Summary:

On their way to school one morning, Ryuuji and Taiga see Minori playing softball. Ryuuji is mesmerized by Minori’s refreshing smile and voice, and when Taiga notices how he’s looking at Minori, she pokes him in the eyes. Ryuuji later finds out that Minori works at decorating cell phones, and she even offers to do one for him. At home, Taiga gets tired of hearing Ryuuji talk to himself about Minori and not listen to her instead, so she kicks him in the stomach. Ryuuji then realizes that their rice cooker is broken, so he and Taiga go to the family restaurant where Minori works part-time. In fact, Minori also works part-time in a convenience store, a karaoke box, and a shabu-shabu restaurant. She works because she has time and feels that she needs to work, and Taiga once again pokes Ryuuji in the eyes when she sees him admiring Minori. Both of them later discover that Minori is working at a liquor store as well, and the owner needs extra help, so Ryuuji offers himself and Taiga. The owner assigns Taiga to make a delivery, and the beer gets loaded onto a bicycle, but Taiga turns out not to know how to ride one. Because of this, she pushes the bicycle to the destination instead of riding it.

On the return trip, Taiga takes a break after tripping while pushing the bike back. Right as she’s thinking that there was no need for her to work so hard, Kitamura suddenly appears and notices that she’s got a bike with her. He’s surprised that she can ride a bike and knows that she didn’t used to be able to since he had observed her a lot last year. Hearing Kitamura talk about the bike motivates Taiga to try to ride the bike back to the store, and although she falls, she keeps trying. Because of this, she returns to the store all scraped up and subsequently gets pissed off when the liquor store owner doesn’t know where Minori and Ryuuji went. While Taiga was gone, Ryuuji and Minori had gone out the storeroom to get some shouchuu, but they end up getting accidentally locked up inside. Minori and Ryuuji at first spend their time singing and then playing softball with empty bottles as bats. During the latter activity, Ryuuji notices that Minori’s hand is shaking as if out of nervousness or fear, but she denies it, claims that it’d be pointless, and instead declares that she’ll knock out weakness. Minori then notices that there’s a window high above them that they can get through, so they start stacking boxes to get up to it. All this makes Ryuuji realize that the reason Minori always seems to shine is not only because she’s energetic, but also because she believes in knocking out weakness. Unfortunately for Ryuuji, his happiness with Minori is short-lived. As soon as he reaches the window, he sees a pissed off Taiga on the other side staring back in at him, and she kicks him in the face through the wooden bars. This puts Taiga in the storeroom as well, and the ladder she used to get up to the window has now fallen over, stranding all three again.

Preview

Well, the first thing I noticed about this episode was that there was a noticeable dip in animation quality this episode. It didn’t look horrible, but did seem inconsistent from shot to shot. This isn’t a huge complaint though since we’re past the first few episodes now, and it’s not unexpected that quality will vary from week to week. Having said that, I did rather like the shot of Taiga staring off into the sunset across the city after talking with Kitamura. In fact, that scene and the later scene when Ryuuji reflects on Minori were probably my favorites. The rest of the episode was kinda slow as they set up to get to those points, but I’m not terribly surprised given that this was mostly an anime original.

What I still question is why the director and writers raced through the first volume of the novel if they’re going to serve up so-so episodes like these. Even if they wanted to focus on different characters each week in the beginning, given the fact that this series is going to be two seasons long (based on how there are going to be 8 total DVDs of 3-4 episodes each), you’d think they’d have taken their time with the established material. In short, I’m fairly happy with the series so far, but I think better decisions could have been made about the progression and pacing.

50 Comments

  1. …. *shudders* should I watch…. T_T, I mean after they BUTCHERED my favorite parts of the manga… do I really feel like watching an anime original episode? even after they BUTCHERED scenes which definitely should not have been BUTCHERED…

    damn straight I will watch it T_T… so long as there is a chance of me seeing the greatest parrot in the world I’ll watch this…

    Putang
  2. Having read all volumes of the novel available, I should say they need to have some original episode like this if this show is a 2 seasoner. I think this show is all about long and winding road towards quite an obvious ending, as far as who-ends-up-with-whom wise, as the very 1st statement of the show which the lead characters made suggests. So in order to keep the show interesting and entertaining, the road should be as long and as winding as it can possibly be, which could lead this show to have some more light, funny, slice of life kind of stuff like this, rather than serious, who-chooses-whom kind of stuff.

    calde
  3. Ya, I’m sorta dumbfounded as to why they rush through the 1st novel in 2 episodes if they aren’t rushing to introduce Ami. From the preview it looks like the 4th episode gonna introduce Sumire and still no sign of Ami yet.

    Vinn
  4. At the most, I think they can only cover the first six novels. IIRC, the anime was announced at the time of Vol. 7’s release, so I can only presume that planning finished even before that.

    Enough has been said about content/direction changes (will have to view this as a semi-original work), so I’ll refrain from commenting on that end.

    Cliff
  5. I was expecting Ami to appear. Next episode will probably deal with her getting over her stalker issues and having her and Ryuji find themselves in -that- compromising position by the end of next EP.

    isteb
  6. it’s going to be a 24 episode (or 25, 26,whatever) run? sweet christ no. I thought i wouldn’t mind the rushed pace if it was a 12 or 13 episode run, but i smell a LOT of filthy anime original episodes. God damn you JC staff.

    ruffles
  7. I’m wondering… what happens if J.C. Staff changes the story so much that it is unlike the manga?

    Look how much they rushed through Volume 1 already. If they end up changing it to the point that Ryuuji and Taiga end up together, what will the fans think?

