Teasing Master Takagi-san the Movie
The end of their middle-school years is rapidly approaching for our cast, and they're beginning to contemplate the changes that are coming in their lives as a result. But Takagi and Nishikata are being distracted from these considerations by a stray kitten that they decide to take care of.
There's a bit of Takagi's old teasing here of course- especially toward the beginning of this movie. (Note to Nishikata: do NOT let Takagi decide the penalties in your penalty games. I'd think you'd know this by now.)
But some things have become dominant here over the comedy. One is the kitten business, which was not terribly original; i'd seen a similar sub-plot (with even the same denouement) back in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, of all things, and given how limited my knowledge of anime really IS, I'm sure there are other examples. Honestly, I would have been tempted to mark this down to 4 stars for the lack of originality here- but the show's virtues FAR outweigh its occasional lapses into overused tropes.
One of those virtues is that the romance just keeps getting stronger. As in Aharen-san wa Hakarenai, it's come to dominate the late stages of the story. (As a side note, I'm watching the Second Season of Nagatoro as well, and even SHE is mellowing out a little. Maybe love DOES conquer all.) in the movie currently under review, we see this early on, when Takagi watches Nishikata's reassurance of a scared kid, and she comments that Nishikata would make a great dad. (Takagi's clearly taking notes here.)
The other thing that's remarkable is the ways both Nishikata and Takagi have found to say how each feels about the other without actually saying the words "I love you." (Though Takagi DID say "The Words" in Season 3, albeit with a clumsy attempt at a coverup that would not have fooled ANYONE who happened to be less dense than Nishikata.) Nishikata is STILL embarrassed to acknowledge that they're dating (though of course they really HAVE been for some time), but during this movie they'll go to the Summer Festival again, just like they did in Season 2, and a comparison of Nishikata's responses THEN to his responses NOW is very illuminating. Again, I've found these two's ways of expressing their feelings for each other to really be more substantial than a simple "I love you" could ever be- even if it HAS taken a while to get to this point.
I'll get to the other thing I really liked here a little later, but I'll note a couple of other things first. We meet a pet shop owner with a talking parrot. The bird's comments are a LITTLE too "on point" to be believable, but there's always been a bit of "magical realism" in this show, at least in Takagi's ALWAYS being able to anticipate what Nishikata would do or say, even when he was doing his best to be random.
And this time there's a threat to The Trio remaining The Trio. I liked Yukari's comment here that their friendship can't go unchanged forever. I've always liked Yukari the best of the three, since she's the most "serious" one (though also the most pompous, and the usual butt of the other two's antics), though to be honest I think The Trio peaked in Season 3, particularly in the "treasure hunt."
And finally, the thing that DEFINITELY made this another 5-star installment of the show for me. I'd heard that this was the show's finale, and so I was hoping we'd be shown something about our pair that had appeared in the manga, and the show came through GLORIOUSLY here. (Though it's after the end credits, in an Epilogue, so they really make you wait for it.) And you know I can't help it; I'm a sucker for the sentimental.
I appreciated the message here that despite disappointments and even heartbreak, Love Can Find A Way, even if that sentiment goes against my natural cynicism. The journey with these kids- the one who discovered her feelings early, but couldn't directly express them; the other one, who, in time, finally begins to catch on, and becomes honest with his own feelings- has been a clever, charming, heartwarming, and most of all hopeful, story, and one just ends up wishing a blessed life for our pair (and for maybe a LITTLE less teasing of Nishikata); and I have some reason to believe that Takagi just might give him a break after all, from time to time. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: The Blu-Ray is rated TV-14. As with Season 3, I have no idea why, so we'll once again just say Mature Themes. We have some scenes at the school pool again, with nice, conservative school swimsuits.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 Blu-Ray
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Teasing Master Takagi-san the Movie © 2022 Soichiro Yamamoto, Shogakukan/
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