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REVIEW: Toradora! Volume 2 Premium Edition


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vashfanatic
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:04 pm Reply with quote
I don't want to be critical, since I did enjoy this series, but...

"Tightly written" would imply "nothing is wasted," and I think I would be in agreement with a number of fans of the seires that while we enjoy it, the ending went on a little too long, and...

"It also allows for an epilogue that is eminently more satisfying than it would have been had that content been handled differently."

Do you mean the spoiler[two years later] cop-out? Tell me, how was that emotionally satisfying? There were several other fakeout endings before then that I would much have preferred to the spoiler[now we'll go away for a while and come back and get them together even though they haven't seen each other for a while because why not?] epilogue.

Gah! I really, really liked this series, for all the reasons about characterization that you mention. but I wish it had ended an episode earlier!
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neocloud9



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:15 pm Reply with quote
I totally agree with Key's review, I didn't notice any drop in quality. Loved the series, loved the conclusion, loved everything! Smile
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:50 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
In the process it rounds out one of the best romantic comedies anime has ever generated.


Really? I mean, really?

I'm an outspoken critic of Toradora! and the hype it engenders, I have made that so very clear in the past. But these kind of statements still shock me. I mean, really, one of the best Anime RomCom shows ever? How can people think that way?
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Ingraman



Joined: 07 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:06 am Reply with quote
Quote:
The English subtitles make an odd choice by translating Taiga's “baka-Chi” references to Ami as “Chi Chi,”


That "translation" annoyed me each time it came up as it was _very_ distracting. I couldn't figure out how they got from "baka" to "Chi." We know what the "Chi" in the Japanese term is, because of how Taiga refers to Ami shortly after meeting her, but where does the 2nd one in the English subtitles come from? I can't picture Taiga making a DB(Z?) reference.

A translation note in one of the books, buried on a page of the DVD menu, or even on-screen when it's first used would have been immensely helpful... Or did I overlook it somewhere?

<sigh> That's enough rewriting for this message; five or six previews is plenty... ^_^;;
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:07 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Key wrote:
In the process it rounds out one of the best romantic comedies anime has ever generated.


Really? I mean, really?

I'm an outspoken critic of Toradora! and the hype it engenders, I have made that so very clear in the past. But these kind of statements still shock me. I mean, really, one of the best Anime RomCom shows ever? How can people think that way?


Well, then does it shock you that I agree with Theron? Well, actually, I haven't seen enough anime romantic comedies to really judge properly if I'm being perfectly honest, but I think ToraDora is awesome.

But really, by now I think you should be used to people having utterly different opinions than you. Razz
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:10 am Reply with quote
Ah... I love seeing "top-rate writing" being flung around casually. Generally, I would say that a requirement of "top-rate writing" would be that the characters are consistent. However, I've found that in the case of Toradora, most of the characters can be split into first half (comedy) and second half (drama) with major rifts between the two that were never explained.

spoiler[Such as the main character Ryuuji Takasu. In the first half of the story he is heads-over-heels in love with Minori Kushieda, even devoting a small shoe box filled with mementos of her as well as some planning for his confession/future-courtship. In the second half, however, this near-obsession of his is simply done away with. Yes, he starts to pine a bit more for Taiga Aisaka's affection, but the feelings he had for Minori wouldn't just up and disappear. I remember (and please note I watched Toradora over a year ago so I may make mistakes amongst my recollection) there was somewhat of an ultimatum he had to make on/near Christmas Eve, that of going to Minori and confessing, or that of consoling Taiga who is all alone with no family with her for Xmas. He chooses the latter, and as far as I can remember, that was the last sort of inner conflict he had about his feelings for Minori. Now, having been in love, let me tell you that those feelings don't just fade into nothingness. There needed to be some sort of confrontation between him and Minori in order to sort out such feelings, yet the author completely omitted this and instead just writes them out of the story.

Taiga is quite similar. She was obsessed with Yuusaku Kitamura for the whole first half of the story (and even some of the second half, as she literally fights for his honor against the student council president. Yet after that fight, she never once again stammers around Kitamura after that or makes any sort of sign denoting her feelings for him. The author, once again, eliminates any sort of confrontation between the two so Taiga could sort out her own feelings, and instead just writes them off.

Minori's change is much, much larger. Through the entire first half of the show, she plays the "genki girl", ever energetic and spunky. In the second half of the series, she is merely an irritated and serious (and sometimes quite b*tchy) high school girl. She also rejects Ryuuji and yet continues to pine for him after rejecting him. She makes a stand and boldly states to Ami Kawashima next to the vending machine that she would be serious in her pursuit to Ryuuji, even if it meant losing her friendship to Taiga. Yet in the very next episode after Taiga runs off, instead of Minori making her move (as she said she would in the episode prior), she tells Ryuuji to run after Taiga. This small example is a perfect display of Minori's character. Her only consistency is that she is completely inconsistent. Her whole character is subject to whatever the plot demands.

