The 25-episode Toradora! Japanese anime television series is based on the light novel series of the same name written by Yuyuko Takemiya and illustrated by Yasu. It was directed by Tatsuyuki Nagai and produced by the animation studio J.C.Staff. Composed by Yukari Hashimoto, the music was produced by King Records under its StarChild subsidiary company with Jin Aketagawa as the sound director. Masayoshi Tanaka was the character designer and the screenplay was written predominantly by Mari Okada. The plot follows the life of Ryūji Takasu, a high school student whose eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent, and how his life changes after he meets a girl in his class named Taiga Aisaka who is known for her negative attitude towards nearly everyone but her close friends.
The series aired between October 2, 2008, and March 26, 2009, on TV Tokyo in Japan. It began airing at later dates than TV Tokyo on AT-X, TV Aichi, TV Hokkaido, TV Osaka, TV Setouchi, and TVQ Kyushu Broadcasting. King Records released the series in eight Region 2 DVD compilations between January 21, 2009, and August 26, 2009. The first DVD contained four episodes while the other seven DVDs contained three episodes each. Limited editions of all eight compilations, each containing a bonus CD, were also released. The second DVD contained an extra short, Toradora SOS!.
The series makes use of four pieces of theme music: two opening and two ending themes. The first opening theme is "Prepared" (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.
01 - Tiger and Dragon (Tora to Ryū; 虎と竜)Edit
Ryūji Takasu is discontent about how his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent. He wants to get closer to a girl he likes, Minori Kushieda, but has not been able to tell her his feelings. On the first day of his second year of high school, he runs into a diminutive girl, Taiga Aisaka, known for snapping at others and her outward brutality. By coincidence, Taiga and Minori are in Ryūji's class this year. Taiga accidentally puts a love letter in Ryūji's bag, mistaking his for his friend Yūsaku's; Taiga then comes to Ryūji's house that night to kill him for knowing that she likes Yūsaku. Taiga discovers that Ryūji likes Minori, who is also Taiga's good friend, and Ryūji tells her that he will do anything to help her with Yūsaku. Ryūji finds out the next morning that Taiga is already living in an apartment building right next door to his house. When he comes over, he cleans the kitchen and serves her food.
02 - Ryūji and Taiga (Ryūji to Taiga; 竜児と大河)Edit
Ryūji figures out that for Taiga to help him get closer to Minori, he has to first help her get closer to Yūsaku. During basketball shooting practice, Taiga and Ryūji plan to knock out Yūsaku's partner with a basketball so that Taiga can be Yūsaku's partner. However, Taiga ends up being knocked out instead. She makes some cookies and plans to give them to Yūsaku; unfortunately, she falls off the stairs, throwing them out of the window in the process. Ryūji breaks her fall. He eats her cookies and says they are great, encouraging her to try making cookies again. Since Ryūji and Taiga are often together, a misunderstanding begins among their classmates that Ryūji and Taiga are going out. This causes Taiga to rage and wreak havoc in the classroom. Taiga sets the record straight the next day, and confesses her love to Yūsaku; however, he wants to continue being friends.
03 - Your Song (Kimi no Uta, 君の歌) Edit
On the way to school, Taiga complains about Ryūji being nitpicky about the laundry. They walk past a baseball field and observe Minori playing. After Ryūji's rice cooker breaks, Taiga takes him to a nearby family restaurant where Minori is working part-time. Minori tells him that she has several part-time jobs, but he later wonders if there is a reason why Minori needs money. The next day, Ryūji and Taiga run into Minori at another of her part-time jobs, and the two help out for the day, despite Taiga wanting to back down from the start. The boss is being unfair towards Taiga by ordering her to carry and deliver beer cases despite her height. To counter her inability to ride a bicycle during a delivery, Taiga pushes the bike along the road. Ryūji and Minori get locked inside the storehouse, and Ryūji starts to learn more about why Minori is often so cheerful.
