Toradora!: Takasu Ryuuji Is My New Hero

I am dead serious. Every man should aspire to be him. He can cook! He can sew! He isn’t a total jerk, or even a jerk at all!

No, really.

Taiga might steal the show with her infinitely endearing nature, and there’s no doubt that, for the intended audience, Taiga herself is a large part of the series’ success, but Ryuuji himself is nothing short of amazing. Perhaps it’s just the simple fact that I find it incredibly easy to identify with him, given his menacing appearance counterbalanced with his own soft, gentle nature that reminds me of a self-description on a good day (on a bad day, or in a bad mood, I’d place myself more in step with Taiga, and then there are the occasional extended lapses into Minorin behavior that I have to watch out for), but despite the fact that he does nothing that would traditionally be designated “awesome” by masculine standard, he nevertheless manages to be awesome.

Mayhaps the same feeling also stems from his own particular relationship with Taiga. Although Taiga intitally pseudo-bullies Ryuuji into assisting her land Kitamura (by withholding a similar setup with Minori until she is successful), the “bullying” phase lasted for, essentially, less than an episode, as Ryuuji seems to be dealing with and caring for Taiga less because she bullied him into doing such, but more because he actually cares for her, and, true to form, selflessly gives himself over to assist her in her goal of bagging the ever-elusive (and decidedly weird) Kitamura. Selflessly to the point that, in order to prevent Taiga’s poolside embarassment, not only does he sew her some fake breasts, he actually has the guts to save her both from drowning and mortal embarassment by slipping the escaped falsie back in without really recognizing what it was, exactly, that he was doing. It didn’t occur to him to be “lecherous” or even fretting about what might happen if he did such a thing, he simply did it to save Taiga’s face. And he didn’t even bat an eye afterwards. Now that’s what I call manly, and you don’t need sunglasses for that.

Perhaps, in part, it’s because neither Taiga nor Ryuuji (consciously) consider each other as “candidates” for a romantically involved relationship that leads them, unwitting, into a relationship that is a romantic one in all but acknowledgment as such. Of course, we the viewers know that, most likely, Taiga and Ryuuji will become an “official” couple by series end, but the fun (and the tension) is derived from the fact that they haven’t realized it yet, and persist in failing to realize this. We already know from the shocked expression on Taiga’s face when Ami is putting the moves on Ryuuji that while it might not really be a conscious thought yet, she seemingly already can’t bear the thought of Ryuuji getting entangled with someone else, although whether she was concerned more for Minorin (who still thinks that Taiga and Ryuuji are going out, despite their protestations to the contrary) rather than herself remains to be seen. It’s possible, too, that she rationalized away her concern for Ryuuji possibly being taken away from her and foisted it upon Minorin, since, if she truly isn’t cognizant that she likes him in such a way, then she’d have to rationalize it away somehow.

I have the sneaky suspicion it will take Minorin acting like this:

to get Ryuuji and Taiga to realize what’s actually going on. For all her, uh, Minorin-ness, I’m pretty sure that she and Kitamura are the only ones who really know what’s going on while Ryuuji and Taiga are stumbling blindly down the path to…whatever it is they’ll get in the end. Maybe it’s not a plot by Ryuuji and Taiga to set each other up with Minorin and Kitamura. Maybe it’s Minorin and Kitamura’s plot to set Ryuuji and Taiga up! Exactly as Aeolia Schenberg planned two centuries in the future!

TAKEMIYA YUYUKO,. I HAVE FIGURED YOU OUT!

29 Responses to “Toradora!: Takasu Ryuuji Is My New Hero”


  1. 1 RogerOskaner 14 November 2008 at 3:54 am

    Very true. Glad it’s coming through to fans of the anime (me having read the novels), that their relationship, as it stands now, is pretty much platonic – Ryuuji and Taiga are essentially acting brother and sister, and even though EVERYONE knows it’s a clear Tora x Dora end, even Kitamura and Minorin, it’s still great to see refreshing relationships like these in anime, when it could’ve easily degenerated into another typical tsundere harem anime.