I could continue on with the characters, but I feel I have made my point with these three. Now, even with such changes to the characters, they never really develop. The crux of the show is having Taiga and Takasu overcome their anxiety of confession. Yet by 20 episodes neither character has confessed. And you know how Taiga ends up confessing to Takasu? Indirectly! She thought he was Kitamura. It seems like the story had completely forgotten what in the world it was trying to accomplish. If Taiga had only confronted Takasu directly and then confessed or if Takasu had done the same to Taiga, then I could have at least enjoyed that the characters grew a little bit. Yet because the writer had Taiga indirectly confess to Ryuuji, any sort of character development she could have had went down drastically.]


This is getting too long I believe. I doubt hardly anyone will read it all (not that I can blame them). I just despise reading about how "top-rate" the writing for this show is when it's just inconsistent characters and nonsensical cat fights meant to entertain. There's a bunch more I can talk about, so if you're a die hard Toradora fan or just someone who disagrees with me, feel free to PM me and we can have a discussion.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:23 am Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
But really, by now I think you should be used to people having utterly different opinions than you. Razz


I'm not outraged because Key doesn't hold the exact same position that I do, I don't expect anything like that. I know he likes it, and I know I do not. What truly baffles me is the strength of his attachment to it. Saying "I like it" is one thing. Saying "it is one of the best ever" is quite another.
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Quark



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:46 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Mad_Scientist wrote:
But really, by now I think you should be used to people having utterly different opinions than you. Razz


I'm not outraged because Key doesn't hold the exact same position that I do, I don't expect anything like that. I know he likes it, and I know I do not. What truly baffles me is the strength of his attachment to it. Saying "I like it" is one thing. Saying "it is one of the best ever" is quite another.


So? It's still his opinion, and he's still entitled to it. I've heard others say the same about Toradora! as well.
Honestly, I don't see the difference between someone saying they like something, and saying that, to them, it's one of the best of something ever. It's all a matter of perspective. I hate bananas, but I wouldn't get my panties in a twist if someone told me that they thought bananas were the greatest thing ever.
What truly baffles me is why you feel the need to keep complaining about this.

That out of the way, I watched the first few episodes of this show fansubbed, absolutely hated it, and then promptly bought the first box set. I keep hearing such good word of mouth that I intend to give this show a second chance, and will most likely end up buying the second set of this, if only for the nice packaging that NIS included with it.
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Rinkwolf



Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:03 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Key wrote:
In the process it rounds out one of the best romantic comedies anime has ever generated.


Really? I mean, really?

I'm an outspoken critic of Toradora! and the hype it engenders, I have made that so very clear in the past. But these kind of statements still shock me. I mean, really, one of the best Anime RomCom shows ever? How can people think that way?


Maybe because it's true and that your are in the minority that hates the show. Just like some hate The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzamiya and can't see the shows deep sides and think every person should see the show in their point of veiw, where as why should try and see the show in the other point of view themselves.
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dtm42



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:22 am Reply with quote
Rinkwolf wrote:
Maybe because it's true and that your are in the minority that hates the show. Just like some hate The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzamiya and can't see the shows deep sides and think every person should see the show in their point of veiw, where as why should try and see the show in the other point of view themselves.


I don't think Toradora! is the cat's pyjamas, and I think that Haruhi is vastly overrated. An unpopular position, but it doesn't mean I'm wrong.

Fandoms wax and wane as the novelty and hype are cultivated and then fade away. I am very curious to see how Toradora! will be remembered in fifteen years. Will be considered as a classic, or just another fad?
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Otaking09



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 2:13 am Reply with quote
Hmm... can't say I'm really surprised. Haven't seen such... raw praise since... Zac's reviews of Utena and RahXephon; they're completely glowing to a fault!

Of course, Key does have some points. spoiler[Not only do the behaviors of many of these characters come off as "human", many of the "breaking points" occur as they would in reality.]
There's some holes though... Namely: spoiler[It needed the beginning to make it here. It had to start off alongside "safe" romcom traditions FIRST... before it could reveal it's true colors.] And frankly, that hurts it more than it helps.
My favorite character? Ami. Know why? She didn't transition from "misunderstood stereotype" into "more-than-she-seems...."
She was both! Right from the get go...

