A Nostalgic Journey Backwards: Toradora
November 25, 2012 3 Comments
For absolutely no apparent reason, I have begun to re-watch old shows of the past. Although, not old as in pre-2000 year anime, but shows that I’ve seen very early or nearly at the beginning of my time actually watching this medium in a more serious way than others. There isn’t much to be accomplished by going back and watching something you’ve already seen, except for piling more shows to watch on your backlog, but I’d rather suffer that “terrible fate,” and go back and enjoy something I know I did long ago. It’s disappointing to say though, that one becomes just a little more jaded over time, and he can’t exactly “watch something for the first time again.” But nonetheless, it’s something I enjoy to do, and I’ll try and find something to talk about with each.
So there is a nice handful of shows that come to mind when I think back to my early days. I started fairly late in the industry, somewhere around 2009. So by then, a bunch of new gems and big shots had come out that really didn’t make much difference to me since I didn’t exactly know better about what was good and what was really good; I had merely picked out titles that looked interesting. I just so happened to pick out the shows that ended up being, more or less, better than average, the shows that shined through the most during their seasons. They pretty much formed the foundation of the kind of anime I watch today, and what has brought me to enjoy what I do. At some point during the week, I randomly decided to start one of my favorite shows of the time, which turned out to be Toradora.
A few things come to mind when I think about Toradora. I think about the knowledge that I used to have of what I considered to be, “romance,” back then. Prior to watching anime, I didn’t have much of an idea about anything when it came to criticism. I had spent my days playing video games, or blindly watching trashy TV that didn’t need any brain power to watch. So my idea of romance was a bit muddled, bar the fact that I had watched Strawberry Panic before Toradora, but even that show can be considered orthodox when it comes to romance. I’m confident that it was one of the very first shows that I watched produced after 2007, where the last show I had watched prior to that was Bamboo Blade, so it was a real treat for me to jump into.
As stated before, my idea of romance was fairly plain. The beginning of Toradora pretty much follows the common pattern of some romance stories, with a bit of its own twist and charm. It was easy to see that that wasn’t the case, as the show progresses into a more ironic story that subverted my expectations, and perhaps did the same for a lot of others. So not only was the show a good opportunity to be exposed to a show with above average production values, courtesy of J.C. Staff on a good day, I was able to see a good change of pace in the romance genre of anime.
Someone could go as far as to say that Toradora is a show of notable status in the drama genre, an argument that I would most likely agree with. It seems that that show had quiet a bit of influence on what I liked in the drama section of things. I think that it was a great show to be included in the handful of my first shows to bring me into my anime career.