For Takasu Ryuuji life is complex enough – being the single child with a mum who works at a hostess bar [and who he effectively has to look after], add to that the fact that, despite being a well brought up and polite lad, he looks like an extra from a Yakuza film [a legacy of his late father, and a fact that Yuji’s mum regularly reminds him about] and his endless attempts to confess his feelings [or even string together a coherent sentence] to his dream girl, the lightheaded Kushieda Minori, which always seem to lead to naught……
But then, on his first day as a 2nd year student at high school, Ryuuji [literally] bumps into the diminutive but hot tempered Aisaka Taiga – known by all as the legendary “palmtop tiger” –
Sorry, sorry – im just reading from the script!
Anyway, after this…initial meeting ryuuji’s life would never be the same again!
For one thing it turns out that Taiga, despite he endless bad attitude towards him, may turn out to be his only way to get to Minori!
Okay, lets gets some things clear before we begin:
This manga was not the influence for the anime series, nor the other way around – In fact both were directly based off an original 2006 light novel series by Yuyuko Takemiya [although chronologically the manga came first] who was also the head writer for all three iterations.
As such the manga follows the plot of the novels faithfully with a case of mistaken identity resulting in Taiga and Ryuuji agreeing to help fix each other up with their respective crushes – and with Taigas crush being none other than Ryuuji’s longtime friend Kitamura!
Also, despite the difference in art style between this and the anime there’s no mistaking the key cast members – the fiery Taiga, the long-suffering Ryuuji, smart yet clueless Kitamurs and equally oblivious minori – all are faithful to the original light novels images of them thanks to the series artist Zekkyō.
The one let down though was the preview at the back – despite Amnesia labyrinth supplying a preview chapter of gunslinger girls all we get for “vampire cheerleaders” [ which smells of OEL manga] a short 8 page preview of the cast, and some rudimentary plot synopsis about a schoolgirl whose inducted [along with the other perks] into the titular cheer-leading team after one of the original members goes missing – I wont be holding my breath on this one!
End of the Day? Whether or not you’ve seen the anime version first I’d still recommend that you pick this hilarious take on the traditional romance manga series up when it comes out.
Do it! Or I’ll set the tiger on you.
Toradora volume one will be out in march 2011 from Seven Seas.