Toradora – 24: a good anime

This was the episode that confirmed Toradora’s inclusion within the list of good anime. That’s both a good and a bad thing, because, at least for me, it could no longer be great; however, it still remains a good series.

This scene was poignant.

This scene was poignant.

Episodes of confession are, undoubtedly, among the most climactic and cathartic episodes in great anime. I quite fondly recall, even three years after, the sixth episode of Honey and Clover where Yamada confessed to Mayama in her desperation and drunken stupor, to which Mayama can tastefully but fruitlessly reply to with but whispers of recognition. The final episode of the series, which was the culmination of Takemoto’s bike journey to discover himself, was capped by his confession to Hagu. It wasn’t accepted: but it was recognized, and all of his journey without to find himself within was finally completed with that final scene. It is only with the best and the great that scenes of confession are both so epiphanic and heartwarming, something I didn’t find with this episode.

Don’t get me wrong: it was a good episode. But it was far from great. While I was grateful that Minori’s hypocrisy was finally resolved, I really didn’t see her reasons to Ryuuji as that convincing: my friend, which I consulted (but was not spoiled by) also shared the same feelings regarding the episode. At least for me, it seemed too sudden and apocryphal, so it didn’t really sweep me off my feet. I appreciated Minori’s sacrifice: it was seen that she was heavily affected by Ryuuji and really did like him quite a lot. Somehow, however, I also felt that it wouldn’t have been like that if Minori actually faced the problem in the first place. I loved how they subtly showed Minori’s feelings for Ryuuji. When she goaded him to pursue Taiga she hit his mouth. After he was gone she kissed it: it was a poignant scene, and probably the most poignant one in the episode. She would probably love having a romance, but she has other priorities; an indirect kiss must do.

I think that the inherent problem of the episode was that it bit off a lot more than it could chew. While it would have sufficed as an episode dealing with them struggling with their feelings until the penultimate moment, it had to deal with their family affairs. Ultimately, it’s become cluttered and unfocused. I loved the scenes with Minori; I loved how Ami made Ryuuji seriously confess that he loved Taiga; but there was just much noise that it detracted from me calling the series great.

Toradora, at least in its first twenty episodes, was a show consistently amazing. It was a show I always looked forward to, a show I always waited upon. I still have that feeling. However, I also have that feeling that it has simply run out of steam, or simply trying to compress too much into too little. Honey and Clover also had that: at first, I didn’t know where Takemoto’s bike journey led to. However, it sacrificed a few middling moments in the middle of the series to build up a most wonderful conclusion: Takemoto’s confession to Hagu was him finally gaining the courage (through what he learned in the bike ride towards himself) to realize that rejection is not the end of the world. The ending was a beautiful explosion of fireworks, both literally and figuratively.

Toradora sacrificed this in its closing episodes. It’s still a good series, but not one I could call great anymore. And before anyone says otherwise, I still love the show. 🙂

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23 Responses to “Toradora – 24: a good anime”

  1. Third turd from the durr Says:

    Toradora sucks, I’ve been saying this since ep 13 aka the most forced cheesies anime episode of ALL TIMES

  2. asd Says:

    Great read. I agree with you on most points.

  3. lord_jagganath Says:

    er… hello…. it aint over till the fat lady sings…..

  4. anime|otaku » Blog Archive » Toradora - 24: a good anime | GIXED Media Says:

    […] Go here to see the original: anime|otaku » Blog Archive » Toradora – 24: a good anime […]

  5. Dü3x Says:

    @lord_jagganath

    Does even fat people exist in anime?
    Or even harder: A singing fat woman.

  6. Jarmel Says:

    I think you’re being a little harsh on this. Also it seems the point in both the shows are radically different(I’ve never seen Honey and Clover so this is conjecture) as one focuses on interdevelopment with romantic aspects and Toradora focuses on the idea of family and friendship with romantic aspects. I think this is closer probably to Clannad where Tomoya did the proposal to Nagisa as he was trying to create a family of his own and only after a family disaster did he realize how important the concept of family is. I think Ryuuji’s will develop alot in the last episode and probably come to his own conclusion as the later part of this episode was really setup for the part with his mom. This show has focused on the idea of running away both physically and emotionally and I hope that it gives some conclusion to that aspect(as I believe and hope the romantic part has been dealt with) as well as the family bit.

    In regards to the pacing it probably should have been split into two episodes but I understand as JC Staff pretty much had to cram the final novel into the last two(maybe three) episodes.

    The light novels have to be godly though since it probably delves into Ryuuji’s thoughts and feelings(which probably due to the medium and possibly time constraints) as the anime hasn’t been able to fully go into. Alot of this show is internal feelings and monologues (such as the intervention part in the last episode or just Ami in general) and the anime has had some problems expressing this visually but has done an admirable job in trying.

  7. defectivequeen Says:

    Well of course the novel portrayed this part better. As you said, everything was a little too rushed but still enjoyable.
    Minori’s indirect kiss was malinconic, yet really mature…I absolutely loved that part.
    It’s definitely a good anime and I’m waiting eagerly for the last episode.

  8. Joe Jacobs Says:

    I’m glad that you share the same feelings. To be frank, I was both frustrated and relieved with this episode.

    What was a relief is that the episode confirmed to me that I did ultimately like Ami, Minori and Kitamura much more than either Ryuuji or Taiga. Taiga was great at first, but as of right now, I don’t mind myself sympathizing. Minori is awesome and her breakdown scene was great. But the true highlight of the episode for me when Ami made Ryuuji say that he loved Taiga. Ami once again proves she is the best of the three, and I’m actually at the point where I don’t think Ryuuji even deserves her. The only thing I wish is that Kitamura got more development.

