Takagi (高木, Takagi) is the female protagonist in Karakai Jōzu no Takagi-san. She is a middle school student who is in the same class as Nishikata, a boy she constantly teases and secretly has feelings for. She is sweet, intelligent, clever, carefree, and fearless, whether she is with or without Nishikata.
Takagi is a young girl with a slender build and an average height. She has long, straight brown hair, which falls down to her upper back, with middle-parted bangs and two locks of hair framing her face on each side. She has large brown eyes, thin eyebrows, rosy cheeks, and a light complexion. She wears a spring/summer sailor uniform as her school outfit. During the autumn/winter, she wears a long-sleeve uniform with a red bow tie, blue skirt, black socks, and brown clogs. For P.E., she wears a shirt with red coloring around the cuffs and neck collar. The P.E. shirt also contains the reading 1-2 just like Nishikata's P.E. shirt. For swimming, she wears a blue leotard. She also wears casual clothing on weekends and on summer break.
As an adult in the spin-off manga, she pulls her hair back into a ponytail and tends to wear a dark T-shirt and jeans.
Takagi is a kind-hearted and caring person. She is often seen teasing and acting mischievously towards her classmate Nishikata, but she greatly cares for him and truly enjoys her time with him.
Takagi is seen to be very intelligent, consistently scoring higher grades on tests than her classmates. She wins most of her competitions against Nishikata, even though she doesn't seem to be a competitive person. Due to Nishikata's facial expressions and mannerisms, she is able to easily read his mind and follow-up on what he sees, does, and thinks. Moreover, she is not easily scared, as seen when Nishikata tries to scare her with frightening videos, and she barely reacts. Takagi is seen to be knowledgeable in myths, rumors, and romance stories, which she often uses to give hints to Nishikata. However, whether she actually believes in them is debatable. She can also be concerning at some times, as shown when she felt bad for Nishikata after he got hurt while trying to save her from stumbling.
Although, Takagi is known to strike first and strike back fairly easily, she can fake her emotions and mask her problems, even faking the joy of laughing and insulting Nishikata's failures and mistakes. She also gives a positive outward appearance to her classmates, even if she is facing emotional problems on her own. While she is usually calm and level-headed, Takagi occasionally loses her cool, especially when she's around Nishikata. When Nishikata tells her that he would rather walk home with her instead of playing video games with his friends, Takagi gets starstruck and has to regain her composure. Also, when asked by Nishikata to accompany him to the summer festival, Takagi becomes emotional, trembling and blushing as soon as Nishikata rides off on his bike.
As an adult, Takagi's personality changes very little. As a mother, she becomes more mature and responsible, while still retaining her love of teasing Nishikata. She still becomes flustered sometimes, such as when she overhears Nishikata call her "cute as a button," causing her to blush.
Nothing much is known about Takagi's history, but it was shown that she and Nishikata met on the first day of middle school, chronologically kick-starting the plot when Nishikata takes a lost handkerchief to the school's Lost and Found, which made him late when going to his designated classroom. After deciding the seating arrangements, she found herself seated right next to Nishikata himself and proceeds to ask him the reason for his lateness, in which he begrudgingly cites "that Takagi-san person" as the reason, unknowing of his seatmate's identity. She later realizes what she had lost before the entrance ceremony.
After the ceremony, Takagi proceeded to challenge Nishikata over guessing the specific reason as to why he was late, with Takagi guessing right and Nishikata getting scolded for his loud reaction. She then showed him the handkerchief, much to his shock.
Main article: Nishikata
Nishikata and Takagi are classmates and close friends that sit next to each other in class, both having a mutual crush on each other. She teases him on a daily basis and find Nishikata's reactions to be hilarious, much to Nishikata's frustration. Although it is out of love, Nishikata is oblivious to her true feelings and brushes off the idea of Takagi having romantic feelings for him. Aside from teasing, they are shown to genuinely enjoy being with each other and even have many of the same interests in terms of the manga and TV shows that they like. Takagi can also easily read Nishikata's mind due to his obvious facial expressions and their common interests. It is easy for Takagi to know what Nishikata is thinking and see through his act. This allows her to foil his challenges and understand him very well in everyday matters.
Even through all of the banter and challenges, there are times when Takagi tries to have genuine romantic and wholesome experiences with Nishikata, but he struggles to let his guard down in fear of being teased. Takagi has a crush on Nishikata, but just like Nishikata, she is not ready to confess yet as she is still young and at school age. Often, Takagi's teases also served as romantic hints to Nishikata to see whether he would reciprocate her feelings, and to test Nishikata's boundaries and responses to her actions. Despite the shy personality of Nishikata and her constant teasing, Nishikata and Takagi are very close friends and enjoy each other's company.
