Toradora!'s story begins with the male protagonist Ryuuji Takasu who is frustrated at trying to look his best as he enters his second year of high school. Despite his gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent so he is utterly hopeless about his chances of getting a girlfriend anytime soon, and does not have many close friends either. After being greeted by his hungover mother in the morning, Ryuuji goes to school and is happy to find that he gets to be in the same class as his best friend Yuusuke Kitamura and crush Minori Kushieda. However, it is then that he unexpectedly knocks into "the school's most dangerous animal of the highest risk level"—Taiga Aisaka—who just happens to also be in his class, and is a good friend of Minori.
Taiga has a negative attitude towards others and will not hesitate to snap at people. After meeting Ryuuji, she takes an instant dislike of him. Taiga comes from a rich family, though she moved out to live on her own due to family issues, and by coincidence is now living in an apartment next door to Ryuuji. After Ryuuji discovers that Taiga has a crush on Yuusuke, and Taiga finds out about Ryuuji's affections towards Minori, Ryuuji suggests that they cooperate so they can win the object of their affections. Ryuuji says he will do anything to get closer to Minori, which Taiga exploits, making Ryuuji her personal servant, and getting him to do household chores like cooking and cleaning for her. Taiga spends a lot of her time over at his house, so much so that she could almost be considered a member of his family. Since Ryuuji spends a lot of time with Taiga, he is opened up to her world and to a side of her that most people do not see. The two also attempt to help each other in order to improve how people view them. Unknown to them, however, people they know from school start to become curious about their strange relationship together and rumors begin to spread about them.
The story is about a boy and girl who both want to become closer to their respective crushes. The boy, Ryuuji, likes the girl’s best friend. The girl, Taiga, likes Ryuuji’s best friend. Under a certain circumstance Ryuuji and Taiga form an alliance and help each other to achieve their respective goals.
The main protagonist is Ryuuji Takasu. In school, he’s feared by his scary looking face. Despite having a scary face, he loves to clean and cook. His love for cleaning is so great that he even carries cleaning materials in his school locker. In the story, he has the conflict of not being
able to control his life since his mother practically set up how she wants it to be. That’s supposed to be Ryuuji handling house chores and studying for school while the mom works. He wants to be more independent.
Taiga Aisaka is cute and small, but she’s actually a negative, bad-mouthed, violent girl. She’s actually a strong character who can go take on an opposing person head on; except for her crush…One of her features that aren’t well known is that she’s very clumsy. Her biggest conflict in the story is running away from problems she can’t handle. She acts on emotions and becomes a hard-to-fix mess.
Minori Kushieda is Taiga’s best friend and the girl whom Ryuuji likes. She’s like yang in the yin and yang relationship with Taiga as she’s a very positive person. She’s the type of person to go all out to make other people happy. She’s liked by Ryuuji because she appears to be bright like the sun and is constantly moving forward.
Yuusaku Kitamura is Ryuuji’s best friend and the boy whom Taiga likes. His character is that of a strong and charismatic leader. He’s somewhat similar to Minori to having such traits as having a positive attitude and making others happy.
Ami Kawashima really loves being in the spotlight and puts on a personality that will make those around her like her (with the exception of a few who can see right through her). She’s good at using people to her advantage, as well as figuring out what the other person’s intentions are.
The art is pretty good. The anime's art is better, but the art of the novel is cute, especially the designs for the girls. In each chapter, there's a picture that brings out the best out of a scene it's used for.
If you’re wondering about how close the adaptation of the novel and anime are, they’re close. But there are scenes that weren’t used in the anime as it was probably hard to include everything from the novel. That’s probably the reason why the endings of anime feel like they’re being rushed. Even some random comedy scenes weren’t used in the anime too. Reading the novel takes longer than just watching the anime since everything from describing expressions to the environments is told in detail. Some of the supporting characters of the novel have more depth in them, making them stick out more than the anime versions. Since Ryuuji is the main protagonist, the story is seen through his perspective and uses many inner thoughts that weren’t used in the anime. Ami seems to be a little more developed in her character in the novel than the anime. I found the ending of the novel a little more satisfying than the anime because the development towards the end didn’t feel rushed like the anime.
If you like romance, give Toradora a try. It’s really an amazing story. At four different parts I had watery eyes. But in the anime, I only had it one time. I watched the anime first and loved it, but later I read the novel and came to love it better than the anime.
Ayy lmao let's have another review here that's an opinion from someone else. That said, most of the things here are biased.....probably
I'll cut it straight to the point right now. Toradora's a nice read. And that's what I mean. Its nice. There isn't anything I'd change in this story. That said, its not amazing either. There weren't any heart wrenching or deeply moving parts (if that's your thing) It did have its share of serious moments, but to me it was awkward because it was like it was trying to tell me something about my life but it was vague and I couldn't properly understand,
but that's just me.
Progression itself was nice, I didn't feel like there was any time when the story felt boring. The characters are all like-able too, and the whole story had a nice flow to it. The spin-off volumes are nice too, and there is one mini-arc that concentrates on Ryuuji's dumb best friend who's name I forgot.
I haven't watched the anime yet but based on the episode least, at least the last 2 episodes don't follow the plot in the novel.
Anyhow. Toradora: a nice, lighthearted read to fill in time when travelling or before going to bed.
Since this is a review, there are gonna be spoilers and here is where I'll say some of them because I have some things I have to say about it. For example the ship that sails in the end. If you have even half a brain you'll figure out which ship sails, but you can continue to hope that its not, though the writer doesn't mercilessly shatter your dreams the way she focuses on the interactions between the characters, so you won't be heartbroken if your favourite girl didn't win.
Also I said I wouldn't change anything above, but I lied. The ending could have been better. Felt like it ended abruptly, but somehow the ending was fine. Also this being a SoL it ends the way it should end, though there could have been better closure. (I know I keep saying I want better closure, but I can't exactly explain how better I want it)
That's the end of my review. Hope that I helped someone decide if they should/should not read Toradora. Thanks for reading this probably lengthy review.