    Just as you said, Toradora is a show I’ve been waiting on eagerly for the last 15 weeks or so. The first few episodes were decent, then it really grabbed me. This is really the first time I was genuinely disappointed in the outcome. The whole “Let’s get married thing” is ridiculous and when Ryuuji introduced Taiga as his “wife” I cringed on the inside. I don’t see it going through, and if it does, it will definitely knock the show into the good category. But I so want it to be great.

    I see it being an open ending. Don’t know why, but thats my prediction.

  9. TJ Says:

    This episode just knocked ToraDora! down a few notches in my opinion. I agree it’s still a good series, but no longer great.

    Minori was quite good in this episode, being able to bow out gracefully a show some real feelings for once. I guess Minori and Ami can become new BFFs now that Ryuji and Taiga dumped them for each other.

  10. Zing Freelancer Says:

    Episode 24…
    What?
    Hold on a second…
    What?
    Wait a second…
    What?
    Just a second…
    What?
    (after I have managed to gather all of my brain together again)
    Seriously…
    What just happened?

    That episode just left me confused and empty.

  11. Reactwhat Says:

    I found the highs of toradora to be the way it developed their relationship initially. The sleepless nights when hes making the pads for her swimming suit / The time they were together at amis villa and without a doubt when he goes to keep her company in a bearsuit.

    Their confession was needed but in a way it did feel rather sudden and forced – that being said theres still an episode left which could be a good opportunity for them to be grounded a bit with their feelings.

    This still ranks up there highly with the likes of Kare Kano and Honey and Clover for me though, it manages to capture the mood and feelings so well at times, even if it can go off and be a little overdramatic too.

  12. TomTom Says:

    Early on I preferred Minori and Ami over Taiga, but thanks to the pretty good build-up I now have hard time deciding which one of the three is my favorite, actually, I can’t.

    As for the episode, I thought it was good overall, although the animation quality seemed to have reached a new low. Ami and Minori’s interaction was very enjoyable to watch.

  13. masamune111 Says:

    I actually enjoyed the episode. I had to chuckle when Ryuuji proposed, but by the end of the episode, I couldn’t find it ridiculous anymore. Young people tend to get over-idealistic, and in their desperation may end up doing things the more mature of society see as “childish”, such as attempting to elope.

    Another reason why I couldn’t find it ridiculous is because when Ryuuji found out about Yasuko, Herealizes the childishness of his own actions. Instead of disappearing from the face of the earth, he introduces himself to his grandfather. He still wants to marry Taiga, but he’s realized that perhaps running away to do it isn’t the best way to do it (as can be seen from the preview, where he appears to be back in school). Like Jarmel said, this is where Toradora is similar to Clannad. Tomoya finally faced his problems as an adult after a family disaster, and I believe Ryuuji will to.

    Or perhaps I didn’t find his proposal ridiculous because even at 19, I’m already dreaming of marrying the girl I love. I just had to cheer him on. XD

    I’m only at the 2nd novel, so I have no way to know if this episode did the novel justice. But if the novel truly is “godly”, then that would explain why so many were disappointed (provided they read the novel first).

  14. leinad Says:

    well, I agree with the part that says that this episode put too much in a little time.
    maybe this could have been better if they made all these into 2 or 3 episodes. I don’t know what could they lose if they did that way. although that way could make the series longer than planned people will still love it and it would have been great. OMG there were not even a kiss between taiga and ryuuji , while in the novel where 2 on the bridge. this was a little disappointed yet I loved the episode. the part were minorin kissed the hand that touched ryuuji lips was emotional.

  15. cl4 Says:

    I really don’t want to say anything about this episode until I see the final one. I could say that it was disappointing but I still have hopes that the last episode makes it all fit together even more. The show seems to have a way of doing that at times; lots of little events don’t make sense for a few more episodes…not that these were exactly little events.

    On a different note…are you all reading the novels in Japanese or is there some actual full translation for all the novels. I’ve looked into reading them but I’m not overly excited about starting if I can’t finish it in that format.

  16. Bocom Says:

    cl4: Baka-Tsuki are translating the novels on their wiki. They haven’t translated all of them yet though.

    On the episode, too much clamped in such a short time. The final episode will surely be fun to watch.

  17. Ryan A Says:

    Ultimately, it’s become cluttered and unfocused.

    Yea, the family stuff sort of was left-field. Also, I’m not sure theres much out there that can compare with Takemoto’s journey, but more so his resolve and return… and his confession… it was truly like watching a real person live, grow, mature… you feel it… as a person…. Toradora isn’t that (@e24), it’s in it’s own environment and doesn’t transcend to “our” reality, the way H+C does.

    Still, its something special and enjoyable.

  18. Hurrdurr Says:

    FORCED DRAMA

  19. Rankao Says:

    Yeah… It was just all… yeah…

  20. Turambar Says:

    Will definitely agree that ep24 was bursting at the seems with far too much data for just 24 minutes. And with the ending in sight, I can only fear that the ending might not resolve everything in a fully satisfactory manner (satisfactory to my specific tastes of course).

    I don’t stand with those that found the inserted family plot line to be completely out of left field. Issues with Ryuji’s and his Yasuko’s views on his future has been slowly building over the past few episodes, so inserting it did not feel very alien to me. However, it’s certainly a guilty factor of all over the place nature of the episode.

    All said and done though, it’s been a good ride, and a pity that it will be ending soon.

  21. Michael Says:

    I guess there’s the next episode :/

  22. Dean Says:

    Episode 24 make me sad.

  23. Z Says:

    HC is superb Michael! My heart ached when I watched Yamada cry. I don’t understand why you watch stupid shows like Toradora. It’s so overrated. I always witness that kind of love story everyday. What’s new?

    I want to do what Takemoto did! Bike… Get lost… Live a life where time does not exist…

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