With Valentine’s Day approaching quickly, I thought I’d recommend one of the most well known and well received romance anime series, Toradora!
Toradora! is set in your typical high school, similar to the majority of your romantic comedy series. It follows the story of a young boy named Ryuuji who has “sanpaku” eyes (inherited from his father) that make him appear to be a delinquent and trouble maker. As a result, many of the students fear and misunderstand him, causing him to have self-confidence and insecurity issues. On his first day of his second year of high school, Ryuuji finds himself in the same class as his best friend, Kitamura, and his long time crush Minori. He also bumps into a Minori’s best friend, Taiga, who is quite violent during their first encounter. Taiga has a crush on Kitamura and plans to confess to him with a letter, but mistakes Ryuuji’s bag for his. After they confront each other about the whole misunderstanding, they decide to help each other out with their romantic lives and the adventure begins.
While at first, Toradora may seem like your typical romantic comedy anime series, it excels in areas that majority lack in. Character and relationship development is one of the strongest aspects for Toradora. Not only do we get to watch Ryuuji and Taiga overcome their problems and grow as people, but we also see how the other “side” characters develop over the course of the series. Nobody is perfect and it’s reflected well within the cast. Every single person has their own personal fears and insecurities which makes them human. Watching all these different characters who come from different backgrounds and upbringings struggle to find themselves as they’re about to enter adulthood can be very inspiring to watch. In addition, the romance in Toradora actually develops over the course of the series and does not end open ended like most series.
You can watch Toradora! on Crunchyroll (may not be available for all regions)