Ah, youth. What a confusing time it was. We all experienced it differently, but I think there are painfully embarrassing moments for everyone when it comes to interactions with the opposite sex. You know, those that popped up into your mind years later and made you bury your face in the pillow, made you want to scream to drive the shame and acknowledgement of stupidity away. Why did I say that, why didn't I realize, why was I so dense, so stupid, so immature? *sudden urge to shoot thyself in the leg to make the feelings go away*
Putting those aside, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san
picks the best of the punch when it comes to interactions between male/female puberterians (just made that word up). The girl is more mature for her age, as girls tend to develop faster, and she uses this advantage to tease her classmate, who uses all his proteins and what-nots to grow taller (nope) and hairier (hardly), not smarter, and therefore is doomed to loose to his classmate every. single. time.
Nishikata finds himself troubled on daily basis by the girl who sits next to him, and tries to outsmart her, only to find himself even more humiliated. Takagi is a tough cookie and a devilish prankster, master in reading the simple Nishikata and always being one step ahead. It is somewhat obvious why all this bully-ish interaction is happening, which only makes it more lovable, as we also see some sincere moments between the two young ones. Nishikata might not be as smart as his counterpart, but his density isn't as high as mine was when it comes to girls, which makes the manga much more enjoyable. Thankfully no MC-Harem style obliviousness here.
15 chapters is not enough to see any huge progress, but it is enough to establish what this manga is about, and for you to decide if you like it or not. For some it is still too painful to read, bringing up unwanted memories, for some it is more nostalgic and therefore enjoyable.
I smiled, laughed a bit, sighed, chuckled and felt the urge to write a review to get this manga more reads, as it deserves them. Like life it self, it is different for everyone, but I do recommend to give it a read and feel the wave of youth once again. You know, the good kind, not the ones that pierce your heart upon remembering.
Mai waifu: "What are you looking at?"
Mai waifu: "You were just looking at my boobs, weren't you?"
Mai waifu: "It's ok, you can look at them."
Me: *blushing intensifies*
That about sums up Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san. This manga is basically vanilla romance porn for us folk out there who just want to chill, relax and not care about who's the better bishounen or which waifu has better ... khm ... "plot". In a nutshell, it's a rather episodic manga, with our main girl teasing our main guy, and our main guy trying to tease her back, but can't 'cause he sucks, and girl is
a master troll.
There isn't much to a story here so it's pointless to grade it anyway, but I don't mind honestly. Its episodic nature has its own charms, and chapter after chapter, it never fails to put a grin on my face. I think this is the first time in my life of reading manga that I didn't lose my shit over the lack of progress or ... khm ... "plot". It simply manages to charm you with everyday actions, and those 'kyaaaaaaaaaaaaah mothafucka' moments are truly, outrageously fabulous.
Art is crisp and clean if you're worried about that, and girl, while lacking ... khm ... "plot", is quite a cutie (pedo alert, pedo alert).
There are only two characters, and the point of them is basically mutual growth and understanding as well as individual developments. MC may seem dense, but he's never actually annoying, which I like about him. The manga, at the start at least, gives off 'Seki-kun' vibe (just in reverse), but it matures beyond it to be honest, and has some fantastic troll moments (damn you mangaka!).
All in all, it's not spectacular, it's not flashy, it won't have you bowling your eyes out like 7y old when your nurse pulls your wee-wee too hard, but it's general simplicity and charm (as well as those troll moments) makes it a wonderful read that you can simply dive into to forget all the troubles of the world (or the fact that your waifu wasn't chosen).
Skilled teaser Takagi-San. From the title alone, you would know what this manga would serve you. Yes, lots and lots of teasing. The story revolves around Takagi, the female protagonist, teasing Nishikata, the male protagonist, in many different ways. Usually what happens would be playing mind games with Nishikata by subtly showing signs that she likes him, resulting in Nishikata confused and thinking that Takagi is just teasing him. In short this manga is about typical Puppy Love. Or is it?
Art is very distinct, and when I mean distinct I meant just one look at the characters, I instantly know that the artist
is Souichirou Yamamoto. The smug smile of the characters, the big cute forehead, and the character hairstyles. Backgrounds are very clean too, and the art also has a hint of the word "comical" for me, and I love it.
