|Name in Japanese||逢坂大河|
|Romaji Translation||Aisaka Taiga|
|Debut (Anime)||Toradora! Episode 01|
|Debut (Light Novel)||Toradora! Volume 01|
|Appears in||Novel, Manga, Anime|
|Voice Actor (Japanese)||Rie Kugimiya|
|Hair Color||Light Brown|
|Title||Palmtop Tiger, The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness|
Taiga is an 11th-year student (HS class 2, age 16-17) but looks more like an 11-year-old, being about 145 cm tall and about 45 kg in weight. She has beautiful long, thick, wavy hair, usually worn down to her waist in back. She is normally seen wearing the school uniform, considering of dark blue-grey pleated skirt, white blouse with black ribbon and red coat, but on days off she often wears clothes reminiscent of a doll (as is described as a one by Ryūji). She eschews bikinis and hates even the school one-piece swimsuit, fearing her slight, slack figure will be an embarrassment (Ryūji actually fashions pads for it to spare her awkwardness). Both her white wool overcoat and deep black strapless party gown are of high quality and in the fashion of conservative upper-class people (and therefore likely expensive), giving her a stunningly adult appearance when dressed up.
In the anime adaptation, her hair's color appears lighter than in the manga.
Taiga gets upset easily and is considerably clumsy, most likely to overcompensation issues from having felt unloved and unimportant in her childhood. But she has a very strong tendency towards righteousness and her unfortunately-violent outbursts are usually well-motivated. At other times her flareups of temper come from feeling personally slighted or offended, betraying a streak of selfishness. Her classmates consider her pretty and she often gets confessions by boys her age, but she has turned down every one of them, including Yūsaku Kitamura, which she later regrets with some shame. Inside, she has a soft side and loves Kitamura as well.
In fans' and developers' wallpapers, she is often depicted beside a tiger (because she is labeled as the 'Palmtop Tiger' at school) though this association is never shown in the story itself. She has a big crush on Yusaku Kitamura, Ryūji's friend, which Ryūji later discovers.
Some sites, notably MyAnimeList, include Taiga amongst Cancer (June-July) birthsigns. While it is implied in the closing episodes that she is younger than Ryūji, who claims to be a Taurus (April-May), her personality may better fit that of Aries or even Leo.
Background and plot substanceEdit
Family Background ArcEdit
Despite coming from a well-to-do family, her life with them is very difficult because of various problems. Her parents are divorced and her father has chosen his new wife over Taiga, forcing her to move out and live in an apartment by herself. However when her father's business goes bankrupt and he runs away, she is left in the care of her mother who has also re-married and now has a new family of her own. Taiga has difficulty getting along with her step-father and half-sibling. In the last chapters she admits she is too afraid to return to her mother because her mother has become pregnant again and Taiga fears that, since she is 'sure to have a tall child', she will not fit in and would just be a burden to them.
Love Letter ArcEditTaiga accidentally gives Ryūji an envelope for a love letter that is meant to be for Yusaku Kitamura and breaks into his home in an attempt to reclaim the letter and wipe out Ryūji's memory of ever having seen it. But when Ryuji tells her that the envelope was empty she stops and collapes from exhaustion and hunger. After feeding Taiga, Ryuji shows Taiga his collection of love letters, music, and other ideas of how his first date is going to be like but since he can't manage to let his feelings out he can only simulate what he's going to do. After reading one of his love letters in one of his notebooks, Taiga finds out that Ryūji has a crush on her best friend Kushieda Minori. After noticing how late it is, Ryūji promises Taiga that he will help her win Yusaku Kitamura's heart so long as she goes home straight away so that they both get enough sleep for school in the morning.
Ryuji and Taiga's Plan ArcEdit
Since she comes from a privileged household, Taiga does not know how to do any domestic chores. After learns of Ryūji's domestic talents, she relies on Ryūji to clean up after her. Aside from sleeping in her own house and going to school, she spends most of her time at Ryūji's house, so much so that Ryūji's mother considers her a member of the family. At the beginning of the story, Taiga is infatuated with his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura and gets nervous every time he comes near her. Due to this, Taiga and Ryūji team up to help each other get into a relationship with each other's best friend. To get closer to Yūsaku, Ryūji and Taiga formulate several plans that end in failure.
