Toradora! is a romantic comedy/school life anime that ran between October 2nd 2008 and March 26th 2009 for a total of 25 episodes.
Ryūji Takasu lives at home with his hopeless mother and does all the cooking and housework with some sense of OCD. He is, in reality, a friendly and hard working lad but has the misfortune of inheriting his father's threatening face. Only his small group of friends, including Vice President of the School Student Council Yūsaku Kitamura and his crush, the perky and energetic Minori Kushieda who is also captain of the school's girl's softball team, don't steer clear of him. Taiga Aisaka is a short girl with a short temper, has a crush on Yūsaku and lives in a flat in an apartment building next Ryūji's small, falling apart house. She is also close friends with Minori. When Taiga places her love letter to Yūsaku in Ryūji's bag by accident Ryūji promises to help Taiga confess to Yūsaku as well as look after (as she can't look after herself) providing she helps him confess to Minori.
As the two become closer together it turns out that their crushes may not be the one for them...
The story to Toradora! loosely follows the ideas of most other romance animes but is still original and refreshing. For comedy it has it's moments, although some attempts at humour are poorly executed (most blatantly Ryūji's bird).
The ending isn't so obvious if you've hardly watched many other animes and is well executed with subtle hints that then leads to a very quick and intense build up to a final story arch with a massive twist. The ending also well rounds off the series, leaving me satisfied (unlike some animes *cough*Baka to Test*cough*). The ending is the best part of the series and it is worth watching the more mediocre start to the series. The middle part is good with some great story arches within the story arch.
But seriously the ending is where it's at. If there is a soul reason to watch this series it is the ending. Like, I almost cried. And I'm a guy. And we don't cry.
The characters are colourful and memorable (although some are rather cliche) and their development even better.
Some characters are more shady and you never learn their true intentions.
The characters are great (but they kind of have to be with such a deep and moving story arch)
The art is great, although differentiating from the manga (which wasn't the original work anyway) and animations also well done. Although I don't really care too much about art, nor know much about art.
The voice acting is great as is the choice in voice actors such as Eri Kitamura for the role of Ami Kawishima (whom I didn't recognise at first as the only other anime she is in that I have watched is Girls und Panzer (she played Darjeeling)). Music is also very good as the right sort of music is used to reflect the mood of the scene.
Overall this anime exceeded my expectations. I originally watched it to get over the butthurt that the ending of Baka to Test gave me, and although this cleared away my butthurt, the ending did give me some form of heart ache. If you haven't watched this yet, then please do. Just for the brilliant ending. I would recommend this to all my friends. So you should too.