ToraDora Ep 15: The Melancholy of Yusaku Kitamura
Another week, another new ToraDora. We finally see a little bit into Kitamura, and while not as fleshed out as I hoped it would be, was still entertaining.
So this episode starts with Kitamura snapping and dying his hair blond. Because that’s what people do when they get depressed. They bleach their hair. The previous episode hinted that it had something to do with the student council president and becoming her successor, but they don’t explain anything at all. I find the student council president and Ami’s interaction to be unusual as Ami doesn’t even try to hide her harsh personality. There is something very cool about the student council in this series. While she acts rough and hot blooded, she also has a greater insight then we would imagine. Once again, another dual character.
On their way to pull Kitamura out of his funk, we are also treated to another deep Minori moment. This has really been bugging me for some time. What is she afraid of? Why does she consider herself so childish? Why does she have such low self esteem. The way the series has been building it up seems to point to something very depressing and shocking. Based on this episode and the last, it seems that they are trying to emphasize the theme that characters that seem to have it together (Minori, Kitamura, and Ami) are really a mess on the inside, and vice versa.
On a more negative note, I feel that the animation has gotten a bit lazy in the past few episodes. For example, here we have Kitamura playing with Inko-chan while Ryuji and Taiga are cooking. While having action happening off screen is a common animation shortcut in anime, it feels cheap here as the first few episodes were really well made. Also, the colors and lighting do not seem as lush and vibrant as they once were. Maybe I’m just seeing things, but I feel that the animation quality has gone done.
The highlight of this episode was this moment between Taiga and Ryuji where Taiga realizes how little she knows about Kitamura. Despite feeling like she had gotten closer to him, she realizes how distant the two of them as she knows nothing about his pain, while he understands hers and helps her. In a nicely written dialogue, Ryuji compares them to the constellation Orion. They may appear close, but the stars are probably light years away in reality. What’s interesting is that there are three stars. Perhaps Ryuji represents one of them that is actually closer? I don’t know enough about astronomy to prove this theory, so I’ll leave that for you to think about.
And finally, we get the silly plot twist, Taiga running for student council president. Not sure what their plan is to get Kitamura out of his funk, but I look forward to it. I like Ryuji’s expression in this image. Completely the opposite of his usual look.
So by itself, this episode was so so. I hope that the Kitamura story is resolved well. I also hope that they put in the new OP and ED. While I love Pre-Parade and Vanila Salt, it’s time for a change. Recently, I’ve been watching the first season of Maria-sama ga Miteru, and I am loving the cheesiness of it. While not as melodramatic as Strawberry Panic, it is still a fun light hearted anime worthe checking out. Until next time!