    And yeah, Ryuuji kicks ass. He damn well gets the job done without even trying. BRO FIST

  2. 2 omo 14 November 2008 at 1:22 pm

    The most admirable about Ryuuji is his ability to /clean/. I know bunch of guys who can sew or cook but few have a knack for cleaning.

    Mr. Clean is a man. Ryuuji can clean. Ryuuji is Mr. Clean.

  3. 3 Ryan A 14 November 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Minorin wa tensai?! Will the world survive such things lol. Genki Genius!

    Well, I’m not sure there’s a plan among the characters, but I’m pretty sure everyone has their share of issues :/

  4. 4 The Animanachronism 14 November 2008 at 3:24 pm

    And he’s wearing an apron. With the word ‘eco’ on it. Clearly under the thumb of the new leftist-ecofeminist-revisionist-politically-correct-matriarchal hegemony.

    Still, speaking as a fellow victim who knew that bleach was part of the bathroom cleaning routine long before he knew that it was an anime, I can kind of identify with that.

    I’m still worried that the series won’t wrap itself up at the end of its – was it 25 – episodes (I demand resolution!), though.

  5. 5 OGT 14 November 2008 at 4:45 pm

    @RogerOskaner: The only time I was ever worried about Toradora! slipping into standard harem formula was when I sat down to read the first novel several months ago. It only took a chapter or two to show me that it meant Business and for it to catch on to me.
    ..
    @omo: Cleaning, too, yes. I can clean, but not very well, and only when I have nothing better to do. Or I’m avoiding things that I should be doing, a la Tsukasa.
    ..
    @Ryan A: With great genius, comes great eccentricity. The two go hand in hand. Although, I was kidding with the ACCORDING TO PLAN bit. I think.
    ..
    @Animanachronism: I believe you mean “heard of bleach as a cleanser long before Tite Kubo even thought about Bleach as a manga.”
    .
    As for revisionist male-portrayals, well, I’m always a bit irked when the male lead is an aggressive idiot. Or, rather, when people complain when the male lead isn’t being as GAR BADASS as he could be. Society is just as repressive towards men who don’t fit the “manly” stereotype as it is on women who don’t fit the “womanly” stereotype. I’ve always kind of cringed at the term “GAR” (and the glamorization of violence) as it tends to stand for perceptions of characters that strike me as a negative perception/reinforcement of a negative portrayal of manliness. I don’t mind the enjoyment of GAR-ness, but rather the idolization of it, which I can’t tell how ironic such an idolization of it is.
    .
    The sad thing is I’ve probably reinforced this perception for people (in person) more that I’ve fought against it. :|

  6. 6 shirokiryuu 14 November 2008 at 9:52 pm

    As a girl, I really really like Ryuuji. He may not be a bishie, but his personality is what I would want in a guy. He’s a character I wish happiness for

  7. 7 Aevenai 15 November 2008 at 7:28 am

    I agree with you about that Ryuuji and Taiga doesn’t realize their romantic affection that is growing between them, because they aren’t willing to admit to it. I mean, throughout the episodes there has always been something growing between them, but especially in the 7th episode, I’ve noticed Ryuuji’s reaction to Taiga’s showing of her body and skin in her swim suit despite Taiga having breasts like all the girls in her class. And Taiga’s reaction to seeing Ryuuji and Ami together in the beginning, and after while he was cooking, Taiga was acting pretty depressed and upset. And I do think that Kitamura and Minori will help Ryuuji and Taiga realize their potential ‘relationship’, and Ami is there to push the envelope. :D

  8. 8 Aevenai 15 November 2008 at 7:36 am

    Also I really don’t think Taiga hated what Ryuuji did with the boob tuck and grab in the pool LOL. Or else he would have been beaten to kingdom come, instead of being let off easy with both Taiga and Ryuuji blushing at what happened. LOL

  9. 9 The Animanachronism 15 November 2008 at 8:59 am

    I encountered Bleach early in my fanhood, and it was some time before I knew it was an adaption.

