There are some anime that just make your heart warm, and Toradora! is one of them. Firstly released as a light novel, Toradora! became one of the most popular romantic anime in recent years, it aired from 2008 to 2009 and released 25 episodes with the OVA special episode at the end. The ending left a lot of viewers confused and most of them did not know what happened with the main characters of the anime. In this article, we will look into Toradora’s ending and if the main characters Ryuuji and Taiga ended up together.
Ryuuji and Taiga end up together. Even though it was confusing at first, and Taiga seemingly left Ryuuji in the last episode, the post-credits scene in the last episode of the anime shows that Taiga comes back and meets Ryuuji at his graduation ceremony. Ryuuji sees Taiga’s silhouette in the classroom and runs towards her. When he reaches the classroom, Taiga is not there but Ryuuji knows better and finds her in a locker. She tells him that she wanted to surprise him and Ryuuji tells her that he loves her. The anime ends with Taiga getting flustered and telling him why is he so embarrassing, which marks the end of the anime and subtle confirmation that they are now together.
We will further explain the ending of this anime and mention a few other characters that are really important in the characterization of Taiga’s and Ryuuji’s story. Moreover, we will discuss if Toradora! has a said ending and do Taiga and Ryuuji get married. We will warn you of Toradora’s spoilers. If you are interested in our interpretation of this emotional anime, stay with us till the end.
Does Toradora! Have a Sad Ending?
One of the best parts of the Toradora! anime is definitely the characters and their development, which only enrich the anime tremendously. Toradora!, as we already said, is a slice-of-life comedy-drama anime that deals with a lot of psychological baggage of teenagers, in this case at the forefront are Ryuuji and Taiga, who have feelings for other’s best friends, Yusaku and Minori, who on top of that, love each other.
At first glance, this is a typical “love rectangle” that we see a lot in the fictional media, especially teen dramas. However, Toradora! goes further, tests, and pushes its characters to the point of breaking which is really relatable to real-life relationship struggles. From the get-go, the anime introduces us to the characters who slowly change and mature because of their love for each other.
That was the case with Ryuuji and Taiga, who at first glance are polar opposites, but later realize that in their grief, found love for each other. So, when the ending of Toradora! was released, a lot of fans were confused because their story was a perfect rom-com story that follows similar fictional tropes. Usually, the trope goes like this – two people reluctantly help each other at the beginning to reach their goals, spend a lot of time together, and learn about each other which ultimately led to two people falling in love.
Toradora! made it a bit complicated. You see, Taiga and Ryuuji have a lot of problems. Let’s get to Taiga first – she comes from a well-off family, however, after her parents divorced and her father found a new wife, Taiga has been put aside. Taiga realizes pretty fast that her father cares more about his new wife than for his daughter, and requests her own place, which is next to the Ryuuji’s place.
Even though she does not acknowledge this at the beginning, Taiga is severely affected by her family situation, and this is why she is so confrontational, impulsive, and rude at the beginning of the anime. Her character development arc is absolutely the staple of this anime, which leads to her realizing that she needs to change to be better for Ryuuji.
On the other hand, Ryuuji is living with his silly but loving mother Yasuko, who is left alone after Ryuuji’s father left her all alone with the baby. Ryuuji and Yasuko struggled to get by for years but managed to get through, the supporting son that he is, Ryuuji helped his mom a lot, especially with the house chores.
His family situation, like Taiga’s, escalates at the end of the anime, however, contrary to popular belief, Toradora! did not have a sad ending – it had a satisfying, good ending that rounded off the main character arcs tremendously well. To understand the ending more, let’s move and explain the ending of Toradora!.
What Happens At the End of Toradora!?
The last episode of Toradora! marked the ultimate resolution of all character arcs that saw Ryuuji and Taiga running away from the previous episodes after falling out with their mothers. Ryuuji demanded from his mother the truth of who is his father, while Taiga’s mother decided to reconnect with Taiga and ask her to live with her.