Many instances show that she has a crush on Nishikata. One instance is when shown on Takagi's eraser, Nishikata is shocked when he sees the first letter on the eraser isn't 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. Another instance is when Takagi had an argument with her mom about their family trip date, which disallowed her from going to the Summer Festival with Nishikata. This made her feel down and helpless. It also led to her refraining from teasing Nishikata at school that day. Nishikata was the only one who was aware of how she was actually feeling. Takagi was surprised to see Nishikata when she was spacing out at the temple. Nishikata's surprise box comforted her, and made her recognize that Nishikata was a special friend who saw through and was concerned about her feelings. She was appreciative towards Nishikata's efforts, which made her flustered and happy to the point that she requested Nishikata to stay with her and let her tease him, causing him to get frustrated and making her laugh. Takagi also has a tendency to romantically interpret Nishikata's actions, even if it is only her wishful thinking and results in Nishikata getting teased. Examples include Nishikata having a meal with her, sharing an umbrella with her on their way home, attempting to drop her honorific, holding her hand and pulling her to save her from falling into a river, holding her hand to help her down the stairs and to prevent her from getting separated from him, and even when he failed the arm-strength test as he imagined himself holding her own hand. In the manga, multiple chapters also saw Takagi flustered by Nishikata's actions, such as when he offered to walk her home at late night, and when he hugged and moved her away to prevent her from potentially getting hit by a falling box. Some of Takagi's classmates also suspected, or even acknowledged her and Nishikata to be in a romantic relationship with each other. At one point, Yukari, Sanae and Mina tailed Takagi and Nishikata after school, but lost them when they hid behind a bush. Sanae also once asked Takagi if she was going out with Nishikata, which Takagi denied. On the other hand, Mano is aware that Takagi and Nishikata have feelings for each other, thus often refrained from disturbing their lone time.
While it is heavily implied that Nishikata also has a crush on her, Takagi shows a lot more initiative than Nishikata in building closer mutual intimacy. Takagi is able to read Nishikata's thoughts very easily due to Nishikata's obvious emotional expressions, and thus is able to plan her actions for Nishikata accordingly. Examples include her giving non-obligatory chocolate to Nishikata on Valentine's Day, buying a cake and a birthday present for Nishikata. These actions won Nishikata's appreciation. Moreover, Takagi's many actions, such as asking Nishikata whether he wants to be in the same class with her in junior year, asking Nishikata whether he wants to walk home together from school are proof that Takagi took higher initiative in enhancing her relationship with Nishikata. Takagi was also notable in readily calling Nishikata's name without an honorific - something Nishikata could not bring himself to do in return. In terms of physical intimacy, Takagi's boundaries are a lot more relaxed than Nishikata's - on numerous occasions, she encouraged Nishikata to hold her hand and feed her. She also did not worry about any indirect kisses with Nishikata. Takagi also tickles Nishikata's ribs very often, and told Nishikata that her armpits are ticklish. She also invited Nishikata to go shopping with her so he could help her pick a swimsuit. While Nishikata often believes Takagi's shows of intimacy are only teases, he eventually accepts them into his relationship with Takagi.
In many cases, Takagi's actions, questions and speeches towards Nishikata also provided opportunities for him to show his reciprocation of her feelings, thus genuinely encouraging Nishikata to take initiative and be more active to build a romantic relationship with her, and even to admit to himself that he likes her. Takagi thus constantly observes and tests Nishikata's feelings and boundaries for her during her teases and conversations with him. In Season 1, Episode 10, Takagi hinted to Nishikata that she wanted him to be the one to ask her to walk home with him, allowing Nishikata to take initiative for once and to implicitly assure herself that her feelings are mutual. Despite feeling teased and embarassed, Nishikata succeeded in asking Takagi to walk home with him. Then, as early as Season 2, Episode 8, Takagi already revealed to Nishikata many details about what she would do if she won a lottery - going on a vacation with her crush and enjoying time with him at the Summer Festival, which led to Nishikata wondering about her intentions and almost inviting her out to the Summer Festival. Later, in Season 2, Episode 11, instead of being the one to invite Nishikata to go to the Summer Festival with her, Takagi told Nishikata she had no plans on the day of the Festival, and would go to the Festival if he would invite her. Her goal of getting Nishikata to invite her out was eventually achieved. Takagi also implicitly asked Nishikata to reciprocate her feelings when they were stargazing in the field trip, when she referenced the Tanabata myth, asking Nishikata to cross the Milky Way to meet her. While Takagi genuinely has a crush on Nishikata and readily admits it to herself, she finds it difficult to seriously confess to him and also wishes Nishikata to reciprocate her feelings more often. This may explain the numerous occasions where Takagi left romantic hints for Nishikata, leaving him to ponder on her intentions and feelings, and possibly to take initiative. As the storyline progressed, Nishikata became more intimate with Takagi, thus assuring Takagi that when necessary and encouraged, Nishikata could take his own initiative in building a closer relationship with her.
