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Old 12-18-2016, 10:49 AM   #7364
Nebby. Back into the bag.
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Through Episode 23 now of ToraDora. Discussion inside.

Spoiler: show

Episode 21 has another of the series' greatest scenes in it. The part where Ryuuji rescues Taiga and, in her hypothermia-induced stupor, she mistakes him for Kitamura and confesses that she is in love with Ryuuji. If the Christmas Eve scene (19) and the bridge scene (24) are constantly fighting for 1st and 2nd place, this scene probably comfortably secures 3rd place in my heart for Best Scenes in the series. It's just so good, so emotional, so wonderful to have.

Episode 23 provides another of the series' great climactic moments: everything coming crashing down around Taiga (and Ryuuji!) as her friends corner her to tell the truth about how she feels towards Ryuuji. It's such a great but at the same time horrifying scene. It reminds me of a lot of moments in my own life -- I have to think all humans have moments like these -- where you have plans for this light, happy Course A and then seemingly out of nowhere things derail and now you're suddenly on an enormous, heavy Course B that ruins your day/weekend.

Everything about this scene is well done. Taiga has carefully planned out that she will give Ryuuji his gift second to last while ostensibly saving "her crush" Kitamura for last, and the viewer can fully tell. The look on her face as she gives Ryuuji his gift. Her claim that she's saved the best chocolate for Kitamura when you just know in reality she gave Ryuuji the best.

How Minori tries to drag the truth out of Taiga. How Taiga resists, what exactly it is that she says ... I feel like I'm witnessing myself in Taiga, it hurts but at the same time it is so beautiful and human to watch unfold ...

Everything is coming to a head now in these final chapters and it's just so, so good. The payoff in Toradora! is so satisfying, the delivery so sublime. If the earlier volumes suggest a score of 7 or a generous 8 out of 10, it is here, in these final book volumes, where Toradora! achieves its score of 9 or 10 out of 10. For me, there can be no doubt: it's a solid 10. And we're not even done yet.
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