First Impressions: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san

It’s always a delight when an anime series pulls you in primarily for its endearing art direction, but also turns out to be a good series in addition. This represents my exact experience after checking out the first batch of episodes of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san.

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Based on the manga series by Sōichirō Yamamoto, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san features the daily struggles of Nishikata, a young middle-school student who is constantly teased by his classmate and close friend Takagi. A great deal of the first few episodes take place inside the students’ classroom, where Takagi is constantly taunting Nishikata for the sheer thrill of it. Nishikata is rather incompetent and always wary of Takagi’s next attempt to rile him up which serves as the foundation of the series, and a pretty good one at that.

As we progress into further episodes, more and more scenes begin taking place in settings outside of the classroom and explore different circumstances between the two friends. An example of a scene that resonated with me pretty strongly is when both Takagi and Nishikata had a mini competition to see who could throw garbage into a can with some pretty entertaining results.

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As is fairly common with slice of life anime, Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san is split into a few different scenarios throughout each episode. While the primary focus of the show is the relationship between the two main characters, there is usually one other segment that deals with three young friends and classmates of the previously mentioned protagonists. All of them have fairly distinct personalities in addition to daily hassles of their own. These sections steadily make for a well-segmented interval between the central focus of the show.

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san has been consistently adorable and amusing since its premier back in early January. It explores tropes commonly and not so commonly explored within the slice of life genre, and is absolutely one of the strongest anime lineups of the season. New episodes air on Mondays at 10:30 AM CST on Tokyo MX, with streaming also available on Crunchyroll.

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