    I agree that there’s a line between enjoying overdone masculinity and exalting it (especially as the one and only model). That said, I don’t have an objection to the term ‘GAR’ itself. If the andecdotal story of its coining is true, it was being used ironically from the very beginning – and even taken straight I think it has some merit. Seems to have fallen out of use recently, anyway.

  10. 10 OGT 15 November 2008 at 9:23 am

    @shirokiryuu: While nearly everyone likes a good visually cute/attractive person of the relevant gender to sate their eyes with, more important (at least in human interactions and for the purposes of storytelling) is the underlying personality. Bonus points when you get both. And I don’t think Ryuuji is not attractive (speaking as a straight male, of course), but it’s definitely not in the traditional bishounen sense.
    ..
    @Aevenai: Ami is there to push the envelope as a result of her own desires. I’d have talked more about her, but I want a couple episodes to get used to her character before I make a GRAND SWEEPING STATEMENT that is totally wrong.
    ..
    @Animanachronism: I can remember when Bleach started airing, but that also was the first time I’d been conscious of knowledge about the series. I might have heard about it beforehand around manga sites, but I didn’t really care about it.
    .
    On GAR, I’ve always assumed that part of the term was applying the term in a manner that, itself, was GAR, and so there’s an element of self-aware irony in the term. I think the term might be irking me more because of overuse and the insistence, mocking or no, that anime needs more GAR for it to be considered “good”, which always grates on my nerves after a while, like most internet memes. I think, mostly, it’s just a matter of “is it used as a descriptive term for a character, or is it used in a manner that suggests the speaker only cares about how GAR or not GAR his anime is?” that elicits my responses.

  11. 11 Jasonp 16 November 2008 at 7:38 am

    I don’t want to make a classic AOL me too post, so I’ll just say: Hey, Ami isn’t mentioned in this post…

  12. 12 Aevenai 16 November 2008 at 9:47 pm

    @OGT: Um, I know she pushes the envelope because of her own desires. But what I MEANT is that the writer is using her as someone that irritates Taiga and makes her jealous, not only when it comes to Kitamura but also Ryuuji. You have noticed that Ami uses Ryuuji and Kitmura just to get to Taiga, along with her own vanity.

  13. 13 OGT 16 November 2008 at 10:37 pm

    @Aevenai: Well, yes; the previous comment was dashed off yesterday morning in about 10 minutes when I really should have been getting ready for work, so my brain wasn’t all there. Implicit in my statement of “her own desires” was the understanding of how she’s been manipulating the gang left and right in an attempt to, as I see it right now, annex friendship out of them (or even just some of them) in order to suit her own need to quench her loneliness. Or something.

  14. 14 Pontifus 17 November 2008 at 8:14 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Ryuuji. A tsunderekko, being a dominant sort, should have a “nontraditional” man to serve as her other half, in my opinion.

    To touch on a few things in particular…

    …in order to prevent Taiga’s poolside embarassment, not only does he sew her some fake breasts, he actually has the guts to save her both from drowning and mortal embarassment by slipping the escaped falsie back in without really recognizing what it was, exactly, that he was doing. It didn’t occur to him to be “lecherous” or even fretting about what might happen if he did such a thing, he simply did it to save Taiga’s face. And he didn’t even bat an eye afterwards.

    I can’t tell you how tired I am of protagonists who are the opposite of this. But you seem tired of them, too, so I suppose you understand.

    Maybe it’s not a plot by Ryuuji and Taiga to set each other up with Minorin and Kitamura. Maybe it’s Minorin and Kitamura’s plot to set Ryuuji and Taiga up!

    Oh man, that’d be too good to be true.

  15. 15 omisyth 17 November 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Ryuuji is awesome. Minorin is a GODDESS.

  16. 16 Kairu Ishimaru 17 November 2008 at 11:13 pm

    I wouldnt really classify Ryuuji as a hero.

