Nishikata (西片, Nishikata) is the male protagonist in the story. He is a middle school student who constantly gets teased by his seatmate Takagi. In the future, he is Takagi's husband and Chi's father.
Nishikata is an average looking boy with seemingly tiny black irises/pupils compared to the other characters, black hair, and thin eyebrows.
His school outfit consists of a white button-down shirt that covers his white-green t-shirt with a white belt and navy blue pants. He also wears a black button-down shirt with yellow buttons and black pants during the winter. As an adult in the spin-off manga, he is often seen wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants. As a result of his tough push-up regimen throughout his teenage years, and his job as a PE teacher, his body becomes incredibly muscular and toned.
Nishikata is a boy who often blushes and gets easily embarrassed, especially when he is teased at school by his friend, Takagi. He is at times shy around Takagi, especially when she brings up topics regarding love and romance. Despite the constant teasing and embarrassment, he does not give up on his main goal, which is getting back at Takagi. Though Nishikata is determined on his goal to get his revenge on Takagi, he has failed nearly all of their competitions. He takes his defeats quite seriously and honors his own promise in punishing himself, as shown when he decides to start doing 3 push-ups (10 push-ups in the manga) every time Takagi teases him as a way to punish and motivate himself. He is seen to be very strategic when planning against Takagi, often planning several days in advance. In general, Nishikata is a nervous, agitated, anxious, jumpy, and an easily fooled person who overthinks his actions towards Takagi and the other students and teachers. As seen in both the manga and anime, Nishikata spends almost every waking moment planning and devising ways to get revenge on Takagi, to the point that he can neglect his lessons and studies. However, Nishikata is also very caring and concerned about Takagi. Even through all of the competitions and seemingly constant teasing, Nishikata and Takagi often have very genuine and wholesome moments together, though Nishikata struggles to fully let his guard down. He is also a moralistic and considerate person, hesitant to fully develop a romantic relationship with Takagi but still upheld her dignity, protected her feelings and well-being.
As an adult, Nishikata's personality changes slightly. As a family man, he has become more confident, responsible, and relaxed for the most part. He is, however, still easily flustered, especially when Takagi embarrasses him in front of their daughter, Chi.
Nothing much is known about Nishikata's history, but in Chapter 48 and at the end of Season 1 in the anime, it is revealed that he recently transferred from a rather distant school. He meets Takagi on his first day of middle school, thus beginning a lifetime of teasing and antics.
~ Main article: Takagi ~
From Nishikata's perspective, Takagi is just a classmate who only teases him in order to embarrass him whenever they are together. Aside from teasing, they get along pretty well and walk home together almost every day after school. They also occasionally bump into each other and walk together to school. They both have similar interests in terms of the manga and TV shows they like.
It is heavily implied that Nishikata has a crush on Takagi, but he refuses to admit that to himself as he finds Takagi to be more of a frenemy than a love interest. He also finds it too embarrassing to admit due to their young age and school life. Many instances show that he has a crush on Takagi. One instance is when looking at Takagi's eraser, he is shocked when he sees the first letter on the eraser is not his name. His curiosity causes him to unveil the entire message, which simply reads "Look at the hallway". Unbeknownst to him, on the other side of the eraser, Takagi also wrote down his name (indicating their crush is mutual), and she teases him for not finding out. Nishikata often pondered on whether Takagi really has a crush on him during and after her teases. He almost directly questioned Takagi several times. However, his attempts can be spoiled by his nervousness or other classmates' presence. This occurred several times in the anime, such as when Takagi expressed her hopes that no one else would disturb her lone time with Nishikata in the classroom, Nishikata almost asked Takagi about whether she likes him, but retracted when Mina and her classmates arrived. Nishikata also once received what looked like a love letter from Takagi and questioned her about its contents, eventually feeling relief but also embarrassed that he overreacted. Then, on Valentine's Day, Nishikata refused to "guess" who left the chocolate in his locker after Takagi implied she was the one who did it, and that the chocolate was "non-obligatory", meaning it was given out of romantic interests. Regardless, Nishikata enjoys his company with Takagi even though he refuses to admit it publicly. This is exemplified when Nishikata unwittingly revealed he preferred walking home with Takagi than playing video games and when they went to the Summer Festival together. Nishikata's classmates also suspected or even acknowledged the romantic relationship between Nishikata and Takagi, even though they never received a confirmation from Nishikata or Takagi. It can also be noted that in almost all instances, Nishikata hid behind the reason of needing to get back at Takagi for her teasing, while subconsciously accepted and even wished to spend more lone time with her. This was most exemplified when at one point, Nishikata asked Sumire about Takagi's route, thus able to bump into Takagi to challenge her to a game. When Takagi asked how Nishikata knew her route, Nishikata tried to cover it as a coincidence. However, Takagi saw through him and knew Nishikata was waiting for her, causing much embarrassment on Nishikata's part but also joy on Takagi's part.