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. Calling herself clumsy and feeling depressed, Ryūji eats her cookies and says they are great (despite tasting horrible), 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 only to continue being friends.
First Time Meeting Ami ArcEditAfter accidently spilling Ryūji's drink on herself, Ryūji offers to clean her dress if they go to the restaurant where Minori works. But when they get there they find out that she had her day off that day. As they are looking at fashion magazine, Taiga notices that a girl coming into the resturant is pictured in the magazine, a model called Kawashima Ami. To their surprise Yūsaku is also there with her and tells them that they are childhood friends and she has come to visit for a while. Ami seems innocent, kind, polite, and a self-proclaimed airhead; but Taiga learns she only acts that way to get what she wants. Ami begins taunting Taiga to the point that Taiga slaps her. Seeing Yūsaku and Ryūji coming she starts crying. Yūsaku apologizes for what happens and takes Ami home. The next day they find out that Ami will be in their school, even in their very class.
With Aisaka's habit of referring to different people disparagingly as dogs, Ami soon earns the nickname "Stupid Chihuahua" ('baka-chi').
Christmas Eve Party ArcEditAfter Ryūji tells Taiga 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, Kitamura announces that 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. This causes Taiga and Ryūji to worry about Minori.
As Christmas approaches, the whole class helps in preparing for the Christmas party, including setting up a large artificial Christmas tree. Taiga contributes a heavy glass star for the top, which she says is her most Christmas ornament. 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. The baseball club apologizes and Minori blames herself for losing control of the ball. She 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.
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 Ami and Taiga. Following the song, Taiga leaves the party to go home in order to wait for Santa Claus, stopping by Minori's house on the way to convince her to attend the party. Ryūji goes to Taiga's apartment dressed up as a 'Bear Santa Claus', cheering her up so that she realizes she is not alone. Afterwards, she tells Ryūji to go back and wait for Minori and after some resistance-- for apparently he would rather spend the evening with Taiga-- he leaves. Taiga begins crying uncontrollably, thinking that with Ryūji together with Minori, Ryūji and herself can no longer be such close friends. Taiga rushes after Ryūji, calling for him, but he is already gone. Minori, who was heading to the party, witnesses this.
Ski Trip ArcEdit
The school is supposed to have a field trip in Okinawa but the hotel where they were going to stay burned down; so the trip is reorganized at a ski resort. Ryūji blames himself for this because earlier he had wished everything would burn just to make his worries disappear. One night, Ryuji, Yusaku, Haruta and Noto go to the girls' room to check on them but find the girls are not there there. When they hear the door opening, they all dive into the closet to hide. After finding out that it was Taiga who came in, they snatch her into the closet before the other girls come in.
From the closet all four boys and Taiga overhear an argument between Minori and Ami about Minori rejecting Ryūji. The next day, Ami tries to apologize to Ryūji about what happened last night (unaware that Ryūji heard everything). Then, Minori and Taiga, in a sled, accidentally hit Ami; as Minori and Ami fight over the blame for it, Minori's hair clip goes flying. Taiga leaves to search for it and when the fight has been broken up the others realize she is missing. Ryūji, Yusaku, and Minori decide to find her themselves. A snow storm has begun but near the place where the fight took place Minori discovers an opening in the fence. Ryūji descends the hill to look for her, spying the hair clip sparkling in one of the trees. Not far below he discovers Taiga lying inert in the snow with a head wound. As he carries her back uphill, Taiga mumbles that she wants Ryūji and Minori to be together but admits she cannot stop loving Ryūji. Ryūji realizes she believes Yusaku is carrying her; and once Taiga recovers he makes Yusaku promise to deny the truth and, to spare Taiga the embarrassment, to allow her to believe Yusaku had indeed been the one to save her.
Valentine's Day ArcEdit
Ryūji's mother, Yasuko, collapses from exhaustion while working a second job at a bakery. To help Yasuko, Taiga agrees to take her shift at the bakery, with Ryūji agreeing to work there as well. Taiga and Ryūji were selling chocolates for the bakery for Valentine's Day. Taiga gets the idea to call Ami to the bakery and have her help sales by providing testimonials how much she loves the chocolates there. Ami argues with her about it but eventually takes the box of chocolates and advertises how much she and her model friends love the chocolates. Taiga and Ryūji meet their quota and Taiga buys the rest of the chocolates.
