Toradora! – 09
Prior to the trip to Ami’s villa, Ryuuji dreams of himself begging Taiga to marry him and the puppies that result from it. He realizes after he wakes up that this dream was the result of watching a DVD movie about someone giving birth a dog-baby. As it turns out, Taiga had a similar dream, and she sees it as a warning for what will happen if they don’t do something about it. She feels that one of them needs to spend the whole trip supporting the other, and to decide who gets which role, they play a game of badminton. Ryuuji ends up winning, so Taiga is forced to help him, and her first contribution is to make a compilation of spirit voices for Minori to listen to. Taiga knows that Minori dislikes horror stuff, so the plan is to scare Minori and allow Ryuuji to come save her. She uses this on the train ride, and it has the desired effect on Minori. The group eventually arrives at Ami’s villa which overlooks the ocean, and while everyone else immediately goes to play on the beach, Ryuuji heads inside to do some cleaning. Everyone eventually comes back and helps him, and a little later, Yuusaku is ready to go out to do some shopping with Ami’s motorcycle. Ryuuji suggests that he take Taiga, but she refuses because she claims she’s afraid of motorcycles, so Yuusaku takes Minori instead.
After those two leave, Ryuuji heads upstairs and checks out the bathroom, but he discovers too late that Ami is already inside the shower. Ryuuji tries to leave, but she grabs his arm and tries to tempt him with doing something that they’ll keep a secret from everyone else. She emerges from the shower a moment later though to reveal that she’s fully dressed and had only been teasing him. Ryuuji ends up running to Taiga and telling her about what happened, so Taiga goes to talk with Ami. However, by the time Taiga gets up there, Ami really has started taking a bath, and Taiga emerges with a slap mark on her face, shocked at Ami’s body proportions. Minori and Yuusaku return shortly thereafter with groceries, and Taiga and Ryuuji take the chance to scare Minori again by secretly waving some wet seaweed behind her to make her feel like a ghost was touching her. This adds to Minori’s paranoia since Taiga had earlier pointed out some seaweed by the beach that had looked like a person’s head, and Minori had feared that it was a corpse.
Around dinnertime, Ami and Taiga start fighting about the kind of curry they’ll be having, so Ryuuji promises to make Taiga’s portion sweet since that’s how she likes it. Because of this, Ami comments on how girls – including Minori – will dislike Ryuuji if he only treats Taiga specially. Minori and Yuusaku then join the conversation one after another, but Yuusaku appears wearing only a towel. Taiga almost faints from this, and after a moment of shock, Minori starts taking pictures. Unfortunately, Yuusaku accidentally lets go of his towel, and Minori gets brief view of something black before Ryuuji covers his friend back up. Ryuuji convinces Minori that it was the seaweed ghost, but that shocks her, and to make her feel better, he makes the curry super-spicy like she wants. Minori loves it, but everyone else has to suffer through it. Taiga isn’t feeling so well after eating the curry, so Yuusaku offers her some stomach medicine. Ryuuji uses this chance to let Taiga be alone with Yuusaku, and that in turn lets him be alone with Minori to wash the dishes.
After finishing up with the dishes, Minori offers Takasu some dessert, and the two eat together outside under the moonlight. Ryuuji thinks that this is a good chance, so he asks Minori if she has a boyfriend. Instead of directly answering him, Minori instead talks about the seaweed ghost and asks Ryuuji if he’s ever seen a ghost. When Ryuuji answers that he hasn’t, Minori explains that she believes in ghosts, but she’s never seen one and doesn’t believe the people who say they have. In a similar way, she believes that she’ll someday fall in love and get married, but she’s never felt that way with anyone. The people who do fall in love feel far away from her because she can’t see it. And so, just like with ghosts, she doesn’t think she’ll see it and is thinking of giving up, and the answer to his question is that she doesn’t. She then asks Ryuuji if he’s someone who sees ghosts, so Ryuuji answers that he’s someone who wants to see them – that’s why he goes to haunted places and watches scary DVDs. He feels that even for people who can sense the supernatural, they’d be surprised when they saw a ghost for the first time, and so Minori shouldn’t assume that she’ll never see it in her life.
Ryuuji hopes that she can someday see a ghost and suggests that there might be a spirit who wants to be seen by her. Minori in turn thinks that this is why all the strange things happened today – the seaweed ghost was trying to get her attention. Later that night, Taiga is feeling better and gets Ryuuji to heat up some leftovers for her. After the two eat, Taiga wonders what they should do tomorrow concerning their plan, but Ryuuji is more interested in what Taiga will do. Taiga admits to having been more strained than happy after being around Yuusaku all day, and she notes how she has no problems when she’s with Ryuuji. She then starts to say something about on the warning dream, but she stops herself. The two return to their respective rooms, however Ryuuji finds what appears to be hair and slime on his bed, and Taiga discovers one of her dresses stained on her bed. To make matters worse, while they’re looking at Taiga’s dress, they start to hear banging on the door and on the balcony window.
I know this series is supposed to be part comedy and has had some pretty amusing moments in the past, but I wasn’t expecting this episode to be quite as funny as it was. Taiga describing seeing Ami naked was hilarious, and Kitamura showing up wearing only a towel somehow managed to be even funnier. Funny wasn’t the only thing good about this episode though. I really liked the conversation between Ryuuji and Minori that compared people seeing ghosts to people falling in love – it’s an interesting way to look at it and shined a lot of light into the way Minori thinks. Minori’s probably my favorite character on the show right now due to how she’s gotten some of the best character development and comedic moments.
Ami, on the other hand, is coming off as a third wheel since Ryuuji and Taiga preoccupied with helping each other, but I’m not really feeling any pity for her since she’s getting pretty annoying. She’s aware now that Ryuuji likes Minori and seems out to just spoil things for her own amusement. It wouldn’t surprise me if she were behind the scary things happening at the end of the episode because she was bored or something. It’s not much of a cliffhanger though (nothing to take seriously anyway), and it looks like next week is going to continue with the group adventuring in some cave.