anime · Reviews

Tora Dora! (2008) : Anime Review


Takasu Ryuuji is a highschool student living a simple life with his mother. He has this delinquent face  which he adapted from his father. It’s the one thing he hates about, him being compared similarly with his father. One afternoon in school, he returned to the classroom to get his bag. He was surprised because the room is so unorganized or rather chaotic. He’s curious about it .He found Taiga with a very embarrassed facial expression. Then, she violently chased him away.  It can’t be helped because the “love letter” which was mistakenly put in Ryuuji’s bag, was eventually seen by Ryuuji. That started of the unexpected relationship of the Dragon (Ryuuji) and the Tiger (Taiga).



Tora Dora! (2010) is a slice of life, romance, and school life kind of anime. It’s about the not-so-typical highschool life of Takasu Ryuuji with Tenori Taiga. It shows realities about friendship, family, future planning and romantic relationships. I thought this anime will just going to be plain and comedy. There’s also a drama to watch out here. If you have a close guy/girl friend, there’s a higher chance you’ll fall in love for that person because you’re always together. Something can happen. Most of the times (probably 90%) of the couples begin as real close friend who always do daily life activities together. It happened with Ryuuji and Taiga. I think It’s not only that they’re always together it’s also because they need each other. Especially, Taiga is so dependent with Ryuuji.  This anime shows the rosy high school life that possibly can be experience by anyone. Soundtrack The songs are cute.  The song leaved me LSS is “pure pure parato…~ “

  1. Pre-Parade – Op 1
  2. Vanilla Salt – Ed 1
  3. Silky Love – Op 2
  4. Orange –  Ed2

Characters Takasu Ryuuji

Ryūji is a seventeen-year-old high school student in his second year, class 2-C. Due to heredity, his sanpaku eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and causes many misunderstandings. He lives in a fatherless family, his father having left before Ryūji was born, with just his mother. Due to this, Ryūji has learned to be self-sufficient. He is good at cooking and keeping everything in his house clean (to the point of obsession), and also excels at sewing. He holds a crush on Minori Kushieda, a girl his age in his class. He has a pet parakeet named “Inko-chan” (“inko” literally means “parakeet” in Japanese). Ryūji often helps Taiga with domestic chores which she is otherwise unable to perform. At school, he is known as “the only person able to stop the palmtop tiger”, referring to Taiga’s nickname. Due to the misunderstandings due to his looks, as well as how he grew up, he tends to look down on himself. Despite this, he is rather calm in most situations and is responsible, smart and has great grades, even when compared to Yūsaku Kitamura, his best friend.

Aisaka Taiga

Taiga is a girl in Ryūji’s class, as well as the series’ main female protagonist. She has a well-regulated and beautiful appearance though is unable to stomach company from others. Due to her often snapping at others in brutal ways and her short stature, she is given the nickname “Palmtop Tiger” (手乗りタイガー Te Nori Taigā?). Her under-developed body and the added nickname has given her a complex which in turn serves to give her a negative attitude and facial expression. Essentially, Taiga gets upset easily. She is also brutally honest, typically when she is lashing out at someone. Due to her cute looks (described as a doll by Ryūji), she often gets confessions of love by boys, but she turns down every one of them, including Yūsaku Kitamura (which she later regrets). She is clumsy and tries to hide that too; it seems that only Ryūji has observed it.

Kushieda Minori

Minori is a girl in Ryūji’s class, and is a close friend to Taiga. She is also known by the pet name “Minorin” (as a form of friendly affection). In contrast to the violent nature of Taiga, Minori is always smiling and cheerful. She is very athletic and is the captain of the girl’s softball club at school, though at the same time she holds many part time jobs. She is a glutton when it comes to food, but is also constantly combating it with dieting, calling herself a “diet warrior”. She gets a thrill out of being scared. Despite her air-headed tendencies, she is very perceptive, and is one of the few people to see Ryūji for the gentle person he is, and is also not fooled by Ami’s acts of innocence. It is implied that her air-headed tendencies may be a facade, and later revealed that she too loves Ryūji. She has a younger brother.

