Toradora! light novel volume 1 cover, featuring Taiga Aisaka.
|Genre||Drama, Romantic comedy|
|Written by||Yuyuko Takemiya|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Original run||March 10, 2006 – March 10, 2009|
|Written by||Yuyuko Takemiya|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Magazine||Dengeki Bunko Magazine|
|Original run||May 10, 2007 – April 10, 2010|
|Written by||Yuyuko Takemiya|
|Published by||ASCII Media Works|
|Magazine||Dengeki Comic Gao! (former)
|Original run||September 2007 – ongoing|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Tatsuyuki Nagai|
|Written by||Mari Okada|
|Music by||Yukari Hashimoto|
|Original run||October 2, 2008 – March 26, 2009|
|Publisher||Namco Bandai Games|
|Released||April 30, 2009|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Tatsuyuki Nagai|
|Released||December 21, 2011|
Toradora! (とらドラ!?) is a Japanese light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya, with illustrations by Yasu. The series includes ten novels released between March 10, 2006 and March 10, 2009, published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint. Three volumes of a spin-off light novel series were also created, aptly titled Toradora Spin-off!. A manga adaptation by Zekkyō started serialization in the September 2007 issue of the shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Comic Gao!, published by MediaWorks. The manga ended serialization in Dengeki Comic Gao! with the March 2008 issue, but continued serialization in ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh with the May 2008 issue.
An Internet radio show was broadcast between September 2008 and May 2009 hosted by Animate TV. A 25-episode anime adaptation produced by J.C.Staff aired in Japan on TV Tokyo between October 2008 and March 2009. A Blu-ray Disc (BD) box set containing an original video animation episode was released on December 21, 2011. NIS America licensed the anime and released it in North America in two half-season DVD collections in July and August 2010, with an English dubbed BD collection to be released in July 2014. A visual novel based on the series was released in April 2009 by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation Portable.
The title Toradora! is derived from the names of the two main characters Taiga Aisaka and Ryūji Takasu. Taiga sounds like tiger in English, and tiger in Japanese is tora (とら?). Ryūji literally means son of dragon in Japanese, and a transcription of the English word dragon into Japanese is doragon (ドラゴン?).
Toradora!'s story begins with the male protagonist Ryūji 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 feels 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, Ryūji goes to school and is happy to find that he has been assigned to the same class as his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura, as well as the girl he has a crush on, Minori Kushieda. However, it is then that he unexpectedly runs 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 Ryūji, she takes an instant dislike to him. Taiga comes from a rich family, but she has moved out to live on her own due to family issues. She is coincidentally living in an apartment next to Ryūji's. When Ryūji discovers that Taiga has a crush on Yūsaku, and Taiga finds out about Ryūji's affections towards Minori, Ryūji suggests that they cooperate to win the objects of their affections. Taiga exploits the fact that Ryūji will do anything to get closer to Minori. She makes him her personal servant, often referring to him as a dog or mongrel, though he voluntarily does all her household chores (cooking and cleaning). Taiga spends a lot of her time over at his house, so much that she could almost be considered a member of his family. Since Ryūji spends a lot of time with Taiga, he has opened up to her world and to a side of her that most people do not see. The two also try to help each other improve the way people view them. However people they know from school start to become curious about their strange relationship and rumors begin to spread about them behind their backs. Ryūji and Taiga start getting along more as things progress with the relationships between the characters and eventually confess their true feelings of love towards each other.
- Ryūji Takasu (高須 竜児 Takasu Ryūji?)
