Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san | #Anime Universe
To put it simply, this show feels like watching two players compete but not in the way you’d think. To me, Takagi and Nishikata are two characters that play with each other in life. However, it’s a little bit different than competition. Between the two, Takagi is always the one that stays ahead of the game. Think of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. In that show, the coyote attempts to catch the road runner but always comes up short. For this show, Takagi is always successful in defeating Nishikata at pretty much anything. As predictable and tedious as that sounds, the show is actually more than that.
On the individual level, Takagi is a clever girl with a cute face and crafty mind. While she isn’t a prodigy or gifted with extraordinary talent, she often thinks outside the box to outsmart her opponent, Nishikata. Takagi’s character and personality also makes her quite likable as she carries a youthful charm. Even as she teases Nishikata, it’s more than just teasing. She wants to know him more and through their interactions each time, they unintentionally grow closer. There’s also no malice between the two despite the low key drama. From my perspective, Takagi considers Nishikata as more than just a friend. Some people may call that nonsense since she often plays Nishikata like a toy. However, if you really pay attention to their character interactions, it’s easy to realize how close they are. Does this venture into the territory of romance? That’s actually left for viewers’ imaginations. There’s the genre tag of romance for this series but it’s far from a love story.
Nishikata is pretty much the boy that gets defeated by the master of tease, the one and only Takagi. The show often tries to make audience anticipate with a thrilling feel on whether he can ever beat her or not. For me, this made me come back to this show every week. From simple games involving erasers to more complex mind games with playing with emotions, it’s the type of show that categorizes game as more than just winning. Nishikata himself is an average kid with an average personality and living an average life. We don’t find out much about his past and honestly, I don’t think we need to. This show focuses on the present and what’s ahead rather than characterization. In essence, the show’s character dynamics lies in how characters connect rather than how they develop.
Speaking of characters, there are also three others that show up in the show although they are unrelated to the series as a whole. Well, technically they are in a way but they don’t get involved with the teasing and games. That’s probably one of my complaints about this show. They should keep the characters from Ashita wa Doyoubi away in this anime as it feels like a distraction. Thankfully, their screen time isn’t long and mostly added to make the show flow a bit as a slice of life. That being said, I think the show succeeds not just in the character chemistry but also in pure comedy. The way characters react comes out naturally in many ways. This is especially true for Takagi as she often gets the joy of teasing Nishikata shown through her reactions. While Nishikata feels annoyed by this, he never truly hates her. In fact, you could say that he gets a joke out of losing countless times in their daily life games.
A simple show like this only needs simple visuals and TMS Entertainment accomplishes that. Takagi is undeniably adorable with her charming smile, bright personality, and facial expressions. She’s able to carry this show thanks to these characteristics that are adapted straight from the manga. Similarly, Nishikata has a goofy looking face that often makes him look like a fool, as viewers will expect in many episodes. It makes this pair incredibly cute to watch thanks to how they act. The art style enhances that experience. Their voice mannerisms also stays pretty consistent throughout the show. Even someone like Yuki Kaji can play a character like Nishikata as he’s been in the roles of goofball characters before. The incredible voice acting of Takagi makes her character even more believable as a master of teasing.
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