Characters in this manga are top-notch. Much like Tonari no Seki-kun where there are only 2 main characters in the story, it provides a seemingly endless plot, filled with endless possibilities, that leaves readers wanting more and not worrying about asking for something new.
Hey, I'm smiling in every minute that I'm reading this manga. If that doesn't mean I enjoy it, then I don't know what is. The feeling of seeing a new released chapter in a manga streaming site, or seeing a discussion about the latest chapter in an online message board makes me smile because in just a few clicks away, I would feel butterflies in my tummy.
To wrap things up, Skilled Teaser Takagi-san, is a manga that I highly recommend. If you think that you enjoy reading this manga because Takagi is teasing Nishikata, you're dead wrong. You enjoy reading this manga because YOU are the one being teased by this manga. You like being teased. Yes, you, the one reading this review. It really takes one to know one. lol.
Soo this is my first review, so I don't really know how to write one but meh this'll be live practice or something.
All I can say is this manga is amazing. I picked it up awhile back since it was recommended after I finished like Koe no Katachi or something I forgot xd but I glad I did, because after every chapter I felt good for some reason. Like it has everything I need basically to keep on living (dw not litera-). Even though it kind of repeats the same plot, Nishikata super sure he can prank Takagi that day but always fails like no
matter what and at the same time Takagi's way of beating him hits the heart spot. The uh, heart strings I think that's what it is welp off topic ;3. Even though these events mostly occur in each chapter, it's still entertaining and heartwarming since the entire time your always thinking 'ok these 2wo better get married or I'm gonna come over to the writer and wan paaaaaawnch.' Just, idk why I love this so much but if you haven't read it yet PLEASE DO!!!
Nishikata, having planned something: "let's play a game, you can choose! Hehe"
Takagi: "hmm... Fine, if you can kiss me, you win!"
Nishikata, flustered: "wha..?! ...T-that's not fair!"
Takagi grins: "mm, ok then if I can kiss you, then I, win."
N-nishikata: h-huh?!!? >//w//<
I really liked not only the premise of the manga but also the art style that I had seen from a few images on /a/. I honestly didn't expect much, considering the fact that I thought it to be one of those manga that you couldn't really take seriously and it wouldn't really end up being anything more than just a cutesy little thing, but as I read on I kept thinking about how much nicer it would have been if it were in fact more serious than it was, and as such my review is a serious one.
Let's start with the story, then. There
really wasn't one at all, there were a few hints of something going down with a festival (that ended on something with potential but ultimately the manga didn't do anything with it), as well as summer break bike training and the swimsuit selection, but other than that everything is just episodic. Personally whenever I read a manga that has to do with schooling, I tend to enjoy it more when I can be immersed by having the school go through various events, ie different seasons and festivals, neither of which the story really capitalized on. There was one episode where they changed seats but nothing really ended up happening there. Overall though my main issue with the story is that it's the same thing almost every single time: Girl teases boy, boy gets flustered, tries to fluster her back, and ultimately fails at it usually with a small hint of romance from the girl that the guy ignores or doesn't fully respond to. That's really it, and in my opinion the parts that could have really progressed the relationship between the guy and the girl would have been either the swimsuit chapters (which is where the manga is currently at), the horoscope/blood type chapter, or the festival chapter. All of those show that the relationship between the two of them could grow, but by the next chapters its always the same thing once again.
And with that allow me to enter the characters. If I really were to be honest, I have a love/hate relationship with them. Sometimes the main guy does something manly, but most of the time he's just a retard. The girl can sometimes try and convey her feelings to the guy, but ultimately she just tries to tease him because that's what she enjoys. I really don't understand either of them, I'm sure it's nice to do what they do but why would being in a relationship stop them from doing what they do now? I don't see a reason as to why the girl wouldn't want to be in a relationship with the guy, even though she's tried several times to show him that she liked him. How would she not get upset? Annoyed? I understand being fine with the current situations but it really feels like she's never been serious about this and that upsets me. As for the guy, he just gets really embarassed a lot and tends not to really convey any of his true feelings unless he's kind of unaware of it. He showed SOME character development with the festival scene, but as I said before that literally went nowhere so as far as I'm concerned he's just the same throughout the entire manga. That's the main issue that I have with the characters, they don't progress or develop. They're always the same, there's nothing different about them. They just keep doing the same stupid shit over and over again and after the first 14 chapters the characters start to sound like a broken record. I want to reiterate this: I don't think either of them are bad characters based on how they are in the manga, it's just the fact that they won't develop that makes me unable to believe they are realistic and as such flawed, which is the reason for my low scoring of the characters.
