by Yuyuko Takemiya
Seven Seas, 2011
3.5 (out of 5) STARS
Ryuji Takasu has learned the hard way that appearances can be deceiving. Despite his inwardly sweet personality, his unintentionally sharp gaze and aggressive features give him the air of a delinquent thug, putting his chances at making friends, let alone a girlfriend, next to zero.
It’s Ryuji’s first day in junior high school and it seems as if things are looking up. He gets to sit in between his only friend, Yusaku, and, more importantly, the girl he’s secretly crushing on, Minori Kushieda. But just when he thinks the stars are aligned in his favor, he unwittingly crosses the most feared girl in school, Taiga Aisaku, making her onto his arch enemy. To top it off, Taiga has moved in right next door to Ryuji and happens to be Minori’s best friend! Can this school year possibly get any worse?! (www.goodreads.com)
Tora Dora fits the typical Josei manga style. The setting is in a high school and there is convoluted romance situations occurring. So although this manga definitely fits a pattern and there were not any surprises, it is still an enjoyable read. I really enjoyed the interactions between Takasu and Aisaka. Both believe they like someone else but I am imagining in future volumes they will discover they actually like each other. I do enjoy the romantic interplay typically found in Josei manga.
The artwork is also normal manga style black and white drawings. Although I have read 10 Josei mangas for this assignment I am still unable to tell a big different from one author to another. I recognize Manga artwork when I see it but cannot distinguish between different author’s artwork. I think more exposure to this type of artwork will better hone my ability to divergent between artists. There was one significant different in this book that could only be portrayed from the artwork. The main character, Takasu’s mother works nights at a bar/lounge. This information by itself is significant, but what I found to be significant is the manner in which Takasu’s mother is artistically portrayed. She is drawn very sexy even in her home with her son. It seems very odd to me. I have included one such picture though I chose the least suggestive picture of Takasu’s mother in the novel.
I found an excellent site with quite a bit of basic, concise information about Toradora. It can be found here. There are a few reviews at the bottom of the article. Toradora is also anime so the majority of the reviews I found are actually for the anime not the manga.