ToraDora! Ep. 3: Your Song

Compared to the first episode, this week’s ToraDora! was pretty boring.  It’s started to cave in on itself, becoming more of the typical ‘tsundere’ anime as more of Taiga’s personality is revealed.  Also, I mentioned earlier that Kushieda Minori is pretty much a moe-blob side character; well this episode doesn’t help her cause in any way, shape, or form.  In fact, I think that she’s only around to perform the role of Ryuuji’s secret crush, aka an excuse for Taiga to kick his ass.  I’m not particularly amused with what I consider a horrendous drop in animation quality and plot since the series began.

It’s really annoying how all of the shows I really like are all showing on Saturday, and my Wednesday is filled with…well, Rosario+Vampire and ToraDora!.  Schedule fail!

Summary:

It’s suddenly become normal for Taiga and Ryuuji to walk to school together, although Taiga is still not a morning person at all.  At school they look on the girls’ softball team, of which Minori is the team captain.  Her carefree and energetic personality makes her pretty popular with her teammates as she whacks another ball out of the field.  Ryuuji is in awe, but unfortunately is pulled back to reality with a few swift kicks from Taiga.  Minori and Yuusaku look on with bemused looks.

In class, Minori is decorating cell phones with all sorts of sparkly stuff.  She has a ton of part-time jobs, including one at the electronics store doing just that; in fact, she has an entire box of phones she has to do.  She even offers to do Ryuuji’s cell phone, but after some debate in his head, Ryuuji declines.  It does, however, put Ryuuji in a good mood.

Back at Ryuuji’s house, Yasuko is out working and Taiga is hungry.  However, the rice cooker is broken (a day-dreaming Ryuuji is completely oblivious to this fact), so the two go out to a family restaurant Johnny’s.  Turns out that Taiga goes there often because Minori always gives her free ice cream.  Minori does the same for Ryuuji, even offering to change it up for some french fries before slipping away to continue her work.  Ryuuji walks home with Taiga, day-dreaming the entire way about Minori’s cafe uniform, and ending up with a seriously annoyed Taiga.

Next day it’s back to the family restaurant for the two, as Ryuuji now wants to go out to eat whenever he can.  While Taiga laments ever showing him where Minori works, they run into a sake shop, whose owner is on very good “terms” with ‘Mirano’, also known as Yasuko (Ryuuji’s mom, if you don’t remember).  It also turns out that Minori part-times at his shop as well.  After the shop owner asks Taiga to help out as Minori’s friend, Ryuuji jumps in and volunteers both of them.

Taiga is sent doing errands while Ryuuji does nothing (perks for being ‘Mirano”s son).  As Taiga runs away on a bike to deliver some goods – she doesn’t know how to bike – Ryuuji finally starts helping Minori out in the warehouse.  Unfortunately, they beat the long odds and get locked into the warehouse with no means of escape.  The two end up singing to draw attention, but nobody ever shows up; they would end up wasting time playing softball with some bottles in the warehouse before trying to get up to the barred window above.

Meanwhile, Taiga gets a visit from Yuusaku on her way back, and even tries to ride the bike back to the shop.  Covered with scrapes and bruises, she returns to find Minori and Ryuuji missing.  She pays a visit to the warehouse, where Ryuuji, who had just made it to the top window, gets a very warm greeting.  Unfortunately, now all three of them are stuck in the warehouse.

Impressions:

  • Explain this one for me.  Why would you go through the trouble of burning your way through an entire volume of material in two episodes, only to make a lame, half-hearted anime-original in the next one?  It boggles the mind!  Nothing happened in this episode; in fact, the only thing that came out of it was my sudden irrational hatred for Minori.
  • Aside from the main two characters, this show has no backbone.  It’s really quite saddening.  That isn’t even saying much anymore, either.  Taiga is rapidly degenerating into Louise without hair coloring.  The root cause is the terrible sense of pacing.  You already have Taiga, who’s supposed to be going to Yuusaku, already starting to go after Ryuuji (see end of episode 2 for a reminder).  They’re painting Minori and Yuusaku together (though that’s probably going to change in future episodes).  But the point remains that they went away from what made the show interesting in the first place.  I’m not terribly impressed with that judgment call.
  • Way too many scenes of Minori smiling like a crazed idiot.  Did they go into budget saving mode or something?  Plus, on more than one occasion, Taiga looked like a badly drawn Minami Chiaki.  Yes there are some great faces in the ep, but overall it doesn’t have the same polished feel.
  • So much for Ryuuji’s ‘outcast’ status.  The guy is practically normal now.  Even the way he’s drawn isn’t as sharp as it was before.  But when they draw him like that, it’s like taking away an entire dimension of his character.  I’m surprised that it went from ‘complete misunderstanding’ to ‘resolved’ within three episodes.
  • I can’t decide which one dropped off quicker: ToraDora! or Akane-iro.  I do think that both are dragging right now, though.

Preview:

YOUR FACE!  “Face at that time” or something weird like that.  Kushieda wipe that smile off of your face please ;_;

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