The art on the other hand is absolutely great. I cannot find any mistakes, and if I did, it would be one of the very rare things that happens. Absolutely perfect linework, character designs, and it's just overall nice to look at.
It seems that modern anime and manga completely forget that romance can exist outside of the typical "high school romance" formula. As mainstream as this formula is, it is not the only to succeed in telling a romance story.
Karakai Jouzo no Takagi-san understands this completely. It's a lighthearted romance story between two middle school students. A girl named Takagi likes to tease the boy she sits next to in class for the fun of it. Meanwhile, the boy, named Nishikata, tries to get back at her everyday but fails endlessly. Though simple, the formula this manga manages to portray interesting scenarios with a few
twist and turns along the way.
Generally, the manga focuses various independent scenarios that have minimal connections to each other. However, a few overarching chapters are thrown in and show progression from chapter to chapter. Most of the time, these chapters aren't always one after another meaning that the "story" isn't told in order.
In most cases, this would lead to a disjointed and imperfect plot, but it works well here. If the "important" chapters were told in order, the manga would be unbalanced resulting in a lopsided distribution of development.
As for the chapters themselves, nothing is ever taken too seriously. We get to see a boy and a girl go back and forth with the girl always prevailing. While this is predictable, you'll never know how Takagi will deceive Nishikata. Even then, there are a few curveballs that change up the formula, albeit temporarily.
The art of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is generally well-polished and distinct. The environments are pretty standard, while the character designs are unique, yet very effective.
Takagi-san's wide array of facial expressions are enough to fool Nishikata and us as well. However, even with her smugness, we can always tell that her intents are never malicious. If this wasn't the case, it would hurt the manga severely.
As for Nishikata, his facial expressions display his overconfidence and dread when needed. You can truly feel when he has his hopes high and tell when he's contemplating his next move.
I'd like to note that in the first few chapters, the art is a bit rough around the edges, but only compared to later chapters when the author had a sense of the manga. You won't be bothered by it in your first reading, but if you were to look back at the first dozen chapters or so, you'll notice a bit of a difference.
Nevertheless, the artwork does a fantastic at amplifying the humor and satire of any given situation.
A character doesn't need deep motivations and constant development to be great.
Much like it's premise, the characters are simple, yet charming in countless ways.
Nishikata is a bit dense and overconfident at times, but he is more aware than he lets on. He spends more time questioning his actions than he does simply trying to figure out Takagi's schemes. This makes him a likable character that you want to root for. He always takes into consideration how an action will affect him and how others view him, which is the exact thought process of a middle school student. Even if he could outsmart Takagi by underhanded tactics, he knows when to let go of something. Granted, even when he has a reasonable chance of gaining the upperhand, he still messes it up. But this is why many readers will resonate with him. With that and his constant motivation to improve (to no avail), we can't help but laugh not only with him, but at him (while still feeling sympathetic).
As for Takagi, she is the real star of the show (or manga in this case). She's obviously the most emotionally mature of the two of them, but she's never seen as stuck-up or cocky. Even if she does constantly tease Nishikata, she always gives him a fair chance to win (that he never seems to take, or know how to take for that matter). Usually, the end result of Nishikata's humiliation is brought about by his choices and not hers. Nevertheless, she legitimately cares for him and wouldn't put him in any serious danger. With that being said, the most important part of her character is how un-malicious she is. She could easily become a generic tsundere, but she is more than that. Nevertheless, her various schemes never fail to be funny. In addition, every situation she puts Nishikata in is completely realistic. It's exactly what you'd see between two middle school students who wouldn't admit that they want to be around each other, but feel that way anyways.
While the side characters aren't worth mentioning, they often provide another perspective on Takagi and Nishikata's relationship.
