. I am satisfied with the pace of the story.”

    Totally agree with you there.

  5. cloner4000 Says:

    well yes, when you are a shipper of certain couple of coarse we would want those two to have as much screen time as possible. What’s wrong with that?

    Thanks for pointing out the obvious, but the whole reason Tora Dora is so popular is because of the complex relationship it presents.

    The novel again, its really all up to people interpretations. I’ve read up to the 6th and I believe Ami does like Ryuuji, now that’s my own interpretation.

  6. Michael Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with rooting for a girl you like in a given series. I think some series would like that. I have a basis for liking Ami, and I like her. Is there a problem?

  7. tangle Says:

    Maybe I’m missing something in the summary of those parts of the novels, but I feel like most of that characterization/relationship development has already taken place (it’s just been a while since it came up). But there was more Ami in 16 so that’s good…

  8. Michael Says:

    Yes, thankfully. Although it was still lacking for me. 🙂

  9. Shiro Says:

    Well, since I am the one who gave that spoiler there’s a reason why I root for Ami. Some people have beliefs and my belief is that Ami does like Ryuuji, in some way, and so my opinion that Ami does like Ryuuji; while not 100% true, some of it is.

    I must say that Ami’s character archetype… I have somehow seen it in my local TV shows and heck I am very annoyed with ’em. In live-action TV dramas to boot. But Ami is a better version from them, not because of Ami is a 2D character but because Ami has what they don’t: thinking and (possibly) caring about the people around them while the characters I’ve said I’ve seen before are just so stuck-up, self-centered and so uncaring that they antagonize other characters in a series – in a horrible way.

    … Face it, this is the way the original author goes, making every available significant chick in her series falling for the main guy just to serve more development towards the official ending, leaving the final couple satisfied while the others realize that they don’t have a chance and will have settle for it, as long as the guy’s happy. Like in a certain another series – 2 girls and a dude, both likes him and I personally root for the second girl, but the first girl wins anyway. Quite a disappointment but it was an interesting read nevertheless. Just… I do hope for every next read/watch/etc won’t be an “exciting, interesting disappointment.” All the hype for disappointment and yeah. I don’t consider myself as a shipper because I don’t go around saying “WHY THIS GIRL!? THE OTHER GIRL MUST WIN HIM!” but rather be satisfied with the end if it goes well.

    If “hoping/wishing for to happen” is even wrong to consider while following a series, then where’s the fun in following it anyway!? Don’t kill the fun, people. If it’s fun to some people then let they do it, while we continue with our “fun” for the series.

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