Toradora! Ep. 16 - 19
#1
Laughing 
Yes, I'm severely late on these (anime oyasumi ~ vacation from anime), so here's a four episode summary recap extravaganza! Because of this circumstance, the first post will have a recap, the next three will not, and the last one will have an episode preview section as usual. Oh man, we're coming down to the last few episodes here.

I'll be doing something different from the other posts I did, I'll be putting up one photo from each episode I find significant that pretty much sums up the episode as a whole. Enjoy!
SimsHsia
EZS Web Services
"I've reached field capacity!"
#2
Arrow 
Episode 16: One Step Forward

[Image: toradora16.jpg]
SAMURAI TAIGA!

Unfortunately, the new OP/EDs did not appear in ep. 16, they appear in ep. 17 after Yuusaku's story arc. J.C. Staff is good, they keep us guessing on when the new OP/ED will come.

Recap from last time:
Yuusaku doesn't want to run for election as student council president and resigns as vice president, as a result he bleaches his hair. To encourage Yuusaku and bring him back to normal, Taiga decides to run for student council president.

Key plot points:
  • At the front of the school, Taiga announces her candidacy (for Yuusaku's sake). Ryuuji announces that he the campaign manager for the Taiga camp. Students in distress begin asking if there will be any one to oppose her.
  • Ryuuji receives a phone call from a student council member regarding the current council president, Kanou Sumire, going on a study abroad in America; the reason why Yuusaku had a radical change in his behavior: he loves Sumire. Ryuuji begins to go find where Yuusaku is, and once he does, they both talk for a short while then part their ways.
  • The following morning, the day before the day of the election, Yuusaku is seen in his normal hair color and announces his candidacy for student council president. However, Yuusaku hasn't yet turned in his application form until a little encouragement from Sumire does he finally turn it in at the deadline time of 4:00 PM.
  • On Saturday, it is announced that Taiga has conceded from the running, thus leaving the only candidate in running, Yuusaku, to give a speech before the election process begins. At his speech in front of the entire student body, Yuusaku unexpectedly confesses his feelings to Sumire. When asked to answer him, Sumire does not answer him properly, instead she encourages all students to give their vote to Yuusaku.
  • That afternoon, Taiga and Sumire fight it out in a classroom. In the end, it turns out that Sumire didn't answer properly because if she did, Yuusaku would do whatever she would say -- no matter how hard he must sacrifice. In light of this, Sumire wanted Yuusaku to make his own decisions and live out his life with his own intentions and desires.
  • On the following Monday, Yuusaku is president of the student council, Sumire spent her last day in Japan bruised and two days later moved to America, and Taiga ended up being suspended from school for two weeks.
  • Taiga, during her suspension, is assigned to write an apology letter to Sumire. After the credits / ED sequence rolls, Sumire, now in America, receives Taiga's apology letter consisting of one word: Idiot and laughs.

Episode thoughts:
Well, alright, it wasn't so ABSOLUTE to have a new OP/ED in this episode -- J.C. Staff sure likes to trick us, but it seems logical to wait until Yuusaku's story arc ends first to reach the pinnacle climax point of the series. Oh well, one more episode of Pre-Parade/Vanilla Salt is just fine after a three week break from anime. Smile

Well, this episode certain has a fair share of drama and fighting. The fighting scene between Taiga and Sumire was nicely and fluidly animated. After the fight, one thing is confirmed about Minorin: it is hinted that she does have some feelings for Ryuuji. I found that Taiga's apology to Sumire was fitting of her and laughed it as well. And, thus, ends Yuusaku's story arc...sort of, anyways. Smile
SimsHsia
EZS Web Services
"I've reached field capacity!"
#3
Laughing 
Episode 17: Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas

[Image: toradora17.jpg]
The above pretty much shows how silly most of the episode is.

Yes, Virginia, the new OP/ED is here! OP: Silky Heart by Horie Yui and ED: Orange by the trio of female seiyuus (Kugimiya Rie, Horie Yui, Kitamura Eri).
By the way, on the very day ep. 17 originally aired (Feb. 5th) it was announced that the light novel series will end in March with the 10th volume. As a result, the production team of the anime and author of the light novels are both collaborating together for both works to have the same canon ending.

