Ryuuji Takasu is Toradora's main male protagonist. He is a sixteen-year-old high school student in his second year, in class 2-C. Due to biological inheritance, his sanpaku eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent and cause many misunderstandings. He lives in a fatherless family with just his mother and, due to this, Ryuuji has learned to be self-sufficient. He is good at cooking and keeps everything in his house clean (to the point of obsession), and also excels at sewing.
Why He Rocks
- As much as his classmates fear him for having a delinquent-like appearance, Ryuuji is a nice person than people make him out to be.
- Since Toradora! mainly focused on Ryuuji's interactions with Taiga, the "Dragon" to Taiga's "Tiger", and how they view each other as equals, and how fleshed out and developed as lovers throughout the series:
- Both aren't very popular amongst other classmates in school, considering Ryuuji has an appearance of a delinquent, while Taiga had trouble fitting in with others, including her parents.
- After finding out that the love letter was a misunderstanding, she and Ryuuji discover each other's crushes. Taiga and Ryuuji will help each other get their crushes together, while not knowing that the two would eventually fall in love each other.
- Both Taiga and Ryuuji are oblivious to each other's feelings, while everyone around them already knew that they are a couple.
- After finding out that Taiga's father was an emotionally manipulative jerk, he now understood Taiga's problems about not wanting to be with her parents, due to them being neglectful and/or the type of people that just don't care about their children.
- After Ryuuji and Taiga find themselves in the same situation, confronted by their mothers who disagree with the life choices they've made, they run to a bridge and are prepared to confess, Ryuuji came to a conclusion that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Taiga.
- Ryuuji was patient enough to deal with Taiga, and have her get along with other people they meet.
- He tells Taiga that she should reconcile with her parents because they should be part of the happiness he and Taiga found, to which she responds that it could take some time to accomplish. Ryuuji is then caught off-guard when this is the very first thing Taiga does when they return home, as she goes away precisely to accomplish that without telling him. He trusts that she will come back for him, which she does in the epilogue.
- As much he doesn't want to compare himself with his parents, Ryuuji accepts his mom for being born into the world and finding purpose in life.
- Alongside Taiga, he's very good friends with Kitamura, Minori, Ami, Kōji and Hisamitsu.
- Ryuuji is very intelligent for the most part.
- His Japanese voice actor, Junji Majima, does a decent performance for him.
- There's no doubt by anyone that he's an excellent cook.
- During Christmas Eve, Ryuuji borrowed a Santa suit so Taiga wouldn't have to be alone, meaning he really cares about her.
- His kiss with Taiga became one of anime's most romantic scenes yet.
- While his sub voice actor was decent, his dub actor, Erik Scott Kimerer, sounded bland and generic as Ryuji.
- He may regret it later on, but it was very foolish of him for believing and trusting in Taiga's father that he could get a second chance of redemption with his daughter, only for him to show his true colors by swindling both Ryuuji and Taiga in the end. This whole drama could have been avoided if Ryuuji had asked some very simple and basic questions about why she hated Taiga's father so much, instead of exploding at Minori that she didn't know anything.
- Despite his intelligent, he can be really dense when it comes to girls' feelings, especially towards Taiga, Minori and Ami, with the latter trying to warn him he should reconsider his unnatural relationship with Taiga, akin to a paternal bond between father and daughter, which he fails to understand. She was right to be angry at him for not paying attention to either Taiga or Minori, as she is to the fact that he just doesn't listen or pay attention to her advice. To be fair, Ryuuji is just oblivious in general, and he never gets that anyone is in love with him until they directly say it to his face. He's a horrible judge of character in general, so he's equally bad at figuring out what people are like outside of romance.
- After learning that Taiga is in love with him, Ryuuji asks Yūsaku to take credit for being the one who saved Taiga in order to cover up her confession, but why would he made an effort to deny that he rescued Taiga after she had the accident? Not only it drags out the romance for long, he also didn't tell Minori about it. When she finds out that Taiga believes Yūsaku saved her, he still tries to cover up the lie, but Minori angrily calls him out for it and trying to pretend he didn't hear Taiga's confession. In his defense, he did it because he’s conflicted about hearing Taiga’s true feelings since she wanted to hide them, but was just prolonging the inevitable. He becomes indecisive whether or not he really loves Minori or Taiga, before eventually deciding the latter.
- Ryuuji snapping at his mother that it was her who didn’t become the great person she wants him to be and telling her not to force her failures onto him was a bit mean-spirited even for him.