- Voiced by: Junji Majima (Japanese), Erik Scott Kimerer (English)
- The series' main male protagonist, Ryūji is a seventeen-year-old high school student in his second year, class 2-C. Due to heredity, his sanpaku eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and are the cause of many misunderstandings. Ryūji lives with his single mother, his father having left before he was born. Because of this, Ryūji has learned to be self-sufficient: he excels at cooking and housekeeping, the latter to the point of compulsively cleaning up any messes he can find, and is also adept at sewing. He has a pet parakeet named "Inko-chan" ("inko" literally means "parakeet" in Japanese). He has a longstanding crush on Minori Kushieda, a girl in his class, which is a driving factor in the story. After Ryūji meets Taiga, he often helps her with domestic chores, a duty she normally neglects completely. At school, he is known as "the only person able to stop the palmtop tiger", referring to Taiga's nickname. Due to the misunderstandings caused by his appearance, as well as his family situation, he tends to have low self-esteem. In spite of this, he is rather calm in most situations and is responsible, smart, and has great grades, even compared to Yūsaku Kitamura, his best friend. In seeming contrast to his intimidating looks, Ryūji actually prefers avoiding serious conflicts and tends to put others first, to the point of losing sight of what he really wants in life.
In the light novels, he sees a tender side of Taiga Aisaka that she hides from everyone. In the anime, he is dense when it comes to girls' feelings, especially when it comes to Taiga, Minori, and Ami. While initially seen as intimidating by most, he still manages to make good friends. His relationship with Taiga begins to change as he spends more time with her throughout the series. Eventually, he and Taiga become a couple, regardless of Taiga's somewhat violent attitude towards his decisions, which he mysteriously seems to enjoy slightly.
- Taiga Aisaka (逢坂 大河 Aisaka Taiga?)
- Voiced by: Rie Kugimiya (Japanese), Cassandra Lee (English)
- Taiga is a girl in Ryūji's class, as well as the series' main female protagonist. She has a well-regulated and beautiful appearance, but dislikes the company of others, with the exception of her best friend Miniori Kushieda. Due to her name, tendency to snap fiercely at others, and short stature, she is given the nickname "Palmtop Tiger" (手乗りタイガー Te Nori Taigā?). Her under-developed body and dislike of her given nickname have given her a complex, which in turn serves to fuel her negative attitude and angry demeanor. Taiga is easily upset and is prone to lashing out at people that annoy her. Due to her cute looks (Ryūji thinks of her as "doll-like" when they first meet), she often gets confessions of love from boys, but she turns down every single one, including Yūsaku Kitamura (an action she later regrets). Taiga is also quite clumsy, and does her best to hide this trait from others; it seems that only Ryūji has observed it, which actually saved her early on, due to the botched delivery of a love letter that caused her to meet Takasu.
- Despite coming from a well-to-do family, her life with them was very difficult because of various problems. She lived with her father and step-mother and constantly fought with them, eventually moving out and living on her own. Having come from a privileged household, she does not know how to do any domestic chores. Near the end of the story, her father's business goes bankrupt and he runs away, leaving Taiga in the care of her biological mother, who has also remarried and has a new family of her own, with whom Taiga has difficulty getting along. Taiga has said that her biological mother gets along with her better.
- After she meets Ryūji and learns of his domestic talents, she ends up relying on him to cook for her. Aside from sleeping in her own apartment and going to school, she spends most of her time at Ryūji's house, so much so that his mother considers her a member of the family. At the beginning of the story, she is infatuated with Ryūji's best friend Yūsaku Kitamura, and gets nervous every time he appears around her. After Taiga finds out about Ryūji's crush on Minori, the two team up to help each one start a relationship with the other's best friend. Though she treats Ryūji badly at first, actually trying to kill him in the first episode of the anime, her feelings begin to change as she spends more time with him, and she eventually realizes how much she cherishes his company and how she has become a better person because of him. They later become a couple.
- Minori Kushieda (櫛枝 実乃梨 Kushieda Minori?)
- Voiced by: Yui Horie (Japanese), Christine Marie Cabanos (English)
- Minori is a girl in Ryūji's class, and is a best friends with Taiga. She is also known by the pet name "Minorin" (as a form of friendly affection). In contrast to the violent nature of Taiga, Minori is always smiling and cheerful. She is very athletic and is the captain of the girls' softball club at school, and somehow also manages to hold many part time jobs on top of that. She is a glutton when it comes to food, but is also constantly combating it with dieting, calling herself a "diet warrior". She gets a thrill out of being scared, but claims otherwise, pretending to hate the horror genre. Despite her air-headed tendencies, she is very perceptive, being one of the few people to see Ryūji for the gentle person he is, and is also not fooled by Ami's facade. It is implied that her air-headed behavior and sunny disposition may be a front to hide her own insecurities and fear; later, it is revealed that she, like Taiga, also fell in love with Ryūji, never admitting it, but still somehow being more open with Takasu than he was with her. She has a younger brother.
