Despite the pressure from everyone to get Yuusaku to run for student council president in order to prevent the evil Taiga from winning, he doesn’t change his mind. Things look bad as the candidacy deadline draws near, but one night, Ryuuji receives a call from a guy named Murase who’s on the student council, and Murase reveals that Sumire is quitting school to go study overseas soon. With this in mind, Ryuuji heads out and tracks down his friend by the river. Yuusaku admits that he likes Sumire, but she’s going to America to be an astronaut. His original plan was to get elected as student council president, earn recognition from her, and then confess to her. However, since she wouldn’t be around, there was no point in becoming student council president anymore. Yuusaku knows that what Taiga has been doing is for his sake, and he decides to head home again when she comes looking for Ryuuji, but he first claims he’s okay and gives the indication that he’ll be turning things around. When Taiga finally finds Ryuuji, he doesn’t tell her about seeing Yuusaku and doesn’t even reveal who the phone call was from.

The next day, Yuusaku shows up at school with his hair back to normal and seems ready to be student council president again. However, Ryuuji learns later that Yuusaku still hasn’t officially filed to be a candidate, and there’s not much time left. When he confronts Yuusaku about it, Yuusaku admits that he decided not to do it after all, and he goes on to tell Ryuuji the story of how he joined the student council. Back when he had first entered high school, he wanted to get a girlfriend and had confessed to Taiga. After Taiga rejected him, Sumire was the one who raised his spirits and gave him a fun school life on the student council, but now, Yuusaku feels that he can’t take the next step forward. It is at this point in the conversation that Sumire appears and confronts him about running away. She makes him realize that he has to step forward, literally smacking him forward in the process, and as she walks away, she claims that she’ll be watching to see what kind of student council president he becomes. Knowing what he has to do, Yuusaku turns in the candidacy form just in the nick of time.

On the day of speeches in front of the student body, instead of delivering a speech, Yuusaku decides to confess to Sumire. This surprises everyone, and with people calling for Sumire to answer him, she finally takes the microphone. However, she treats the confession as a sign of what an interesting guy Yuusaku is, and she uses this to play up his candidacy. Ryuuji chases after Sumire afterward and questions why she didn’t answer Yuusaku properly after she had urged him forward. Sumire explains that she had wanted him to run for student council president, not to confess, and she feels that Yuusaku should learn to live more wisely. Ryuuji wants to continue questioning her, but he’s stopped by Taiga who wants him to go comfort Yuusaku because it’s not something that she can do. She claims that she’s okay, but after Ryuuji runs off, she pulls out a wooden sword and goes to confront Sumire in the classroom. Even though Taiga understands that she’s not the one Yuusaku wants, she wants to do what she can, and the only thing she knows for sure is that she can’t stop.

As Sumire and Taiga trade hits, Taiga repeatedly calls Sumire a coward, and she refuses to forgive her for hurting Yuusaku. Ryuuji eventually comes in and stops the fight, but Taiga continues yelling and wants Sumire to say that she hates Yuusaku if she won’t accept his feelings. To everyone’s surprise, Sumire responds by saying that she wants to be a naive idiot like Taiga if she could, but if she said that she liked Yuusaku, then he’d sacrifice a lot to follow her – that’s why she feels that she can’t be an idiot. Sumire realizes too late that Yuusaku had heard all of this, and he ends up thanking her and telling her that he’s truly glad to have fallen in love with her. Nothing else happens until the teachers come, and after helping clean up, a few of the girls discover Taiga’s student handbook on the floor. Inside is the picture of her and Yuusaku, and the girls – including Minori – realize that Taiga really did have feelings for him. However, before they can look at the picture underneath that first one, Ami confiscates the handbook so that it can be returned. As she then walks past Minori, Ami quietly questions if Minori’s feelings of guilt are gone.

In the aftermath, Sumire heads to America, Yuusaku is elected student council president, and Taiga is suspended for two weeks. Sometime later, Sumire receives a postcard from Taiga, and on the back are two characters that make her laugh: baka (idiot).


After all that, I thought the reason Yuusaku didn’t want to be student council president was kind of silly. He didn’t care for the position and just wanted it so that he could confess to Sumire. I don’t see why he even needed her to recognize him by getting elected – if he really felt that strongly about her, he wouldn’t have let something like that get in the way. Ultimately it worked out though, for better or worse, and I enjoyed the ups and downs of the episode. The fight and Sumire’s subsequent admission made for a nice climax, and although this was not the series I expected to see such action in, it was pretty cool and nicely choreographed.

