And I’ve come to the final episode on the first disc of NISA’s original release of Toradora! As I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t really remember well what happened in this episode, so a lot of it felt new all over again to me, which is a treasured experience to be able to have again with a beloved show you’ve already seen. A lot of great visuals again in this episode: I might end up having to learn how to make gifs or webm’s before I finish the show so I can capture the neat like bits of animation that I keep seeing.
0:57—This, for me, is another of Taiga’s more inscrutable moments because she’s not wearing her emotions out for all to see right here. Part of me feels like she understands that Ami is at fault not Ryuuji, and so she’s trying to do Ryuuji a favor by not letting Minori know; part of me feels like she’s just so shellshocked she doesn’t know what to do.
1:35—Ami, on the other hand, knows she’s found Taiga’s weakest point: her trust in Ryuuji.
3:39—But Taiga still shows up back at Ryuuji’s house, even if she’s in a bad mood. I also love how easily Yasuko has absorbed Taiga as a fixture in their home. This is a mom question she’s asking her little neighbor.
3:53—This is a really nice apology that Ryuuji gives to her. He shifts to focus to Ami “messing with her,” and then acknowledges his passive participation in the moment and tries to reestablish his relationship with Taiga. (And even here, Yasuko is still crouched over Taiga, worried.)
4:42—This line always sounds more philosophical to me than it ought: “Why would you do this to me? There is a fundamental existential disconnect in using such performative rising rituals to rouse me from my slumber.”
4:56/4:57/4:57/4:58/4:58/4:59—Some nice little smeary bits in this short little sequence and lots of fun in-between frames.
5:28—And one more.
5:37—This barb reaches into the day before for its sting.
7:34—This is most certainly a dream come true for Ryuuji.
8:26—I wonder if Ami even realizes why Ryuuji leaves. Yes, for Taiga, but also because she’s doing exactly what he told her she shouldn’t do anymore—act.
8:59—Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but this sounds like such an important line to me: “Don’t betray me.” That’s what I hear Taiga saying.
9:39—Ryuuji does this all the time. Whenever Taiga’s upset, he eases off the snark he usually throws back to her and is just kind instead.
10:00—”I can’t swim,” she says, and he sees right through it.
10:51—More of these curvy perspective spots that Toradora! likes in its comedy moments. This one works well because the fishbowl bends highlight how silly Taiga’s face looks.
11:20—The greatest source of dramatic tension known to light novel authors.
12:39—Dude…that’s like…just your opinion, man.
13:05—The whole flat chest trope is overused to the point of being dead, but Ryuuji’s response to Taiga’s clichéd anguish sells the whole situation. It doesn’t matter what it is that’s upsetting her; he’s going to do whatever he can to make her feel better.
13:30—(More curves!) This is a great, wordless image of what their relationship has grown into. The can sit in each other’s company, not speaking, doing different things, and that’s okay. There’s no awkward silence between them anymore.
13:37—And Taiga gives voice to the companionship that their relationship is founded on.
13:58—This is a nice image to return to as she’s apologizing, and Ryuuji just smiles in response. A quiet forgiveness.
15:01—You can almost miss the face Kitamura makes as he hears Ami’s voice and sees her coming out of the changing rooms. She’s just as fake as ever, and he knows this is the perfect situation for her to milk it as much as she wants.
16:07—I really like this shot: 1) for the nice color contrast between the water and Minori’s red hair, 2) for her relentless positivity, once again. She’s obviously not comfortable with her body and being out in public in a swimsuit, but she’s making the very best of it that she can.
17:04—Mouse Taiga hide.
18:25—They are the greatest team.
19:11—I think it’s interesting to note that Ami reacts right away when she realizes (seconds after Ryuuji) that Taiga can’t swim. There’s no standing around in shock, no wailing, or playing dumb. She acts immediately.
20:48—Ami’s not playing here. She’s with the two people who know what she really is, and she’s genuinely (if reluctantly) trying to somewhat make amends.