Key plot points:
  • At a softball game, Minorin spaces out but quickly snaps out of it. She pitches the ball and the batter fumbles it and rolls the ball toward her. As she begins to throw it toward first base, Minorin looses her grip on the ball which ultimately causes her team to lose the game.
  • Christmas is in the air, and Taiga loves it (she even believes in Santa Claus). Taiga asks Ryuuji if he has made any progress with Minorin and, when seeing his reaction, is disappointed in him since her suspension gave him a very good chance.
  • The next day, Taiga returns to school from her suspension but is blocked by a large group of guys. They are fans of Taiga who heard about the fight between the "boss" (Sumire) and the Palmtop Tiger (Taiga). Both Ryuuji and Taiga walk in on a calamity: Minorin is wearing a bald wig and singing about her thighs and Yuusaku comes in lying face down greeting both of them. When asked why he's lying face down on the floor, Yuusaku responds that he is full of admiration for Taiga and kneeling just won't do.
  • During lunch, there is a PA broadcast program with an unidentified woman and Yuusaku (as host) in the school's broadcast room. In the end, it turns out that Yuri-sensei, the previously unidentified woman with the pseudo-name of "Y-chan", was recalling a failed date with an assistant professor teacher and transitions from laughing cheerfully to bawling. Yuusaku has become a respected figure for any relationship troubles after his public confession to Sumire.
  • With a crying Yuri-sensei in the background, Yuusaku announces a Christmas party will be held. It is encouraged to go to the party with a partner.
  • At Ryuuji's home, both Ryuuji and his mom are in crouching positions in front of Inko-chan (you know, their parrot?) to respectfully apologize to their bird and promises never to cook him. This was a result of Inko-chan eyeing a book Ryuuji borrowed about cooking poultry for a Christmas meal.
  • Taiga invites everyone to Minorin's place of work: the family restaurant to read up on the boss' (Sumire) notes before final exams begin. It turns out that Minorin took the day off, so she couldn't join Ryuuji, Taiga, Yuusaku, Kouji Haruta, Noto Hisamitsu, and Kihara Maya. It turns out that Haruta and Hisamitsu are trying to pair Taiga and Yuusaku together for the Christmas party, but there's a bit of a problem. Maya appears to have feelings for Yuusaku and ends up supporting Ryuuji to be a couple with Taiga.

Episode thoughts:
This episode was chock full of laughs and amusing moments. It looks like the next few episodes will be all about Minorin (as expected) and the reason about why she's all down. About the light novel series and this anime series coming to a conclusion in March, I find that this is favorable as this will not cause the series to drag on for several series (Zero no Tsukaima, for instance). As a result, for you light novel folks, this episode brings us to the 7th volume. By the way, I was laughing with tears in my eyes when Minorin was singing her song, I never knew Horie Yui (voice actor of Minorin) could sing so high! By the way, gotta love the Guns 'n Roses reference Ryuuji makes.

About the OP and ED, I'm going to need to listen to the OP (Silky Heart) a couple of times in order for it to grow on me, but the ED (Orange) has a positive impact from me. Regardless, both songs are fitting for the second half (well, we're 4 episodes over) of the series. At least neither song isn't as quick paced as Pre-Parade (imagine trying to sing that song at a karaoke bar)! What's interesting about the ED sequence is that Ryuuji's "baking" the orange fruit cake in a microwave, hunh.
SimsHsia
EZS Web Services
"I've reached field capacity!"
#4
Shocked 
Episode 18: Beneath the Fir Tree

[Image: toradora18.jpg]
Christmas tree GET!

Yup, two episodes down, two to go and I'm back on schedule. Here goes:

Key plot points:
  • Taiga fumbles a box and its contents fall to the floor, with Ryuuji in tow with another box, bump into Yuri-sensei who's concerned about Haruta's grades.
  • The Christmas party preparations are well under way, despite final exams coming up. When Ryuuji and Ami are alone in the gym storage room, Ami tells Ryuuji to stop playing the game a House and pretending to be the father of Taiga, while everyone else is in on the plan to couple up Taiga with Yuusaku.
  • Lately, Minorin hasn't talked to either Taiga or Ryuuji in quite some time. Taiga finds her behavior to be odd and wonders what's up, she even takes the initiative to get Ryuuji and Minorin together and suddenly remembering she has to take care of some business at the post office. However, the plan back fires when Maya asks Ryuuji about going somewhere and Ryuuji ends up saying he has to go to the post office with Taiga.
  • At Taiga's apartment, Ryuuji finds out why Taiga needs to go to the post office. Taiga has a large pile of presents she wants to send to her family, notably her father (Aisaka Rikurou) and step-mother (Aisaka Yuu). Ryuuji finds that Taiga even has a package for Santa Claus, but it turns out it's really being sent to an orphanage as a sign of Taiga's good will that there are people out there that do care.
  • Yuri-sensei, still single...and lonely, loudly orates that she will buy herself a Christmas present and somehow manages to envision the future of her own life and Japan's economy only to resolve to begin looking for an apartment to live in.
  • The Christmas tree arrives and the party preparation committee assembles the tree. Taiga lends her most favorite decoration: a crystal star to be adorned on top of the tree. As the committee admire the sight of the tree, an object breaks a window which causes the tree to tip over and Taiga's decoration crashes to the ground and shatters to pieces. Minorin and the rest of the softball team quickly come in to check if anyone got hurt.
  • Minorin admitting she's at fault desperately tries to piece the star back together, even though Taiga said it was alright. Although Minorin refuses any help, Ryuuji helps her stating that he's only doing what he has to do for Taiga's sake. Eventually, the star is repaired and the tree re-erected and everything's ready for the party.
  • After a formal apology by the girl's softball team, Ryuuji runs after Minorin and asks her to go to the Christmas party with him. Minorin will not go, but Ryuuji shouts that he will wait for her no matter what.