- Yūsaku Kitamura (北村 祐作 Kitamura Yūsaku?)
- Voiced by: Hirofumi Nojima (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English)
- Yūsaku is a male student in Ryūji's class, and is his best, and initially only, friend. He is the vice-president of the student council, the class representative, and captain of the boys' softball club at school. Yūsaku wears glasses, and has a diligent personality. He thinks he is poor at talking to girls, though Ryūji observes that he is actually quite popular with them. Despite having been in love with Taiga in his first year of high school, during his time as the vice-president of the student council, he falls in love with the student council president, Sumire Kanō. A running gag in the series is that he often appears around Taiga and Ryūji while they are discussing a "plan of attack" to get closer to their crushes. Like Minori, he has an unusual personality, but often it is an expression of his friendship and appreciation, though it can easily get out of hand fast. Like Ami, he is unusually perceptive of what is going on around him and know people for they truly are deep down, though unlike his childhood friend, he prefers to have things run on their own instead of actively intervening in others' affairs despite his curiosity. After his graduation, he goes to study abroad in America, following in Sumire Kanō's footsteps.
- Ami Kawashima (川嶋 亜美 Kawashima Ami?)
- Voiced by: Eri Kitamura (Japanese), Erika Harlacher (English)
- Ami is Yūsaku's childhood friend who transfers into his class midway through their second year of high school, who is also working as a model. Due to her striking looks, stature and figure, she is very popular with guys around her. She is often seen as the mature one of the group, as she is more perceptive and understanding of others due to her work in such a complex industry. After she transfers schools she temporarily stops modeling. However, she still continues to go to the gym readily and maintains a slim figure. She behaves kindly and generously towards others, though this is merely a facade. In truth, her personality is one that of a spoiled princess', behaving in a holier-than-thou manner and look down on just about everyone around her, believing her own cuteness to be supreme and she can get anything she wants. During her first meeting with Taiga, Ami quickly reveals her true colors, but the tables are turned when Taiga counterattacks by slapping her, and through mere chance and elaborated machinations, captured embarrassing videos of Ami. Since then, Ami and Taiga have been enemies, with Taiga choosing to threaten to expose her instead of doing so immediately, as Taiga thinks doing so would be more interesting. Despite so, Ami remains one of a few who is daring enough to tease Taiga at will; and Taiga referring to Ami as Baka-chi (Stupid Chihuahua) in return. Having her true personality exposed to Ryūji early on, Ami drops her facade and speaks honestly around Ryūji. Despite all this, Ami still sometimes envies Taiga since she can always be honest. Her time with the class begin to gradually change her, as she becomes more willing to speak her mind and care about others. Initially, Ami toys with developing a love interest in Ryūji to tease Taiga. However, she begin to genuinely fall for him, asking him if he would love her real self and give her a second chance. Takasu never said no to this, but never said yes, either.
- Yasuko Takasu (高須 泰子 Takasu Yasuko?)
- Voiced by: Sayaka Ōhara (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)
- Yasuko is Ryūji's thirty-three-year-old single mother, though she refers to herself as eternally twenty-three; she has large, F-cup-sized breasts. Though she tells Ryūji that his father died before he was born, the truth is they were never married; he left her before Ryūji was born. She works at a hostess bar named Bishamontengoku where she goes by the name "Mirano" (魅羅乃?), and singlehandedly supports her two-member family, wanting the best for her son and for him to succeed where she failed, as she never even finished high school. However, she has a childish personality and is utterly incapable of performing household chores decently. That, coupled with the nature of her work, she entrusts all the said chores to Ryūji. She instantly takes a liking to Taiga and already regards her as a member of her family, getting depressed when Taiga does not appear for dinner. Although she is quite easy-going, she does get antsy when woken up early since she usually comes home very late. Despite the childish, air-headed behavior, Yasuko proves to have a rather good insight of other people, praising her "husband" in front of her son, never realizing how he hates his heritage.