Yusaku Kitamura 

Yūsaku is a male student in Ryūji’s class, and is his best friend. He is the vice-president of the student council, the class representative, and captain of the boy’s softball club at school. Yūsaku wears glasses, and has a diligent personality. He thinks he is poor at talking to girls, though Ryūji observes otherwise. During his time as the vice-president of the student council, he eventually falls in love with the student council president, Sumire Kanō. A running gag is that he will appear out of nowhere behind Taiga and Ryūji when they are discussing a “plan of attack” to get their crushes. Like Minori, he has an unusual personality, but often it is an expression of his friendship and appreciation, though it can easily get out of hand fast. After his graduation, he goes to study abroad in America, chasing after Sumire Kanō.

Kawashima Ami

Ami is Yūsaku’s childhood friend who transfers into his class midway through their second year of high school. She is very beautiful and even works as a model and is seen as the mature one of the group. After she transfers schools she temporarily stops modeling. However, she still continues to go to the gym readily and maintains a slim figure. She is always kind and generous towards others, though this is merely a deception. In truth, she is a princess and has an arrogant belief in her own cuteness, a trait that she tries to hide from most others. During her first meeting with Taiga, Ami shows her true colors, but the tables are turned when Taiga counterattacks by slapping her. Since then, Ami and Taiga have been enemies, with Ami becoming one of a few who can tease Taiga at will; and Taiga referring to Ami as Baka-chi (Stupid Chihuahua). Ami occasionally sets aside her facade and speaks honestly to Ryūji, and is aware that she is really dark and twisted. Despite all this, Ami still sometimes envies Taiga since she can always be honest. Ami toys with developing a love interest in Ryūji, asking him if he would love her real self and give her a second chance. She has a deep understanding of the relationship situation going on between Minori, Ryūji, Taiga, and herself.


I don’t like the animation. The characters variety of hair color makes me feel that I’m watching a festival of colored wigs. How can I put it? It’s like a coloring book.  . Something like that… I am so sorry about that. Compared to other animation techniques, this anime is so typical.

Comments and Suggestions

I just happened to watch this anime because I have a copy. It’s not really my intention to watch and review “Tora Dora!” in the first place. When I was still a student, I know this anime already. It was even aired on Philippines television. (Channel 5) Some of the anime freak people I know will really recommend this anime because it’s good. I know it has high ratings. Do you know why I don’t like to watch it? It’s because I don’t like the drawing or animation. The school uniform is also red which is  not fashionable for me. Also, Ryuuji looks like an adult not a high school student. In my mind, “Is he really the main character? See how judgemental I am before. After finishing Tora Dora’s 25 episodes, my perception has changed. I love this anime! The story is worth watching. ^^ Takasu Ryuuji and Tenori Taiga’s relationship transition is what the story all about. I like their tandem. The anime title is “Tora Dora!” because of the ancient belief,”The Dragon is the only beast that can accompany a tiger. Even if there’s no vow the Dragon and Tiger will also be together.” Ryuujii is the Dragon while Taiga is the Tiger. Ryuuji and Taiga became really close because of “the love letter mistake”. Taiga mistakenly put the love letter to Ryuuji’s bag but the real recipient of that letter is Kitamura, Ryuuji’s close friend. It’s a disaster right! After knowing Taiga’s secret, Ryuuji became close with Taiga.  Taiga saw Ryuuji’s notebook about Minorin, her best friend, so she discovered Ryuuji likes her best friend too. They promised to keep the secret of each other.  Also, Ryuuji was surprised to know that Taiga is only living next door. They are NEIGHBORS! HAHA…It’s really hilarious.! They lived together as classmates, walking buddies and neighbors. There are rumors that they’re dating because they are always together while they’re really not. Each episode is really inviting. I got emotional with episode 16-20. (Kitamura’s student council problem and The Christmas Eve party episode where taiga realized she can’t live without Ryuuji.) She’s always acting supportive to Ryuuji’s love confession to Minorin while deep inside she can’t stop loving Ryuuji already. OMG! So dramatic!