Nishikata is also very concerned about Takagi's feelings. His concerns often led to Takagi's teases back at him, but always won Takagi's appreciation. When Takagi had an argument with her mom about the family trip date, she was down and helpless as she could not go to the Summer Festival with Nishikata. Nishikata quickly noticed her uneasiness and how she did not tease him at school that day. He was also the only one who was aware of how she was actually feeling, showing how he is a special friend to her and how he could read Takagi's negative emotions despite Takagi's normal outward appearance. When he noticed Takagi's bicycle, he actively looked for Takagi and comforted her with his surprise box. This won Takagi's appreciation, to the point that Takagi requested him to stay with her and let her tease him. Nishikata also found it worthwhile to make the surprise box as it helped comfort Takagi, even though its original intention was to give Takagi a jumpscare. While Nishikata actively looks for ways to tease Takagi, he is very aware about whether his teases would cross the line, refusing to tease Takagi if it would insult or hurt her, thus protecting her dignity and feelings. This was shown when Nishikata had to give an embarrassing answer to why Takagi did not swim in the swimming lesson. He was quick to defend himself when he felt Takagi's anger on him, which actually led to Takagi's laughter and teases back at him. Nishikata also refrained from teasing Takagi until she resolved her issues with her mother and recovered emotionally. Nishikata is also very hesitant to have physical contact with Takagi - he never tickled Takagi despite her often tickling his sides. When Nishikata thought he had hypnotized Takagi and commanded her to pick her nose, he eventually took it back.
Nishikata also looked out for Takagi's personal safety, despite his actions being romantically interpreted by Takagi and often resulting in physical contact. There were several occasions when Nishikata successfully protected Takagi from impending harm, such as when Nishikata took Takagi's hand and pulled her, preventing her from falling into a river. In the Summer Festival, Nishikata also took Takagi's hand to walk down the steep steps and to ensure they would not be separated again. Chapter 137 from the manga saw Nishikata hugging Takagi and moving her to prevent her from potentially getting hit by a falling box. In Chapter 109 of the manga, Nishikata also offered to walk Takagi home, believing it would be dangerous for a girl to walk alone at night. It should be noted that while Nishikata would find physical contact with Takagi to be embarrassing, his instinctive care for Takagi's safety often overcame this.
Despite Nishikata's many concerns for Takagi, Nishikata apparently shows much less initiative than Takagi in enhancing their romantic relationship. This is combined by several factors - his fear of getting teased by Takagi and his shy personality. His own moral code in determining social appropriateness and over-seriousness also meant he sometimes could not reciprocate Takagi's feelings. His fear of getting teased, combined with his shyness, often meant he required Takagi to initiate actions that would enhance their relationship. One example would be his unwillingness to ask Takagi directly for her email address, despite wishing to exchange contact information with her. Ultimately, Takagi saw through him and asked him whether he wanted to text with her, to which Nishikata replied positively. Also, prior to Season 1 Episode 10, Takagi was always the one asking Nishikata if he can accompany her on their way home. Nishikata wanted to avoid asking Takagi to walk their way home together, and did so only after Takagi's encouragement. On the other hand, his moral code and over-seriousness also sometimes hindered his reciprocation. For example, Nishikata never tickled Takagi's armpits despite Takagi often tickling his ribs. Nishikata was also nervous when he arm-wrestled with Takagi, but effectively imagined holding Takagi's hand during his P.E. lesson. He also refused to give an inappropriate answer to why Takagi would not swim during the swimming lesson. Nishikata also found it embarassing to go shopping for a swimsuit with Takagi. He also could not bring himself to calling Takagi without her honorific. Nishikata also could not imagine Takagi having a crush on her, despite the many romantic hints. This was shown when he did not know, or refused to acknowledge Takagi's possibly romantic intentions when she was referencing the Tanabata myth when they were stargazing in the field trip. Despite this, Nishikata's moral code can be justified by his seriousness, politeness and his fear of unintentionally insulting or harassing Takagi.