04-That Moment's Expression (Ano Toki no Kao; あのときの顔)Edit
After viewing some blurred images Taiga took of Yūsaku, Ryūji offers to take pictures of him for Taiga. During school, Taiga speaks out to the student council president, but is stopped by Yūsaku, causing her to become both happy and depressed. Yūsaku and Minori force Ryūji and Taiga to eat with them during lunch. Taiga becomes tense in the presence of Yūsaku and inadvertently tells them that Ryūji made her bentō. Ryūji covers this up by saying that he is making bentō for money. Ryūji manages to take several photos of Yūsaku, but he later finds out about them. Yūsaku shows his own photos of Taiga to Ryūji. He tells Ryūji that he confessed to Taiga a year ago that he liked her, but she quickly turned him down, only to end up liking him. Taiga later recounts this to Ryūji but becomes angry about the embarrassing things she is telling him.
05 - Ami Kawashima (Kawashima Ami; かわしまあみ)Edit
At the restaurant where Minori works, Yūsaku arrives with the model Ami Kawashima, who is also his childhood friend. When Yūsaku and Ryūji excuse themselves, Yūsaku shows Ryūji that Ami is really a conceited and manipulative person, different from her being a self-proclaimed "air head". Taiga soon comes to dislike Ami, and even slaps her in the restaurant. She transfers into Ryūji and Taiga's class, quickly becoming popular with her classmates and the staff. At school she maintains her air head personality. She flirts with Ryūji and seems to only reveal her true nature to Taiga. Ami tries to make Taiga think Yūsaku hates her now because of how she acted, but Ryūji assures her that is not the case.
06 - True Self (Honto no Jibun; ほんとの自分)Edit
Ami takes refuge in Taiga's apartment in order to avoid a stalker but is forced to impersonate people in strange situations. Yūsaku asks Taiga and Ryūji to be better friends with Ami since they know what type of person she really is. Taiga volunteers herself and Ryūji to take part in the student council's monthly neighborhood cleaning rally, and Minori and Ami come along too. After Taiga and Minori leave together, Ami and Ryūji hide from the stalker. When the stalker tries to take photos of Taiga, she gets angry and chases him down. Empowered by Taiga's actions, Ami decides to discard her fake personality. She chases down the stalker and destroys his camera. The stalker runs away in fear.
07 - Pool Opening (Pūru Biraki; プールびらき) Edit
Because the school's pool has finally opened for the summer, Minori, Ami, and Taiga buy swimsuits with Ryūji. Ami and Minori easily pick out swimsuits while Taiga has trouble due to her small chest. Later, Ryūji realizes Taiga's problem and decides to add padding to make her breasts look bigger and fill out her swimsuit. At the pool, people are throwing others into the pool, and Ami throws Taiga into the pool. It turns out Taiga cannot swim; when Ryūji goes to save her, she tells him one of the pads came out. Ryūji manages to work everything out and Taiga is saved. Back at the classroom, Ami and Taiga argue until Minori shows up, telling them to settle things with a sports contest.
08 - For Whose Sake? (Dare no Tame; だれのため)Edit
Taiga and Ami are to compete in a 50-meter swimming race: if Ami wins, Ryūji will go to her villa over summer break, leaving Taiga alone. Ryūji helps Taiga practice. After Ryūji insists that she wants to win for Yūsaku and that he would go to Ami's villa alone if she wanted, Taiga is furious and refuses to compete. Taiga shows up last minute for the competition. When Taiga's leg cramps during the race, Ryūji jumps into the pool to stop her from continuing. However, Taiga declares that she wants to win for him, so Ryūji lets her go. When Taiga is pushing for the lead, a few boys are pushed into the pool and Ryūji is knocked out. Realizing that Ryūji is in danger, Taiga turns around and goes to save him, losing the match. Afterward, Ryūji regains consciousness for a briefly and Taiga is shaken and angry to the point where she screams that Ryūji is hers. As a result of Taiga losing the bet, Ami gets to take Ryūji to her villa, but Taiga, Minori and Yūsaku insist on going too.