Perhaps even more interesting was the scene with Minori and Ami after the fight. It which was a little confusing initially in regard to what guilt Ami was referring to, but I guess it meant that Minori was feeling guilty about falling in love with Ryuuji if Taiga was already in love with him, and the picture showed that Taiga liked Yuusaku instead, so there was no need for that guilt. It’s curious though that Ami was actually helping Minori out here by not showing what the second picture was (it could have been of Taiga and Ryuuji), and the guilt line almost made it feel like she was making sure that Minori knew that it’s okay to like Ryuuji. Since it’s been suggested that Ami also likes Ryuuji, things look to be heating up on this front, and I assume they’ll be exploring more of the two girls’ feelings in the next arc. Speaking of which, now that we’ve finished another story arc, maybe the new OP and ED will finally premiere next week.


  1. I think it’s really sad that wishing to become an astronaut has become something of a cultural joke.

    Seriously guys, how do you think that the people who are astronauts now became astronauts in the first place?

    That’s not a bad dream at all. She could probably achieve it too.

  2. a) It’s indoors and there’s no light, and Toradora doesn’t do shading when there isn’t any direct light source.

    and b) Fight scenes tend to be lower art quality for some stupid artistic reason.

  3. This is such a weird turning point for Taiga Show Spoiler ▼

  4. You’d Prefer An Astronaut, wouldn’t you Kitamura? (someone better get this reference)

    But I’ve been waiting for Sumire’s screentime. I’m always a sucker for girls with straight falling hair styles like hers.

  5. Most people who aspires to become an astronaut, almost 99.9% never becomes one. Since well one could easily dream to become one, but to actually be chosen for it is like trying to win a lottery. It’s that rare, I think you can only be one if you have high intellect, talent, experience, education, physical build, and a contribution (ie. invention, design, etc.) Your CV or Resume must be top notched, I mean getting there is tougher than in the becoming a pilot in a fighter plane in the air forces (In the Air forces – they have to pass examinations at 100% or failure – basically it’s a perfect or fail exams). I even heard in a discovery channel that they have height and weight requirements.

  6. In all, the actual process is insane. However, NASA was always sending semi-experience ppl when I was into that insanity. I was already 8 years into my profession & all the folks that was picked over me had atleast twice my experience. Most of them made me look like a babe. Just being a pilot in Airforce, navel engineer, & working in logistics for Boeing wasn’t enough. They’re a whole tier above my creds & that was 23 years ago. Hell, you see what I do all day just by working around them behind a desk…the internet, sites like this, etc…all day. I still carry some serious bloodlust for the stars even now.

    Anyway, I feel for the girl…even if she committed the extreme sin of not acknowledging a confession. Dreams are great, but carrying them out is…(there’s no word to describe it in Eng or Jap so just forget it :P)

    Ah, poor Taiga…Show Spoiler ▼

  7. @ Kaisos

    the reason why she’s going away is because she got invited to study aeronautical engineering in the US so i guess that’s where one of the readings for the title comes from (one step forward). getting into a foreign school for that kind of study is a pretty crazy feat, i’ve got a friend that graduated in aerospace engineering and now works for boeing. sadly i can’t hit him up for money (he was making 80k starting), but it is sad that field doesn’t have too many people interested in it, for his class and yearly like 2-3 people graduate from that major a year at my alma mater.

    as for being a spaceperson now being a joke, i blame it on the movie Armageddon…yes it is far more easier to teach drillers how to become astronauts than to teach astronauts how to drill.

    i ended up reading the novel version right after watching 15, cause i had to know what the hell was up, and after doing so i fully agreed that kitamura was acting pretty damn childish. i also got some respect for sumire (who up until this point i did not like at all). it also helped to explain her and kitamura’s relationship. waiting on the subs before i see this episode though.

  8. @ RickMack:

    The main reason kids these days don’t go into that field is the math. Also there are a heck of a lot that do it only for the money & quit somewhere in between. I had to get 3 degrees in 6 yrs…I started at UIUC & ended up at MIT. There were 5 in my class at UIUC & it started at 324.

