Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 – 03 – A Matter of Honor(ifics)

Nishikata is eager to pull an April Fool’s Prank on Takagi, but immediately he plays himself by essentially asking her out on a date, a get-together independent from class or school. And for the record, Takagi is delighted to go on a date, even if Nishikata refuses to admit that’s exactly what it is.

The constant futile attempts to “get one over” on Takagi are simply a shallow front for the truth: Nishikata would rather Takagi were in his life than not. One need only see how morose he gets when imagining she’s not in his class when their second year starts.

Making full use of the “date” opening Nishikata so carelessly gave her, Takagi insists they attend to the sakura viewing with Yukari, Sanae, and Mina, who is constantly exercising so she can one day become a gravure model…though her friends note she is quite a bit removed from that future.

The only future Nishikata claims to want is one in which he’s not constantly teased by Takagi. Drawing from his beloved 100% Unrequited Love manga, he tries to throw her off balance by dropping the -san and simply calling her Takagi. While that certainly surprises Takagi, she’s actually fine with him doing it whenever he likes, and when challenging him to do so, he crumbles.

Still, when the second year begins and Nishikata’s desk is right back next to Takagi’s in class, he is fully committed to acting like an “upperclassman,” which means dropping her honorific. This also backfires when he proves utterly unable to follow through, combined with Takagi’s teasing. He eventually gets so caught up in it, he naturally drops -san again, which Takagi reiterates is not something she’d ever mind.

Hardly any other anime around gets away with basically rolling out the same thing over and over again, yet it almost never gets old. Perhaps that’s partly because there are always little hints and indications of progress being made on the romance front. Takagi being ever more assertive doesn’t hurt either; her “enough lies, let’s just talk” line was particularly satisfying, as was her recitation of lines from the 100% anime both she and Nishikata watch.

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Sukitte Ii na yo – 05

Yamato is enjoying taking care of his kitten Kuro, which Mei found and insisted he take care of. He suggests Mei come over to his house with her cat Marshmallow to meet him. She comes over and meets Nagi, who doesn’t like her. Mei trips and falls into Yamato’s lap, and they maintain the resulting embrace when Nagi enters with tea and apple pie, and flips out. Yamato sends her to her room. Yamato tells Mei about Nagi’s situation, and when he briefly leaves to help Nakanishi out, Mei goes to Nagi’s room with her stuffed rabbit, Yamato #2. She tells her about her similar past, but also not to give up on making friends altogether.

The streak of Yamato leaving Mei alone with someone continues, but the streak of the ensuing confrontation being unpleasant thankfully ends, as Mei is able to come away in the win column with the initially-irritating Kurosawa Nagi. We’re still not sure why Yamato keeps getting called away in these situations, but that’s neither here nor there. Mei also learns not to panic and calm down when in a friendly embrace with her boyfriend, but unfortunately she’s one of those characters who has trouble dropping honorifics. Say it with us, Mei: Ya-Ma-To. Not hard. You won’t get divine retribution for calling a guy by his  given name.

It’s pretty easy for Mei otherwise, though, as Yamato isn’t really forcing her to have sex with him despite inviting her into his room, and Nagi, while initially dismissive, would have been hostile to Yamato’s girlfriend no matter what, because she’s going through a phase similar to a younger Mei in which she believes friends will only ever betray you, so fuck ’em. To her credit, Nagi has stayed productive in her time as a hermit, exploring her innate talent for both cooking and crafts. Mei wins her over and forms a bond through mutual experience, but Mei is now firmly on the pro-making friends team, and tells Nagi to give her and others a chance.


Rating: 8 (Great)

P.S. Marshmallow and Kuro’s parallel arc of tentative belligerents growling to best pals curled up together paralleled Mei and Nagi’s nicely.