Taiga’s confession to Kitamura revealed the end of the series

Toradora! is a modern classic of romantic comedy anime, in many ways setting it for years to come while employing several now well-worn romantic tropes. Of course, his ultimate payoff is well known by now, and it’s pretty hard to spoil the series’ romantic endgame. In fact, this final pairing is basically set in stone pretty early in the series.

From the second episode of the series, Toradora! makes it clear where the characters are headed, making other intervening relationships seem almost stagnant in retrospect. The audience and everyone on the show can see where the protagonists will end up, even if they can’t yet. here’s how the The modern romance anime made its intentions clear so soon.

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Toradora! Established her romantic endgame in the second episode

The initial plot of Toradora! involves misunderstood students Ryuuji Takasu and Taiga Aisaka discovering each other’s crushes, who both happen to be mutual friends. The abrasive Taiga begins to invite himself into Ryuuji’s house and essentially enslave him, fearing that he would otherwise reveal his secret crush. Rather than straighten this out, Taiga soon decides to admit her feelings for Yusaku Kitamura. This comes after the whole school begins to mistakenly believe that she and Ryuuji are an object.

Taiga desperately tries to tell Kitamura how she feels, with Ryuuji worrying about her when he realizes what she is doing. What happens next is probably not what either side expected; Kitamura talks about Taiga and Ryuuji’s closeness, and despite the former’s protest that it’s not a romantic relationship in any way, Kitamura refuses to get in their way. Although Taiga continues to have feelings for him sometime later, this would-be ship was taken down fairly quickly.

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Toradora! Makes the destination clear from the start, but not the journey

Kitamura’s rejection of Taiga actually comes after she had done the same thing to him before, though that was more due to her uncertainty about how to react than a lack of mutual feelings. It’s also a sign of things to come, with Taiga and Ryuuji’s friends selflessly sacrificing their feelings for the two to finally find each other. For example, Minori Kushieda, Ryuuji’s object of desire, is Taiga’s best friend. After interacting with him through part-time jobs and other misadventures, Minori also comes to develop feelings for him. When she accidentally realizes what he means to Taiga, however, she backs down, actually rejecting Ryuuji despite her romantic feelings for him.

This situation was an example of how Toradora! continued to keep things interesting, despite his final pairing being established in the second episode. Early on, Kitamura sees the special relationship Ryuuji and Taiga have and knows it will turn into something special. Thus, he cuts any potential romance between him and Taiga to the knees to see what happens between his two friends.

This makes the “will/won’t they” antics of the series’ remaining 23 episodes all the better, as audiences can watch the organic development of an already predicted relationship. This exemplified the tsundere storytelling/character archetype present in the series, and the trope would be defined for years thereafter by Toradora!.

Toradora! can be streamed on Crunchyroll, Funimation, Netflix, Tubi, and Prime Video.

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