Ryuuji and Taiga ran away together to get married and even though their friends insisted that it was not such a good idea for them to do that, they still helped the pair. However, Taiga came to a realization – she decided to help Ryuuji and his mother to reconcile because if they make that big step in their lives without his mother being in his life, Ryuuji and Taiga will eventually separate.
So, she organized for Ryuuji and his mother to meet at his grandparents, and they resolved their issues. This is important for Taiga because she realizes how close Ryuuji is with his family and realizes if she does not make an effort of reconciling with her family, she will never get better for her loved ones. After Ryuuji and Taiga head home, they realize they are going too fast and that they could not do anything without their families.
Eventually, Taiga goes home to her apartment and finds out that her mother was worried about her and makes an ultimate decision – she will get better for herself and Ryuuji. She writes him a letter thanking him for loving her and leaves her apartment to live with her mother. Ryuuji finds out about Taiga’s departure and finds her letter where she also says that she is not running anymore and that she will finally change for the better.
Ryuuji takes it really well, and after his friends attack him because of Taiga’s departure, he tells Minori, his former crush, that even though he is frustrated she left alone because she believes in him, he will try her best for her as well.
After she sends her friends a photo of the night sky with a single star shining. Minori explains that Taiga wants to tell them she will try her best and that if she makes it, her star will shine the brightest. This marked the end of the episode… or did it?
Now, this is the moment everyone got confused about the ending, and here is why. Some viewers did not watch the post-credit scene of the episode, which shows the graduation of Ryuuji and his friends. Ryuuji spots Taiga in the classroom from outside and runs towards her, however, when he gets there, the classroom is empty. Ryuuji knows Taiga really well and checks the locker in the corner, where he finds Taiga, who tells him that she wanted to surprise him and congratulate him.
Because Taiga said in her mail to Ryuuji that he never told her he loved her, he immediately says the words and in true Taiga fashion, she gets flustered and embarrassed, which prompts her to whack him with her head on the chin.
This is the ending of Toradora! Seems a bit open, right? Maybe, but to me, it has a stronger message – this episode rounded off Taiga’s character arc perfectly. In the beginning, impulsive, rude, and sometimes even insane, weighted by her awful family situation, Taiga is a great example of character development. She decided to let Ryuuji go to become a better person for him and herself which led to her being a more mature person. She took the matters into her hands and finally got better.
Ryuuji on the other hand, treated Taiga as his daughter because he would constantly cook for her, take care of her and just treat her as his child and not a love interest. Even though we like them as a pairing, Ryuuji and Taiga did not have a very healthy relationship, with Taiga demanding for Ryuuji to treat her equally, and Ryuuji demanding of Taiga to be more responsible, which is the result of his upbringing and his constantly-in-the-clouds mother.
In the end, they reunite as equals, both mature and responsible people who are going on to the next step in their lives. Now, they truly understand each other, and personally, this is the best ending Toradora! could go with.
Now, the biggest question mark… did they marry? Let’s talk about it.
Who Did Ryuuji Marry Toradora!?
In the anime, unfortunately for the shippers, Taiga and Ryuuji did not marry because we saw that they gave up on that idea after realizing they could not do it without their friends and family. Also, the anime shows only a one-time skip, a year later, which shows the events of the graduation day.
However, there is a catch. We mentioned at the beginning of the article that Toradora! is an OVA, which means Toradora! gets released in other media as well, including novels, video games, and more. One game was released called Toradora! Portable where players could as Ryuuji and Taiga and determine their ending.
At the end of the game, Ryuuji and Taiga get married and have triplets, which is not canon because it is placed in the alternate Toradora! Universe. All in all, we presume that they eventually get married and after we saw a great development of their characters during the anime.
We can safely say that Ryuuji and Taiga have probably married after finishing school regardless of the video games not being canon – it was written in the stars.