- Yuri Koigakubo (恋ヶ窪 ゆり Koigakubo Yuri?)
- Voiced by: Rie Tanaka (Japanese), Elizabeth Thomas (English)
- Yuri is the 29-year-old homeroom teacher of Ryūji's class, though she turns thirty in the fifth volume of the light novels. She likes to do things at her own pace and is timid towards Taiga's way of speaking out. Since her twenties are almost over, Yuri is in a hurry to get married soon and she even tries to dress well so as to be able to get into a relationship quicker. After she becomes thirty without getting married, she develops a twisted and depressed personality, which is further developed by Taiga because when Taiga talks about her, she emphasizes her single status. She has an interest in real estate which is sort of a crutch for her single status.
- Sumire Kanō (狩野 すみれ Kanō Sumire?)
- Voiced by: Yūko Kaida (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
- Sumire is the student council president and always gets top grades in school; she is in fact a scholarship student and has horrible eyesight. Her younger sister is Sakura and her parents own a supermarket. She is very strong-minded personality and uncharacteristic of the usually respectful and polite behavior expected of student council presidents, she speaks like a drill sergeant to her fellow students, which curiously and oddly, inspires fellow students to follow her. She excels so well in her studies that her notes actually qualifies as very sought-after prizes in the school festival event. She plans to study abroad in America to become an astronaut (Note: in reality, her poor eyesight would immediately disqualify her as an astronaut), and was offered a position in a specialized school before she graduated. Because of this, she rejects Yūsaku's confession and conceals her own feelings for him, so that he will not pursue her in America before he himself graduated.
- Sakura Kanō (狩野 さくら Kanō Sakura?)
- Voiced by: Kana Asumi (Japanese), Faye Mata (English)
- Sakura is Sumire's younger sister who attends the same high school as Sumire though her grades are horrible. She unconsciously flirts with people, and like her sister, she hates snakes. She later starts going out with Kōta.
- Kōta Tomiie (富家 幸太 Tomiie Kōta?)
- Voiced by: Nobuhiko Okamoto
- Kōta is a first-year student who is the main character to Toradora Spin-off!. He is generally unhappy about his life. He works on the student council in general affairs, and gets good grades. When first seen he has a completely mistaken idea what the term "palmtop tiger" refers to, and develops an insane crush on Taiga. He later develops a crush on Sakura, and eventually succeeds in starting a romantic relationship with her.
- Hisamitsu Noto (能登 久光 Noto Hisamitsu?)
- Voiced by: Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese), Jason Baker (English)
- Hisamitsu is a male student in Ryūji's class who wears glasses. He was also in Ryūji's class the previous year and is on good terms with him. He is first seen in chapter 4 of the light novels/manga and episode 2 of the anime, when he pairs up with Minori Kushieda for basketball warmup. Noto begins to develop feelings for Maya Kihara following an argument they had during the class winter ski trip.
- Kōji Haruta (春田 浩次 Haruta Kōji?)
- Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese), Brian Beacock (English)
- Kōji is a male student in Ryūji's class who has long hair and is on good terms with him. He is regarded as a class 'idiot' and that opinion is deepened by his poor school marks and overly energetic behavior. He is first seen in chapter 5 of the light novels, chapter 6 of the manga, giving first testimony that Ryūji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka look like a couple. His childish pranks often target Taiga and as a result he has been the victim of her violent outbursts. Despite his overly energetic behavior, later in the series he is revealed to have a girlfriend.
- Maya Kihara (木原 麻耶 Kihara Maya?)
