And thus behold the end, a beginning.
Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Genre: Slice of Life, Romance
EvilBob: Hey, look. They’re just exchanging letters, this time. Totally harmless. Nothing could possibly go wrong, there.
CVoyage: Yup. Still my spirit animal. But seriously. What else would you expect? Nishikata learns all the girls are giving each other letters… for some reason. Is this like that thing where people text others who’re, like, three feet away?
EvilBob: People still do that?
CVoyage: Perhaps in circles where they’re still amazed by the technology. I mean, apparently sliding doors are still a big deal in Japan, so why not instant communication devices?
EvilBob: True. Well, either way, I’m pretty sure we at least know why she gave Nishikata a letter.
CVoyage: To profess her lo- yeah, I can’t even finish that. It was to mess with him. Interestingly enough, though, Nishikata actually outright asked if it was a love letter. Like. Mah dude had the balls to just straight up ask her. To her face. Didn’t even try to play it off as a joke, which would’ve been easy… well… not for him, but still. Seriously. Level Up, much?
EvilBob: Well… the training’s working. Somewhat.
CVoyage: Eh. It’ll take. She’s clearly had plenty of time. I mean, look at their first meeting.
EvilBob: Seriously. She’s been working on him since DAY ONE.
CVoyage: I do wanna know why Nishikata didn’t just tell the teacher why he was late, to begin with.
EvilBob: Because if he had, that whole exchange with Takagi wouldn’t have happened?
CVoyage: I mean, duh. That’s the writer’s reason. But in-universe he could’ve avoided the trouble by just… telling the truth. Whatever.
EvilBob: I gotta say, though. That handkerchief’s gotten around. It was the same one she wrapped around his leg, a few episodes back. And, apparently, it’s been around since the beginning. He even gave it back in this episode.
CVoyage: To adorable results. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s just get this out of the way, here. Poor Mano.
EvilBob: She just looked so dead inside!
CVoyage: So. Can I be the guy who ruins it?
EvilBob: Oh, you’re asking permission this time?
CVoyage: Well, I figure I might as well be courteous. It’s the last episode and all that. So. Why, exactly, does the seating matter?
EvilBob: …I know you can’t hear it since this is an article, but crickets are chirping very loudly, right now.
CVoyage: So no reason, then. Got it. Okay, in all seriousness, I get the idea. You wanna sit next to the person you care deeply for. And these are middle schoolers, so everything is more serious to them than any of it actually is. It’s charming and cute and extremely genuine. I really liked this skit. It’s just the cynical part of my brain talking.
EvilBob: You have a non-cynical part?
CVoyage: Yes. And a vengeful part. Would you like to see that one?
EvilBob: Shutting up.
CVoyage: I just like how the whole bit played out. Takagi looking genuinely upset about the possibility of no longer sitting next to Nishikata, him looking actually worried over it-
EvilBob: The part where he looked like he died inside.
CVoyage: Right. That too. Even his attempt to fix things before that by swapping with someone else to still sit by Takagi. It was all just really sweet and still keeping with the overall awkward spirit of the show. Not really all that relatable for me, personally, but it does have a very middle school vibe to it that comes across as earnest.
CVoyage: And the bit with the handkerchief was really solid storytelling. Using it as a connective thread that sort of strings throughout their entire relationship was neat. Seeing how it was sort of the catalyst of their meeting, used to mend his wound at one point, eventually returned, and then, the cherry-on-top, seeing the note he left in it at the end. It was just a really cute story device. Handkerchiefs are used a lot for this purpose, but seldom are they really used to the exact extent we see here. Usually, they’re just treated as vaguely sentimental objects. This one, on the other hand, has a bit more of a story to it. One relevant to both characters and not just one of their backstories. Thus the connection comes across as being strong, in the long-run.
EvilBob: Oh. Being ignored. Ya done yet?
CVoyage: And then there was Takagi’s little swooning moment when she found the note.
EvilBob: Okay, that was friggin’ adorable.
CVoyage: Right? And with all that said, this episode was a delightful way to close everything out. And since I’ve said my piece already, I’ll just close out with saying it was definitely Super Effective.
EvilBob: Wait, that’s it? No diatribe? No longwinded spiel?
CVoyage: Hm? Are you asking for one, now? I’d be happy to oblige.
EvilBob: No, no, it’s fine! I’m good! Anyway, this episode’s about as evil as a Super Villain (10). It still amazes me that a show with such a simple concept kept my attention and managed to be this enjoyable. And, hey, the manga’s still going. So maybe we’ll get more.
CVoyage: There is an OVA coming up, too. That should be fun. But if you’re more interested in something with maybe a little more bite, check out this guy’s reviews of Mahoutsukai no Yome. An equally adorable romance, added with some action, some drama, and a whole lot of magic. Both the whimsical kind and… not.
EvilBob: That’s… a fairly apt description, honestly.
CVoyage: And if you wanna check this one out for yourself, the full series is available on Crunchyroll!
EvilBob: And that’s basically all we’ve got for you today, folks. Thanks for letting us waste your time, people.
CVoyage: As always, thanks for reading. Keep up the awesome…
EvilBob: And Keep it classy.
CVoyage: Take care.
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