    The pay is great but the work is @#$%$@# for the first 3-4 yrs. It was like that for me because a year after Boeing, they wanted me to join the airforce for 2 yrs because they was short…then it was the navy for another yr. I wrote my ticket at the dump after that for another 3 yrs was just enough for NASA’s space program. But that was it…no space :(.

    If Sumire would have just told Yuu what she did in the beginning, none of that crap would have happened, period. The way she said it was great, so much so that it made me forgive her for not answering him in the first place. I must concur that I never heard such a cool rejection of sorts. It was overly childish for them to get so worked up over a non-reply but that is what they are.

    @ Kaisos

    Yeah, that’s just too sad but it would work out perfectly in a hentai or eroge scenario. Don’t all triangles or polyons end up like that anyway (excluding SHUFFLE of course)

  9. the fight scene felt severely out of place for me, Taiga really is a violent brute bitch who doesn’t do shit but to violently hurt people she does not give a damn about. Basically, a self centered little demon…… its not even funny anymore

  10. I am actually feeling sad for Ami. I mean she feel for Ryuji and tried to appeal to him but he is too focused on other people. And what is left for Ami now is try to make Ryuji’s dream come true sacrificing her own.

  11. @ megas

    yeah definitely the math i hate. i actually was accepted as a comp sci major, after taking CS all 4 years of high school. luckily for me i was able to watch office space and realize that i had other things i was more passionate about so i switched majors way before i got in too deep. i always assumed that NASA was tied heavily into the military, and if the movie Independence Day is anywhere close to reality even being a good fighter pilot doesn’t guarantee space.

    one of the points that ryuuji reflects upon in the novel is that very point you touched on: that for all their aims and goals all the drama is because they are still in hs and are still kids.


    ditto on the ami. she’s definitely passed the point where she’s just reaching for him cause he’s something she can’t get, i think.

  12. Seeing this makes me rather upset at how Taiga decides to solve the issue. There are other ways to solve such an issue but using force is just wow.. but then again it is Taiga and her violent habits. Overall, Taiga is not a bad person but her huge tendencies towards using violence to solve issues just make me dislike her a lot. Overall, this episode made me like Sumire more but at the same time, made me dislike Taiga even more. However, as they are still HS students, they have time to change.

    Anyway, being an astronaut will definitely be a hard path to go. I once dreamed of it but due to my weak health, I don’ think it will be easy at all. However, I still did not give up on space as I am now going towards it but using a different path. I always love space and always will.

  13. After paying a little more attention to the episode, I’m surprized at just how much of a dump the animation took. It was almost at the level of Welcome to the NHK during the fight scene…& I almost never complain about the animation quality. But it was only in the fight scene & it wasn’t ‘unwatchable’ like NHK so I guess it can side. Hopefully they don’t cross that line again.

  14. I have a pretty good feeling the next episode is going to have the new opening since a character in the opening is now removed from the series. Just seems weird to put it in so late.

    Really loving the development Taiga is showing throughout the series. She probably changed her values and priorities for the better more than everyone else in the series combined.

  15. Sorry, the second picture can’t be #106, #106 is a picture taken in daylight and bright colors while the second picture is dark at teh edge.

    I think Minori realised during the fight that Taiga likes Yuu. I always thought that she liked Yuu herself (they do act close at times), which would explain the “Guilt” question, liking the same guy her best friend likes. She thought before that Taiga and Ryuuji liked each other but admitted later that she was wrong.

    I’m not sure how I want this one to go, it could be a good ending either way. They end up withthe person they liked the whole time or realise they like each other, which I think they sort of do already.

  16. The fight scene reminds me how they do fight scenes in Gurren Lag… Sorta fast and animation quality changed for a better or worst effect.

    I loved the part when Ami whispers to Minori, and how she made that brief (sad?) face posture. It just felt like something is going to happen with this love square.

  17. @draksig

    Minorin NEVER liked Yuu … The guilt comes form either,

    a) Minorin encouraged him to step up and confess thus feeling guilty that what happened was her fault;
    b) Guilty because of the second picture that was in Taiga’s book ( most probably Taiga and Riu ), this one i let u think about it 😉

    It depends on one’s interpretation …

  18. b) Fight scenes tend to be lower art quality for some stupid artistic reason.

    Budget reason actually. Fighting involves a lot of full body animation (most of usual anime is so-called “limited animation” where only the head part or only even the mouth would move, which cuts costs), and that is costly.

