Variable Barricade – Taiga Isurugi

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Taiga (CV: Okamoto Nobuhiko)  is one of the suitors with the least amount of motivation to actually try and win Hibari’s heart. He loves to gamble and his favorite saying is to “win it all in one go”. However, his bad eating and sleeping habits don’t bode well with Hibari. He also goes out a lot which annoys Hibari even further. In addition, each time Hibari interacts with Taiga, they always argue.

One day after school, Hibari encounters Taiga who came to meet her at school to hang out. She asks how she got there and he says the train which Hibari had never ridden before because she’s always been escorted in a car lol. He takes her on the train and protects her from the crowd of people by covering her close to the door. Hibari already hates it but notices how close Taiga is and gets embarrassed. Taiga notices this is starts to tease her for it saying he could kiss her right now. Hibari calls him a pervert and steps on his foot making Taiga shut it lmao. After that, Taiga asks how Hibari’s first experience was on the train and she thought it was way too crowded. Taiga explains this is why he was protecting her from the crowd. Not realizing this at first, Hibari thanks him. Taiga can hardly believe his ears and tries to make her repeat herself lol.

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One day, Hibari and the others notice Taiga acting strange. Hibari overhears a conversation on the phone where it sounds like he’s in debt from gambling. Hibari and even the others start to worry but Taiga shuts them all out. Finally, Hibari’s imagination takes a turn for the worst and she starts thinking Taiga may have committed suicide after they hear a loud noise. So they all rush to Taiga’s door which is locked. Since he’s not answering, they decide to force their way in. They find Taiga’s lifeless body and Hibari and the others start to weep… Until they find out he was just sleeping lmao. Taiga finally explains his side of the story and how Hibari misunderstood.

Taiga was hoping to make jerseys for the kids at his facility he grew up in since the Sister there is sick. He didn’t think he had enough time or money and felt pressured by it. Hibari is shocked but annoyed he didnt just say he needed help. So she admits she’s good at sewing and commands Taiga to let her help. Taiga stays up with Hibari who’s sewing until late since he feels obligated to see it through. He then suddenly tells Hibari not to turn around and hugs her from behind. He thanks her and says he’s sorry which leaves Hibari speechless. He starts to tease her after that and then lets go. In the morning, Taiga successfully has the jerseys sewn.

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So because Hibari is forced to choose a temporary candidate, she decides to choose Taiga.  But she finds out Taiga is actually someone who was hired by her grandfather at the facility to watch over Hibari like Kasuga does. Nevertheless, Hibari decides she’ll keep Taiga as her temporary candidate but Taiga tells her not to tell anyone that she chose him. When they get back to the house, Hibari realizes Taiga is actually the one who keeps the rules in tact along with getting the others to get alone with each other. During this time, Hibari ends up relying on Taiga to cover for her when it comes to having plans so the other guys will leave her alone. She starts to feel bad about it and apologizes to him. He tells her he doesn’t mind but she feels bad for using him like that.

So after this, Hibari relies on Taiga to complain about the other guys. She constantly visits his room and continues to complain to Taiga since he’s one of the only who will listen and understand. She feels its getting to be a bit much though and asks if she’s being annoying. He tells her she’s not but the real problem is her being in his room at night and she being a girl and him being a guy. She doesn’t get why the heck it matters though and so as she gets frustrated, he pins her to the bed and teases her like before. Just as Hibari flips and tells him he said he didn’t want to participate as a candidate anyway, he gets embarrassed and admits he doesn’t mind as long as he can see her cute face once in a while. He gets off her and they just stand in awkward silence until Hibari leaves in utter shock and embarrassment that Taiga would call her cute.

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After that, Hibari is pissed at Taiga but later they reconcile at night when Taiga gives her his pudding and apologizes for the way he acted. He also tells her he doesn’t mind if he comes to his room and complains occasionally. After this, Hibari is invited by Taiga to play cards with him. She finds out he actually isn’t into gambling in Japan but rather places around the world like Vegas. He also doesn’t mind betting everything because he claims he has nothing to loae. Hibari finds this rather sad and can’t understand the reasoning behind his thinking. After this, Hibari overhears the guys talking about her and Taiga ends up saying Hibari’s chest is too small for him to be attracted to her.

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This makes her upset when she overhears him and she calls him an idiot before storming off. When going back to her hometown, Taiga is calles by Hibari’s friends and ask what’s going on. When he tells them, they call him the worst but tell him he should apologise to Hibari which he agrees that he intends to do so. After that, Taiga tries over and over to apologize to Hibari but continuously gets cockblocked by everyone to punish him for being a dick lol. Finally, Taiga finds a chance to pull Hibari aside and takes her to a park where he properly apologizes. He tells her he actually does find her attractive and says she even turns him on which makes Hibari flip the fuck out and tells him he’s a pervert and tmi lmao. But he tells her he really does think she’s a good looking woman and they make up!

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In the past, Taiga grew up in a facility as an orphan and met Hibari’s grandfather there. As Taiga grew up, he always lent him money to travel and would often tell him about it. Eventually, Hibari’s grandfather asked Taiga to watch over Hibari as he picked suitors for her to live with. Back to the present, Hibari is now super conscious of Taiga after what he told her and can’t talk to him normally. He invites her to his room and tells her that he’s actually serious about trying to pursue her now and rather than act as an advisor, he wants to be in the running as a suitor. So he asks if she can accept his proposal and she does saying that it doesn’t mean she’s made a decision yet.