Takagi is also very emotionally attached to Nishikata. Apart from her daily mischief towards Nishikata and Nishikata's humorous reactions which made her joyful, Takagi also showed noticeable unhappiness without Nishikata's close presence at school in several instances. For example, Takagi was noticeably unhappy when Nishikata did not show up for class. Her unhappiness later turned to worry when she found out Nishikata caught a cold. During the class' seat change, Takagi was also melancholic when she realized she might not be able to sit next to Nishikata. Takagi was also upset and disappointed when she and Nishikata were separated during the Summer Festival, leading to her watching the fireworks display alone. In all unhappy instances, Takagi always recovered when she has Nishikata accompanying her again, or when Nishikata intentionally or unintentionally makes up for her. Takagi also admitted to Nishikata that he is the only person she teases. These instances show that Takagi sees Nishikata as a very important person in her everyday life.
Takagi has also showed that she cared for Nishikata's well-being on several occasions. Apart from giving non-obligatory chocolate on Valentine's Day and buying a cake and present for Nishikata on his birthday, Takagi was also worried when Nishikata fell and got hurt in Season 1, Episode 6, giving him her own handkerchief as bandage. Season 1, Episode 4 also saw Takagi refraining from her usual teasing as Nishikata got a cold, expressing her concerns over whether Nishikata got a fever when his face turned red. In Season 2, Episode 8, Takagi also noticed Nishikata's kneecap was bleeding after Nishikata tried to set up a trap for her in the P.E. storage room, but tripped and fell. She applied antiseptic for Nishikata and treated his wound, despite his initial protests. To Nishikata's surprise, Takagi was so careful and gentle in applying the antiseptic that it did not cause him pain in the process.
Overall, at school age, Takagi has a very close relationship with Nishikata. However, Takagi also feels concerned that Nishikata may not be able to reciprocate her feelings as he is too embarrassed to do so. The numerous banters, teases and conversations are not only enjoyable for Takagi due to their hilarity, but also purposeful and evocative as she gives numerous romantic hints to test Nishikata, in hope of both expressing her feelings and that Nishikata could reciprocate them. Takagi also understands that she could not seriously confess to Nishikata, as she admitted to herself that she did not have the courage to do so when it really mattered. Regardless, this does not seem to bother Takagi much as she appreciates Nishikata's kindness and is always there for her.
Main article: Mano
Mano and Takagi are good friends and classmates. Takagi also encourages Mano to be more assertive towards Nakai as shown in the pool chapters. In Chapter 93, Mano asks Takagi for more relationship advice with Nakai, in which Takagi shares some of the strategies she uses on Nishikata. Mano's relationship with Nakai served as a comparison with the relationship between Takagi and Nishikata, with the two couples often doing very similar activities. In several instances, Mano suggested to Nakai that they should not disturb Takagi and Nishikata's lone time with each other, thus often seen dragging Nakai away from interacting with them.
Main article: Sumire Takagawa
Sumire is one of the first friends Takagi makes in middle school and is one of Takagi's closest friends. The two are frequently seen hanging out with each other both in and out of school. In Chapter 48, Takagi meets Sumire after introductions and the two bond over their love of going on walks. Although it is very likely that Sumire, as Takagi's close friend, knows of Takagi's feelings towards Nishikata, this is never confirmed.
Main article: Chi Nishikata
The surname Takagi means "tall, high" (高) (taka) and "tree, wood" (木) (ki).
- Takagi's first name is never revealed in the manga or anime.
- Takagi likes going for walks and reading manga.
- It was mentioned during the field trip that Takagi is actually quite popular with the boys.
- Weakness: Ticklish armpits and tempting to tease Nishikata.
- In Chapter 11, it is noted that Takagi is ranked tenth in her grade.
- Chapter 96 reveals that Takagi hates energy drinks.
- The adult Takagi is shown at the start of Episode 7 of Season 2 before the cutscene, gazing fondly at their class camping trip photo.
- Takagi has an O blood type.
- She shares the same blood type from Nishikata.
|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|