  19. I liked Taiga’s approach, even as immature and dysfunctional as it is. I doubt that there was any other way to bring honesty and closure to that relationship other than some kind of confrontation. Sumire needed to be humbled a little. You can’t argue with results.

    And the emotion behind her action can’t be faulted either. She put herself on the line for Yuusaku – perhaps the best possible coda for her pursuit of him.

    Now, with one leg of the quadrangle quite possibly knocked out, things could get really interesting. Ryuuji x Taiga all the way!

  20. Man, this was just a fulfilling episode for me, the fight was rather out of place, but it definitely got their feelings out in the open. The Arc was plenty good, and this was a good end, although I would of liked to see a scene of Kanou leaving to her flight, I would think it would leave a impact since we won’t be seeing her any time soon for the rest of the series. Overall, liked it.

  21. I think you have it backwards about the guilt. Minori has been saying since nearly the beginning of the series that she’s not a good person. I think that she’s had a thing for Kitamura all this time and has been feeling guilty about falling in love with the guy her best friend likes. Now that he’s made it clear that Taiga is not a candidate for his feelings, Minori certainly could stop feeling guilty about thinking of taking Kitamura away from Taiga. We’ll see. Also WHY did Ami grimace after talking to Minori? Very interesting.

    B Duffy
  22. the violence was unexpectedly awesome, though kinda lacking in animation. 😛 i lol’d at taiga drawing her wooden sword from within her uniform. i miss my embarassing fugly high school uniform. XDDD

    astronaut O_O ?!?! i dreamt of making robots but flunked math before i even got to the physics part of my curriculum. so i bid my mecha dreams goodbye. Y_____Y

    withholding feelings for the sake of friendship isn’t so strange. i do it all the time. n_n i’d rather have all of them stay friends and be inlove with everyone all at the same time. n_n

  23. i feel sorry for sumire. she made a very mature and wise decision, though. choosing a guy over career? that’s just too… disney.

    kitamura is so cute and childish, i want to keep him all to myself.

  24. Ami made that grimace after saying that to Minorin because she realized what she just said might cause more harm than good. I think she originally said it because Minorin had been hiding her feelings for Ryuuji all along for Taiga’s sake. After the girls saw the picture and said the “Oh Taiga really did love Kitamura” thing, Ami was saying she no longer has to feel guilty about having feelings for Ryuuji. The problem is now that Taiga fully realizes she has no chance with Kitamura, how will her and Ryuuji’s relationship change and how will Ami’s little push on Minorin shake things up? The picture underneath very well could have been one of Taiga and Ryuuji. Ami quickly snatched it up before it could be confirmed.

  25. Ami sees just the irony of the complicated love tangle between Kitamura, Taiga, Minori and Ryuji… Kitamura is out of the game for now so we have direct clash of interests between Minori and Taiga over Ryuji. And we didn’t count in Ami herself. Ami probably realised Taiga really likes Ryuji in the swimmming competition episode.

  26. @B Duffy

    Unless the anime version has some obscure sub-connotations different than the novel, nop she never liked Kitamura. I wont say why she things she’s a bad person cause that hould spoil everything, but the reason for the guilt – i didn’t want to spoil anything – is pretty much what Arveene said.

    Remember that the anime version is up to volume 6 only 😉

  27. Nice fight scene. Loved Taiga jumping on the tables and getting kicked across the room. I suppose with someone as tiny as her it’d be pretty easy to punt her around, huh?

    OMG Ami in a santa costume. Compare with hawt DELICIOUS CAEK fanart made around a month ago…!/Toradora!%20-%2016%20-%20Large%20Preview%2003.jpg

  28. Well it’s abit obvious to why fighting scenes have less quality. I mean, do you expect to see every little detail when someone’s fighting? It’s still in good art quality shape, but atleast they can animate a fight scene with people actually being interested in it.

    Other than that, this episode was one of the most epic one out of the whole series. I wish it was more like this throughout the season.
    Plus, It’s entertaining to watch really.

  29. Thit is one of the best episodes i have ever seen in my life.. For me, its all perfect in it – the acting, the content, the timing, the music is wonderful.. Lightning effekts are wonderfull, the light rays on Taigas face and light comming from windows.. And in the corridor scene faces are hidden in darkness, how brilliant is that! Thats perfect – for me.


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