No matter who you are, you will enjoy Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san for what it is. Everybody can relate with Nishikata and will find Takagi's trickery funny. Even more so, everybody will find it endlessly heartwarming and is very nostalgic for anybody who is no longer in school. Every chapter offers a new scenario that puts a twist on a formula that could become repetitive, but doesn't.
Overall, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is pure-hearted fun that everybody will enjoy. Even if you're an edgy teenager, or a middle-aged parent, you will fall in love with these characters and the various scenarios they get themselves in. The art is distinct and displays every situation fantastically. This is undoubtedly a must-read for any manga fan, or anybody who wants to see an illustrated version of a middle school relationship.
Overall, I give this manga:
10 Smug Takagis + 1 Clueless Nishikata/10 (which translates to a 9/10)
I have to be honest. I really want to like this series.
I've been reading romance mangas since the mid-90s, and each scenario of each chapter touches every sweet spot in my body with such teasing love. And I didn't mean to drop such a review because I love or hate something. I just like to be critical for things I like, and I wanted to see if anyone else would agree.
Generally, I like this concept where they continue to situate this love/hate tension (reminds me so much of Ranma 1/2) but here's my input...
The formula has gone stale for me. It's repetitive. Sometimes
refreshing, but obviously predictable.
This is practically "calamity coyote that never gets the roadrunner." For the first 30-ish chapters, it's cute and creative. But by the 60-ish chapter, I get tired of already knowing what's gonna happen: Takagi-san will always win, and Nishikata will always lose. There's hardly any progression, nothing new is learned, these characters act like nothing's changed, more teasers to come (obviously).
It almost makes me wish for either character to stop and come to a 'realization'/metamorphosis stage, so they could transform to a more refined person that acknowledges the need for change or growth.
I don't think this suggestion would end the series, and I think it'd be more engaging or challenging to see how they two could continue teasing each other in a different light, from a different point of view, from a view that's actually trying to make something of itself; characters that actually make something of this relationship.
But if I have to wait until the very end to see these characters change, I think I could pass or just skip to the critical moments in the very end.
On a lighter note, this series is very similar to this would be Horimiya, and that series does a great job of showcasing differences between opposite sex, and it's not limited to characters in endless loop plot.
As for this series, I held on as long as I could, and I'm over it...
This manga will make you blush from head to toe. I love the atmosphere the humour, the character personality, and most of all the tricks the heroine plays not only on the MC but also the readers ;).
If I could choose the definition of youth it would be this manga. Although mature in moments and manipulative all the time, the heroine proves to be quite the character. The MC however, the polar opposite, naive and easy to fool, makes you just want to follow a long and watch their story.
If your looking for a casual read or a binge read, this is
definitely a go to. With humour and romance around every corner this is your one of a kind rom-com.
When i started this manga what i'was looking for was just something quite fun. What i found was far beyond my expectations.
Despite lacking a real plot, with different chapters hardly connected to the previous ones, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san keep going without annoying me not a single time!
To put it simple: girls mature faster then boys? Is that true? Yeah, it is. And that 's what this manga is all about. The love/hate relationship between Takagi and Nishikata shows us how much "grown" they could be, despite being classmate and same age.
Just two main characters, very well made, can produce a good manga, really
funny but at the same time meaningful.
It's an 8.5, without a doubt.
This manga is essentially the same gag on repeat. If you've read chapter 1, you've read some form of almost all of the chapters.
The story isn't told chronologically and just follows a pattern of Nishitaka trying to "beat" Takagi but she always gets the best of him, usually by making him flustered with some romantic undertone. Having to write some form of this so many times results in some of these interactions being stretches that make Nishitaka look mentally challenged or Takagi to look like an actual mind reader.
Strangely the fandom has been commenting "progress" towards every chapter release for a while now.
I noticed it being done often around chapter 50. As I'm writing this chapter 110 has released and nothing has noticeably progressed, the characters are in virtually the same situation and relationship as 100 chapters ago.
There are other characters, who rarely get their own chapters, and they all have their own relationship gag like the main couple that essentially repeats every time they appear.
The art style changes heavily during the series. Both the early style and the latest version have their strengths and weaknesses. I found the older style to look rougher but more natural and human, and the newer one cleaner but more anime-ish and less unique.