As Season 3 continues to bring the two young lovebirds together, Takagi takes a bold risk in his latest strategy to tease Nishikata.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 3, Episode 2 “Presence” and “Library Duty,” now streaming on Netflix.
Takagi-san teasing master has come a long way to evolve the relationship between classmates Nishikata and Takagi in their relentless attempts to embarrass each other. Picking up on the pair’s palpable chemistry from Season 2, Season 3 dropped heavier hints in each episode to hint that the two might finally be taking the necessary steps to formalize their relationship. In fact, Season 2 Episode 2 may have taken things further than ever before, teasing audiences with the moment they’ve been waiting for in almost every romantic anime – confession.
The episode opened with a segment about Takagi trying to catch Nishikata off guard as she sneaked after him to school. The scene was set to an orchestrated musical score and contained no spoken dialogue, making it an endearing take on silent comedy reminiscent of monochromatic vaudeville films or Loony Tunes-style cartoons. At first glance, this might seem like little more than an experimental vignette to go along with the trailblazing that the season has been so far. However, the themes of unconsciousness and misunderstood communication play out in a later, much larger scene.
As their homeroom teacher announced the list of routine tasks, Takagi and Nishikata are given the task of library assistants. Their shift started uneventfully, but eventually Takagi suggested that they find books for each other to read. This led to the pair spending some quiet time pursuing their selections together. Nishikata, who was a little flustered after Takagi caught her reading an illustrated dinosaur encyclopedia, realized that there was a certain charm about Takagi when she was engrossed in a book. Taking advantage of his distracted attention, Takagi took the opportunity to loop him with what initially appears to be a declaration of love for him.
Of course, in typical prankster fashion, Takagi quickly covered it up by pretending it was actually a line from the book she was reading aloud. As the two bond for the day, Takagi tells Nishikata that she wouldn’t recommend the book to him. She then secretly whispered that it would blow his cover if he read it and discovered that the moment of the confession was nowhere to be found in the book. In doing so, she revealed to viewers that the line had actually been a slyly timed profession of her feelings.
This is a significant development in Takagi’s ability to take chances on his crush on Nishikata, as it’s the first time audiences can actually hear him verbally express his affections with the physical presence of Nishikata. Nishikata. Previously, she’s used similar double-acting teases, such as in Season 2 Episode 9, when she joked about liking kisses under the guise of Japanese people. Kisu fish. She frequently used other hushed secrets to tease him as well, such as when she taunted Nishikata about holding hands in Season 2 Episode 4.
Still, while Takagi may have fun messing with Nishikata’s heart, she’s yet to make any clear moves toward a direct confession. Season 3 seems to suggest that their fun and games are heading towards more serious romance, but there’s not yet a perfect time for either Takagi or Nishikata to truly tell the other how they feel. Perhaps Takagi uses moments like these to muster up the courage to tell Nishikata about his crush for real. If so, she better hurry, just in case he finds the courage to beat her to the fist.
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