The character I can relate with the most is Minorin. (She is actually like Yui Hirasawa of K-ON) She’s the pink haired girl who plays baseball and has a lot of part time job. Though she’s an active and optimistic person, she’s not showy about what she really feels inside. I know she likes Ryuuji too but kept it a secret in herself for she knows that Taiga NEEDS Ryuuji more. It’s a selfless act because you know that Ryuuji and you like each other. But instead, she just let go with that feeling for the sake her best friend, Taiga. If that happened to me, I’ll do the same thing Minorin did.  I think Minorin deserves a better guy than Ryuuji. (Is there a season two? Haha.)

I remember the episode “Kawashima Ami”. Kawashima Ami is Kitamura’s childhood friend and a real working model. She transferred in Taiga’s school because of the Stalker issues. At first, I didn’t like her. In the end, we’re thinking the same about Ryuuji already. I think Kawashima Ami is not a bad character at all. Ryuuji is acting like a dad. He’s stupid because he still didn’t realized that two girls are already getting hurt because of him. Ami is matured to observed the real situation. She can be deceiving because of her “show-off” attitude but can be honest and dependent friend. I have an idea that Taiga and Ryuuji will end up as a couple but the episodes didn’t give me an assurance. I was left half -hearted about that fact. Thanks to the writer of this anime because it’s so unpredictable! Good job! It also has a great plot! It became exciting on my part as an audience.

I really didn’t expect this too, Romance suckers! : (SPOILER ALERT!)


Don’t pretend you didn’t like this scene. HAHA! I think Taiga and Ryuuji made a good romance pairing too. v^^v If I know Ryuuji in person, probably I’ll fall for him too though he’s not my type because he’s thoughtful and caring. He knows how to cook. (He’s a mother figure.) I’ll never starve. Hallelujah! >^o^< He’s dependable in anyway. He’s not a selfish jerk. Though, he’s stupid at times. Taiga is compatible with him because they’re opposites. If I have any suggestion, I’ll make this one a live action movie. The main characters are still consistent but some setting and actors wardrobe will definitely be replaced with a better ones. The story of course will never change.  I love the story in this anime. That’s what really made me watch the whole series! It’s not the typical direct attraction love story. It has lot a twist and complications. The characters are interesting. Two thumbs up!

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Source: Google Images


18 thoughts on “Tora Dora! (2008) : Anime Review

  1. I like Minori the best actually – I really liked how she ‘sacrificed’ her own feelings for Ryuuji for Taiga and Ryuuji </3 I really felt for her! Very detailed review btw! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whoa… So we’re thinking the same..! 😀 ❤ Yeah, I actually want Minori to have a good romance too but I can't imagine her dating Kitamura… hahaha…!

      Thanks! It always actually takes me a long time to write reviews because of details. I love it anyway! ❤

      Thanks for reading! ^.^~

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yep!! 😀 ❤ I don't think Minori fits with Kitamura either, she needs a new guy … 🙂
        Its great that you enjoy it! 😀
        You're welcome it has been a pleasure! ^^

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi clem!Thanks for reading my review and leaving a comment! 😀 I like Ryuji and taiga as a couple because they are a good match.. 😀 though, I didn’t expect for real that they will end up with each other.. I was moved with the episode where Taiga realized and cried that she can’t lived withour Ryuuji anymore. She is jealous of Minori.. What’s your first fave anyway..?


      1. OH MY GOSH! OH my GOSH! K-ON is also my TOP 1 favorite >////< WOW.. I like Yui Hirasawa.. I have a review about K-ON too.. Maybe I'll link it to you!!! ^^~ Now, I will really follow your blog! Nice meeting you here in wp! ^^

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Haha, it was the movie that really got me interested in watching the anime series later. They all have their unique personalities. I think Ritsu also plays a pivotal role because she’s the closest one there is to a guy. Without her, the series may be a little bit too girly.

        Liked by 1 person

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