Teasing Master Takagi-san Suddenly Leaps Into the Realm of Sci-Fi

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Teasing Master Takagi-san Season 3, Episode 4 segment, "UFO," now streaming on HIDIVE.

Teasing Master Takagi-san is usually one of the more relatable anime out there in terms of its setting. Since it focuses on a fairly average pair of middle schoolers, its plotlines rarely stray beyond the everyday antics that come with making fun of one's crush. Up until now, there has been no indication of superpowers, magic or anything remotely paranormal.

As such, viewers may be surprised to find that Episode 4 pulled back the veil to potentially uncover some strange happenings in Nishikata and Takagi's world, especially since it is revealed in the most nonchalant way possible.

Nishikata tries to make a rock look like a UFO in Teasing Master Takagi-san

In the episode's fourth segment, Nishikata and Takagi's classmate Takao shows off a staged photo of a UFO, which in reality was just a shiny object he threw into the air. Never one to miss out on something he finds cool, Nishikata enlists Takagi's aid to help him create his own imitation picture of an extraterrestrial spacecraft. After several rounds of their usual lighthearted banter, Nishikata takes one final image. While he's mesmerized by his phone, Takagi turns to spot an actual flying saucer in the sky above them before it zooms off, with Nishikata none the wiser.

On the surface, the moment may seem to be little more than just a quirky little side story to shake up the style of the duo's misadventures. Still, applying more comprehensive logic to the vignette completely changes some preconceived assumptions about the series as a whole. Although this is the first time the anime has presented anything so clearly out of the ordinary, the appearance of aliens opens the door to all kinds of abnormal possibilities.

Season 3's first episode contained what seemed to be an uncanny coincidence when Takagi preempted Nishikata's Jurassic Jack-in-the-Box due to a dream she had the night before. At the time, it appeared to be nothing more than a charming oddity to show how in sync the two are. However, now that supernatural elements have presented themselves in the form of UFOs, a precedent has been set that other paranormal occurrences could be real as well. As such, it's possible that Takagi's dream could be more of a premonition of things to come, including Nishikata's implied confession of his affections toward the end of it.

Aside from any speculation on what this means for the show internally, the segment also gives audiences an idea of what Nishikata and Takagi think when it comes to otherworldly phenomena. Thanks to his imaginative nature, Nishikata finds the magic in things like UFOs and believes in them wholeheartedly without hesitation. Takagi, on the other hand, admits that she is a little more skeptical, doubting things that seem too fantastical to be true. Nevertheless, she has no problem playing along with a thought experiment of what she and Nishikata would do respectively if they were aliens.

Teasing Master Takagi-san imitates Lum from Urusei Yatsura

In addition to fueling their cute chemistry, this leads to a quick cutaway of her posing as Lum from the classic alien anime Urusei Yatsura. The reference is not only a particularly savvy one but is also especially timely, as Urusei Yatsura is set to return to television later this year with a brand new anime. Its appearance in Teasing Master Takagi-san also seems to be an intentional homage to its comeback, as the allusion does not occur in the manga.

While this episode's quick anecdote is unlikely to lead to any long-lasting genre changes, it certainly highlights another instance of Nishikata's obliviousness. Hopefully, he starts paying closer attention to everything around him. After all, if he's unable to notice a real UFO when it flies right in front of him, he may never pick up on Takagi's hints about how she really feels.

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