So. This… happened.
“I swear I’m going to tease and embarrass Takagi-san today!” Nishikata, a middle-schooler, keeps getting teased by the girl who sits next to him in class, Takagi-san. He tries every day to get back at her, but will he ever succeed? Takagi-san and Nishikata’s youthful teasing battle starts now! -Crunchyroll
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
CVoyage: So. That’s a thing we just watched.
CVoyage: I wasn’t expecting that. At all.
CVoyage: And after watching through it multiple times, I have only this to say…
EvilBob: Yeah, that about sums it up.
CVoyage: We out, yo.
*both exit. muffled yelling from the other room*
CVoyage: All right, all right…
EvilBob: Sooo. The editor’s not letting us get away with that one…
CVoyage: I could’ve sworn I was the editor…
EvilBob: Then… who was…?
CVoyage: Let’s just not question it. Anyway, we’re not allowed to make this less than 300 words, so… yeah.
EvilBob: But seriously. This show.
CVoyage: They got us, dude. They absolutely got us. And you know what? I ain’t even mad. I was smiling throughout the whole thing.
EvilBob: That girl is… she was… she’s just…
EvilBob: Yeah! That’s it!
CVoyage: But I gotta say, this is a good example of how you do comedy that ultimately leads to the same punchline repeatedly, and yet keep it from getting stale. Of course the punchline is obvious. It’s the entire premise of the show. But the thing that sells the show is the journey through the setup.
EvilBob: He always loses, but it’s always fun seeing how he’s going to lose. The path he takes on his journey through neverending failure. And how, exactly Takagi one-ups him every time. I also think it helps that the show’s divided into skits. Little mini-episodes that give each scenario all the time they need.
CVoyage: And, at the same time, it prevents any one gag from overstaying its welcome. *gives the side eye to Slow Start*.
EvilBob: And because of that, it doesn’t really seem off when the show decides to laugh at its own jokes, which is what Takagi does. *gives the side eye to Slow Start*
CVoyage: On top of that, the show’s just cute.
EvilBob: SO cute. I like how Takagi breaks into tears whenever she’s laughing at Nishikata. But at the same time, it highlights something else. She’s never being outright malicious, exactly. It’s not like some other shows, where one character’s just plain bullying the other, and they use that dumb excuse of “oh, well, it’s because he/she likes you.” Abuse isn’t affection.
CVoyage: Right. She’s just being playful and teasing him a little. He clearly isn’t genuinely hurt by it. And I get the impression that if he was, she’d stop. For him, it’s like some sort of grand game. And in typical Shounen Protagonist fashion, he’s intent on proving that he can overcome this insurmountable enemy. Which just makes it that much funnier. He’s acting in typical Determinator fashion, which is a standard for Shounen heroes… and it is not working for him. At all.
EvilBob: I think I’m gonna do it, Chris.
CVoyage: Do… what?
EvilBob: It’s funny, cute, well animated, completely shattered my expectations… I gotta say it. Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san is about as evil as… a Super Villain.
EvilBob: Come on. Rating time. The highest one you have. I believe in you.
CVoyage: Don’t get me wrong. I loved this. But. Comma… it’s only the first episode.
EvilBob: Oh yeah…
CVoyage: I want to give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it’ll stay this great throughout the whole thing. But my expectations were kinda subpar, going in. So even if it did just blow my preconceptions out of the water, it isn’t like it had a very high bar to overcome in the first place. Still. It was hilarious and adorable, both of which are things I love. And humor is especially difficult to win me over with.
EvilBob: Believe me… I know. I’ve tried.
CVoyage: And you fail spectacularly just about every time. It’s almost cute.
CVoyage: But regardless, I’ll say that the series could either stay consistently this funny, or it could get old pretty quickly. Especially if they never particularly go anywhere outside of homeroom or do anything else aside from having her antagonize him in class. At least she could antagonize him at the park, or something, in the future. Change up the scenery a bit. We’ll see. For now, I’ll just hold my highest regards in my back pocket until I see more. Still, that doesn’t make it any less effective as an episode. In fact, it’s Super Effective. And would ya look at that? A slight deviation from this season’s long-running theme of “cute girls doing things.”
EvilBob: I know, right? Cute girls with swords, cute girls eat ramen noodles, cute girls bring peace to their town-
CVoyage: Cute girls save the world from magical monster cards… in case you didn’t get the hint, go read the Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card review.
EvilBob: Now, please. Now would be good.
EvilBob: And that’s about all the time we have for you today, people.
CVoyage: As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the awesome.
EvilBob: And keep it classy.
CVoyage: Take care.
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