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One day, Taiga gets Hibari to go on a date with him and they end up going to a game center. Hibari had never been before and Taiga shows her how to play a fighting game which she ends up getting super competitive about lol. When she starts struggling on the game, Taiga comes from behind to help making Hibari super embarrassed and conscious of him lol. Taiga notices this and teases her for it. In the end, Hibari wins and Taiga gets her a toy from the crane machine as thanks. On their way back, Taiga explains his relationship with her grandfather and how he helped him out in his travel expenses so he’d tell him about his travels and bring him back souvenirs.

So one day Taiga goes to the facility where he grew up and Hibari asks to come with him since her grandfather often visited. In doing so, she’s greeted by tons of children who bombard her lmao. After that, Taiga tells her about a rosary that was given to him as a testimony of family for them and the children when they turn 10. He suggests that Hibari receive one as well since they’re all sort of “god’s” children making them all family. Hibari then makes a comment she’s glad to become part of Taiga’s family which makes Taiga blush and Hibari do the same realizing what she said. She then goes into immediate tsun mode and denies “that” sort of meaning lmao.

After this, Taiga receives a phone call from the Sister at the facility and he asks her if she can make a rosary for Hibari. In addition, she mentions a job offer that Hibari’s grandfather once proposed but Taiga insists he doesn’t want it. Not only that, Taiga starts to realize if he really does marry Hibari, he’ll have more responsibilities living under the Tojo family. Hibari even shows interest to help the facility in her own way and wants to grow in a more mature way, like Taiga. But to make matters worse, Kasuga reminds Taiga to consider his future plans before considering to marry Hibari.

Eventually, the other guys figure out that Taiga and Hibari are getting awfully close and really Hibari only pays attention to Taiga. Because of this, they decide they want to drop out of being husband candidates. Taiga angrily tells them they can’t and reveals that he wasn’t a candidate in the first place so they shouldn’t worry about him. This upsets Hibari so she runs to her room. After this, Shion and Nayuta try to cheer Hibari up and cheer her on as friends since they still don’t intend to participate as suitors. Meanwhile, Taiga avoids Hibari and refuses to talk to her. After that, Hibari comes up with a plan to leave all the lights off when he comes home and has the other guys stay at a hotel so she can talk to Taiga.

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However, she finds Taiga packing and getting ready to leave the country again. She tries to convince him to stay and tells him she needs him but he tells her she doesn’t need to look up to someone like him and admits he’s actually a coward. Just as he walks out the door, Hibari hugs him from behind and begs him to stay. But regardless, he leaves anyway and tells her to take care. After this, Hibari is left in a depressed state and every time Taiga is mentioned she feels sad lol. Kasuga tells her he arranged a meeting with her grandfather and so she goes to see him. In doing so, he tells her Taiga visited him before leaving and told and even rejected his offer to become an actual marriage candidate.

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Nevertheless, Hibari eventually sends Taiga a message which he sees while staying at a cheap hotel trying to decide what to do. He ends up saying screw it and decides to bet one last time. Hibari receives a letter from “Santa” telling her to meet at a park under a tree. Hibari goes there knowing she’ll meet Taiga and finds him there. He then asks her if she would give up everything including the Tojo name to be with him.

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Hibari snaps at him for this and grabs his collar. She tells him she knows he’s afraid but if she can’t accept Tojo, then he can’t accept her a person because that’s who she is. He admits he does like her which is why its so hard for him but she calls him a liar and they bicker more lmao. She starts crying and confesses she loves him and yet she’s not good enough for him. He tells her he understands and takes her to somewhere less crowded.

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They both joke about their confession being them yelling at each other and Taiga admits he shouldn’t have tried to tell her to throw everything away. He then makes another bet but this time on himself. In doing so, she’ll bet on him and decide whether or not she’s satisfied with him or not. But she says she’ll make a bet too and knows she’ll win because she’ll be able to be with the one she loves and tell him she loves him. He jokes saying that was hot and they laugh together (fuck these two my heart 💕💕💕💕).

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After that, they decide to go to her grandfather’s place. But before that, Taiga calls Hibari by her name and kisses her. They then go to Hibari’s grandfather and announce their engagement. The the another ending, Hibari tells Taiga to figure out his shit if she wants to be with her. So, he takes a job overseas and comes back a better man and ready to have a reward from Hibari for all his hard work.

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Thoughts: Ahhhhhhh, Taiga is my boy! I honestly I knew I’d like him the first time I saw him. I think my fave boys usually always consist of red/pinkish hair and are tsun?? Anyway, Taiga was super fun. He was tsundere, but in a more mature way which was different. I also love his personality in general. He’s not only usually hilarious and sarcastic but he’s shown to be one of the more mature boys even though he doesn’t seem like it at all. I just feel like I can relate to him to which I love. I got so many feels when he finally said Hibari’s name at the end of his route. I may have enjoyed Natuya’s route the most, but Taiga was definitely my favorite boy. Man, they left these routes open ended for a FD too, I really hope we get one!! His route was good but I’m always left wanting more romance since the whole ‘pursuing’ part is the focus. Albeit, I found his route was more the opposite of Ichiya’s and Shion. They were more trying to win her heart, but Taiga was running away a lot and Hibari was actually trying to win him over more than him. I think it has to do with him being closed off, but it was still really good!

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