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The True Meaning Of Bento
Episode 26 (OVA)
Name Kanji 弁当の極意 Bentō no Gokui
Opening & Ending
Opening Song Pre-Parade
Ending Song Vanilla Salt
Toradora! SOS 1

"The True Meaning Of Bento" is the OVA episode of the Toradora! series, and first aired on December 21, 2011. The screenwriter for the episode was Mari Okada.

Short Summary

Yusaku brings an extravagant bento box to share with the class, which makes Ryuuji feel inferior about his own bento making skills. Desperate to beat Yusaku's bentos, Ryuuji obsessively tries to compete against them to the point where he even brings a rice cooker to school. After Taiga brings him some salty onigiri, Ryuuji realizes that the true meaning of bentos is not the taste, but the feelings that are put into it. This OVA was first aired on December 21, 2011.

Episode Summary

Ryuuji has a sort of complex about getting outdone in making homemade bentos. Kitamura’s grandmother makes him a pro 3-tiered bento with loads of ridiculously good food. He is embarrassed by his plain bento when Kitamura asks to take a picture of a “regular” bento to show his grandmother.

He’s troubled a lot by it and asks Ami about Kitamura’s grandmother who she affectionately calls Mio-chan. The next day Ryuuji goes all out by making cutlets with fried eggs, but still feels beaten by Mio-chan when Kitamura’s riceballs are built to perfection with various fillings.

That afternoon he goes shopping with Taiga to buy things to put in the bento and truly test out his “housewife abilities.” After Ryuuji finally comes up with a smart idea (and stops continually talking to himself), Ryuuji and Taiga eat ramen (instant noodles) for lunch the next day. He still feels like he lost since Mio-chan gave Kitamura an onion soup and a sandwich.

Troubled by this he goes so far as to bring a rice cooker to class in order to have freshly made rice for lunch, which he gets in trouble for. Taiga makes him realize that bentos aren't about which has the better food, it's that you make them with love for the person you care about.

Some of the students class 2-C (the same class as Ryuuji and Taiga) are at a place full of cherry blossom trees and a lake. Kawashima, Minori, and Taiga arrive, all with visible bentos except for Taiga. Kawashima then reveals that Taiga has a bento, for Ryuuji and her. Taiga's shy about it, but in the end, Taiga ends up feeding Ryuuji. (Thanks to Kawashima and Yusaku.)


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The True Meaning of Bento


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