09 - You Shall Go to the Sea (Umi ni Ikō to Kimi wa; 海にいこうと君は) Edit
After Ryūji and Taiga have a nightmare about being married to a begging Ryūji, Taiga decides to create a plan to prevent it from coming true, by holding a badminton contest against Ryūji to see who will "support the other side." Ryūji wins and Taiga agrees to help him with a plan to get Minori closer to him by scaring her. They, along with Minori, Yūsaku, and Ami, finally arrive at Ami's villa and while Ryūji cleans the house, the others go play at the beach. After dinner, Ryūji and Minori talk about love and ghosts outside while having ice cream. The two go back inside and Taiga orders Ryūji to make a midnight snack since she is still hungry. The two go to their rooms, and Ryūji finds strands of hair and a sticky substance on his bed, while one of Taiga's dresses is warm and covered with the same substance as Ryūji's. Banging sounds emerge from the door and the balcony door as the two grip each other in fear.
10 - Fireworks (Hanabi; 花火) Edit
Ryūji and Taiga stay up all night, still unsure of what had occurred the night before, and discuss how to scare Minori. Yūsaku overhears them and wants to help, believing that Minori loves being terrified, and enlists Ami in helping too. They decide to pull a massive scare by taking a walk through a hidden cave filled with traps designed to scare Minori. However, Ami backs out after Ryūji refuses to tell her why he wants to do this. However, she eventually decides to help, and leads the group into the cave, where Yūsaku has planted many pathetic scary traps. Ami quickly decides to leave via a secret passageway, and Ryūji follows her. While alone, Ami tells Ryūji that she is better suited for him. The situation quickly gets out of hand as Yūsaku and Minori disappear, and the mysterious hair and seaweed from last night appears again. However, a terrified Ryūji and Taiga realize that Yūsaku and Minori were only playing a trick on them, which included last night's scare. The two claim to have known what Ryūji and Taiga were up to, but Minori appreciates it for being so thrilling.
11 - Ōhashi High School Cultural Festival - Part I (Ōhashi Kōkō Bunkasai - Zenpen; 大橋高校文化祭·前編) Edit
Yuri-sensei complains about nothing happening during the school holidays compared to her students and being in her thirties single. Preparations have begun for the school's cultural festival, with the student body president and her brother in charge. The council helps make decisions, yet the students also formulate plans in order to help themselves with their love lives. Suggested ideas are a maid café and a cosplay café among others, but the draw results in a professional wrestling skit. Kōji Haruta creates a play that has roles for all everyone. Throughout the day, Taiga receives phone calls from her father. When she ignores them all, he empties her living expenses account. Taiga finally answers her father's calls and sends Ryūji to talk to him. Taiga's father waits for Taiga and Ryūji to come home, where Taiga immediately kicks her father's groin. Ryūji talks sense into Taiga, and Taiga's father is finally able to talk with her.
12 - Ōhashi High School Cultural Festival - Part II (Ōhashi Kōkō Bunkasai - Chūhen; 大橋高校文化祭·中編)Edit
The class is busy rehearsing for the play with Haruta directing them. Taiga and her dad start to reconnect and Taiga wants to switch parts with Ami so that her father can see her good side. When Ryūji tells Minori of them reconciling, Minori argues with Ryūji that Taiga should not have anything to do with her dad; Ryūji thinks she should. Taiga tries to calm things down by making the two shake hands, but Ryūji walks away angrily. During the festival, Taiga's dad does not show up, and Ryūji does not apologize to Minori. The play parodies Yuri-sensei being single using the concept of the red string of fate. Taiga is constantly waiting for her father's message, even while on stage. The play is hugely successful due to other classes doing cosplay cafés and food stalls.
13 - Ōhashi High School Cultural Festival - Part III (Ōhashi Kōkō Bunkasai - Kōhen; 大橋高校文化祭·後篇)Edit
Ami addresses the school and starts the beauty contest as a dominatrix. Just as Taiga makes a dramatic appearance in the beauty contest, Ryūji receives a text from her dad saying he would not be able to live with her. Taiga wins the beauty contest, despite the sadness that her father did not show up. A race is held to determine who will dance with Taiga, and Ryūji, finally understanding Minori's warning, is determined to win it, using short cuts and stepping on top of other participants. Near the end of the race, Minori throws a baseball at two participants and throws herself towards the last four participants and provides an opportunity for Ryūji to win. However, he goes back for her. They hold hands as they cross the finish line together, forgiving each other.
