Friday, 3 October 2008

Toradora! - Episode 1

Sometimes the oldest sayings are the best, and "you can't judge a book by its cover" is one of those sayings that you'll likely never stop hearing. This particular little pearl of wisdom is a perfect introduction to the two main characters of Toradora! On the one hand you have Ryuji Takasu, a pretty nice guy with a bit of an OCD about cleanliness who gets treated like a delinquent by almost everyone around him simply on account of his facial structure, which he's inherited from what appears to be some kind of gangster father. Then on the other you have Taiga Aisaka, a short girl who makes up for her lack of stature with a big bundle of aggressive attitude, which has succeeded in her earning the nickname "Palmtop Tiger" (which I have to say is a cool nickname by any standards).

With their second year of school beginning, these two opposites get lumbered in the same class, and almost immediately come to blows, but after a misunderstanding regarding whose school bag belongs to who, the two of them end up with a rather unlikely truce and an equally odd arrangement to match.

Yes, Toradora! is looking right off the bat to be a kind of typical, opposites attract high school series, but as opening episodes go it was a pretty decent affair, setting the scene quite nicely and giving us just enough of a glimpse of Taiga's soft centre to find her oddly likeable. If you're thinking that Taiga reminds you of Shakugan no Shana's heroine, then you won't be surprised to hear that they share the same voice actor, and a very similar attitude to match, which probably gives us some more hints as to what's to come during this series.

Anyway, to put my initial thoughts down in writing, I really rather liked this episode - It could well turn into just another generic anime as the series goes on, but from this opening instalment it has at least given us a couple of strong characters and what already feels like a rather heart-warming little story with the potential to raise some smiles from a comedy angle.

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