    I just get this bad feeling now just watching the third episode already, and thinking back to what I read in the manga.

  8. octoberasian, ruffles: Welcome to my world. I was afraid they might decide to take out any original elements to the story (the fact that Taiga and Ryuuji act like a couple, but aren’t.. and still have no deep romantic attachments despite their closeness) in favor of making her the next Louise… and this episode is fueling those fears.

    Haesslich
  9. Ahh I should have figured that J.C. would ruin the novels. It’s what they do best. I mean credit where credit is due no one else would even think of rushing through the beginning like that and then make the third episode an original one. Now all they need is useless fanservice and Ryuuji spurting fountains of blood and we’ll have Zero no Tsukaima all over again.

    bearzerger
  10. yeah, totally agree with omni…
    i too wondered how fast they have gone through the first volume, didn’t expect both of them to notice they are living next to another before the second eps and the confession of taiga not before eps 3, so now, how are they following up, when the manga isn’t that much further?

    Nightflame
  11. Gotta say this.

    @ Nightflame: Remember that Toradora! is based from a novel. The manga comes much later after the novel. The novel itself as around 8 books if memory serves.

    if the rushing goes on…

    … don’t tell me they are going to cover ALL 8 books (9 coming up sometime within this month) in ONE/TWO SEASONS. Then I’ll have to stick a dagger in their hearts. DX

  12. @Shiro
    The 9th of the novel is already there and I’ve read it through the other day actually.

    Very poisonous spoiler:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    calde
  13. Ooo… that *is* a poisonous spoiler. But not too surprising, to be honest. I haven’t read that far ahead yet, but in this genre, it’s not to hard to see where things are going from the start.

    I know they’ve been skipping some good stuff in the books, but it’s an anime. I expect them to do that. Anime is like a side dish for the books. Something to enjoy along with them. Expecting a perfect book-to-anime conversion for any LN series is setting yourself up for disappointment in general. Just accept it for what it is– something fun to enjoy when you’re not reading the books.

    sarcastic_weasel
  14. @ Calde

    Hey thats crazy news. I want to thank you for the spoiler. I am actually pretty relieved, because it doesnt seem to stray from what it set out to do.

    The reason I worry is that, in most American work that I look at. If anything is into the 9th season, you expected the characters to all be jaded, slepted around with one another, and overall unpleasant. So when I read the first novel.. then found out there are 8 more novels out there… I was truly scared that it would turn into that crap.

    Only thing I can ask for is more spoilers! Please =) cant wait 3 years for translation to catch up.

    msuwill
  15. Well I for one have being enjoying this anime for the light hearted comedy that it is. I’ve never been too bothered about perfect manga -> anime conversations, and original materiel I find sometimes helps to keep things feeling fresh. There’s nothing wrong with straying away from the original material, just so long as they don’t alter the characters. Rather than trying to compare them, just relax and enjoy it.

    Adam
  16. @shirokiryuu, yeah that’s me. I wouldn’t call myself main, but….I guess I am like the only guy doing it. ^^;; And thinking about it isn’t Kagura’s seiyuu in this series too? XD So Shinpachi and Kagura are together again basically.

    Bomber D Rufi
  17. @Adam: “just so long as they don’t alter the characters.”

    But that’s what they’re doing. The only reason why people are raging over skipped content in the first place is because that skipped content is crucial to the character development. People are worried they’re turning Taiga into Louise v2, which is simply unforgivable.

    RogerOskaner
  18. @ calde: … Urk, that’s not a poisonous spoiler, that’s a GUILLOTINE spoiler. Enough to kill anyone who… well, let’s just say they don’t prefer Ryuuji x Taiga much (including me) as soon as the spoiler is clicked on.

    And… well, I went over to Baka-tsuki for a sneak peek into the illustrations of vol 9 and… well let’s just say I ended up with a shocking despair, though I’m not sure what happened in the illustrations

    but what can I say is… man, vol 9 seems so dramatic, looking at the illustrations following it >_<

  19. I thought the early manga development made Taiga more like Louise (ZnT) than what I got with the 2nd episode. I got the impression this current story was trying to recapture the anxiety and unresolved emotions Taiga feels. Unfortunately, only way she can express it is by ranting like Louise. I like episode 2 far more but it wasn’t really representative of the story at this stage of development. Everything is so compressed now that the over-the-top acting is hurting the story. It’s also making Ryuuji’s response somewhat odd. He has strong feelings for Taiga last week but now ignore those feelings for Minori. It’s just too great a swing in feelings.

    Irie
  20. I thought this episode was kind of cheesy and ordinary. I like Minori’s character since she reminds me of Phoebe from Friends but I think it was too early for the two of them to have been alone in that room. I didn’t care for that scene much since nothing really happened. I’m really hoping things pick up next week; I’d rather have the story progress than character development right now.

  21. So far, my only disappointment was the fact that they compressed volume 1 to only two episodes. This episode being an anime original, I think they tried their best to make up for last week. I really like what happened here, though the impact is quite different compared to three episodes worth of volume 1. I only hope that the show would get better, after all, this is one of the series I’m looking forward to this season. Ami finally shows up next week.. yey!

    Thousand Master
  22. I dunno about you guys who have read the novel, but I’m sure there are some people out there who has yet to read the novel, and in my honest opinion, I think the pacing is just fine, and in fact, I’m really looking forward to watching the ENTIRE series, back to back, even a repeat.

    Gotta take note that J.C. Staff has another work, To aru Majutsu no Index in their hands, so the slight dip in quality in either one should have been quite expected.

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