21:42—You know you’ve lost a verbal fight when you’ve resorted to, “Well, I’ll call the police, bleh~!”
22:16—Brb gone complaining to the Sakugabooru guys that this clip hasn’t been uploaded.
Alright! We’re over halfway through the first cour now, almost a third of the way done with the whole series. The pool balls that are our main characters are starting to knock about on the table, bumping into each other here and there. If I recall correctly, this is the most heated part of Ami and Taiga’s contentious relationship and it’s really being sold well here and balanced well between the two of them. Sometimes Ami wins, sometimes Taiga wins, and the preview for the next episode seems to be promising some serious relational fireworks, with Ryuuji at stake.
Additionally, the ending of the first disc brings us to the end of my first imgur album, so if you need Toradora! screenshots, you’re welcome to fish around in here!
7 thoughts on “Toradora!, Episode 7”
There is a sequence where Taiga loses her padding in the pool. Riyuji scoops it up and replaces it. There is not a whiff of prurient intent there, it’s not fanservice in the least, but it does demonstrate again this powerful intimacy we see building. The same intimacy we see in the bird’s eye shot of Ryuji working on the ‘costume pieces’ while Taiga stays up with him in solidarity.
Yup, that’s a pretty intimate scene, and especially for high schoolers and their chronic body issues. Taiga freaks out a little bit in the moment and afterwards, but she lets it go surprisingly quickly—aka, she doesn’t feel violated or attack or anything like that. She is, more or less, okay with what happened.
I loathe the whole flat chest anime trope with every fibre of my being, but damn if I couldn’t help but like it in this anime, just because it actually felt vaguely realistic and also not utterly sexist for a change. I can genuinely believe that Taiga feels extremely awkward and self-conscious for her lack of curves, just as I can bring myself to believe that Ami’s ostensibly figure-perfect body isn’t there for the sake of audience fanservice. And my god that’s a refreshing change.
Yeah, that’s a really nice point. The flat chest trope is usually so focused on insecurity on the girl in such a…sleazy kind of way, but Toradora! respects its characters far too much to do something like that.
Someone once told me that, if you want to figure out if something is fanservice, watch where the camera focuses. And, even with Ami, we don’t get those uncomfortable lingering shots on her bust or butt except in the places where she’s specifically trying to flaunt them (which are relatively rare).
Did you notice when Minori declares the sports duel between Ami and Taiga that a dramatic wind immediately blows through the room, but it only blows on Minori? I thought that was a great little visual gag.
The padding reinsertion scene is an interesting one…I agree with the other commenters that it doesn’t come off fanservicey at all. Part of that is the way its shot and part of it is that Ryuuji is very matter-of-fact about it, doing the job as efficiently as he can. And while Taiga is understandably embarrassed, I’m sure she also understands that he did it to help her out and save her from an even bigger embarrassment in front of Ami and the rest of the class. So while she sort of wants to be angry she really can’t be, which leaves her reduced to shaking the desk and demanding apologies in impotent frustration. That’s how I’ve always interpreted the classroom scene, anyway.
Also there’s a good metaphor in this episode where Ryuuji and Minori, the two people closest to Taiga, are either actively helping with her cosmetic adjustments or see through them right away, while Kitamura (the person whose opinion she was most concerned about) can’t see her at all because he isn’t wearing his glasses. No matter what she tries to do, he still doesn’t notice her.
Yeah, it’s a weird situation for Taiga. She wants to be angry, but doesn’t really have anything or anyone to be angry at.
I am just re-watching (yet again 😀 ) Toradora! and I found this series of blog posts. It is very nice to read these after every episode, as they point out many to interesting things – some of which I have not paid attention to before :). One of the things I like in Toradora! is that while the setting is fairly mundane, they way how everything is animated includes huge amount of subtle details concerning the story and the characters. It was also the show, that renewed my interest in anime after about 12 years break.