Minori Kushieda (櫛枝 実乃梨, Kushieda Minori) is one of the main female protagonists of Toradora. She is a student in Class 2-C and the best friend of Taiga Aisaka.
- Before Ryuuji came along, Minori remains to be a great and first friend of Taiga when no one else did.
- One of the main plot points in the story is how she and Taiga are progressively drifting away as confidants, as Minori starts realizing that Taiga seems to trust Ryuuji more than she trusts her.
- Minori's happy-go-lucky and cheerful personality carried the support of the main group, having her to be the friendliest of them all:
- Aside from being Taiga's first friend, she's also very supportive of her bond with Ryuuji right up till the very end.
- She also gets along with Yusake and Ami.
- Her personality also matches with her cuteness.
- Her sub and dub voice actors, Yui Horie and Christine Marie Cabanos, do a very good job performing her.
- She's also very hardworking, being industrious when it comes to making money in a part-time job, or being a team captain of a softball team.
- Even with her hyperactive energy, she does have a soft and calm side to her. If you think about it, Minori's energy was used to hide her insecurities, her struggles, and her inner emotions.
- It also is implied that her air-headed tendencies is a façade, to hide the deepest sadness in her heart that she doesn't want to show.
- She is more serious, perceptive and sensitive than she lets on. She is also more belligerent and markedly less patient than what she shows to others.
- In fact, she hits a ball through a gymnasium window and accidentally destroyed Taiga’s crystal Christmas star. As she’s trying to glue the pieces back together, she’s convinced the star won’t be the same, feeling remorse for what she did and declining Ryuuji's offer of going to the party as she feels she would not be welcome after the accident.
- One of her best moments is when she confess to Taiga that she's been in love with Ryuuji, but felt that Taiga should have him, because after she saw her cry for him knowing she would need him more, also apologizing for letting her arrogance get the best of her that she wasn't respecting Taiga, stating her happiness doesn't depend on anyone but herself.
- Minori supports Ryuuji and Taiga's decision to elope together, and ends up crying after seeing both of them off. Even knowing it would be painful, she's still strong enough to accept to let go of her former love interest and best friend by the end of the series.
- While Minori is a likable, there are times where she's out of character and heading straight to the point where she nearly lead her relationships with her friends into sour taste.
- Lashed out at Ryuuji for trying to get Taiga into giving her father a second chance. But this seems justified since she already knew Rikuro is an awful person to his daughter. However, she wasn't any better than Ryuuji, as she didn't bother explaining things either, even though Ryuuji clearly didn't know the whole situation if he was so readily defending Taiga's father.
- She becomes disoriented when learning about Taiga's feelings for Ryuuji, she feels guilty for liking him because she thinks that whatever step forward she makes towards him is going to hurt Taiga, so she tries to avoid him. The problem is that she is unable to turn him down in clear and sincere words because she does like him a lot, and doesn't want to hurt him either; this only serves to prolong the uncertainty of the whole situation. Once she sees Taiga outside crying for Ryuuji, she rejects him by telling him that she no longer wishes to see UFOs and ghosts, referencing their conversation at the beach house.
- When Maya and Nanako start talking about who Taiga likes, Minori declines to say anything about whether it’s Yusaku or Ryuuji, knowing already who she likes. Her general attitude rubs Ami the wrong way, and it leads to her revealing that Ryuuji actually likes Minori but she rejected him. They get into a huge argument, where Ami accuses Minori at faking her personalities, but Maya and Nanako break things up before the argument can get any worse, and Ami is forced to back off when Minori won't say anything about her feelings. It gets worse next day, when Taiga and Minori accidentally run into Ami on their sled. Ami feels that she did it on purpose because of last night's argument and engages in a physical fight with Minori. This caused a rift between them and neither Ami nor Minori apologized for their actions. To be fair, Ami was right to call out Minori for beating around the bush when it came to Ryuuji and not being honest with herself.
- She acted like a hypocrite in the end. She berated Taiga for not accepting her own happiness and instead being more concerned about the happiness of her friend, even though that's exactly what she was doing to Taiga. The worst part is, this hypocrisy is never referenced, even a tiny bit, by any of the characters. The way she tries to force Taiga into admitting her feelings for Ryuuji was a bit harsh and too forward, even if she's trying to help her. Taiga says that she just wants Minori to be happy, but she tells her happiness is something only she can decide for herself, which causes Taiga to run away. Realizing she went too far, she resolves this by admitting the truth to Taiga that she loved him, but decides it's best to believe he would be better off with Taiga.
- After learning that Taiga is transferring out of high school, Minori slaps Ryuji instead of hearing him out, accusing him of letting Taiga go before being calmed down by Yusaku. Although it was understandable since she was confused, didn't understand what was going on and that Taiga was her best friend, she still shouldn't have slapped Ryuji and jumped to conclusions like that, especially since that she just let go of her feelings for him.
- Minori is also known by the pet name "Minorin" (as a form of friendly affection).
- Japanese characters
- Anime characters
- Cute characters
- 2000s characters
- 2010s characters
- 2020s characters
- Video game characters
- Friendly characters
- Beware the nice ones
- Likable characters
- Relatable characters
- Complex characters
- Internet memes
- Characters who went downhill