Friday, 12 December 2008

Toradora! - Episode 11

As I've mentioned plenty of times before, no school-based anime series is complete without the ubiquitous coverage of the culture festival, and so eleven episode in Toradora! gets its own crack at said festival. But, it seems that the male quotient of the class are trying to game the results of the vote for what the class should do...

At least, that was the general idea, except Haruta's brains in coming up with the scheme didn't seem to last quite long enough to actually see the idea through to the end, and before the class knows it he's picked out a completely random suggestion which is - Pro-wrestling. I wonder who came up with that one... Mind you, the whole event is looking set to be a traumatic one for Aisaka Taiga, who has somehow been dumped into the role of class representative for the festival's beauty contest by Ami, and is also set to have a starring role as the devil incarnate in said wrestling event.

Then again, what goes on at the culture festival is the least of Taiga's worries as she finds her allowance cut off by her father, who is desperately trying to get hold of her so he can talk to her. Evasive as ever at her stubborn best, she sends Ryuuji out to meet him instead, and once he learns what Taiga's father wants from her there are frought and emotional moments all round.

With all of this going on, the overall atmosphere of this particular episode of Toradora! is a little more subdued than much of what we've seen so far - Even Minori isn't quite her usual self, particularly around Ryuuji (and her desperate desire for a haunted house culture festival event doesn't help much either), and both Taiga and Ryuuji are even more irritable and over-bearing than usual respectively. Despite being largely less fun than prior instalments, this series remains a compelling viewing experience now we're so closely linked in various ways to all of the main characters, allowing it to pull off this general change of pace without feeling overly disruptive, and also shaking things up in a way that will surely see the series (and more to the point the flow of Ryuuji and Aisaka's relationship) develop and change a little over the next few episodes. As usual with this show, next week just can't come soon enough.

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