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Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 anime cover

Score: 8.32/10

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Alt Title : Skilled Teaser Takagi-san 2nd Season, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san Second Season

JP Title : からかい上手の高木さん2

Year : 2019

Genre : Comedy, Romance, School, Shounen, Slice of Life

Season : Summer 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 12/12

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : Shin-Ei Animation

Synopsis

Even after spending a considerable amount of time with Takagi, Nishikata is still struggling to find a perfect plan to defeat the expert teaser. A battle of wits, a contest of physical prowess, a test of courage—any strategy he employs to expose her weaknesses is to no avail. On the contrary, Nishikata's pitiful attempts only reveal more of his own flaws, which Takagi takes advantage of to become increasingly daring in her teasing attempts. To make things worse for Nishikata, rumors about him and Takagi may have spread in class due to the frequent interactions between them. However, the optimistic Nishikata believes that wisdom comes with age and that as the days go by, his experience with her constant teasing will eventually bear fruit, leading him to the awaited moment of victory. Thus, Nishikata continues to strive for the seemingly impossible—to outsmart Takagi and make her blush with embarrassment. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Like the last season of Skilled Teaser Takagi San, this is one is also predominantly focused on the antics of 2 middle school students, a girl who seems to be borderline telepathic, bullying a dense middle school boy. The jokes are very similar, the way the challenges play out are very similar, and the quality of the show is overall much similar. However, a few things set this season apart from the prior season which led me to increase my rating for the show this specific season, I will expand on these things in this review.

The first thing I would like to mention happens to be the characterization between the 2 main characters. In the previous season Takagi always enjoyed making fun of Nishikata and winning their games to frustrate him, she finds it hilarious to dismantle the plans he spends hours coming up with and always being one step ahead. This season is different, although the bullying Takagi did in the last season seemed some what mean spirited to Nishkata, this season Takagi was generally a lot more kind and made it pretty clear she likes him and even tried to throw a few of their games on purpose. Of course, Nishikata is way to fucking dense to ever get the obvious signs that she wants him to just grab her hand and lean in for a kiss, but who can blame him he is like 11 and does not have much life experience. This improvement in characterization, especially during the anime original camping scenes, greatly improves the atmosphere of the show for viewers, as we no longer have to feel exhausted watching Nishikata get bullied episode after episode with no chance of winning. Takagi being kind and clearly trying to make games where Nishikata could win if he had some courage changes the atmosphere from being exhausting to refreshing, the show has progressed further into the romance genre and focuses less on the same overused mind games that occurred before. There is also one big moment in the show near the end where Nishikata does step up and its quite touching and shows how far he has grown since the start of the series.

Something else that improved in the show is the sound track, the opening actually covered a lot of the themes in the show, Takagi and Nishikata rivalry, their romantic undertone, the experience of adolescence of the other relevant characters in the series, and blended them all together in a very well-made OP. The general sound effects and OST did not change much however its use improved, the same soundtrack was not used for multiple stories back to back and instead the show alternated between them to keep it fresh, while in the first season they constantly used the exact same theme, you know which one I am talking about, whenever a new story started in the episode.

One other thing that improved was the focus on side characters, the show was getting boring with the entire focus being on Takagi and Nishikata in season 1. However, this season the 3 side girls had their own segments every episode and it made for a very comfy slice of life break from the drama between Takagi and Nishikata. The jokes involving the 3 girls were also of a completely different kind from the mind game jokes between the main characters which creates variety instead of the tired and overused humor we were seeing earlier. The other side characters like Nishikata’s friends had more scenes as well in which they served as commentary on the main characters, pointing out the frustrating stuff the viewers noticed but also misunderstanding some aspects of the power dynamic between Takagi and Nishikata which was sort of funny. Even the teacher got some more screen time and went from a hard ass who exists to yell at Nishikata to a more respectable guy who is just trying to properly educate children and make sure they behave in a reasonable way.

As far as art and animation go, Takagi San season 2 isn’t really any different from season 1, but that is alright no one is watching this show for quality animation or amazing art, it’s a romcom set in a middle school after all. Some things that were an improvement though was that the same background art was not being reused like last season, there were many new parts of the school, the town, and of course the entire background during the camping episode along with the starry sky that were very different from season 1.

Overall though these improvements do vastly improve the show for the viewer, even if a lot of mind games are the same as before, and the story plays out the same, there has been growth in the relationship between the main characters. The growth along with the small improvements in several aspects of the show lead me to give Skilled Teaser Takagi San 2 a rating of 8, higher then the rating of 7 I gave to the first season. You can also free Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 anime watch online and free download.

I can summarize Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san in about a sentence : Girl teases guy, guy tries to get back at her and miserably fails because she has a plan for his plan. However, I can't do the same for Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 at all, because that wouldn't be doing it justice. At its core, the second season doesn't change anything drastically from the first - we have our two main characters and their teasing formula, our three side characters from Ashita wa Doyoubi, a side couple, and a new addition of another side couple who don't get much screentime. So what makes the big difference between the two seasons? If I had to put it in one word, it would be passion. It feels as if a new team of die-hard Takagi-san fans have taken over the adaptation, and they've done everything in their ability to bring out the absolute best of what a story like Takagi-san could offer in this second season. From fixing the awkward pacing issues of the first season that even as someone with the Takagi-san manga on his favorites list for a long time I could not ignore, to beautifully tying up episodic chapters to make them have more impact, to even coming up with completely new anime-original segments - which are all up there for me with my favorite manga chapters, that's how much I loved them - the studio have clearly given it their all for this season, and it is definitely reflected in how much I have enjoyed every single moment of it. And of course, something important which I should probably have said earlier - the anime-original segments I mentioned include actual romantic progression! If you enjoyed season 1's "Critical Hit", then you're going to love this season - you'll be feeling those critical hits through the screen, as the "teasing" has long since passed the line most people would call "flirting". To sum it up - if you liked the previous season, you are going to love this one. If you felt lukewarm about the previous season, there is still a very good chance you are going to love this season. This season gets a honest 10/10 for me, and I wish every adaptation was given as much care as this one - but for now I'll just be happy that one of my favorites got one.

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