|This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.
|Ryūji and Taiga|
|Name Kanji||竜児と大河 Ryūji to Taiga|
|Animation Director||Chieko Miyagawa |
|Original Air date||October 9, 2008|
|Opening & Ending|
|Ending Song||Vanilla Salt|
Tiger and Dragon
"Ryuuji and Taiga" is the 2nd episode of Toradora! and was first aired on October 9, 2008. The screenwriter for the episode was Mari Okada.
During basketball shooting practice, Taiga and Ryuuji plan to knock out Yusaku's partner with a basketball so that Taiga can be Yusaku's partner (while Ryuuji takes Yusaku's partner to the nurse). However, Taiga ends up being knocked out instead. She makes some cookies and plans to give them to Yusaku; unfortunately, she falls off the stairs, throwing them out of the window in the process. Ryuuji breaks her fall and eats her cookies and says that they're great, trying to encourage her to try making cookies again. Since Ryuuji and Taiga are often together, a misunderstanding begins among their classmates that Ryuuji and Taiga are going out. This causes Taiga to rage and wreak havoc in the classroom. Taiga sets the record straight the next day, and confesses her love to Yusaku; however, he wants to continue being friends.
Because of Ryuuji’s promise to help her, Taiga has started developing a habit to come over to his house for breakfast and is having him make her lunches, because of her failed expertise to cook. They run into Minori on their way to school, and when Minori starts to misunderstand from seeing the two of them together, Taiga claims that they only met by coincidence. This leads Ryuuji to realize that in order to succeed with Minori, he’ll first have to get Taiga and Kitamura together. Their initial plan takes place during gym class: Ryuuji and Taiga pair up to toss a basketball around with the goal of Ryuuji throwing a basketball at Kitamura’s partner. He would then rush that person to the infirmary, allowing Taiga to re-pair up with Kitamura. Unfortunately, to complicate matters, Kitamura also partners up with a girl, and Taiga ends up getting distracted, so she doesn’t avoid the basketball in time and instead gets hit in the face. The next plan involves Taiga giving Kitamura some cookies she baked during home economics class, but Kitamura is in a rush, so Taiga has to chase him. In doing so, she accidentally slips on the stairs, and Ryuuji has to catch her, but her cookies go flying out the window. This latest failure depresses Taiga because she feels that she can’t succeed, so Ryuuji tries to make her feel better by eating all the ruined cookies and saying that they were delicious.
Unfortunately, a new obstacle soon develops for the two: because of how much they’re together, their class has started to believe that Taiga and Ryuuji are a pair, and are going out, due to the amount of time they spend together. The rumors quickly spread to Minori, and she takes the two onto the rooftop so that she can formally ask Ryuuji to take care of Taiga. To make matters worse, Kitamura is there as well, and he also misunderstands. Both Taiga and Ryuuji are heavily heartbroken, and Taiga even apologizes to Ryuuji because she feels responsible in the situation. She had been living alone because she had not gotten along with her own parents and had felt at home at his house. She feels that no one understands her, and she takes her frustrations out on a utility pole by kicking it multiple times. Ryuuji joins her, and their kicking eventually causes the pole to slant a little. This small victory causes Taiga to decide that she’ll confess her feelings to Kitamura, and she claims that Ryuuji can stop being her dog. Along those lines, she declares that, starting tomorrow, the two of them will just be classmates who live next door to each other, and she then bids Ryuuji farewell, leaving behind her lunch box.
The next day, Taiga doesn’t come over for breakfast, and when Ryuuji sees her at school, she doesn’t speak with him. What Taiga does do though is raise a huge commotion in the class so that everyone knows that she and Ryuuji aren’t a couple, and even Minori apologizes to Ryuuji for her misunderstanding. Taiga then calls Kitamura outside so that she can confess to him, and Ryuuji just happens to overhear it all because he’s on the stairwell. Before she can say that she likes him, Kitamura first asks if Taiga is going out with Ryuuji. Taiga responds by denying that she likes Ryuuji, but she also admits that she doesn’t hate him either, and she notes how he made her delicious fried rice, cheered her up, and stayed with her. It was because Ryuuji was with her that she is able to finally confess her feelings to Kitamura now. Kitamura, however, misinterprets her confession to mean that she wants to be friends, and that leaves her in shocked silence. After Kitamura is gone, Ryuuji reveals himself and asks Taiga what she’s going to do. She’s ready to go home, so Ryuuji offers to make her dinner, but Taiga claims not to want his help anymore. Ryuuji, however, feels that he can’t leave her alone, and he decides that he’s not a dog – he’s a dragon. Since old times, dragons have ranked up with tigers, and so he’ll continue to be by her side as a dragon.
All this – including the fact that Ryuuji called her by her given name instead of by her family name – shocks Taiga, and the only way she can think of responding is by kicking him. She returns to her normal bossy self and starts ordering him around again, but she’s secretly happy and satisfied that he called her Taiga.
Characters In Order of Appearance
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