- Voiced by: Ai Nonaka (Japanese), Mela Lee (English)
- Maya is a female student in Ryūji's class who often hangs out with Nanako. She is a kogal and the center of the 'stand out group' of girls of class 2-C. She is first seen in chapter 4 of the light novels/manga and episode 2 of the anime, when she pairs up with Yūsaku Kitamura for basketball warmup. She has a crush on Yūsaku, and she circuitously opposes the idea of Taiga and Yūsaku being a couple, and wants Taiga and Ryūji to be together.
- Nanako Kashii (香椎 奈々子 Kashii Nanako?)
- Voiced by: Momoko Ishikawa (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)
- Nanako is a female student in Ryūji's class who often hangs out with Maya and Ami.
- Kuroma (黒間?)
- Voiced by: Nobuaki Kanemitsu (Japanese), Keith Silverstein (English)
- Kuroma is the thirty-four-year-old unmarried gym teacher at Ryūji's school. He enjoys strength training and improving his muscle mass.
Toradora! began as a series of light novels written by Yuyuko Takemiya and drawn by Yasu. Ten novels were published by ASCII Media Works under their Dengeki Bunko imprint between March 10, 2006 and March 10, 2009. There are four additional chapters not collected into volumes; three of which appeared in three separate light novel anthologies released by MediaWorks in November 2006, March 2007, and November 2007, and the last chapter entitled Toradora! came with a plush tiger stuffed animal first released in April 2007.
Three volumes of a spin-off of the regular series under the title Toradora Spin-off! (とらドラ・スピンオフ!?) were also created. The first volume of the spin-off series was released on May 10, 2007 and compiled four chapters, three of which had been serialized in MediaWorks' now-defunct light novel magazine Dengeki hp between June 10, 2006 and February 10, 2007, and the last chapter was written especially for the volume release. A single chapter of the spin-off series, originally published in February 2006 in Dengeki hp was included in the second volume of the regular novel series. More chapters started serialization in Dengeki hp's successor Dengeki Bunko Magazine on December 10, 2007. Additional chapters of the main series started serialization in the same magazine on April 10, 2008. The second volume of Toradora Spin-off! was released on January 10, 2009 followed by the third volume on April 10, 2010. The third volume was released to commemorate the Year of the Tiger (2010).
A manga adaptation illustrated by Zekkyō started serialization in the September 2007 issue of MediaWorks' shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Comic Gao!. The manga ended its run in Dengeki Comic Gao! in the March 2008 issue, but continued serialization in ASCII Media Works' manga magazine Dengeki Daioh from the May 2008 issue. The first tankōbon volume was released on February 27, 2008 under ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Comics imprint; as of July 27, 2013, six volumes have been released. North American publisher Seven Seas Entertainment published the series' seven volumes between March 1, 2011, and June 29, 2015.
Internet radio show
An Internet radio show to promote the anime series and other Toradora! media called ToradoRadio! (とらドラジオ! Toradorajio!?) aired 38 episodes between September 4, 2008 and May 28, 2009 hosted by Animate TV. The show was streamed online every Thursday, and was hosted by Junji Majima and Eri Kitamura who voiced Ryūji Takasu and Ami Kawashima from the anime, respectively. The show featured additional voice actors from the anime as guests.
A Toradora! anime television series was first announced on a promotional advertisement for light novels being released under ASCII Media Works' Dengeki Bunko imprint for April 2008. The anime is directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and produced by the animation studio J.C.Staff. Toradora! contains 25 episodes, which aired between October 2, 2008 and March 26, 2009 on TV Tokyo in Japan. The episodes aired at later dates on AT-X, TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting. The anime premiered in the Philippines through TV5 on May 18, 2009, one of the first to air it outside Japan. The first volume DVD compilation, which contains the first four episodes was released in Japan on January 21, 2009 by King Records in limited and regular editions. Seven more DVD compilations, each containing three episodes, were released between February 25 and August 26, 2009 also in limited and regular editions. Starting from the second DVD, there were extra animated shorts included in the DVD volumes, Toradora SOS!, which features the cast as chibis trying out various foods. The Toradora! anime was licensed by NIS America as its first anime. The series was released in two half-season DVD compilation volumes in early July and late August 2010. A six-disc Blu-ray Disc box set, released in Japan on December 21, 2011, contains an original video animation (OVA) episode. It was broadcast in Italy on Rai 4 between April 28 and October 13, 2011. NIS America re-released the series on Blu-ray on July 1, 2014, including the unreleased OVA and featuring an English dub. MVM Films have licensed the Blu-ray collection in the United Kingdom.
