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Toradora! is a recent anime we've been watching at WednesdayAnime. It's a HighSchoolRomanticComedy, which is a genre I quite like, but is also a genre that's quite oversaturated and has many clichés that can make many series very boring or just bad. Toradora! does a very clever take on them, though.

I'm not quite sure how to describe it. It's a bit like being GenreSavvy, but the characters aren't actually aware of the tropes. It's just that the clichés of the genre are invoked, frequently, but then given a knowing twist, completely subverting your expectations.

One of the chief reasons I like it is because the characters have real depth. They seem to fit the stereotypes – Taiga is the ojou tsundere, Minori the genki girl, and so on – but quickly show other sides to their personalities, subtleties, contradictions, unexpected likeable or fallible moments, moments of self-doubt or when they break with the stereotype and apologise, and all the other things that make for thoroughly interesting and three-dimensional characters. I don't like ojou tsundere, but within two episodes I could see there was enough depth to Taiga to find her interesting, and by our current progress of episode 14 she's become really likeable. (Ami's the same: she also started off very unlikeable, but improved rapidly as the character deepened. Minori and Ryuuji were unusual and likeable from the start.)

There's also real plot, in the form of events in the characters' lives, and backplot which is gradually revealed. As time goes on, it becomes a bit less about subverting the genre, and more about the developing relationships between these thoroughly interesting and three-dimensional characters, but still very funny and unpredictable.

It's a thoroughly enjoyable assortment of delightful character interactions, satisfying or surprising character developments, and hilarious subversions of the genre, that I find myself very much looking forward to each week.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2010 10:49 am (UTC)
I'm looking forward to watching this soon ^_^
Feb. 25th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
i love ToRaDoRa! <3 we're showing it to lee too :3 i think you've done a very good job of describing why its good there ^^
Feb. 25th, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
Okay, you've sold me on Toradora. "Turning a cliche character into a serious one" is big on my list of How To Do It Right.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )