Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 cover art
Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2

Overview

I always see different English titles for this series, so as I did with season 1, we’re going to be sticking with the Japanese title for season 2. Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2 (からかい上手の高木さん2) is just the second season of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san.

If you’ve seen the first season, then you basically already know what this series is like. It follows the exact same formula as season 1.

But since I need something to write about, let’s just break down what that formula is again. The series follows two middle school (I think) students who are locked in a battle of wits — not unlike Light and L from Death Note.

The scenarios these students find themselves in follow one of two paths. Either Takagi suggests a game and wins or Nishikata suggests a game, it backfires, and he loses. That’s it. There is no third option. Oh, other than the skits with the side characters, but they aren’t important.

Takagi cleaning Nishikata's wound from the anime series Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
Takagi cleaning Nishikata’s wound

And strangely enough, although this series is a slice of life, real time passes. Usually series like this have different seasons showcased, but year after year the characters don’t age and they’re still in the same place. That’s not the case here.

In season 1 Takagi and Nishikata were first years, but in this season they’re second years. What this means is that eventually the series is going to come to a natural end. I’m not sure if we got to see any of this in season 1, but in season 2 we do get “flash forwards” showing Takagi and Nishikata in the future.

Once we catch up to those scenes is probably when the series will end. And honestly, if that’s the case it would be extremely satisfying.

Difference from Season 1

The main difference between Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san seasons 1 and 2 is the relationship between Takagi and Nishikata. The first season focused on how they both had crushes on each other, but were too shy to make anything of it other than teasing.

However, during this season we see the relationship between these two begin to take shape. It’s nothing official yet, but you can see the two of them becoming more comfortable with expressing themselves to one another. And there’s hand holding this time around.

One of my favorite parts of the season actually came during the credits of the final episode. In it we got a montage of all the times Takagi and Nishikata either held hands or almost held hands. It was a good way of showing how their relationship is slowly building up.

Takagi and Nishikata at a festival from the anime series Karaki Jouzu no Takagi-san 2
Takagi and Nishikata at a festival

We also get to see the pair outside of their usual stomping grounds a bit more this time around. Previously the only places we saw Takagi and Nishikata were at school, specifically in their classroom, and on their walk home from school down the not-so-shady alleyways.

The walk home from school also includes locations such as the empty lot, shrine, and candy store, all of which we revisit in this season.

Some of the new locations we visit this time around include the mountains their class goes to on a camping trip, the school gym’s storage room, and the mountain on which the summer festival takes place. All of these locations, and the events surrounding them, lead to new and unique interactions between our main characters.

Main Takeaways

If you enjoyed the first season of Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san, you’re probably going to enjoy this one as well. It’s the same formula you know and love, but it’s improved upon this time around by including a slightly more stable relationship between the characters.

I do think that the first season had some better jokes/pranks/games, but the development that came with the second season made it better overall. It doubled down on the romance aspect of the series rather than the comedy aspect, and that’s fine with me.

Another thing I think this season improved upon from the previous season is how the side characters were used. We still get skits from Mina, Sanae, and Yukari, but they didn’t seem as frequent, which was good since we’re focusing more on relationships now.

At the same time, other characters who are in relationships were pushed more towards the forefront. It’s as if the author was attempting to show that Takagi and Nishikata are getting to that age at which relationships between their peers are more commonplace and out in the open.

You know, just like the direction their relationship is heading in.

And the last point I want to touch on is that while Takagi and Nishikata’s relationship is starting to form, it’s really because of Takagi. Yes, she still teases Nishikata, but more and more she outright tells him how she feels about him. And it’s up to Nishikata to decide what he’s going to do with that information. It’s cute to watch.

Conclusion

Despite the fact that I liked it more overall, I still gave Karakai Jozou Takagi-san 2 the same score as the first season, an 8/10. It was better than season 1, but not quite good enough to receive a 9. In fact, only one 2019 anime has received a 9 from me so far and I don’t think the Fall season is going to change that.

And since I always mention the OPs/EDs during the conclusion, the OP for season 2 is better than the OP for season 1. Season 2 also has a total of 8 EDs compared to the 7 EDs for season 1, so I’ll just assume and say that season 2 has a better ED as well. Specifically, I liked ED 6 「Anata ni」the most.

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