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Ami Kawashima (川島 亜美 Kawashima Ami) is the last main character to debut in Toradora!. She joins Class 2-C at Ohashi High School, a month into the school year.

Appearance

Ami's design.

Ami's appearance befits that of her modelling career - tall in height, with straight waist-length blue hair that has bangs split on both sides. Her bust is more developed than other characters of her age in the series. She has violet eyes. In the original novels, her eyes are described as deep, hazel brown.

She is usually seen wearing the normal Ohashi High School uniform. Otherwise, she wears costumes, which corresponds to her maintaining her model image. Sometimes she is seen wearing less revealing clothing and sunglasses, to try and hide her identity from strangers and avoid attracting attention.

Personality

Ami initially appears sweet, kind and generous towards people she meets, while sometimes appearing clumsy. In reality, her clumsiness is just a ploy to manipulate others by masking her own arrogance and self-centeredness. Her childhood friend, Yusaku Kitamura, knows about this and trains Ryuuji Takasu to see through Ami's deception during his first encounter with her.

Through her encounters with Taiga Aisaka, Ami eventually gains the courage to confront her stalker, which she was running away from when she transferred into Ohashi High School. After this, she decides to continue studying at Ohashi High School, and begins to genuinely care for Ryuuji, Taiga and the rest of Class 2-C, while also shedding her "kawaiiko" image for good by the end of the series.

Although she readily makes friends while at school, especially with Nanako Kashii and Maya Kihara, Ami sometimes hides between two vending machines inside the school corridor by herself. This becomes a recurring setting for important conversations between the main characters.

Background

Ami is the daughter of a famous actress named Anna Kawashima and the childhood friend of Yusaku Kitamura. She was a full-time model before transferring to Ohashi High School. After this, she puts her modelling career on hold and only models during the school holidays.

Non in-universe appearances

Anime appearances

Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi

Relationships

Ryuuji Takasu

Ryuuji is alerted to Ami's true nature by Yusaku before she transfers into Class 2-C. As a result, he does not take Ami's approaches seriously, even when she starts falling for him for real.

After hosting the three of them at her beach house, Ami eventually becomes aware of the love triangle between Ryuuji, Taiga and Minori, dropping her own interest in Ryuuji in the process. In the run-up to the Christmas party, Ami notices how Ryuuji and Minori were being substitutes for Taiga's parents, and tells Ryuuji that she thinks the setup is unnatural and somebody could get hurt.

When Ami considered quitting Ohashi High School after the drama between her and Minori during the ski trip, Ryuuji successfully convinces her to stay. After Taiga's departure near the end of the story, Ami admits to Ryuuji that she was able to be herself after seeing how the class interacted with Taiga.

Taiga Aisaka

Ami would always bully and antagonize Taiga for no reason since their first encounter at the restaurant, when Ami picked on Taiga's height. After transferring into Class 2-C, Ami encountered Taiga again, alone, and made her believe that Yusaku no longer liked her after what happened at the restaurant. They would then compete for Ryuuji's affections by having a swimming race, which Ami "won" because Taiga went back to save Ryuuji from drowning in the pool. Even after returning from the former's beach house, Ami and Taiga continue to be hostile towards each other for different reasons. However, after Taiga returns from her suspension in time for Christmas and changes her own behavior for the better, the hostility all but disappears - Taiga expresses her gratitude when Ami brings the unassembled Christmas tree to school for them to assemble, and then, during the Christmas party, joins her on stage to perform a Christmas song.

Taiga usually calls Ami "baka-chi" ("dumb chihuahua" in the dub), initially as an insult, but it eventually morphs into an affectionate nickname.

Minori Kushieda

Ami's interactions with Minori are kept to a minimum at first. Minori referees the swimming race between Ami and Taiga, and is then invited to Ami's beach house. Ami does not seem impressed by Minori and Yusaku's pranks at the cave near the beach.

The first significant interaction is when Ami tells Minori that she doesn't have to feel guilty about pursuing Ryuuji, after assuming that Taiga was still in love with Yusaku. This inadvertently throws a wrench at Ryuuji's attempts to get with Minori, which Ami doesn't realize until the ski trip.

When Ami is informed, from Taiga, about Ryuuji apparently being rejected by Minori on Christmas Eve, she then relays the information to Minori herself during the ski trip. Minori reacts angrily to this, but Nanako and Maya manage to get Ami to apologize. However, the following day, when Taiga and Minori crash into Ami while riding a sled, Ami gets up angrily, brings up what happened the previous day, and the confrontation gets not only personal, but also physical. This causes Ami to avoid Minori at school afterwards, even when the latter tries to talk to her.

It is only after Minori accepts Ryuji and Taiga's decision to elope together, that she starts to mend the rift between herself and Ami, by crying in front of Ami.

Yusaku Kitamura

Ami is Yusaku's childhood friend. Yusaku is already aware of Ami's true nature since they are childhood friends. Yusaku is shown to have a deep concern for Ami. He even asked for Ryuuji and Taiga's help to be "nice" to Ami and let her know that it's okay to be her "real self". However, despite having known Yusaku for so long, she does not approve of some of his actions, such as the time he bleached his hair in order to avoid school.

Quotes

  • "Adoration never leads to a balanced relationship."
  • "It's difficult to like me when I'm being myself."
  • "If I show you my real self, what will you do? Will you fall for me?"
  • "Whatever. Talking to you is like being on my period."
  • "You're really good at faking."
  • "I, Ami Kawashima, will walk the same path as you. It's just that I'll be one step ahead."
  • "I've never really considered whether I'm lonely or not."
  • "As long as there's at least one person who understands me, I'll be okay."

Etymology

  • The name Ami means "second, Asia" (亜) (a) and "beautiful" (美) (mi).
  • Ami's surname Kawashima means "river, stream" (川) (kawa) and "island" (嶋) (shima).

Trivia

Characters
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