As Valentine's Day approaches, she decides to make everyone some chocolate as thanks for the things they have done for her. However, when Minori notices that she believes Yūsaku rescued her from the ski trip instead of Ryūji, she becomes angry. Minori confronts her, with Ami and Yūsaku blocking the exits, trying to get her to show her true feelings. After violently denying the likelihood that Minori is telling her the truth, Taiga admits she only wanted Minori to be happy. Minori tells her 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.
On her way out of the building Taiga hears Minori shouting that she has always liked Ryūji but held back because she felt Taiga's friendship with him was based on a stronger emotional need. She also says that she has to obtain her own happiness as well. Later, at work, she finds Ryūji is waiting for her and agrees to talk to him after the shift. However, after work, Ryūji's and Taiga's mothers confront their children and Ryūji and Taiga, each seeing that their mothers are acting out of immature selfishness, decide to run away together. At a bridge they stop to talk. After Taiga told Ryūji that he has to live on, she accidentally pushes him into the river. Standing in the freezing water Ryūji yells up to Taiga to admit his plan of running away and marrying her in two months. She also jumps into the river; but just as they agree to say 'I love you' to each other, Yūsaku phones and asks them to meet to Ami's house. Minori, Ami, and Yūsaku do not agree with their plans but decide to support them. Minori Yusaku lend them some cash and Ami lends them the key to her family's chalet.
Ryūji and Taiga pack for a long trip; but when Ryūji spies Yasuko's note he realizes she had run away, like a child, and he convinces Taiga that they should visit his grandparents. Taiga leaves a dramatic message on Yasuko's phone, tricking her into believing Ryūji is in danger, and Yasuko shows up at her parents' door for the first time in ten years. Taiga is impressed to see Ryūji's family so swiftly healed.
On Ryūji's graduation day, a little more than a year later, he spies Taiga in the windows of the homeroom classroom they shared and runs up stairs to discover her hiding in a cupboard, dressed in her new school's uniform. She claims she had wanted to surprise him. He admits she appears taller-- probably because he had not seen her in more than a year. She replies she has not grown even a single millimeter. Finally he says the three words 'I love you' to her, without the slightest hesitation. But, true to character, she claims that he has terrible timing and should've picked a better place to say "such embarassing things", giving him a headbutt that sends him flying to the floor.
Ryūji is 18 by this time so one can assume he will endeavor to fulfill his promise to marry and support her.
This section appears in the anime during the last half of the credit sequence; it's easily missed if one tunes out at the start of the end title.
- Taiga bears a strong resemblance to Louise Francois le Blanc dela Valliere (of 'Zero no Tsukaima') in both appearance and attitude. Both also nickname their male partners (Ryūji Takasu and Saito Hiraga) 'dog'. They also have the same seiyuu. She also resembles Shana ( from Shakugan No Shana )
- When in anger, Taiga often shouts a call that sounds like 'ora' but she rolls her 'r' so it resembles a tiger's growl (ora means "come on").
- Taiga appears to be very proficient with a katana and exhibits evidence of having had advanced training in kendou. One must assume this has been from private lessons in the past or else from paying attention in PE class; but it is never explained in the story.
- Taiga rarely eats anything healthy until Ryūji begins to cook for her. Despite her well-endowed trust fund, she cannot cook and has subsisted on convenience-store noodles and rice for about two years beforehand.
- Taiga admits that she has always loved Christmas and has been helping the sisters at her old Catholic school by sending presents to the orphans marked 'From Santa Claus'.
- Taiga hates her figure as it appears in a swimsuit and she does not know how to swim.
- Taiga apears as a boss in the Nippon Ichi game 'zettai hero project'. After defeating her, one gets a costume to dress exactly like her.
- During Taiga's ending on the PSP, she marries Ryūji and gets pregnant. This ending is also how presumably it would've gone in the anime.
- Taiga also bears a strong resemblance to Ryouko Ookami or "wolf" (of Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi) in both appearance and attitude. Most fans would call Ryouko the "Older Taiga"
- Taiga, along with Ami and Minori make a cameo in an episode of Ookami-san To Shichinin No Nakama-tachi.
- Taiga's rumored birthday is October 17.