Japanese trivia from the Toradora anime

Ever wondered why Anime's name is Toradora? Why is Ryuuji compared to a Dragon and Taiga to a Tigress? Is she really called a pocket tiger? In this article, we will see some curiosities of the anime and with the names of the characters in Japanese.

If you don't know the anime Toradora, it's a great romantic comedy based on a light novel. If you haven't watched it yet, don't worry, this article doesn't contain spoilers.

Synopsis: The story of Toradora! begins with the male protagonist Ryūji Takasu, who feels frustrated trying to show his best when he enters his second year of high school. Despite his gentle personality, his eyes make him look like an intimidating delinquent. This makes Ryūji not hopeful of getting a girlfriend anytime soon. After receiving greetings from his mother in the morning, the boy goes to school and is happy to find that he will be in the same class as his best friend Yūsaku Kitamura and Minori Kushieda, with whom he is in love. However, that same day, they accidentally bump into the famous “pocket tiger”—Taiga Aisaka—who is also in her class and is a friend of Minori.

the name Toradora

First let's talk about the name of the anime とらドラ! (Toradora). The syllables tora literally mean tiger (虎) in the original Japanese language. Already the syllables ドラ (dora) that are written in katakana is the abbreviation of the English word Dragon which in Japanese is ドラゴン (doragon).

Japanese has the original way of saying a word and sometimes it has a version imported from another language, just like sometimes we say Download instead of transfer. Do you notice that the name of the anime uses an animal in Japanese and another imported from English? The same thing happens with the name of the 2 main characters.

Mini Tigress - Pocket Tigress

The main character's name is 逢坂大河 (Aisaka Taiga) which is written with the following characters:

  • 逢 - meet, encounter;
  • slope - inclinação, colina;
  • 大 - big;
  • river

So why is Taiga's nickname Tigress? Since her Name doesn't have any Tiger characters? As I said, there is an English-derived word written in katakana that means tiger, which is precisely Taiga / タイガー. 

The expression pocket tigress that we find in the toradora anime subtitle is used when saying the word 手乗りタイガー (tenori taiga), but the original word 手乗り has nothing to do with pocket, the ideograms that form this expression mean "hand ” and “put”, that is, tenori literally means to put in the hand. For this reason, several scenes show a tigress in the middle of someone's palm.


Why is Ryuuji considered a Dragon?

The main character's name is 高須竜児 (Takasu Ryuuji) which is written with the following characters:

  • alto - high; quantidade - quantity;
  • Must - necessarily, obligatory;
  • Dragão - Dragon, imperial;
  • child - newborn, child, puppy;

So basically Ryuuji's name has the Dragon Ideogram (Ryu) in the original Japanese language.

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Other curiosities with the names of Toradora

The character name Kushieda Minori is spelled 櫛枝実乃梨 which means:

  • Comb - comb;
  • 枝 - branch;
  • 実 - reality, truth;
  • 乃 - Possession particle の;
  • 梨 - pereira (planta), pera;

The character's name Ami Kawashima is written 川嶋亜美 which means:

  • river
  • 嶋 - island;
  • 亜 - Asia, Classification;
  • Beautiful - bonita, bela;

Kitamura Yuusaku's character name is written 北村祐作 which means:

  • 北 - North
  • 村 - village, town;
  • 祐 - help
  • build, do, prepare

What do you think? Do these characters also have a relationship with the names?

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