| This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.
|No Matter What|
|Opening & Ending|
|Opening Song||Silky Heart|
Forever Like This
The Scene With You
"No Matter What" is the 21st episode of Toradora! and was first aired on February 26, 2009. The screenwriter for the episode was Masahiro Yokotani.
During the ski trip, Ryuuji wonders why Taiga had not told him about meeting Yusaku on New Year's. Hisamitsu gets into a fight with Maya concerning her attempts to be around Yusaku. Ryuuji has a brief talk with Minori about how to deal with it; Minori puts on the hairpin Ryuuji got for her, saying Taiga gave it to her. When confronted by Yusaku, Hisamitsu, and Haruta, Ryuuji reveals he has a crush on Minori.
Later, they investigate the girl's room in order to find out the true reason behind Minori's rejection, only to end up hiding in a closet along with Taiga, when Ami, Minori, Maya, and Nanako come in. Ami brings up the topic of Ryuuji's rejection by Minori, and the two get angry at each other.
The next day, Taiga and Minori accidentally run into Ami on their sled. Ami feels that they did it on purpose because of last night's argument and engages in a physical fight with Minori. Minori drops her hairpin on a nearby slope and Taiga goes to search for it by herself, but ends up falling down without the others noticing. When Taiga does not return, Yusaku, Minori, and Ryuuji search for her. Ryuuji contemplates his feelings for Taiga as he realizes he left her alone again. Ryuuji finds her at the bottom of a hill, bleeding and covered in snow. As Ryuuji carries her back, a barely conscious Taiga thinking that he is Yusaku, apologizes and confesses that she cannot stop loving Ryuuji.
The class has arrived at the ski resort, and while everyone else is having fun, Ryuuji struggles to figure out how to ski. Taiga doesn’t know how either and tries sledding instead, but she ends up crashing into him. Afterward, the two see Maya trying to get close to Yusaku, but Taiga doesn’t get pissed off like Ryuuji thinks she would, causing him to suspect that something happened between Taiga and Yusaku. Taiga admits that she ran into him during New Years, and she gets angry at Ryuuji when he wants to know why she didn’t tell him. At the same time, Maya gets into an argument with Noto because he’s interfering with her and Yusaku again, and Yusaku and Minori try to calm the two down. That night, Ryuuji is thinking about how Yusaku didn’t say anything either about seeing Taiga when Minori comes to talk to him. She claims that it’s about a secret, but she actually just wants to make things better between Noto and Maya.
In the process of talking about this, however, she reveals how she thinks that Noto mistakenly thinks that Taiga likes Yusaku. Ryuuji knows that this isn’t a misunderstanding and tries to say that there are things that Minori doesn’t know about Taiga, but Minori believes that she knows everything there is to know about her friend. Minori then takes out the hair clip that Ryuuji had wanted to give her for Christmas and explains that Taiga had given it to her and told her to treasure it. Ryuuji comes away from this feeling that no matter how hard he tries, it’s impossible for him because Minori is treating what happened on Christmas Eve and his feelings as non-existent. He retreats to his room and buries himself under a blanket, but Yusaku, Noto, and Haruta find him and convince him to tell them what’s going on. They are surprised to hear that he got rejected by Minori, and since Ryuuji doesn’t understand why, Yusaku decides to find out.
Yusaku thus leads the guys to the girls’ room, but the girls aren’t there. Ryuuji is overcome with the urge to clean up the messy room, however they almost get caught when Taiga comes back. The guys manage to hide in the closet, and right as the other girls are returning as well, Ryuuji grabs Taiga and puts her in the closet with them. Keeping Taiga quiet, the five of them are able to stay hidden from Maya, Nanako, Ami, and Minori, and they can’t help but listen in on the girls’ conversation. The girls wonder where Taiga went and start talking about who Taiga likes, but Minori declines to say anything about whether it’s Yusaku or Ryuuji. Minori’s general attitude rubs Ami the wrong way, and it leads to her revealing that Ryuuji actually likes Minori but she rejected him. Ami points out that Minori is pretending that she forgot and that she’s a natural airhead so that everyone can remain friends and stay as they are.
Minori responds by questioning when Ami saw her acting as if everything was fine, and she thinks that Ami can’t possibly understand her. She also feels that this has nothing to do with Ami, but Ami reaches further by bringing up Minori’s feelings of guilt as why she rejected Ryuuji. Ami threatens to go tell Ryuuji that Minori rejected him purely because she hates him, and though her taunting succeeds in getting Minori angry, Minori still maintains that Ami can go do what she wants. Maya and Nanako break things up before the argument can get any worse, and the two girls appear to reconcile. The girls then leave to go look for Taiga, and that allows Ryuuji and company to escape the closet. The next day, Ryuuji finds Ami by herself out on the slopes, and she confesses that she might be responsible for Minori rejecting him because of something she said. Ami admits that she gets irritated by how Minori won’t reveal her true feelings, and she hates herself for what happened.
The two’s conversation gets interrupted when Taiga and Minori’s sled suddenly crashes out of nowhere into Ami. A furious Ami accuses Minori of doing it on purpose, and this quickly develops into a fight with both girls hitting each other. Although it is eventually broken up, one of Ami’s punches dislodges the hairpin that Minori was wearing, causing it to fall down the side of a steep incline. The only person who sees this is Taiga, and she goes after it on her own. Ryuuji soon notices that Taiga is gone, and it becomes a big deal when Taiga doesn’t return to the lodge that night. With a blizzard coming down now, Minori, Ryuuji, and Yusaku decide to go out to search for her, and they find the spot where Taiga might have fallen. Seeing the hair clip, Ryuuji goes down the steep incline by himself and grabs it, all while thinking about how he left Taiga alone again. He resolves to never be separated from her again if he finds her, and moments later, he spots her snow-covered body. Taiga is injured but still alive and semi-conscious.
As Ryuuji carries her back to the lodge, Taiga touches his ski goggles and thinks that he’s actually Yusaku. Given this, she admits that she thought that Ryuuji would have been the one to come rescue her, and she feels that her prayer to Yusaku – the self-proclaimed deity of broken hearts – wasn’t answered. She had wanted her feelings to disappear so that she could become stronger, but no matter what, she likes Ryuuji.
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