Toradora!: How to Get Started With the Anime & Light Novels

One of the most popular anime series of the 2000s was Toradora!, which in turn was inspired by Yuyuko Takemiya's original light novels of the same name. The series is a shonen romantic comedy -- which incidentally fits some current shonen trends, proving the story of Toradora! has indeed aged well.

Fans of series such as Horimiya and Nisekoi will find a lot to like with Toradora! To balance the narrative, it also has its fair share of heavy drama, and not all the main characters will survive unscathed. High school hijinks can lead to heartache as well as laughs, and new fans will discover that for themselves in the anime, manga and light novels. Here's where you can start.

The Plot Of Toradora!

Taiga and Ryuji Bickering in Toradora!

Toradora! fits neatly into the slice-of-life, romance, comedy and drama genres, taking place primarily at a typical Japanese high school and other locales such as the characters' apartments and downtown. At this school, the petite but fierce Taiga Aisaka is famed for her temper and capacity to pummel anyone who crosses her, while her classmate Ryuuji Takasu looks like a tough delinquent, but is actually a gentle and humble boy who puts others first. Taiga doesn't think much of her would-be delinquent classmate at first, but she does have a crush on Ryuuji's close friend Yusaku Kitamura, so she asks Ryuji for help in winning Yusaku's heart. In exchange, Taiga must help Ryuuji score with Taiga's outgoing female friend Minori Kushieda, the school's baseball star.

At first, Ryuuji's and Taiga's relationship is an awkward partnership as they pursue each other's friends, but Ryuuji gradually learns the truth of Taiga's home life and her true nature. Beneath her "palm-top tiger" exterior, she is a sweet but troubled girl who feels a bit lost in life, and Taiga soon appreciates what she has in Ryuuji as well. She is a classic tsundere, and she's ready to open up at last. In her eyes, Ryuuji's not a loser with a hot friend -- he's a good person with a lot to give, a gentle shonen lead who can slowly but surely win any girl's heart.

Where To Read Toradora!'s Manga & Light Novels

Fans of light novels can dive right into the world of Toradora!, which includes illustrations by Yasu. All ten light novels are available at Barnes & Noble's online catalog, both in paperback and Nook format. Similarly, stocks all ten novels in paperback format, while Amazon's online catalog offers the Toradora! light novels in paperback format and Kindle.

The Toradora! franchise also features a manga series, which is ongoing as of this writing. These volumes have not yet been released in omnibus or hardback special edition formats yet, and fans should note that the volumes have been released far apart from one another, with no sign of Volume 10 as yet. Interested buyers can find the nine Toradora! manga volumes at the same online vendors as the light novels, including Nook digital versions at Barnes & Noble and the Kindle version at Amazon.

Where To Watch The Toradora! Anime

Ryuji and Taiga from Toradora!

The Toradora! animated series spans 25 full-length episodes and one OVA, and anime fans can find it on three different streaming platforms online. Crunchyroll carries the anime in both English sub and dub, but without the OVA. Netflix also streams the 25 episodes of Toradora! in English sub, minus the OVA. Finally, Amazon Prime video streams all of Toradora! in English sub.

Fans can also purchase the Blu-Ray/DVD release of Toradora! if streaming isn't an appealing option. It's split into two sets -- the latter of which includes the OVA -- and both can be found at as well as on Amazon.

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