ToraDora (GN) Vol. 3

Most of what I said here about the first two volumes of the ToraDora graphic novels applies to the recently released third volume, but there are some improvements. ToraDora still lays on the dialogue thick, but the talkiness feels less oppressive than previous volumes. Zekkyo’s varied panel layouts and ‘camera angles’ help. The art also changes occasionally, for example for a Fist of the North Star reference, though whether that was particular gag was entertaining or just awkward I can’t decide.

Most of this volume focuses on Ami, and I appreciate the break from almost-exclusive treatment of Taiga and Ryuuji, though Ryuuji still serves as our point-of-view character (he’s the only one to provide internal monologues, and is present for every scene).

The translation (by Adrienne Beck, with ‘adaptation’ by Bambi Eloriaga-Amago) sounds decent in English, and I appreciate that each character has their own mode of speech. My only complaint is when one character is referred to as ‘kaicho’. As far as I know, ‘kaicho’ simply means ‘president’ or ‘chairman’ (she’s president of the student council), so why not just call her that? If there’s some special meaning to ‘kaicho’ that rendered it untranslatable, it’s not explained anywhere, not even on the one page with translator’s notes.

On a final note, not that I’m complaining, but is it just me or did everyone go up a bra size? That excludes Taiga but includes Ryuuji, as an imagined ‘Ryuuko’ gives ToraDora its best ‘WTF?’ moment so far.