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Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas
Episode 17
Opening & Ending
Opening Song Silky Heart
Ending Song Orange
Guide
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Under the Fir Tree

"Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas" is the 17th episode of Toradora! and was first aired on January 29, 2009. The screenwriter for the episode was Masahiro Yokotani.

Short Summary

Minori becomes disoriented during a baseball game because of what Ami had said, and makes a mistake that causes her team to lose the game. Christmas is coming up, much to the joy of Taiga, whose suspension from school has just lifted. After Ryuuji tells her that his relationship with Minori has not progressed, Taiga declares the need to play Cupid for him, since she wants to be good for Santa. At school the next morning, students who became fans of Taiga after her fight with Sumire, surround Taiga and Ryūji. After acknowledging her victory, Taiga and Ryuuji head to their classroom to see Minori wearing a bald wig while speaking nonsense. Yusaku arrives and lies down in front of Taiga in admiration for her actions to help his relationship with Sumire. Later, Yusaku announces the student council will organize a Christmas Eve party to boost romantic feelings among students. Taiga and Ryuuji ask Minori to go to the party with them, but she vehemently declines. Taiga, Ryuuji, Yusaku, Haruta, Noto, and Maya eat together at the restaurant where Minori works (who was off that day), and they pair Yusaku and Taiga up at a table by themselves. It is soon after Yusaku leaves with Taiga to get the group drinks that Ryuuji begins to think how he really feels about her.

Episode Summary

With Christmas approaching, Taiga has started acting like a good girl because she thinks Santa Claus is watching. She claims to love Christmas, and she even offers to help Ryuuji again with Minori. What they don’t quite realize yet is that ever since Minori found out that Taiga had Yusaku’s picture in her student handbook, she hasn’t been herself, and it’s affecting her softball playing and her attitude towards Ryuuji. It comes to a head with the upcoming Christmas Eve party, and Taiga insists that Ryuuji invite Minori to it and then confess his feelings to her. When Taiga tries to get Minori to join her in helping prepare for the party though, Minori declines and cites her commitment to the softball team. Ami volunteers in her place, but that still doesn’t change Minori’s mind.

Later that day, Ryuuji and Taiga head to the family restaurant to study for their final exams, and Ryuuji brings with him the notes he won during the festival, but he feels bad because Minori technically won with him. They find out at the restaurant that Minori took the day off from her waitress job, and that leads Taiga to suggest that Minori might be avoiding Ryuuji. Taiga isn’t sure of how to help, and she observes that Ryuuji and Minori’s relationship is different from before. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Noto, Haruta, Yusaku, and Maya, and Noto intentionally pairs Taiga up with Yusaku whenever possible. Despite knowing that Taiga likes Yusaku, Ryuuji is still bothered by this. Maya, who also likes Yusaku, concludes that Ryuuji is against Taiga being with Yusaku because he has feelings for Taiga, and she vows to support him.

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