Evan Burkey

Weeaboo Wednesday: Toradora!

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Alright, fellow MWN’ers, I’ve got to make a serious confession. I am a 14 year old japanese girl trapped inside an overweight 22 year old male. In other words, I have a very soft spot for shoujo anime, which to you non-weeaboos is the equivalent of romantic comedy. Something about the way anime portrays the genre clicks with me. I find it hilarious and heart warming. Alright, so I’m totally girly. Go ahead and laugh.

The reason I say this is so you understand why I’m about to go nuts for Toradora!. A new show this season, Toradora! is the anime adaptation of light novels and manga of the same name. Basically, this show is awesome. It has everything I look for in shoujo anime. Toradora! has the right amount of humor mixed with its “awwww” moments.

If you’re not the kind of person that watches shoujo, this plot may seem really weird, but bear with me. The male protagonist of Toradora! is Ryuji Takasu, and he hates his eyes. Specifically, he hates the way his eyes are shaped. They make him look angry all the time, and as such most of his classmates are completely terrified of him, and think he’s the biggest badass in school. Ryuji’s only friends are Yusaku, a pretty normal guy who’s a big hit with the ladies, and Minori, who is Ryuji’s crush. Ryuji then meets the female protagonist (pictured above), Taiga, and all hell breaks loose. Taiga is freared by the students because of her short, angry temper and extremely bad attitude. Despite all that, Taiga does have one close friend, Minori. Soon afterward, Ryuji discovers Taiga’s crush on Yusaku, and Taiga discovers Ryuji’s crush on Minori.

Still following me? Basically, Ryuji and Taiga team up to hook each other up with their respective best friend. From there, the plot basically settles into the unlikely duo screwing everything up for comedic effect. What I like about the shoujo genre, and what Toradora! does so well, is that there are all these jokes about the main characters screwing up their plans royally, and yet the story still manages to tug at your heartstrings a few times each episodes with some “awwww” moments.

While some shoujo anime focuses mainly on the drama, Toradora!’s primary strength is the fact that it is absolutely hilarious. The jokes are incredibly funny, and they draw quite a bit on physical humor. I found myself laughing out loud many times during each episode. One such thing is Ryuji’s insane obsession with cleaning. If he sees something dirty, he just has to clean it, and it leads to a surprising amount of jokes about housework that are actually funny.

Another example of the excellent humor in Toradora! is the small, but hilarious cast of side characters. There is Ryuji’s drunken mother who acts like she’s 20, Ryuji’s retarded parrot that always screws up trying to say things, and the homeroom teacher that is completely afraid of Ryuji, to the point of giving him good grades just so he won’t hurt her.

I could go on and on, but it all comes down to this: If you like anime that is humorus, but still has enough drama and girly moments, then you will love Toradora!. I know I said the exact same thing about Mobile Suit Gundam 00 last week, but Toradora! is definitely a must watch show.

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