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Teasing Master Takagai-san Vol. #02 Manga Review

4 min read
Buy me juice.

Buy me juice.

Creative Staff:
Story & Art: Souichirou Yamamoto
Translation: Taylor Engel
Lettering: Takeshi Kamura

What They Say:
Nishikata’s chances of beating Takagi in the prank-off seem pretty slim. Even when he suspects she might have turned over a new leaf, she figures out some way to make his face blush or his heart pound…Summer break is right around the corner, though, which means relief from school — and his archnemesis! But Takagi isn’t about to lose her daily juice supply…or does she have some ulterior motive behind her actions?!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
With one volume of incessant beratement from an adorable girl out of the way, Takagi-san’s second installment picks up exactly where it left off — with one boy having his life turned into an inescapable, living hell. And even though Nishikata has all but given up on ever being able to climb out of this pit, the flames have seemed to die down a tad with Takagi taking a more passive approach to her neverending verbal torture. In fact, much of this volume consists of her simply being cute and allowing Nishikata’s suspect mind to do all of the dirty work for her. In this particular book, the first of these events takes place under the shelter of a bus stop on a rainy day — typical locale for a cute romantic sequence, correct?

No, not correct. Well, kind of correct. Yes and no. Hear me out — you know how an ‘indirect kiss’ in the world of anime is like the forbidden fruit that forever pairs two candidates together? Well, that doesn’t happen here. Instead, Takagi and Nishikata have a sort of…indirect skin-to-skin clothing exchange? Essentially, Takagi manages to convince her prey (And our protagonist) that he should lend her his gym shirt because she’s wet from the rain. Nishikata obliges, albeit just moments before being soaked by a stray cat shaking off its fur. In turn, Takagi then trades her own clothing to him and, suddenly, the two of them are wearing each other’s shirts. And while there isn’t exactly any ‘teasing’ that goes on here, it’s a great way to start off the episode in a believable and incredibly less cruel fashion.

The main drawback of the first volume [As far as several readers are concerned] was the fact that Takagi…well, she was kind of a horrible person right off the bat. And while she still has her moments of sheer terror in this book, volume two takes a much cuter approach in terms of her view of Nishikata- often heavily hinting at the fact that no matter what she does, she really does like him. Either that or she just really likes juice because she asked the poor guy to buy her some at least six hundred times this volume. But hey, if juice is the price for love, I’m sure that not only myself but all of you (As well as Nishikata) are willing to pay on a near-daily basis.

The most important thing this volume does, however, it set-up what I imagine is going to be the entirety of the third book — summer break. If there is anything I have learned from years of anime and manga, it’s that these two will inevitably grow closer one way another. Hell, I can’t even count how many times I’ve experienced characters growing closer together over summer by not seeing each other. And given that Takagi has basically already hijacked Nishikata’s plans by forcing him into some two-person bike-riding training course, it’s easy to expect how the distance between them will begin to close even more than it already has. Of course, this distance and how it is handled by both parties is what makes the series so enjoyable, so it’s not like they’re going to just completely dissipate it over the course of a few weeks. Either way, at the end of the day, volume two is yet another entertaining and adorable venture into the relationship between two mildly dysfunctional teens- and it is one that I do not regret reading in the least.

In Summary:
Despite coming across significantly nicer than she did in the first book, Takagi-san manages to capture our hearts yet again through incessant teasing and a truck-load of blank stares. Nishikata’s psyche is beginning to wear thin and, with his summer vacation now hijacked by the girl of his affections (But also his worst nightmares), it’s relatively easy to see how things will go from here. Just like in the first volume, there is nothing particularly spectacular to write home about- but Takagi-san’s incredibly well-balanced depiction of a school-life romantic comedy is absolutely something I would recommend to any fan of the genre.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: B-
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: C+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: October 30, 2018
MSRP: $12.99

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