Toradora! Ep. 25 - Owari! (END)
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Episode 25: Toradora!
Toradora: oshimai. If you watched it (or later in the future), hope you enjoyed it. I'm also including a photo montage compilation along with the episode summary image; apologizes for the extra load time.

[Image: toradora25.jpg]

Recap from last time:
Taiga and Ryuuji travel to Yasuko's parent's house after vowing that they will get married.

Key plot points:
  • Yasuko quickly rushes to see Ryuuji, at her parent's house after having been contacted by Taiga that he was involved in a life-threatening accident. She hesitates to open the door, then upon opening she sees a healthy and unscathed Ryuuji waiting for her. It is later learned that Yasuko did not marry Ryuuji's father and, although everyone wanted her to get an abortion, she decided to keep him and run away from home. Ryuuji, on the other hand, tells his mother that running away won't solve anything and he promises he will grow into an adult wherever she can see him.
  • In the evening, due to room limitations, Taiga and Ryuuji are to sleep together in the same room. As they both look up at the star-filled sky, which they can hardly see any back home, Ryuuji feels that they should not rush into marriage and instead gather everyone's blessings for their marriage. Although it will take time with gaining the blessings of Taiga's family, Ryuuji doesn't mind as long as everyone is happy.
  • Taiga then uses a bedsheet as a wedding veil and asks Ryuuji to say his vows to her as practice for their wedding. As Ryuuji stumbles his words on what to say, Taiga reminds him of the words he told her when they first met of the legendary tale of how tigers and dragons always stand together. Soon, Taiga mentions how Ryuuji is breathing funny and that his lips are cracked as he comes closer to her. She continues on how being kissed would be painful, so Ryuuji gives her a quick peck on the lips. When she complains, she comments it was also warm, and since she's cold she wants another kiss. As she whispers after each kiss Ryuuji gives her that she wants more, Ryuuji continues to kiss her.
  • The next morning, Taiga, Ryuuji and Yasuko head back home. As they begin to part ways into their own homes, Ryuuji tells Taiga that he's making pork cutlets for dinner, her favorite. As Taiga stands outside the entrance to her apartment, she expects that her mother is in her apartment. However, the place is empty, and she notices there are a few voicemail messages from her mother and skips through the playbacks. She, too, notices that her own mother's actions are childish and she writes a letter to Ryuuji and packs her things. In the letter, she notes that she is not running away anymore and will change. Before she leaves her apartment, she takes a picture of a lone star in the dark sky.
  • The next day, Ryuuji recalls that Taiga never showed up for dinner and reads the note she left for him. In class, Yuri-sensei announces that Taiga has withdrawn from school, and has transferred to a new school near her mother's home. Through the outrage of students, Yuri-sensei lectures the class that in their lives, there will be various crossroads and they must choose a path. Not understanding what's going on, Minorin slaps Ryuuji and asks why he didn't persuade Taiga not to go. Ryuuji states that he wished that Taiga didn't go either and deciding things on her own. Since he knows Taiga believes in him, he feels he should do the same and accept her decisions.
  • After school, Ryuuji goes into Taiga's apartment and rummages through a bag in her bedroom and finds her handbook with a picture of both her and Yuusaku before the bonfire during the schol festival, behind that photo was one with her with him. He soon receives a text message from Taiga telling him how he didn't tell her that he loved her. Realizing this and blaming it on being interrupted at the time, he, and everyone else in his class, receives a picture message from her of the lone star in the night sky.
  • The next morning, Taiga's photo is the top of the day's discussion with everyone wondering what it is. Minorin explains that it's a photo of a single star in the sky and she thinks Taiga is telling everyone that she will do her best, even if they are far away from each other. Ami soon suggests that they send Taiga a reply with a photo of the class with Taiga's Christmass tree star decoration. As everyone searches high and low for the star, Ami tells Ryuuji how much she envies Taiga about how she could be herself; since she dislikes having to act like an adult, but when she met Taiga she discovered that if one person can understand you, everything will turn out alright. Eventually, it is Minorin who finds the star and everyone is framed up in the shot with Ryuuji holding the star.
  • The following is occurs while the credits roll: A year has passed since then, and although Taiga is not with him, Ryuuji wonders about how he, the dragon, will always stand next to her, the tiger no matter how much time passes or distance separates them. It is, ultimately, graduation for Ryuuji, Minorin, Ami and Yuusaku. Everyone is ready to move on with their lives, with Yuusaku being mentioned to study abroad in America. Ryuuji notices someone resembling Taiga by the window of their old classroom and quickly rushes up there. He discovers that the classroom is empty, but he's wise enough to check the lone locker in the corner of the classroom and, as expected, Taiga is inside. It ends with Ryuuji finally confessing his love for her which causes Taiga to become embarrassed enough to headbutt him on his chin.

Episode thoughts:
All's well that ends well, as Ami would have put it, had she said it that way in this episode. The ending of Toradora! was quite good with a good amount of closure, I must say. The kissing scene between Taiga and Ryuuji wasn't overly dramatic as some other shows, which is a good thing; unlike some other shows like Clannad or Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (Haruka Nogizaka's Secret) where there isn't a chance where the two couples kiss. The show's ending was a bit open-ended, since there was no wedding it certainly opens it up for some sort of an OVA or special episode if J.C. Staff decides to animate it. That probably won't happen for some time, since J.C. Staff must be direly busy with Hayate no Gotoku!! and Kugimiya Rie (voices Taiga) is busy voicing Nagi in Hayate and Al in Full Metal Alchemist for pretty much a whole year as well as a few other roles in other anime series. Anyways, getting back on track, I felt that the closure for Ami was glossed over a bit since she always had problems but immediately resolved them by just going on with things as they are. The time jump after Taiga leaves to the graduation ceremony felt a bit off as it took me a few moments to wonder what just happened. By the way, Taiga looks rather good in her black school uniform.

Well, Toradora! was a refreshing romance comedy anime, although I was prepared for screaming, lashings, whippings, etc with the Master-Servant relationship Taiga and Ryuuji had it appears that this wasn't the case; unlike, let's say, Zero no Tsukaima (I'm sure I've mentioned this one many times before) which also stars Kugimiya Rie voicing the main female character. Toradora! was quite the ride with the drama in the latter half and just slightly amusing with their failures of helping each other advance their relationships with each of their crushes. Although J.C. Staff's anime adaptations are all over the board, I must give thanks to them, the series composition, and the series author, Takemiya Yuyuko. Now, if you excuse me, I must figure out which anime from next season's list will tide me over from Toradora! withdrawal. Wink

Enjoy the compilation photo montage that took me ages to create. Heh.

[Image: toradora.jpg]
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