14 - The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness (Shiawase no Tenori Taigā; (しあわせの手乗りタイガー)Edit
A rumor starts, that anyone who touches Taiga will be granted happiness or one wish. The cultural festival pictures are for sale. While Taiga buys the picture of her and Yūsaku dancing, Minori notices Ryūji buying a picture of both of them running towards the finishing line holding hands. She decides to buy it too. Ami is complimented as being mature all day, but after bumping into Ryūji at the market is told she is more like a kid. She later tells her mother that she wants to stay. Yūsaku is told something by the student council president and goes to contemplate it, running into Taiga along the way. Taiga returns to Ryūji's house where his mother boasts that the three of them are like a family. Everyone else is left to contemplate what it is they are wishing for from the Palmtop Tiger legend.
15 - The Stars are Far (Hoshi wa, Tōku; 星は, 遠く)Edit
Yūsaku declares to the class that he does not want to be student council president and flips out in the middle of class. He shows up to school the next day with his hair dyed blonde, which gets him in trouble with the teacher. While everyone tries to figure out what is wrong with him, Ryūji walks home with Minori; they have a conversation about Ami's odd reaction towards Yūsaku's behavior. When Ryūji arrives home, he is surprised to find Yūsaku there. Yūsaku had run away from home, much to Taiga's delight. He spends the day with them full of excitement, but runs off when Ryūji's mother attempts to dye his hair back to normal. At school, Taiga is competing to be the next student council president.
16 - One Step Forward (Fumidasu Ippo; 踏み出す一歩) Edit
Taiga and Ryūji try to get Yūsaku to become the next student council president by telling students how Taiga will ruin everyone's high school life. Ryūji discovers that Yūsaku has feelings for Sumire, the student council president, and that she is going to be studying abroad in America soon, which explains Yūsaku's odd behavior. After encouragement from Sumire, Yūsaku becomes a candidate; Taiga drops out, leaving Yūsaku to become the student council president. He confesses his love to Sumire in front of everyone, but she does not respond to his feelings. Taiga becomes outraged at this, and fights Sumire. After Ryūji and the council members stop the fight, Sumire confesses she did not want Yūsaku to sacrifice everything for her. Yūsaku overhears this and states he is glad he fell in love with her. As Minori leaves, Ami asks her if she feels guilty. Two days later Sumire leaves to study abroad and Taiga is suspended for two weeks. She is told to send a letter of apology to Sumire and instead sends a letter with only the word 'idiot'.
17 - Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas (Kurisumasu ni Suisei wa Gyakkōsuru; クリスマスに水星は逆行する) Edit
Minori becomes disoriented during a baseball game because of what Ami had said, and makes a mistake that causes her team to lose the game. Christmas is coming up, much to the joy of Taiga, whose suspension from school has just lifted. After Ryūji tells her that his relationship with Minori has not progressed, Taiga declares the need to play Cupid for him, since she wants to be good for Santa. At school the next morning, students, who became fans of Taiga's after her fight with Sumire, surround Taiga and Ryūji. After acknowledging her victory, Taiga and Ryūji head to their classroom to see Minori wearing a bald wig while speaking nonsense. Yūsaku arrives and lies down in front of Taiga in admiration for her actions to help his relationship with Sumire. Later, Yūsaku announces the student council will organize a Christmas Eve party to boost romantic feelings among students. Taiga and Ryūji ask Minori to go to the party with them, but she vehemently declines. Taiga, Ryūji, Yūsaku, Haruta, Noto, and Maya eat together at the restaurant where Minori works (who is off today), and they pair Yūsaku and Taiga up at a table by themselves.
