This episode is most enjoyed by those who has read the light novel of ToraDora!, more specifically volume 2 of the novel. In the novel, there is an additional spin-off chapter: a short story featuring a one-shot character’s encounter with Taiga as he seeks for happiness which the Legend of the Palmtop Tiger is said to bring. For various reasons, he didn’t know the actual truth, only vaguely aware of the rumors being passed around. Well, I’ll save the summary of that Spin-Off for later. Anyway, that aside, this episode is excellent (as usual) and since the story about Taiga has been resolved, the main focus has now been switched to Minori and Ami. In this post, I’ll just rant about Minorin, my favourite character in this series (the other favourite character being none other than Takasu himself).
The conversation with Takasu close to the end of the previous episode has pretty much hinted how she has finally become aware of Takasu’s feelings. The photo scene further emphasizes on this with the collective blushing and awkward silence – especially the blushing on Minori. However, this is where things got more interesting. Fast forward a little to the conversation between Ami and Minori and this is where we get a very crucial line as Minori agrees that “Indeed, they are just photos”. My take is that she was trying to reassure herself that she was just thinking too much into the situation, after all, that blushing scene definitely had Minori thinking that Takasu likes her. As such, when she uttered the line “just photos”, I think she was trying to convince herself that Takasu probably really just wanted the photo as “memories of class events” and that “there is nothing more to it”. But of course, considering the little hints from previous episode, it is also likely that she’s in self-denial.
Initially, I thought that line is some sort of a “rejection”, way even before Takasu manages a “confession”. Why do I say that? Because if it’s self-denial, then it may also mean that she is aware of his feelings, but she doesn’t want him to be looking at her “in that manner”. The “just photos” line will extend to them being just for memories as a class, meaning as nothing more than friends. That line thus also act as an excuse to feign ignorance of it all. However, after re-watching a second time, I think that this “subtle rejection” is not exactly a legit reason; she has Photo 85 on her own list as well. Now this is where thing got even more complex: does it also mean that she likes Takasu as well? So, what then is the significance of the “they’re just photos” line? (Take note also, of the difference in tone used when she said that line the second time)
To collate everything, I deduce as thus: she’s still unsure. On one end, it seems that Takasu does appear to like her (and so does she), but she was simply still being uncertain, or not ready to, I don’t know, go for confession maybe? However, while it is certain that Takasu won’t be dating her anytime soon, it is also certain that there’s a considerable amount of serious development going on in the storyline and progress of plot.