ToraDora! Ep. 4: Your Expression That Time

Small bit of redemption for Taiga’s character, but I could’ve sworn this series was supposed to have comedic elements.  I think I managed to keep a deadpan face the entire time I watched this episode, so it’s not looking good on that front.  It could have been better, but it definitely could’ve gone a lot worse too.  I guess this series is doomed to averageness in my books.

Update: translation notes for [gg] here.  I missed some stuff because I didn’t really bother to fully TL in my head, so read this if you’re really interested.  Also, WHAT AT CLANNAD REFERENCE?

Summary:

Taiga is still not a morning person, so Ryuuji prepares the table and prepares to clean the apartment.  His attention is drawn to a box sticking out of the closet, which happens to be Taiga’s stash of Kitamura pictures (which are all blurry because she can’t stop moving to take a good picture).  Taiga of course has some choice words for Ryuuji after finding him snooping around in her closet.

At school, the two are greeted by Kitamura, who was also running somewhat late.  Taiga tries to say hello in a rather unusual fashion, to which Kitamura lightly responds and Ryuuji does nothing but facepalm.  The students all gather in the field for a message from their student council president, who is unusually forgetful of her own speech.  Kitamura constantly reminding her of her lines, combined with her forgetfulness to let the students put their arms down, makes for one cranky Aisaka Taiga, who has to be restrained by Kitamura.

While Taiga still has the chills from being clutched by Kitamura, the group congregates around her desk.  It’s lunchtime, and the four want to eat together – well, three of them, but Minori comes out of nowhere to join in.  As they unpack their bentos, both Taiga and Ryuuji suddenly become conscious that they have the same bento, causing much uproar between the two.  It doesn’t help that Kitamura starts asking Taiga if she’s started cooking her own lunches, and Taiga responds by pointing her chopsticks at Ryuuji, who claims it’s just for a little more cash in the pocket.  Fortunately, they save a little face because both Minori and Kitamura are pulled away into their own respective meetings.

Later on, Ryuuji is cleaning the bathroom, clearly enjoying himself when Taiga drags him back outside.  The boy’s softball team is playing, and Taiga wants to grab pictures of Kitamura playing.  She asks Ryuuji to take good ones, but since he’s incredibly slow about changing settings on the camera, she gives up and continues to take her blurry pictures.  Taiga lets out single shout of support as Kitamura grabs a line drive, but then hides before he could see her.  Afterwards, the two go to get the pictures developed, and Taiga sits in the coffee shop to drool over her new prized possessions.

At Ryuuji’s home, both he and Taiga are preparing dinner (although Taiga does nothing but wield a cleaver in the most menacing fashion before chopping up some potatoes).  Later, though, Taiga has successfully made some tiny onigiri to go along with Ryuuji’s dishes.  Yasuko is impressed at the cuteness of the onigiri, and absolutely loves the picnic like dinner.  Afterwards, Ryuuji says Taiga can print out a picture, but she can’t figure out which one she wants.  She leaves to go home and choose in the quiet of her room.

Next day, Minori gives her picture to Ryuuji, and it’s quite the strange one.  In the hallway, Taiga is still choosing, but is frustrated and gives up after seeing Ryuuji.  He’s still carrying them as Kitamura comes by, but then Kitamura reveals that he (awkwardly) confessed to Taiga a year ago, only to be rejected by her.  After confronting Taiga about it, she admits that she rejected him then but then started to like him.

Impressions:

  • First time I’ve actually felt nothing while watching this episode.  Either my interest completely died in the last episode, or this one just didn’t hold me that well.  I will, for the sake of trying to be objective, point out a few things.
  • I remember the lunch scene in the manga.  In the anime, it’s all kind of jumbled up.  Instead of Ryuuji apologizing to Taiga for whacking her in the face with a volleyball, it’s Taiga wanting to apologize for exploding at the student council president during morning announcements.  Minori does come through in her typically stupid way, so no surprise there.  However, WHERE IS MY DANCE?!  I was laughing when I read that part in the manga, and they completely avoided it here!  That would’ve made this episode THAT much better.  I wonder why they decided to cut it out??  Also, I guess having the same bento as another person means you’re an item?  I suppose that makes a little sense.
  • Ryuuji takes WAY too much pride in being the housedad.  I can’t imagine anybody honestly getting that worked up about cleaning the bathroom tiles with a toothbrush.  Unless you were in the military and went berserk during training.  Then again, Taiga is quite the stalker.  Too bad she can’t handle a camera if her life depended on it.
  • I do appreciate that Taiga has stepped back from her “Louise v2” mode.  She definitely had her cute but clumsy side back, and her tsun-tsun mode was drastically reduced this time around.  This episode is the most similar one we’ve had to episode 1, which made me pick this up in the first place.  If they play their cards right, maybe this series can be salvaged.
  • I had a nosebleed about 2 seconds before Yasuko appeared.  Coincidence?  A premonition?  She is like the model hostess for a bar.  Good lord, no mother should be drawn like that in an anime.
  • Kitamura’s got the weirdest confessions ever.  He prefers Taiga’s overt displays of anger as her having a ‘straight’ personality.  Well…yeah, straight personalities are good, but isn’t this kind of overboard?  Oh well.  Also, it’s too bad Taiga didn’t take a few days to cool off, maybe they’d be together if she did.  Again, clumsy little kid.

Preview:

Taiga can’t be happy about this.  The introduction of Kawashima Ami!

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