Minorin has the heart of the cards.
I think everyone was a little apprehensive about Toradora! returning after it’s break for fear that the series would have lost some of its appeal after the halfway mark, but the show’s managed to stay suprisingly solid. ghostlightning’s post explains one of the many reasons how the show manages to keep us coming back for more: we’re taking a step back from Ryuuji and Taiga (who has become a part of Ryuuji’s family awwww) and getting more perspective on the other characters in the series.
Ami’s all but discarded her initial portrayal as Queen Bitch and has a shown that she has a remarkably fragile side. Being the idol that she is and living alone meant she had to grow up quickly and become independent in order to survive her rampant fans and her career. To her, though he’s blissfully ignorant of it as he must be, Ryuuji is a shoulder to lean on, a person with which she can feel both protected and comforted. Just because she can strike a pose and look at almost everything with a cool indifference, doesn’t mean she’s mature. She just gives off the appearance of maturity. (Side Note: Kitamura’s initial goal of getting people to know the real Ami seems to be working, as she isn’t as much of a complete ditz as she was at the start of the series. He’s such a tool for development)
Though the question of “what is my wish” was asked by Kitamura and Ami as well at in the awesome montage at the end of the episode, it seems like this mostly applies to Minorin. I’m as confused as she is towards her reaction to the picture and honestly have no idea what’s going through her head. Whether or not she was attempting to hide those picture due to what they may implied (to her?) about Ryuuji, it was a nice touch to see her cover up the second number as Ami walked by.
Kitamura’s probably been turned down by the student council president leading to that great scene on the stairs (would you touch Taiga? *wink wink*). It’s kind of dissapointing as at this point it seems like she (the president) was just a tool to get Kitamura to actuallly show some level of emotion beyond “helpful friend” but anything that’ll get him acting differently can’t be all bad.
I’m partially sticknig by what I just said, though Kitamura turning into a blond “delinquent” who cries in his sleep wasn’t really what I had in mind. I understand that he’s suffering due to whatever the president did (which I partially know. Damn spoilers.) but when Ami critiscises you for screaming for attention, you know that you’re doing something wrong. Still, it’s better than him just laughing it all off and doing what he’s been doing since the start of the series (read: making other characters look moe interesting).
The episode was less about Kitamura and more about how everyone reacted to someone who they all thought they understood FREAKIN’ OUT altering their perception of him. He was always the surefire friend, a helping hand in times of need. It’s somewhat a reversal of roles, but I say somewhat in that no-one in the show was able to actually do anything about it; the best tactic they could think of was holding him down and threatening him with deadly hair dye. They all have conversations and little one-liners full of insight and yet their actions aren’t as powerful as their words.
Speaking of insightful conversations, two scenes were obviously stand-out in the episode. Taiga pucnhing Kitamura in the face The scene by the river-bed and the scene under the night-sky. The latter was especially awesome, because of metaphors (technically similes, but eh) and scarves. You heard me.
CHANGE! YES WE CAN! OR ELSE.
Well, it looks like the start of tough love for Kitamura as Taiga’s decided to run along with the scariest man alive so they can kick Kitamura out of his slump.