I disliked Minorin straight from the beginning. Reminded me of how they can just... disregard a girls sense of realism. I'd like someone to tell me if they've met someone like her. Better yet, could someone please describe the girl's "attractive" elements?
Yes, she's cute. Yes, she's sweet. But... aren't people more than just that?
Yes... all of her depth is shown during this half(more like last quarter...), but all she did was push that last push, that didn't get pushed on it's own. It was the kind of thing that spoiler[prevented me from accepting After Story's "ending".]
Granted, the ending Toradora offers, MUCH more natural and human than most rom coms.

The best romantic comedy anime has? Mmmmm... maybe. But I will call it one of the better ones. Hands down.
I can kinda see where dtm42 is coming when he says "how will it look 15 years from now"...
It's TOO reliant on formula that when it finally gets "serious" it doesn't feel "different from the norm" enough.
My opinion? I think Kimi ni Todoke is one of the best romcoms. It's got it's fair share of flaws, but at least it didn't have to wear a "gimmick suit" first to make it through the acceptance stages.
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~~EpiC~~



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:43 am Reply with quote
Otaking09, I have to disagree. How could this show have started off in a completely new way? Every story that has ever been told has basically been told, so the only way to create something new is in how you tell it. Toradora succeeded in doing just that.

This is why I don't understand the "It starts off as every other romcom" argument. Also, when you first meet people, you will drop them into molds. There may be the smart book worm girl you know, the video game nerd boy, the football stars, etc... This is no different in anime. You have to introduce the audience first to the bear bones of a character and then flesh them out, just like people do in real life.

Megiddo I don't understand what you mean by character inconsistencies either. I thought pretty much every action of the characters were explained. They did things pretty realistically and I even know some real life people who have acted in very similar fashions. Midori's personality in the first half was explained by what was revealed in the second half. I don't see these inconsistencies at all.

The best romantic comedy ever, I don't know about that. One of the best? Definitely. What other romantic comedies, dtm do you believe are better? There must be quite a few from your comment.
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Shenl742
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:33 am Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
Key wrote:
In the process it rounds out one of the best romantic comedies anime has ever generated.


Really? I mean, really?

I'm an outspoken critic of Toradora! and the hype it engenders, I have made that so very clear in the past. But these kind of statements still shock me. I mean, really, one of the best Anime RomCom shows ever? How can people think that way?


Wow, what's he big deal? You make it sound like saying "this is the best in it's genre" is dangerous or something. Confused
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Emerje
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:53 am Reply with quote
Otaking09 wrote:
I disliked Minorin straight from the beginning. Reminded me of how they can just... disregard a girls sense of realism. I'd like someone to tell me if they've met someone like her. Better yet, could someone please describe the girl's "attractive" elements?
Yes, she's cute. Yes, she's sweet. But... aren't people more than just that?
Yes... all of her depth is shown during this half(more like last quarter...), but all she did was push that last push, that didn't get pushed on it's own.


(Sorry if this just sounds like gibberish since I'm getting ready to head to bed...)

I'm going to have to disagree with you here, I really liked Minori from the start. I found her to be an extremely complex character and easily the best adjusted of the three girls. Unlike the other two she wasn't looking to Ryuji as someone to take care of her or protect her, she simply liked him for his kindness, loyalty and dependability, but more than anything I think she saw some of herself in him, always watching out for and taking care of others and putting herself second. She proved early on that she was no fool and much of that was just her way of protecting herself. She really let this shine when she was locked in the storehouse and at the beach house. Her speech about aliens showed that she was every bit as capable of talking in metaphors as Ami was. By the time Taiga's father shows up and Minori shows her angry, unforgiving side we should be well aware that she's every bit as complex as any other character in the series, perhaps even more so. And yes, I actually did know girls just like her when I was in high school, the class clown type that also did sports and still got good grades, always hanging out with the popular kids though you couldn't really nail down why. They really are out there.

Anyway, I've seen a lot of anime and I still consider Toradora! to be a masterpiece among it's type, whatever you call that hybrid romantic-comedy-slice-of-life-drama behemoth that it is.

Emerje
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Big Hed



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:59 am Reply with quote
Shenl742 wrote:
Wow, what's he big deal? You make it sound like saying "this is the best in it's genre" is dangerous or something. Confused


I don't think dtm means to be quite that intense; it's just that those of us in the minority are baffled that the majority opinion on Toradora! trends so completely towards adoration.

The last time Toradora! came up I said that it seemed there was something I would simply never "get" about the show, and that remains true. What I've seen of it never grabbed me as I would expect a truly "great" show to do, but then nothing worthwhile is ever going to please everybody.
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