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[Teasing Master Takagi-San 2]
AKA: からかい上手の高木さん② (Karakai Jozu no Takagi-San 2)
Genre: Comedy/Romance/Coming-Of-Age
Length: Television series, 12 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently available streaming on Netflix.
Content Rating: TV-PG (Mature situations.)
Related Series: First Season
Also Recommended: Tsuredure Children; Tonari no Seki-kun
Notes: Based on manga by Soichiro Yamamoto, published by Shogakukan (and in English by Yen Press)
Rating:

Teasing Master Takagi-San 2

Synopsis

"Takagi-san's" ultimate purpose in her endless teasing of Nishikata becomes clearer, but will Nishikata, who's understandably afraid of her (AND who's still embarrassed by the idea of "dating" a girl), come around?


Review

"If you hold my hand, you win" - Takagi, to Nishikata.

I'll start by noting that the harshness of Takagi toward Nishikata that Stig and Tim noted at the beginning of Season One of this show seems absent this time. About the worst Takagi does now is sometimes laugh at Nishikata getting called out for things that she, in fact, instigated. She does still wield her deadly "Hmmm?", however, and still loves to use distraction to defeat Nishikata's attempts to win the various "games" that one or the other of them proposes. She doesn't think much of Nishikata's pathetic efforts at deception either. ("Let's stop lying- you're too obvious.") Rie Takahashi, her VA, provides the absolutely perfect voice for her character, combining playful with sultry.

Takagi has a difficult task in front of her, for she wants Nishikata to show some initiative toward her, in spite of the facts that (1) she's kinda-sorta non-violently terrorized him for a year (they're entering 8th Grade as this season starts), and (2) he's still afraid of a relationship with a girl. (Given that his main experience with girls is with HER, maybe this is understandable, though he REALLY needs to stop getting all his life advice from 100% Unrequited Love, that shojo manga he reads.) I won't say that she drops hints, because she does, in fact, flat-out TELL him that she wants him to invite her to a particular event. Later in the series he may give her a reply, and that particular scene perfectly demonstrates that long silence can be more eloquent than dialogue; and her reaction to his response was wonderfully amusing because it was so completely unexpected. (Note here: if he takes THIS long to make up his mind, she'd better start hinting that she'd like to go to their high school senior prom with him no later than the start of their freshman year.) Still, you know...baby steps.

But Nishikata is noting that everyone in the class is trying to act "more mature" (and he embarrasses himself in his own attempt.) We've also got a new couple that's starting to date in this season. (And Nakai and Mano, who started last season, are still going strong.) And by now just about everybody EXCEPT Nishikata ALREADY considers Nishikata and Takagi a couple, whatever Nishikata's own assessment of their relationship is. (In the last episode of this season, Nishikata gets some help from one of the least likely sources.) Interestingly, Nishikata is beginning to feel guilty about doing reprisal pranks on Takagi - subtle evidence of his own growing feelings about her.

The Trio is back as well, but even their interactions are beginning to change a bit. Yukari, who's always been the "serious" one, sinks into a melancholy funk quite often here, partly fueled by self-esteem issues (which the other two members of the Trio are not really competent to help her with, obviously), and partly from longing for a romantic relationship herself. (The answer to Mina's once-again uttered question, "Yukari, are you enjoying life?" is, alas, not always.) The other two seem much the same as always, but since Sanae's thinking is ALWAYS inscrutable, it's hard to tell with her. Mina's enormous eyebrows are finally acknowledged by the show.

A few minutes into Episode 7, is that the adult Takagi looking at a memento of herself and Nishikata??? If so, judging by her expression, maybe things worked out fine after all.

This is a "Netflix Original Anime", but while some of those have a pretty bad reputation, this one is based on solid source material, and looks, and SOUNDS, just like First Season; but it does exactly what a good sequel SHOULD do- it allows its characters to grow and change. It's got just as much charm as Season One.Allen Moody

Recommended Audience: Netflix rates this TV-PG. There's nothing really objectionable here. We'll just say Mature Situations and be done with it.



Version(s) Viewed: Netflix video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Teasing Master Takagi-San 2 © 2019 Shin-Ei Animation
 
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