The anime series makes use of four pieces of theme music: two opening and two ending themes. The first opening theme is "Pre-Parade" (プレパレード Pureparēdo?) by Rie Kugimiya, Eri Kitamura, and Yui Horie. The first ending theme is "Vanilla Salt" (バニラソルト Banira Soruto?) by Horie. The second opening is "Silky Heart" by Horie, and the second ending is "Orange" (オレンジ Orenji?) by Kugimiya, Kitamura, and Horie. The insert theme for episode nineteen is "Holy Night" (ホーリーナイト Hōrī Naito?) performed by Kugimiya and Kitamura. The anime's original soundtrack was released on January 7, 2009.
A visual novel developed by Guyzware and published by Namco Bandai Games based on Toradora! is playable on the PlayStation Portable, and was released on April 30, 2009. The player assumes the role of Ryūji Takasu where he moves around school and town, conversing with characters and working towards multiple endings as part of an original storyline. The game also features a minigame where players play as Taiga, fending off lovesick guys.
Taiga is a playable character in the RPG, Dengeki Gakuen RPG: Cross of Venus for the Nintendo DS, released on March 19, 2009 in Japan. She also appears as a cameo character and optional costume for the main character in Nippon Ichi Software's Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman for the PlayStation Portable. Taiga is also a playable character in the fighting game Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax, with Ryūji as an assist character.
The Mainichi Shimbun reported in April 2009 that over 3 million copies of the light novel series have been sold in Japan. The light novel series has ranked four times in Takarajimasha's light novel guide book Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi! published yearly: sixth in 2007, fourth in 2008 and 2010, and second in 2009. In Kadokawa Shoten's first Light Novel Award contest held in 2007, Toradora! won an award in the romantic comedy category. The seventh volume of the Toradora! light novels was ranked tenth best selling between December 2007 and November 2008 by Amazon.co.jp. The second volume of the Toradora! manga was ranked 28th on the Tohan charts between March 3–9, 2009. Taiga Aisaka became the champion of the eighth Anime Saimoe Tournament in 2009. The Toradora! anime was selected as a recommended work by the awards jury of the thirteenth Japan Media Arts Festival in 2009. In 2009, Rie Kugimiya won the Best Actress in the third Seiyu Awards partly for voicing Taiga Aisaka.
The first Toradora! DVD was ranked 13th on the Oricon DVD chart between January 20–26, 2009. The second DVD was ranked 15th between February 24 and March 2, 2009. The third DVD was ranked 27th between March 24–30, 2009. The fourth DVD was ranked 17th between April 21–28, 2009. The fifth DVD was ranked 7th between May 25–31, 2009. The sixth DVD was ranked 11th between June 22–28, 2009. The seventh DVD was ranked 19th between July 20–26, 2009. The eighth DVD was ranked 13th between August 24–30, 2009. THEM Anime Review's Stig Høgset commends the anime for how it "actually resolves the relationship issue it set out to do instead of wimping out like so many romantic shows with several girls tends to do in an attempt to not make people angry or disappointed." He also comments Taiga as the "genetical marriage" of Shana from Shakugan no Shana and Louise from Zero no Tsukaima. However, he also criticized "Taiga's continuous behavior, particularly towards Ryuuji" and the introduction of Taiga's father in which Høgset "felt that the whole story arc jerked me around".
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|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Toradora!|
- Anime official website (Japanese)
- Visual novel official website (Japanese)
- Toradora! anime at NIS America
- Toradora! manga at Seven Seas Entertainment
- Toradora! (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia