When I came up with the idea for this series of posts, I thought I will pick 5 best moments each time. It was hard to pick the moments since the beginning, but by the third installment it became impossible.

In the third part I “sneaked in” an extra moment, making it 6. But for this final part, I’m just gonna go all out, no matter how long the post will be. Each episode has several different moments worth talking about. So leaving things out just to make it 5 overall for all 6 episodes makes no sense.

So with that out of the way, let’s begin! For the final time.

*cries*

Shocking confession – Episode 20

As Christmas ended, Ryuuji had to move forward. Taiga believed in him and Minori. She has realized what Minori is doing – not acting on her feelings in order to not hurt Taiga.

And so, the only way to change Minori’s mind is if Taiga changed and showed she doesn’t need Ryuuji anymore.

Minori is back to her energetic self around everyone. Taiga continues trying to set up scenarios for Ryuuji and Minori. But Minori let out a few signs of frustration about it.

Ryuuji notices her hair has changed. She says she is surprised he noticed, to which he replies “Its because I always look at you”.

“What a shocking confession”, she says. Well, far from it.

The ski trip is approaching where Ryuuji’s aim is finding out Minori’s “true feelings”.

It’s no use, Taiga – Episode 21

Minori is ignoring any of Ryuuji’s attempts to convey his feelings to her. And when she put on the hairclip that he was supposed to give her on Christmas Eve, it served as the ultimate reminder of that.

Only due to Taiga was this possible. If Ryuuji tried to give it to her, she wouldn’t accept.

Hit with this realization, Ryuuji goes to sleep…

No one saw or heard anything – Episode 21

…but Haruta, Noto and Kitamura noticed his bad mood. They were surprised to hear of Minori’s rejection, and Kitamura suggested they go ask her about it.

They enter the girls room, but hide when Taiga enters. Ryuuji takes Taiga with them when he heard the other girls coming in.
It was actually a great move to hide Taiga. Ami was annoyed with Minori, and they ended up in a fight which, as Kitamura said, they weren’t supposed to witness.

I can’t stop loving Ryuuji – Episode 21

This fight continued the next day, when Minori hit Ami with the sled. You decide if it was on purpose or not. Ami certainly believed it was.

As things got physical between them, Minori’s hair clip fell, and Taiga felt the need to go bring it back.

She fell in the snow and was left unconscious. In the final bit of daylight left, Ryuuji, along with Minori and Kitamura went back to search her. Ryuuji found her thanks to the reflection of the hair clip.

Just think about this for a second. If it wasn’t for that hair clip, the worst possible thing could have happened to Taiga. Maybe Ryuuji wasn’t able to give it to the person he first intended to. Maybe it served as a reminder that that person won’t accept his feelings towards her.

But it also ended up serving as the crucial thing to help save Taiga.

Ryuuji was the one who carried Taiga back. She mistakenly believed it was Kitamura, which resulted in a bittersweet confession of love.

Bitter because Taiga is blaming herself for her feelings. She is trying to conceal her feelings in order to not hurt Minori, and Minori is doing the same thing for her.

This is a major moment, and one that will always be among my favorite confessions in anime. Indirect ones at least. Ryuuji has started to better understand his feelings. Taiga has as well, and Ryuuji has now finally heard it from the person herself.

Being with Taiga is the best – Episode 22

Taiga was away from school to recover from the accident. According to her, she was away for a long time cause she simply wanted to skip school.

Clearly Ryuuji missed her company. And when he saw her for the first time since the accident, he was very nervous and just wanted her to stay as long as possible.

He even ended up in tears, thinking that “being with Taiga is the best”.

This moment always warms my heart. Just seeing Ryuuji finally being honest with himself felt so satisfying and rewarding. You never truly value what you have until you lose it, and Taiga felt that on Christmas Eve. Now Ryuuji felt that in the time when Taiga was absent.

Kitamura carried you – Episode 22

But the episode ended with lies. Taiga wanted to pretend she never said anything. Ryuuji went along with it, saying that Kitamura carried her and she never said a word.

It was a lie none of them actually wanted to say. Taiga did it for Minori, Ryuuji did it for Taiga. But Ryuuji seems to have accepted things won’t work out with Minori. It seems he is realizing that he actually loves Taiga. He was clearly unhappy to continue going with the lie, but he sacrificed himself because that’s what Taiga wanted.

Future plans – Episode 23

Neither Ryuuji nor Taiga have turned in their career assessments yet. Ryuuji doesn’t want to go to college and wants to find a job, which is against his mother’s wishes. Taiga hasn’t given her future much thought, and believes she won’t have to work because her family is rich.

She also wants to “fall in love normally”. She wanted to have a “normal life” and she wanted to be a “normal girl” which annoyed Ryuuji and he rightly asked her what does she mean by “normal”.

It’s all right! – Episode 23

Later on, Yasuko passed out due to overworking herself. A visibly unhappy Ryuuji went out to buy her some food, but he forgot all of the stuff he would usually take when going to a store. Which made me wonder if he actually planned to go buy something or his only plan was to go see Yasuko’s boss.

In any case, Taiga was worried for him, as he blamed himself for what happened to Yasuko. It was now Taiga’s turn to encourage and cheer up Ryuuji in his bad moment.

Everyone loves you – Episode 23

Ami did some great advertising work for the stand Ryuuji and Taiga worked on. As she left, Ryuuji commented how she likes to run away, as earlier in the episode he found out Ami is not sure about staying in their school.

“You’ll dissapoint everyone if you leave. Everyone adores you”, he told her.

Encouraging words, but ones that Ami didn’t wanted to hear. She would be happy if just one person cared. That one person being none other than Ryuuji.

Chocolates for everyone – Episode 23

Taiga prepared chocolates for her group of friends, and she gathered everyone to give them away. What could possibly go wrong?

She gave her most worked on chocolate to Kitamura, who carried her from the snow.

Ooh, wait what?

That is not what Minori saw that day. She knew Ryuuji carried Taiga back.

Shock. Dissapointment. Anger. All in one expression. Imagine concealing your feelings on the person you like because you want your best friend to be happy with that same person you like.

And then imagine that person you like, doing that same thing – concealing his feelings, even if you know for sure that this person has feelings for your best friend.

It’s quite a messy situation and Minori couldn’t take it anymore.

Everything that Taiga and Ryuuji were hiding came out. Never has any scene in Toradora so far been this intense.

No more hiding. No more running away. It’s finally the time to face your feelings and do what you feel is right. Ryuuji had the choice to go after Taiga or leave everything as it was…

Running in the halls – Episode 24

Ofcourse he decided to go after Taiga. He went on a chase with Minori.

Minori tripped while running and she revealed that those UFOs they talked about before were actually symbolizing her willpower.

What got me was when she gave Ryuuji her “giant goodbye” and encouraged him to go to Taiga. As he left she started crying. I was very much the same way. I noticed how a lot of Minori related scenes have made me cry during this rewatch which is interesting because I consider Taiga and Ryuuji to be my favorite characters.

Confession attempt – Episode 24

If Taiga’s words when Ryuuji carried her from the cliff were my favorite indirect confession in anime, then this is probably my favorite actual confession. Or attempt at least.

Finally Taiga let her true feelings out. Everything about this scene is cuteness overload, from Taiga misunderstanding Ryuuji’s intentions and encouraging him not to look down on life, to her jumping in the water right when he was about to confess his love.

All this in the snow making the moment even more special. But things can’t ever go without the interruption of the phone. Damn you Kitamura!

Say it – Episode 24

It’s Ami who took Ryuuji and Taiga in after they more or less ran away from home.

And she just wanted the final confirmation. She wanted to be 100% certain that things really won’t happen with Ryuuji and that he loves Taiga.

She wanted to hear it from the man himself. And that’s what she got. But I doubt it felt too shocking for her to hear that.

Friend goals – Episode 24

Can you imagine any better friends than these?

Minori has worked so much for her dream university. And she was ready to give all that away for her two crazy friends with dreams of eloping. She refused to act on her feelings towards Ryuuji and now this? Is there actually anything that she would not sacrifice for her friends?

When she told them she doesn’t feel their actions are correct but she has no right to object them if that’s what they wanted, she felt like a mother figure to both of them.

Ami offered them keys to her beach house. I would never imagine something like this from the Ami we saw at the start of the anime. Amazing character growth.

And then there is Kitamura with coupons. Well, any help is appreciated but he has kinda been outdone in kindness this time.

Families are amazing – Episode 25

Ryuuji’s issues with Yasuko were solved in a good way.

Yasuko wasn’t relying on Ryuuji enough. She wanted to take all the hardships herself.

Ryuuji wants them to help and rely on each other in need – he hated seeing Yasuko overwork herself for his sake.

I felt like what Ryuuji said to her about forcing her failures on him was too harsh. But I’m glad everything worked out in the end.

The first thing Yasuko’s parents told her when they saw her for the first time in years was that she raised Ryuuji well.

Just think about it. Everyone told her she should get an abortion, but Yasuko left home and raised Ryuuji as a single mother. Even if she “failed in life” and “couldn’t do what she wanted”, she did her role as a mother exceptionally well.

Once more – Episode 25

Finally.

Finally.

I don’t really know what to say. Best kiss scene in anime ever. I’m naming too many Toradora scenes as “best ones ever” but I can’t help myself when I love this anime so much.

It was long overdue. And I couldn’t imagine it in any other way.

Class picture – Episode 25

Ahh the class picture. Quite fitting for Kitamura to end up with a pose like that. Kihara looking cute. And kind of unfair to Ryuuji to see him forced into a smile like that but at least he ended up better than those guys at the bottom right corner.

And he is holding Taiga’s star. Beautiful touch to have them bring the star for the photo. And beautiful to see how the class grew attached to Taiga through the series.

Ending

And we reach the end and I’m in tears once again.

Many people have issues with this ending. Ryuuji and Taiga finally accept their feelings and experience their happiness, until Taiga decides to just… leave.

I totaly understand this could surprise people. But when you think of it in the context of the anime and its messages, it makes perfect sense.

One of the messages is the strength of family bonds. Ryuuji wanted acceptance for their marriage from both of their families. Taiga wants the same.

But there is one more thing: through the series she has depended too much on Ryuuji, which she realized in episode 19. If she wants to grow as a person she has to become more independent, and solving her family problems alone gives her the chance to do that.

Ryuuji is what made her want to change. She wants to become better for him. She has been running away from her problems the entire time, but its time to change that.

 

It’s been beautiful to experience all of this again, this time (more or less) day by day with more time to process everything that is happening.

Now it’s hello to sadness once again. No more Toradora for another year. But it really makes December much more special. Every day I was looking forward to the episode and making these posts was huge fun.

It’s the first series of posts that I’ve started and finished. Hope you enjoyed following it.

And with that I’m finishing my last post of the year and my longest one ever at the same time.

Please let me know your thoughts on the final parts of Toradora! And check out the first three parts of Toradora December if you missed out on any of them!

Toradora December #1 – Episodes 1 – 6

Toradora December #2 – Episodes 7 – 13

Toradora December #3 – Episodes 14 -19

Before I start with part 3 of Toradora December, I want to wish a merry Christmas to everyone reading this! Thank you for taking the time of your day to read this post.

The third set of episodes involved superstitious rumours, elections for the student council and a Christmas party.

Let’s dive into it!

Ami is our last hope – Episode 15

When Kitamura dyed his hair out of refusal to become the student council president, Ami Kawashima made some harsh comments on him.

And Minori understands why. She thinks highly of Ami’s words, due to her experience with the adult world.

Minori wants to believe that for this reason, Ami already understands everyone’s feelings.

She thinks of Ami as the group’s last hope.

Ryuuji calls Minorin kind, which she denies, describing herself as “phony”. Ryuuji didn’t seem to understand why she described herself like that.

But he did seem to agree that Ami knows more than the rest of the group.

I can’t stop moving forward – Episode 16

Kitamura publicly confessed to Kanou. Her reaction was everything but an accepting one.

Taiga couldn’t help Kitamura with words. But she still wanted to do something for him, just like Kitamura helped her when she needed it.

“I don’t understand who is wrong and who isn’t. All I know is, I can’t stop moving forward!”

A fight follows. Taiga showing her great fighting skills yet again. Well, she did have a lot of practice over the course of the anime, didn’t she?

Ryuuji stopped her at the most critical moment.

Taiga called Kanou a coward. But Kanou reveals her true feelings.

She knows that Kitamura would follow her to America if he knew her true feelings. She doesn’t want him to do something like that only to be with her, so she decides to conceal her feelings. I think some of our main characters can relate to this “concealing your feelings” thing…

This is followed by an emotional Kitamura thanking Kanou.

Then as Nanako finds what seems to be Taiga’s student ID, Kihara spots a picture of Taiga and Kitamura.

“She really does love him”, she says, before Ami takes the ID, saying she’ll return it to Taiga.

Minori heard their conversation and as Ami and her friends walked by, she asked Minori if her feelings of guilt are gone.

Minori was shocked, but Ami clearly wasn’t happy with herself after that. Some interpret this moment as Ami making Minori realize that Taiga’s actions from this episode showed she still loves Kitamura. Which means Taiga wouldn’t be hurt if Ryuuji ended up with Minori, or perhaps Ami even.

Others believe this is simply Ami realizing Minori likes Ryuuji but won’t act on her feelings in order to not hurt Taiga. Whatever you may think it means, this scene was fantastically made. The red colors really compliment the mood well.

Oh and this was basically two scenes put under one. Picking just 5 is getting too hard so…

Ryuuji doesn’t understand – Episode 17

For episode 17, I could easily pick Taiga’s excitement over Christmas, simply due to how cute it is.

But the ending of this episode feels so impactful. Ryuuji feels confused.

His classmates are shipping Taiga and Kitamura. And despite actually aiming for that ship to happen, and working on making it happen, he doesn’t feel happy about the prospect of it actually happening.

When asked by Kihara if he thinks it would be good that Taiga and Kitamura go out, he replies “it would be too sudden”.

It’s the clearest sign so far of Ryuuji realizing how exactly he feels about Taiga.

A broken star – Episode 18

The hidden meanings are what makes this scene even more special.

It’s heartbreaking enough to think that Taiga let her favorite Christmas decoration be used only to have it end up in pieces thank to her best friend Minori.

But think how Minori has been avoiding Ryuuji and doesn’t want to come to the Christmas party.

Why doesn’t she want to come to the party? To not hurt Taiga.

And when she does come near something that is related to the Christmas party, she breaks Taiga’s star. You could also think of the star as Taiga’s heart.

Minori was determined to be the only person to fix the star. She especially did not want Ryuuji to help her fixing it.

She cries while saying “Takasu-kun”. It’s like she wants to tell him everything but decides not to.

Fake santa – Episode 19

So much moments I could write about. Kitamura’s Christmas outfit always makes me laugh.

And that performance.

Oh my, that performance. Holy night from Toradora is my favorite Christmas song ever.

But when Taiga was visited by santa. Seeing how happy it made her brought such a smile to my face. So much cuteness. So heartwarming.

She realized this was Ryuuji. He was soon sent back to the Christmas party. Taiga’s Christmas present to Ryuuji was Minori’s arrival at the party.

And while he was on his way, he missed out on what has to be one of the most emotional moments in Toradora. Taiga’s emotional outburst.

She was sure Minori will come to the party and fall for Ryuuji. She was sure this will mean she won’t be by Ryuuji’s side anymore.

And she was sure that this was not what she wanted. So she ran outside and screamed Ryuuji’s name in tears.

Which was seen by Minori. This made it clear to her that she should not act on her feelings towards Ryuuji if she doesn’t want to hurt Taiga. Not that she wasn’t aware of this before.

Soon after, Minori meets Ryuuji. She tells him that she has decided she shouldn’t see ghosts, and that it would be better if she doesn’t see them.

Ryuuji thinks of it as a rejection. Which in a way it is. But Minori does share the same feelings Ryuuji has towards her. She has just decided it’s best not to act on them.

 

Once again, I hope you’re having a great Christmas time! Is episode 19 one of your favorite Christmas episodes in anime? Are you also watching Toradora this Christmas? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Check out part 1 and part 2 of Toradora December if you haven’t already!

Another quarter of the Toradora rewatch is already done, which means its time for the new installment of Toradora December!

This pack of episodes involved swimming pools, beach houses, caves, fireworks, family issues and the school cultural festival.

Here are my 5 favorite moments.

Ryuuji is mine! – Episode 8

Ryuuji ends up knocked down in the swimming pool. The person he sees helping him out is Taiga.

As he wakes up, Taiga breaks down emotionally, because no one noticed what has happened to Ryuuji. She screams “Ryuuji is mine!” and tells everyone to keep their hands off him.

Such a powerful scene. I think what happened speaks for itself. But what has made this scene even more powerful for me are the reactions from Minori and Kitamura. They understood everything, probably better than Ryuuji and Taiga themselves.

Afterwards, Taiga tried to downplay the moment.

“He is my dog. I have an obligation to make sure he doesn’t misbehave at someone else’s house.”

Are you really sure that’s all there is to it, Taiga?

Ghost talk – Episode 9

Ryuuji has a moment alone with Minori and uses it to ask her if she has a boyfriend.

Minori uses a ghost metaphor to express that she hasn’t experienced the feeling of love yet. Ryuuji continues in the metaphor narrative, saying he is interested in experiencing love. She tells Minori he hopes she will experience love one day, and he tells her he is sure there is someone that wants her to experience it.

By that someone he meant himself.  Minori ends up implying she may experience love someday.

From her facial expression and the mood of the scene, it seemed to me that she didn’t rule out falling in love with Ryuuji.

This was a scene full of subtlety that was hard to understand properly when I first watched this anime.

Let’s look for UFOs! – Episode 10

I really enjoyed this conversation between Minori and Ryuuji. Minori wondered why would Ryuuji want to scare her when she sees him as a person that wants to make everyone happy. This was a sweet moment cause it showed that people around you do notice your kindness. Seeing how Ryuuji is one of my favorite characters of all time, I just felt… happy for him.

Ryuuji replied that he wanted her to see a ghost. And when Minori told him they should go search for UFOs,  she gets excited while looking at the fireworks, celebrating that she saw “a UFO”. It seemed to be her way of saying she is starting to feel something towards Ryuuji.

All while Aisaka Taiga is seen with her head down, clearly not in a happy mood, with Kitamura looking at the fireworks. Is she starting to realize that things won’t work out with Kitamura?

This is a good thing. Isn’t it? – Episode 11

Taiga receives phonecalls from her father but refuses to pick up the phone. She later realizes her bank account is empty. Clearly a way to be forced into talking with her father.

She sends Ryuuji to come talk with him instead. Her father reveals he wants taiga to come live with him again.
Ryuuji, who lived his entire life not knowing how it is to have a father, believes in his good intentions.

So when he walks home with Taiga and they spot the father’s car, he tries to make Taiga go with her father. She refuses to do it and they end up in a fight, till Ryuuji laments his father wont come back no matter what he does.

This was the moment he realized he wanted Taiga to get on better terms with his father because of his own family situation. But that made Taiga change her mind. She went with her father, for no reason other than Ryuuji.

She put her feelings aside and did something only because she saw how emotionally Ryuuji feels about the situation. 

The episode ends with Ryuuji convincing himself that what has just happened is a good thing. Or is it?

Racing for Taiga – Episode 13

It almost happened during the first moment mentioned in this article. But episode 13 is the first time during this year’s Toradora rewatch that I cried. And we are only half way through.

The first moment of the episode that made me cry was when Ryuuji and a Minori in tears were the only people who clapped to Taiga.

Then Taiga won the beauty contest and a race was held to determine who will end up dancing with her.

Ryuuji, who received a message from Taiga’s father about breaking his promise, fully realized the mistakes he has made. He was strongly determined to make up for it, and he was ready to do everything he can to win that race.

But an unexpected competitor in Minori had arisen.

Minori, who Ryuuji still hasn’t spoken to since their intense exchange of words related to Taiga’s father situation.

After she fell down, she hit two boys in front of her with a ball. She threw herself into 4 other boys at once. All to help Ryuuji win the race.

But Ryuuji helped her get up and they ended up crossing the finish line first together.

The emotion Minorin showed is probably what made me teary too. She knew she had a part of the blame too, by not telling anything to Ryuuji about Taiga’s father. She wanted to make up for it.

But it wasn’t only that. I feel like those tears while she was telling Ryuuji to go towards Taiga held a deeper meaning. And I feel that because of the “UFO” she was happy about in episode 10…

 

And that would be it for this set of episodes. Emotions are really heating up, as Christmas nears, both in real time and Toradora time. And not clicking that next button after each episode is getting impossibly hard…

Please tell me if I missed any of your favorite moments. I would love to talk with you about this masterpiece of an anime!

Also please check out the first part of Toradora December if you haven’t yet.

Toradora is one of those anime that will always have a special place in my heart. 

The first time I’ve seen it was in summer 2017, aka the start of my anime watching career. It was one of the first anime I’ve watched subbed, and my first ever romance/comedy/slice of life anime.

Last Christmas was when I rewatched it for the first time, and it made for my favorite Christmas to date. Back then I decided I will rewatch Toradora every Christmas, and after a long year of waiting and resisting rewatching this anime, finally the time has come to start watching it for the third time.

It feels like I’ve returned to the warmth of my home that I’ve left for an entire year or something. It’s so nice to watch this once again.

I’ve started this year’s rewatch on the 6th December. It’s that exact date, because that will make the Christmas episodes come exactly on time for the real life Christmas. It’s supposed to be one episode per day. I’m not sure how I’m gonna keep myself from clicking on next episode every single time, but I’ll try giving it a go at least.

Technically this post was supposed to go out yesterday, since it covers the first 6 episodes, while today its already day 7 of the rewatch. Believe me, I wanted it to come out yesterday, but certain things just… unexpectedly happened.

But without any further ado, it’s time for me to highlight my 5 favorite moments from the first (almost) quarter of the anime.

Prologue – Episode 1

It’s the first scene, and it immediately lets you know that you are in for a beautiful series. Just the music alone is enough to realize this.

Ryuuji prepares for the first day of school, and wants to change his hairstyle but gives up on it instead. Then he spots mold and he can’t help but clean it. Clearly he cares about how clean his house is.

Then Taiga is introduced with clothes on her floor and she is sneezing. Spot the difference?

It’s a beautiful scene for the start of the rewatch. The music makes me nostalgic, and so excited for all the amazing moments that are awaiting in this series.

Nobody understands me! – Episode 2

One of my favorite scenes of the entire show. And it’s already in episode 2. This was the moment when I realized Toradora could really be something special.

Taiga lashes out her frustration at everybody around her. She feels misunderstood.

“Nobody understands me!”.

Or maybe somebody does? Ryuuji joins her in her outburst on the poor innocent pole. Such a lovely scene.

Until Taiga declares that starting the next day, Ryuuji will no more have to serve her as a dog, and they will just be “classmates who happen to be neighbours”.

Ryuuji clearly wasn’t happy with what he heard…

Trying hard – Episode 3

Kitamura catches Taiga lying down next to a bike.

“Bikes are wonderful, they open up your world”, he said.

A sweet moment of an annoyed, but determined Taiga follows.

“Damn! What’s the point in opening up my world, if Kitamura-kun isn’t watching me!?”

YES TAIGA! Ride that bike, you can do this! A cute moment of her facing her fears head-on.

Minori’s opinion – Episode 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-mFHkdOTEA

Ryuuji asks Minori on her opinion on people who call themselves airheads.

Her response is a rather unique one. An angel-like face, followed by a demon-like expression.

I assume this means she believes they seem as good people on the outside but their true nature is a different story.

Which is basically Ami Kawashima. Minori has a good understanding of people.

I also love how after that moment, the professor wonders why the class seems… surprised.

You missed out on something unusual, sensei.

We got to see something interesting – Episode 5

Ryuuji and Taiga go out to buy a sauce but on their way home, they see someone familiar…

It’s Kawashima Ami, and she seems to have a lot of junk food.

I love how this scene shows that Ami clearly has some problems she is trying to hide. She is not the angel she is trying to portray herself as. And its exciting to find out what exactly is bothering her.

The end of the scene is Taiga making that cute face and the transition to the ending sequence. Such a nicely made scene.

 

Did I miss any of your favorite moments? There is so much greatness to choose from, and with time there is only gonna be even more. Look forward to the part 2, which will cover episodes 7 – 12!