Teasing Master Takagi-san (Eps 4-6)

After all this time, I’ve gotten through to episode 6 of Teasing Master Takagi-san!

Man, Nishikata just makes this anime so difficult to watch. He’s just obtuse to levels I feel like shouldn’t be possible, and his pettiness knows no bounds. The only thing going for him is his ability to get over his constant defeats without too much issue.

Anyways, like last time I’ll try to throw in a little commentary here regarding Japan based on what I saw in these three episodes. And like last time, I watched these with no subtitles, only using my dictionary every once in a while.

Episode 4

Shorts

It’s been a while since I actually watched this one, but the part that stuck out for me was just when Takagi and Nishikata were at the park using that bar, which I don’t even know what you’d call it in English. Mainly because of how Nishikata seemed to think that he was going to see Takagi’s panties when peeking at her while she did it, only to see that she was wearing shorts underneath.

I feel like in real life, the real unexpected situation would be if she wasn’t wearing shorts. At least in the schools I teach at, both junior high schools (reminder Takagi and Nishikata are 1st years in junior high school), it’s normal. And why do I know that? Because they don’t hesitate to get changed in class, both when they have P.E. immediately after English, or if they have just come back from P.E. and English is next. Only at my schools, they typically wear their track pants over the shorts, not their skirts, which they don’t actually wear while at school, only while commuting to and from it.

And by the way, the boys also wear shorts underneath their track pants, not just the girls.

Basically, I think it’s pretty normal for everyone to wear shorts underneath so that they can quickly and easily get changed in class for P.E. and for cleaning time at the end of the day.

To be fair to Nishikata, Takagi did ask him to look away, which kind of signals that she isn’t wearing shorts underneath or something like this.

English

Not a big one here, but I thought it was funny how we’ve somehow gone from the students learning the past tense verb form in previous episodes to the students learning more basic grammar like “This is” and “That is”. Which is likely what they would be learning at this point, unlike the past tense that seemed to come way too early.

We’re past summer break now and the first years have actually just learned “This is” and “That is” grammar recently.

Episode 5

The Library

We see Nishikata doing his best to study in the library, when Takagi arrives and offers to help him.

Now, I don’t know the size of this school, but considering we aren’t in a large city, and instead in a mountainside / seaside city / town, I can’t imagine the school is that large. I don’t remember it seeming very large, although I don’t know if we’ve seen how many classes there are in the school.

All I’ll say is that it’s not very common for students to sit and study / do homework in the library in my schools. I’ve never seen it happen, anyways. In one of the schools I teach at the library doesn’t even have a place for students to sit, it’s just books on display and whatnot.

Personally, I never used the library for studying or anything like that when I was around the age of these students, and only really did so in high school onwards – mainly because in high school, we didn’t have our own “desk”, as we had to move between various classes every period. So you pretty much had to go to the library if you wanted to study or do homework at school in-between / after classes.

Meanwhile, in Japanese schools, including high school, students are assigned to a class and that’s it. So they actually do have their own desk that they can always go to.

That said, I guess this depends on the school. And, there are some reasons you’d still go to the library that I can think of. Like, if you have friends in other classes, you can meet up in the library to do homework together or whatever. Or if the classroom is really loud, or being used for something.

Test Scores

I’ll just outright say that it’s not uncommon for Japanese students to get really brutal marks on tests. Like, you may think it’s an anime exaggeration when you see students scoring less than 50%, sometimes even only getting around 2%, but it can and does happen. And particularly in English, it’s very common for a class average to be around 50% after a test. As for other subjects, I do know of some cases of pretty brutal marks.

It was really strange for me to see this, because I feel like even the worst students I went to school with would at least manage to tiptoe above the 50%.

But there are a few reasons for this, I believe.

First off, here in Japan (I assume, as every JHS I know of does this, and I suspect HS is similar) tests aren’t just scattered about like they were for me back home. Instead, they’re all scheduled on the same day. For JHS students, this means they have a math, Japanese, English, social studies, and science test all in one day.

Naturally, this means that it’s much harder to study for your tests, because you can’t just focus on that one math test for Tuesday, and then afterwards study for that science test on Friday. You have to study for everything. Which is also why we see the commentary in anime where students talk about what subjects they prioritized studying, like “I’m really bad at English so I have to study English”.

The second reason why some students get by with abysmal grades is because they can. Unlike in Canada, where students can actually be held back, here they can’t. Which means they move on regardless of what their grades are. Because JHS is compulsory education here (fun fact HS isn’t), they just push kids through the system. If they fail in one or many subjects, they still get pushed through. Which is why some of the 3rd year students at my schools still only have the English ability of a 1st year (or worse), and are lucky to score more than 20% on tests.

I thought that the education system was going to be more strict here, because I had this idea in my head that Japanese education is very… I don’t know, disciplined? But in reality, it’s very lax. High school may be a little different, because it’s not compulsory, but JHS is very lax.

I don’t actually know if there’s anything grade-wise that can cause a student to truly fail and be held back or whatever. I may be a little off about this, but it’s what I’ve been told, and what I’ve seen, anyways. Some private schools may be different from this.

The whole motivation of “having to pass” in order to not be held back a year while all your friends move on just isn’t as much of an issue here (at least in JHS). I also don’t think students can skip grades here either, like they can back in Canada.

Note that circle = correct, and checkmark = incorrect in Japan.

Episode 6

Vending Machine Waste Bin

This is just a small comment, but I’ve never actually seen an open, metal / mesh waste bin for cans from a vending machine like the one we’ve seen a few times now in Teasing Master Takagi-san. Maybe it’s just my prefecture, although I never saw one in Tokyo either (not that I was particularly looking). I feel like an open bin like that would just attract bugs, birds, animals and whatnot. I don’t really know though.

Here, if there even is a bin, it’s usually for PET bottles (plastic bottles), and it’s just a solid plastic bin with a lid that has a hole in the front you can stick your bottle in.

I don’t know, this isn’t a big deal, but I do wonder if that metal / mesh, open bin is around somewhere.

Research Project

I figured I had to at least bring up one Japanese word I learned while watching this.

And it was the name of a bit featuring those three girls: 自由研究 (じゆうけんきゅう).

I knew the two words that make this up, 自由 (じゆう) meaning “freedom / liberty”, and 研究 (けんきゅう) meaning “study / research / investigation”. So when I saw them together, I was thinking something like “freedom study”? But yeah, it turns out the word means “research project”. And in this case, it was referring to the students’ summer research project, part of their summer homework.

First Day

The other one I’ll just toss in here is 初日 (しょにち) which I immediately understood, as the kanji individually mean “first” and “day”. I’d just never seen them used together to mean “first day”. It’s certainly easier than “最初の日” which is probably what I would have said if asked how to say “first day” prior to learning this.


Anyways, that’s all for these three episodes. I thought that I wouldn’t have much to write, but I ended up writing quite a bit here.

As much as I don’t really like the anime, there are some interesting things there, and it truly is a good anime for practicing my Japanese listening ability. Basic and straightforward enough that I’ve been able to make it this far while only looking up words here and there. Which makes it good for picking up some new words here and there as well.

I’ll get to the next three episodes eventually, hopefully.

Until then,
Thanks for reading.

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