Friday, 19 December 2008

Toradora! - Episode 12

With Taiga and her father finally making up at the end of the last episode, surely it's going to be a "happily ever after" story as far as her family is concerned from now on? At least, that's how Ryuuji sees the situation, but nobody else really seems to agree - Is he just being naive?

Certainly, Minori seems to think so, leading to some major tension and a full-blown row between the two, with both parties revealing a passion that we really haven't seen from either of them, and leaving them both refusing to speak to one another -which, of course, mortifies Ryuuji. However, it appears that he has an unlikely ally in Ami - Not the kind of girl to give you words of comfort, but seemingly happy to give him a push in the right direction and support him in her own unique way, which isn't something we would have expected from her even a couple of episodes ago.

Of course, all of this is played against the backdrop of the culture festival, and Taiga and Ryuuji's class' pro-Wrestling musical drama. If the first half of the episode was perhaps a little heavy compared to your average instalment of Toradora!, then the "wrestling drama" itself was hilarious, returning us to a more light-hearted place that remains as Taiga has a bit of a crepe crisis (Is it just me or is 2008 the year of crepes in anime?). Putting all of that to one side however, is Taiga's father really going to turn up to the cultural festival as promised, or was Minori right in her scathing opinion of him?

As per usual, I found myself absolutely engaged in and absorbed by this episode of Toradora!, from its more emotional first half through to the more largely comedic second. Indeed, the row between Minori and Ryuuji was especially well staged - I suppose it goes to show how much these characters have become ingrained in my consciousness when I found myself feeling uncomfortable at seeing the two arguing, and then upset at their falling out. This is where this series really shines, by bringing us a bunch of major characters that, while appearing almost stereotypical on the surface, all have a lot of depth and variety to their emotions, which makes every episode so fascinating to watch, particularly while each episode is building upon these changing emotions and the tensions and alterations they're causing to the relationships between characters. As I seem to be saying every week, I just can't get enough of this show.

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