| This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.
|The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness|
|Opening & Ending|
|Ending Song||Vanilla Salt|
Ōhashi High School Cultural Festival - Part III
The Stars are Far
"The Palmtop Tiger of Happiness" is the 14th episode of Toradora! and was first aired on January 8, 2009. The screenwriter for the episode was Mari Okada.
A rumor starts, that anyone who touches Taiga will be granted happiness or one wish. The cultural festival pictures are for sale. While Taiga buys the picture of her and Yusaku dancing, Minori notices Ryuuji buying a picture of both of them running towards the finishing line holding hands. She decides to buy it too. Ami is complimented as being mature all day, but after bumping into Ryuuji at the market she is told that she behaves more like a kid. She later tells her mother that she wants to stay. Yusaku is told something by the student council president and goes to contemplate it, running into Taiga along the way. Taiga returns to Ryuuji's house where his mother boasts that the three of them are like a family. Everyone else is left to contemplate what it is they are wishing for from the Palmtop Tiger legend.
In the aftermath of the culture festival, a rumor has been spreading through the school that touching Taiga brings happiness, and that causes everyone to want to touch her. At the same time, another rumor starts about Yusaku stealing Taiga from Ryuuji because of their dance together on the night of the festival. This actually makes Taiga happy, but she still gets flustered while talking with Yusaku. She almost chokes during lunch as a result, and she makes Ryuuji go buy her some juice. Ryuuji finds Ami on the phone by the vending machines, but she soon ends the call and won’t tell him who she was talking to. Not happy with how he’s not that interested and how he’s buying a drink for Taiga, Ami intentionally presses the wrong button on the machine before Ryuuji can make the selection Taiga wanted. After lunch, Taiga and Ryuuji head to the hallway where the photos from the festival have been put up for viewing so that students can order copies. Taiga’s choices includes the one of her and Yusaku dancing whereas Ryuuji’s choices includes the one of him and Minori crossing the finish line together. When Minori realizes this, she blushes a little and considers buying the same photo. She continues thinking about this into the afternoon, but Ami recounts her own experiences with having her photo taken as a model and makes Minori realize that it’s only a photo.
After class, Ryuuji and Taiga end up going home separately because Taiga gets sidetracked angrily chasing a boy who was after the rumored happiness. Ryuuji heads to the supermarket first to buy some groceries and runs into Ami there. The two talk about touching Taiga for happiness, and Ryuuji wonders how Taiga herself would become happy if the rumor was true, but Ami feels that Taiga is happy enough. Outside the store, Ryuuji hands Ami some extra pork that he bought and suggests that she eat it because she didn’t look so good today. He knows that she’s been eating only sweets and calls her a child, contrasting everyone else who sees her as an adult. Meanwhile, on her way home, Taiga notices Yusaku sitting by the river alone. He’s not his usual self and even reaches out to touch her because of the rumor. Taiga guesses that the student council president bullied him, but Yusaku denies it even though Sumire had indeed talked to him about something serious earlier. Not thinking it through, Taiga blurts out an offer to let Yusaku touch her, however Yusaku claims that he’s fine and thanks her. At home, Taiga finds Ryuuji cooking a big dinner, and he inadvertently mentions not wanting to lose to the restaurants she went to with her father, but Taiga doesn’t care. Dinner is with Ryuuji’s mother, and when she hears about the rumor about Taiga, she strokes Taiga’s head and claims immediately after that she’s happy. She explains that she’s happiest when doing this and eating a delicious meal with family, and Taiga is surprised to hear Yasuko call her part of the family.
Over at Ami’s apartment, she finishes a conversation over the phone with her mother in which she decides to stay put for a while longer. At the same time though, she wonders what she wishes for, just like Minori and Yusaku are thinking about how they can’t see the shape of their own wishes very well.
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