Episode thoughts:
Poor Yuri-sensei, buying presents for herself, envisioning the future, what else is next? We certainly do see a sadder side to Minorin in this episode, especially since she's been avoiding Taiga and, most of all, Ryuuji. Anyways, here's to a successful party and a back-to-normal Minorin by the end of the next episode.

SimsHsia
EZS Web Services
"I've reached field capacity!"
#5
Heart 
Episode 19: Holy Night Party

[Image: toradora19.jpg]
Yes, that's Ami and Taiga.

Three down, here's the last one folks (I'm officially caught up):

Key plot points:
  • Ryuuji calls Minorin, but no one answers and he leaves a message regarding the party later that evening on her voicemail. Meanwhile, Taiga flings a box at Ryuuji containing a very expensive suit that was once her father's but was discarded when it didn't fit him anymore.
  • At the school later that evening, Yuri-sensei, of all days, is going to a class to learn about real estate to buy an apartment and leaves before the party even begins. Ryuuji, unhappy with how the punch was being distributed, volunteers to serve them out and while conversing with a turkey-confused Haruta, mistakenly catches a glimpse of someone looking like Minorin.
  • Haruta asks if Ryuuji saw Ami and whether she looked hot, then Hisamitsu says that he hasn't seen Taiga yet. Their questions are answered when the lights suddenly go out and a curtain is raised as both Taiga and Ami sing a Christmas song.
  • After the song, Ami converses with Ryuuji and let's him know that Taiga went over to Minorin's house then she'll be going home. At Taiga's apartment, she recalls a flashback memory of talking to Minorin and straightening things out and urging her to go to the Christmas party where Ryuuji's waiting, she is alone and says to herself that she'll be spending this year's Christmas alone after all, along with the years following.
  • As Taiga sleeps, she hears a pounding of her window from her bedroom, as she pulls the curtain back she's surprised at the sight of a giant bear with a Santa hat and suit is there. When she let's it in and asks if it's really Santa Claus, the Santa bear nods. An enjoyous moment occurs, but Taiga is quick to find out and thanks Ryuuji and pressures him to go back to the party. After all, her real Christmas present to Ryuuji was getting Minorin together with him.
  • As Ryuuji leaves to return to the party, Taiga goes to pick up Ryuuji's scarf but notices teardrops fall from her eyes. Even though she planned to get Minorin and Ryuuji together, she doesn't want this to occur as she will not have any one to rely on like Ryuuji did for her. She quickly dashes outside and shouts Ryuuji's name multiple times hoping he would come to her, but close by, Minorin witnesses this.
  • Ryuuji is sitting outside the school disappointed and wondering what he should do. Just then, Minorin comes by and tells him to recall the discussion they had at Ami's villa about both of them looking for UFOs and other things, she admits that they are better left unseen and walks away. Ryuuji realizes that he was just rejected by Minorin and falls to the floor in disbelief.

Episode thoughts:
Well, it turns out that everybody's Christmas turns out to be a flop. Ryuuji, Taiga, Ami, possibly Yuusaku too, are all alone with their own problems. The duet by Kitamura Eri and Kugimiya Rie (voices of Ami and Taiga, respectively) did a very good job with the Christmas song, Holy Night.

On another note, it appears that Taiga has feelings for Ryuuji after all and she wants him by her side. Perhaps things will run in her favor in the next few episodes, we'll see. If you're wondering which camp I'm convinced Ryuuji should go with, well I can't tell because I'm not sure which to cheer on for. There's the cliche route of RyuujiXTaiga, or the one he wanted from the beginning if he can make up (RyuujiXMinorin), or the avoiding the mess between Minorin and Taiga and having a RyuujiXAmi. Now that I think about it, I think Ryuuji might as well just give Ami another chance.

[Image: preview20.jpg]
As Ami worriedly looks off into the distance, she wonders what will happen in the next episode.

Next episode zutto, kono mama or Always, like this (or Always, as it is). Sounds like Minorin is back to her usual self, despite what happens in this episode, and the new year begins!

SimsHsia
EZS Web Services
"I've reached field capacity!"


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