| This article contains HEAVY spoilers. Please view at your own risk.
|Name Kanji||ほんとの自分 Honto no Jibun|
|Animation Director|| Ryūji Tsuzuki |
|Original Air date||November 6, 2008|
|Opening & Ending|
|Ending Song||Vanilla Salt|
"True Self" is the 6th episode of Toradora! and was first aired on November 6, 2008. The screenwriter for the episode was Mari Okada.
Ami takes refuge in Taiga's apartment in order to avoid a stalker but is forced to impersonate people in strange situations. Yusaku asks Taiga and Ryuuji to be better friends with Ami since they know what type of person she really is. Taiga volunteers herself and Ryuuji to take part in the student council's monthly neighborhood cleaning rally, and Minori and Ami come along too. After Taiga and Minori leave together, Ami and Ryuuji hide from the stalker. When the stalker tries to take photos of Taiga, she gets angry and chases him down. Empowered by Taiga's actions, Ami decides to discard her fake personality. She chases down the stalker and destroys his camera. The stalker runs away in fear.
One day, Ami is telling the other girls how she doesn’t diet because she’s naturally predisposed to not getting fat. This prompts Taiga and Minori to grab her and start feeling up her stomach flab for the sake of what they call the dieting warriors. Pissed off at this treatment, Ami lets her true personality shine through for a moment before turning to fake tears. Later that day, while Ryuuji is heading home with Taiga, Ami runs up to him in a panic and wants him to accompany her for a while. Ryuuji realizes that Ami is being followed by a strange guy who had earlier been loitering around the entrance of the school, but it’s a pissed off Taiga who subsequently scares the guy away by throwing a garbage can. Ami explains afterward that this was a fan, and she asks Ryuuji to hide her at his apartment for a while. Taiga, however, claims that her own apartment is safer and convinces Ami to go there instead.
The following day, Ryuuji finds Ami looking extremely tired because Taiga had made her go through countless hours of monomane (impersonations). Kitamura is encouraged from hearing this and asks Taiga to take care of Ami since Ami has a hard time making real friends. This leads to Taiga coercing Ami to join her, Minori, and Ryuuji for lunch. When Ami notices that Ryuuji and Taiga have basically the same lunch, Taiga rectifies the situation by eating all of Ryuuji’s side dishes, leaving him with only rice and nori. Ami shares a meatball with him so that he can have something else, though she also asks why he lets Taiga do what she wants. Before Ryuuji can really answer, Taiga claims that it’s because he was her dog in a previous life.
Kitamura later asks for volunteers for a neighborhood cleanup, and Taiga forces Ryuuji to participate because she’s interested in coming along too so that she can spend time with Kitamura. Unfortunately, Kitamura splits off into a different group, leaving Taiga, Ryuuji, Ami, and Minori to collect trash on their own. Since she doesn’t get along with Ami, Taiga drags Minori off in another direction, and so Ryuuji and Ami go collecting trash by themselves by the riverside. Ami initially puts on her nice act for Ryuuji, but it disappears after she steps in some mud and sees a frog on her shoe. When she tries to go back to being nice, Ryuuji questions why she forced herself to come do such troublesome work and reveals that he knows about her true nature. Ami, however, claims that she’s useless without her fake personality. She then notices something and runs off, so Ryuuji follows her, and after she stops, he realizes that the strange guy from before is back. Ami finally admits that this guy is a stalker and had messed up her life, causing her to move here.
To Ami’s surprise, Taiga and Minori then appear looking for her and Ryuuji, and when the stalker starts taking pictures of Taiga and calling her a cute mini-sized youkai, Taiga gets pissed off and starts chasing after him. Ami is shocked that Taiga isn’t scared of the stalker since this is the same guy that had ruined her life, and when she realizes that she’s losing to both the stalker and Taiga, she decides to take Ryuuji’s advice and stop putting on her nice act. She declares that she’ll live with her bad side and then takes off after the stalker as well. Ami is the one who ultimately tracks him down – passing by Taiga in the process – and destroys his camera, shattering his illusion of her. It’s all over by the time Ryuuji catches up with her, and although Ami is happy to have done this, she admits that she was very scared. In the aftermath back at Ryuuji’s apartment, Ami comments on how Taiga is selfish and reckless yet still has friends and Ryuuji with her. She then asks what Ryuuji would do if she showed her true self to him, and – getting really close up to him – she wonders if he’d like her. Before Ryuuji can answer, Taiga walks in on them and is surprised to see them in that position.
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