Observations #1: Yasuko from Toradora!

Observations #1: Yasuko from Toradora!

These Observations posts will be short and informal. The idea is to have a way to express details or connections I notice in shows that I think are interesting, unexplored, and worth bringing to people’s attention or archiving in some way. However, the details in these posts either can’t constitute a full essay or simply don’t fit into my schedule as far as researching and writing a full post about them. Basically, these will be like a deciphered form of my notes (my observations, get it?). There probably won’t be real arguments within them most of the time, just the details and thought processes I would’ve used to make my arguments in a real essay. Hopefully they’re fun to read or direct you to make some arguments of your own.

Like the title says, these are some thoughts on Toradora!’s Yasuko, a character who occupies a complicated position in relation to the rest of the cast. I feel a lot of discussion about Yasuko glides over what are actually intricate and deliberate ways of portraying her character, particularly in regards to how she relates to the show’s overall themes of maturity, responsibility, and family. The content of these notes are essentially why I feel that way (so if this post has any argument, it’s probably that). I also think there’s something to be said about the fact that Yasuko is a mother character in a Mari Okada script–there’s always something to say about Okada moms–but that’s certainly outside the range of these notes.Read More »

Patchwork Confession

Patchwork Confession (A Toradora Analysis)

Around this time last year, I wrote about three symbols in the Christmas party episode of Toradora. Apparently cold weather and Christmas lights put me in the mood for symbolism, because I want to explore another Toradora symbol this year. Although this symbol first shows up in Episode 1, I’ll be talking about the series as a whole and assuming you’ve seen it in its entirety. You can consider this the start of my love letter to Toradora.

But hopefully my letter has a little more substance to it than Taiga’s.

torl1

Taiga attempts to put a love letter in Kitamura’s bag, but mixes his up with Ryuji’s. Ryuji then finds this letter, only to discover it is empty. All of this confusion results in Taiga attacking Ryuji and Ryuji winding up with Taiga’s empty envelope. Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Taiga’s mix-up with Ryuji and Kitamura’s bags is a foreshadowing of her initial crush on Kitamura giving way to her love for Ryuji. I called it obvious, but this is certainly an important interpretation (and probably the main intended one). However, Toradora is not satisfied until it’s packed every bit of meaning into a symbol as it can.Read More »