  17. 17 OGT 18 November 2008 at 12:53 am

    @Kairu Ishimaru: Perhaps Ryuuji is a hero because he’s not a hero. Contemplate THAT upon the Tree of Moe.

  18. 18 TheBigN 19 November 2008 at 12:36 am

    Just for the dedication and exuberance that Ryuuji takes to cleaning, which isn’t a task that many people like to do, makes him a winner in my book. The glee with which he vanquishes dirt is hilarious, though a bit disturbing. Maybe because it’s probably the only time his intimidating face is used in great effect. Which further adds to the hilarity. :P

  19. 19 adaywithoutme 28 November 2008 at 12:06 am

    I really wish that guys like Ryuuji existed in real life – seriously, that sewing the falsie for her was what convinced me that no guy is as good as Ryuuji, because, really, who has ever heard of a guy being willing to do that? Ryuuji is awesome – he’s like a new version of GAR – he’s so manly precisely because he doesn’t need to go around proclaiming that fact! Being a great guy is the new manly.

  20. 20 Ryuuji2 2 December 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Woah, I really can’t see anything but probably the truth here, you have probably made a great discover.

    Keep comenting about Toradora! while it advance, it’s almost as great as the program itself.

    Ryuuji is the greatest!!!

  21. 21 Pontifus 15 December 2008 at 12:10 pm

    @adaywithoutme

    Actually, guys who aspire to be like Ryuuji in real life end up alone.

    Trust me.

    • 22 Z Lynch 8 December 2012 at 3:44 am

      That is SO TRUE………unfortunately, these girls can only love Ryuuji -the anime character-, not some real life person with Ryuuji’s personality.. Those things in real life don’t happen.. they just think you are womanish or
      gay instead, resulting in friendzone.

      Sad, but true.

  22. 23 Momo 3 February 2009 at 1:37 am

    I totally agree with you. :] Ryuuji is the best! I’m totally in love with him. <3 He’s like one of my super duper favorite male characters ^^

    • 24 Z Lynch 8 December 2012 at 3:43 am

      That is SO TRUE………unfortunately, these girls can only love Ryuuji -the anime character-, not some real life person with Ryuuji’s personality.. Those things in real life don’t happen.. they just think you are womanish or
      gay instead, resulting in friendzone.

      Sad, but true.

  23. 25 happy =] 23 April 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I SOOO LOVE RYUUJI !!!!
    AND IM SHOCKED TO SEE SOMEONE ELSE LOVING HIM! ><
    HE MEETS EVERY EXPECTATIONS THAT I WOULD WISHED FOR IN REAL LIFE, I MEAN IT LIKE DEAD SERIOUS.
    HE CAN COOK, HE SEWS, HE IS NEAT, SENSITIVE, SHY, FILIAL, LOYAL AND HE LOVES TAIGA BUT HE IS NOT AT ALL MUSHY!!!! WOOHOO!!
    REGARDING PONTIFUS’S COMMENT- I WOULD LIKE TO SAY! GUYS WHO ASPIRE TO BE LIKE RYUUJI ! YOU WILL NOT BE LEFT ALONE ! HUMAN LIKE ME WILL APPRECIATE YOU LOTS! LOL!
    TAKASUUU RYUUJIII ROCKS BIG TIME !!!! <333

  24. 26 Nicolette 13 March 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Ryuuji is the ultimate man for sure. There is no doubt in my mind. I am completely serious. I wish he was real.

  25. 27 Miss Jura 25 June 2013 at 10:19 pm

    I so agree! I really like Ryuuji’s character – it’s like the best guy friend (or lover) I never met in real life – Sure, he cleans and cooks…but it’s something more: I think it’s his pleasant but realistic attitude about his life and his geniune loyalty towards the people he cares about. I wish people like him really existed… Just my 2 cents.

  26. 28 web site 30 June 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Help for such an emergency is available on weekends, late at night and Sunday afternoons.
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  1. 1 Toradora!: Aim for Love! (even if it’s not where you think it is) « Anime wa Bakuhatsu da! Trackback on 27 November 2008 at 11:42 pm

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