18 - Under the Fir Tree (Momi no Ki no Shita de; もみの木の下で) Edit
Everyone is helping with the Christmas party. While Ryūji's friends keep giving Yūsaku and Taiga some alone time, Ami compares Ryūji's relationship with Taiga as akin to a father/daughter relationship, and tells him he should stop it soon. After the final exam, Ryūji helps Taiga send presents to her parents and some lonely children. Taiga recalls when she got to meet Santa, which despite possibly being a dream, gives her hope that someone is always watching over her. Everyone helps put together an artificial Christmas tree topped with a glass star that Taiga brought. Everyone is pleased with their efforts and awed by the site of the tree lit up. However, a stray softball crashes through the gym window and knocks over the tree, smashing the star. This sends Minori into deep regret and she forces it upon herself to fix the broken star; despite her protests, Ryūji helps her out. The baseball club apologizes and Minori leaves, still declining Ryūji's offer of going to the party as she feels she would not be welcome after the accident. Despite hearing that, Ryūji promises her that he will wait for her.
19 - Christmas Eve Festival (Seiyasai; 聖夜祭) Edit
On the night of the party, Taiga brings over a suit for Ryūji to wear while he still attempts to convince Minori to come. The party begins with a special Christmas song performed by Taiga and Ami. Following the song, Ami informs Ryūji that Taiga has left the party. Taiga decides to go home in order to wait for Santa Claus, stopping by Minori's house on the way to convince her to go to the party. Ryūji, figuring she would be alone, goes to Taiga's apartment dressed up as a 'Bear Santa Claus' in order to help Taiga realize that she is not alone. Afterwards, she tells Ryūji to go back and wait for Minori. Ryūji leaves, despite initially resisting. Taiga begins crying uncontrollably, thinking that with Ryūji together with Minori, Ryūji and herself can no longer stay together. Taiga rushes after Ryūji, calling for him, but he is already gone. Minori, who was heading to the party, witnesses this. When Minori meets Ryūji at the school, she implies to him that she does not wish to have a boyfriend at this point in time. Ryūji interprets this as being rejected and collapses onto the sidewalk.
20 - Forever Like This (Zutto, Kono Mama; ずっと, このまま) Edit
Following Ryūji's rejection by Minori, Taiga visits a shrine while he has the flu and runs into Yūsaku. Taiga decides not to come over to Ryūji's house anymore and tells him not to give up on her. The teacher informs her students that the field trip to Okinawa is now going to be a ski trip due to their previously booked hotel burning down. Taiga points out to Ryūji that this would be his last chance to confirm Minori's feelings before classes are rearranged. Ryūji catches up with Minori, who is still a bit disheartened from Christmas, and Taiga provides an opportunity for the two to start talking again. Later, Ryūji, Minori, Yūsaku, Ami and the other students go to Taiga's apartment to discuss plans for the trip. Ryūji and Minori talk in the kitchen, where she constantly praises Ryūji for the way Taiga has become. She wishes that things would stay the way they were forever, while Ryūji knows that it would not be possible, and becomes determined to confess properly.
21 - No Matter What (Dōshitatte; どうしたって)Edit
During the ski trip, Ryūji wonders why Taiga had not told him about meeting Yūsaku on New Year's. Hisamitsu gets into a fight with Maya concerning her attempts to be around Yūsaku. Ryūji has a brief talk with Minori about how to deal with it; Minori puts on the hairpin Ryūji got for her, saying Taiga gave it to her. When confronted by Yūsaku, Hisamitsu, and Haruta, Ryūji reveals he has a crush on Minori. Later, they investigate the girl's room in order to find out the true reason behind Minori's rejection, only to end up hiding in a closet along with Taiga, when Ami, Minori, Maya, and Nanako come in. Ami brings up the topic of Ryūji's rejection by Minori, and the two get angry at each other. The next day, Taiga and Minori accidentally run into Ami on their sled. Ami decides that they did it on purpose because of the last night's argument and engages in a physical fight with Minori. Minori drops her hairpin on a nearby slope and Taiga goes to search for it by herself, but ends up falling down without the others noticing. When Taiga does not return, Yūsaku, Minori, and Ryūji search for her. Ryūji finds her at the bottom of a hill, bleeding and covered in snow. As Ryūji carries her back, a barely conscious Taiga thinking that he is Yūsaku, apologizes and confesses that she cannot stop loving Ryūji.
