God of Making Women Cry.
First off I dislike the OP since it’s much less badass and catchy than the first one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very nice and it reflects the shift in the tone of the series that’s (at least supposed to be) taking place towards SRS BSNS but it’s just not as instantly loveable as Pre-Parade. Just because you throw a teary Taiga at me doesn’t mean I’m going to get down on my knees, cry and proclaim ” Toradora’s done it again!” like some sort of zombie, blindly following and praising this series as it can DO NO WRONG.
On the other hand, “ORANGE” CAN DO NO WRONG, >>> Vanilla Salt.
That said, I still loved the episode, there was a welcome return to comedy which was a strong-point nearer the first half of the show. I especially loved the fact that Kitamura (the terrible, terrible chracter that he is) has been reduced to a mere object in the grand scheme of things. All he’s really useful for at this point is for some random girl (Kihara, I think it was) to chase after him so that she can break up him and Taiga before they ever get together or something. I really don’t care about her enough to think about it deeply, she’s not part of the main cast and she already irritates me. She’ll lose anyway, so meh.
Minori has decided to simply emo about her situation with Ryuuji, which is really disappointing. I understand she’s supposed to be facing up to her feelings but to just turn her into a secluded and negative person after 16 episodes of her “covering up her feelings beneath a barrage of positive energy with occasional bouts of introspection” seems kind of awkward.
Interesting to note that when they were just friends Minori was able to confide in Ryuuji more. Perhaps she views a progression of that relationship to something more as ruining their relationship and losing Taiga as a friend.
Nothing particularly notable here, other than Minori RUINING CHRISTMAS. It’s simply the good quality that I’ve come to expect from the show by this point. Though I must point out that the loli version of a loli is enough to make some people go crazy. Though not me <_<
I too am surprised (but not as enraged) that nothing happened in the standard storeroom scene in the episode. I think due to Clannad we’ve come to expect something of any storeroom scene involving a male protagonist and a female who’s got no chance of winning by the end the show. I did like the metaphor of playing house, but then again there’s always metaphors to like from Toradora.
I also liked the link between Taiga’s childhood and Christmas. For her, it was a time when she was loved and protected, a time when her entire family was together and her world was filled with that rose-tinted glaze of happiness. She believes simply getting wrapped up in the Christmas craze (the presents, the trees, the good cheer) allows her to recapture that blissful youth that she’ll never have again. But even so, she still has other friends to watch over her and be there for her.
The entire episode was kind of a slow-burn up to Minori RUINING CHRISTMAS and even afterwards (with another metaphor of 2things not returning to the way they were yet being able to be fixed up to a certain point”) there was something about that scene which came off as forced. It’s not exactly a major development, but it’s nice to see Ryuuji finally voice some sort of intention towards going after Minori.