However, as the storyline progressed, Nishikata showed that under implicit hints, guidance and questions from Takagi, and necessary circumstances, he could use his own initiative and reciprocate Takagi's feelings. For example, when Takagi had hinted to Nishikata that she would go to the Summer Festival with him should he invite her, he took some time to consider Takagi's implication and made the decision that he should invite her out. Nishikata also took further hints when Takagi looked unhappy as he retracted from inviting her out to the Summer Festival due to his own nervousness. Ultimately, Nishikata was determined enough to ride his bike back to Takagi's house to ask her out to the Summer Festival, which Takagi happily accepted. In Season 1 Episode 10, after being questioned by Takagi, Nishikata admitted to Takagi that losing her would be unacceptable to him and that he would visit her if she got sick. As aforementioned, Nishikata's concerns for Takagi's safety often resulted in Nishikata getting into physical and more intimate contact with Takagi, even if masked or justified by rational concerns. It could also be noted that in Season 2 of the anime, Nishikata and Takagi walked home from school more often, and accompanying Takagi on their way home became much more readily accepted by Nishikata than it was in Season 1, possibly due to his previous experience in asking Takagi to walk home together in Season 1 Episode 10. In Season 2 Episode 6, after finishing the field trip prep committee and noticing Takagi about to leave school on her own, Nishikata stopped her and offered to walk home with her.
It can be concluded that in the anime, Nishikata is somewhat more aware of the connection between him and Takagi but is often too flustered and embarrassed to acknowledge these feelings. Nishikata still could not express his feelings towards Takagi properly, as he is too embarrassed to do so and is afraid that Takagi would tease him when he does so. However, this does not seem to bother Takagi much as she appreciates Nishikata's kindness and is always there for her.
~ Main article: Nakai ~
Nakai is Nishikata's friend and classmate. They met on their first day of school when Nakai teased Nishikata for being late. He usually asks Nishikata about his relationship with Takagi, encouraging and supporting Nishikata to spend more time with her. In return, Nishikata often denies the existence of this relationship. Nakai and Nishikata are relatively good friends and enjoy each other's company, as seen when they went to the waterpark together with Mano and Takagi. While Nishikata acknowledged Nakai's romantic relationship with Mano, he was hesitant to have a similar relationship with Takagi. This sometimes resulted in him getting teased but also left him wondering what his relationship with Takagi could be like.
Takao & Kimura
Takao and Kimura are close friends with Nishikata. When Nishikata arrives late to class on his first day of school, he gets the attention of both Takao and Kimura, looking over his shoulder when he sits down in front of them. They often stay as a group during break and talk about many types of things. As Nishikata spends more and more time with Takagi, Takao and Kimura get suspicious and believe that he and Takagi are dating, asking Nishikata many times if he and Takagi are in a relationship, to which Nishikata denies, although Takao and Kimura have doubts. During Nishikata's date with Takagi, Takao and Kimura runs into them, and out of respect, they avoid talking to Nishikata—although they stare at him when they pass him—and leave the store after buying snacks. Once they leave the store, they can be heard making noise as they run away from the store, which worries Nishikata, hoping that they would talk to him.
Despite's Nishikata's outward denial, Takao and Kimura are aware of Nishikata's feelings for Takagi, and are considerate in helping Nishikata to develop closer relations with her. This was shown several times in the anime. During the field trip, Takao and Kimura both confirmed a rumor for Nishikata where two people, with a crush on each other, would fall in love if they hold each other's hands last in the folk dance. Knowing how Nishikata would act upon this, they warned Nishikata that Takagi is popular among the boys. Kimura was also the one who helped reunite Nishikata and Takagi after they got lost in the Summer Festival, by shouting Takagi's current location.
~ Main article: Chi Nishikata ~
- The surname Nishikata means "west" (西) (nishi) and "single, piece" (片) (kata).
- Like Takagi, Nishikata's first name is never revealed in the manga or anime.
- Nishikata and Takagi have the same blood type - O.
- Nishikata likes cats and dogs.
- Nishikata is a huge fan of a romance series titled "100% Unrequited Love", which he secretly watches and reads.
- Nishikata's astrological sign is "Cancer," meaning he was born around 22st June to 22nd July.
- Nishikata dislikes green peppers. He is ticklish, especially around his ribs. He cannot handle bitter things like black coffee, which applies to him even when he becomes an adult. All these traits are also shared with his daughter, Chi.
- In the spin-off, his name was only seen and he was mentioned by Chi or Takagi. Nishikata did not make a physical debut until Chapter 7 (Moto).
- However, in the chapters he's absent in, he is either mentioned, or given a reference, or completely absent. The reason behind his absence in some chapters is probably due to the fact that he is a P.E. Teacher.
- Chapter 118 shows Nishikata's age, which means he entered middle school at 11 years old.
- It can be concluded that in the first year of study he turned 12, in the second - 13, in the third - 14.
|Main||Takagi • Nishikata|
|Supporting||Mano • Nakai • Sanae • Yukari • Mina • Takao • Kimura • Hamaguchi • Houjou • Tanabe-sensei|
|Minor||Sumire Takagawa • Tunnel Fisherman • Tunnel Fishergirl • Tunnel Misc • Principal • Mano's Friend • Class 4-2 Unnamed Girl|