22 - The Scene With You (Kimi no Iru Keshiki; 君のいる景色)Edit
Following the incident at the ski trip, Taiga is staying with her mother, and has not come back to school. Ryūji asks Yūsaku to pretend he was the one who saved Taiga in order to make her story true. Later, Hisamitsu and Haruta take Ryūji to a ramen shop where Minori has started another part time job. At home, Ryūji bemoans the fact he is not able to afford further education, but Yasuko tells him he should aim to be the best. Ryūji goes home and finds Yasuko had gone to work, as a result of yesterday's discussion. Noticing the hairpin he got for Minori, he puts it away in his box, realizing he would not be able to give it to her. He is surprised to find Taiga on his doorstep and locked out of her apartment, who lied about being seriously ill in order to bond with her mother. When she notices the box with Minori's hairpin in it, she reassures Ryūji that he will be with her. Taiga tells him that she had a dream about the events that occurred and the 'stupid words' she said, and he assures her that, apart from Yūsaku saving her, it was all a dream.
23 - The Road That We Must Advance On (Susumu Beki Michi; 進むべき道)Edit
As Valentine's Day approaches, Ryūji and Taiga get called in concerning their future ambitions form, though Taiga seems uninterested. Ryūji encounters Ami refusing to model the school uniform and talks with her. Ami tells him that she originally planned to stay at school short term, but stayed to help Taiga. Ryūji gets a call from Taiga saying Yasuko had collapsed due to anemia from being overworked. Ryūji blames himself, but they both decide to fill in for Yasuko's part-time job of selling chocolate and use Ami's celebrity status to boost sales. Taiga decides to make everyone some chocolate as thanks for the things they have done for her. However, when Minori notices that Taiga believed Yūsaku rescued her from the ski trip instead of Ryūji, she becomes angry. She confronts Taiga, with Ami and Yūsaku blocking the exits, trying to get her to show her true feelings. Taiga says she only wanted Minori to be happy, but Minori says that happiness is something only she can decide for herself. Taiga runs off and Minori decides to go after her, asking Ryūji if he will go after her too.
24 - Confession (Kokuhaku; 告白)Edit
Ryūji decides to help Minori go after Taiga. While running to catch up, Minori shouts that she has always liked Ryūji but held back because of her friendship with Taiga; she also says that Taiga has to obtain her own happiness as well. Afterwards, Minori confirms Ryūji’s love for Taiga. Later at work, Taiga finds Ryūji waiting for her and agrees to talk to him after the shift. However, after work, Ryūji and Taiga's mothers come to confront their children, and the two flee. They stop at a bridge to talk about their situations and Taiga, after telling Ryūji that he has to live on, accidentally pushes him into the river. Ryūji yells to Taiga his plan of running away and marrying her. Yūsaku has them go to Ami's house. Minori, Ami, and Yūsaku do not agree with their plans, but decide to support them. At home, Ryūji finds that his mother has run away, leaving a note and his grandfather's watch. The next morning, Ryūji and Taiga get on a train, but after Taiga talks about being a three-person family with Yasuko, Ryūji decides that they will not run away. He takes Taiga to his grandparents' house, as Yasuko told him to in her note, and introduces himself as their grandson and Taiga as his wife.
25 - Toradora! (Toradora!; とらドラ!)Edit
After hearing Taiga's fake voicemail message, Yasuko arrives at Ryūji's grandparent's house, where Ryūji waits. Yasuko makes up with her parents and tells Ryūji that his father ran off while she was still pregnant, and she gave birth to him despite protest. Ryūji decides that he and Taiga should not run away, and instead get married with everyone's approval. They have a rehearsal wedding where they share their first kisses. They all go home, but Taiga, after listening to her mother’s exasperated voicemails, decides to go back to her because she does not want to run away from her problems. Minori is not happy that Ryūji let her leave, but he has come to terms with everything. Taiga sends everyone a mail with a picture of the night sky and a single star, and Minori thinks that this is supposed to encourage them to do their best. Everyone gets together to send a group picture to Taiga. Over a year later during their high school graduation ceremony, Taiga comes back. Ryūji finds her in a locker in the classroom, and he says that he loves her at last. She gets flustered and responds by headbutting him.