「二人乗り / 夏休み初日 / 肝試し / 自由研究 / 水道」 (Futarinori / Natsuyasumi Shonichi / Kimodameshi / Jiyuukenkyuu / Suidou)
“Tandem Riding / First Day of Summer Vacation / Test of Courage / Summer Science Project / Water Tap”
Takagi-san celebrates reaching the halfway point in style as the kids reach Summer break, and Takagi takes it upon herself to plan out fun, inventive ways to get under Nishikata’s skin. Whereas many of her pranks so far have wavered between flirting with Nishikata and ruining his academic life, Summer vacation lets us see a new side of Takagi’s cunning tricks; ones that are done for both her and Nishikata’s entertainment. To kill time during the break, she took it upon herself to plan out activities for her and Nishikata to do to pass the time that isn’t spent doing homework.
The most impressive series of pranks she’s done was in an abandoned tunnel that she crafted into a haunted attraction for Nishikata to explore. Her idea for giving him a test of courage might be to leave props around the tunnel like a talisman, an empty drum, and a plate, but she got very creative with how to utilize all of these to scare Nishikata. She even projected that he was going to use the crack in the wall for the old “my hand is stuck” gag by surprising him instead by disguising herself as a wandering spirit. In fact, quite a few of her practical jokes in this episode was hiding somewhere and jump-scaring him, such as when she greeted him upon her return from a family trip by catching him by surprise, which was always equally funny and adorable to see.
Takagi wanting to keep Nishikata busy during Summer break tested the limits of his bravery, but there were good intentions to most of what she did during this period. She organized a training regimen for Nishikata to drive her on a bicycle, and even got him to keep up with their scheduled meet-ups to practice sharing a bike. When he lost his bet and had to get her a drink, she ended up treating him to a can too so that they can have juice together without him worrying about the lack of funds he has for his own. The last segment also became this when she had Nishikata wash off the scrape he got from falling over in an attempt to prevent her from falling. She caught on right away to why he got it, and was genuinely appreciative of it, wanting him to wash himself off and join her in stepping in the sink area.
Summer vacation wasn’t just a chance for us to see what Takagi and Nishikata were up to as our student trio was toiling away at their homework on break. Correction; only Yukari was toiling away at her homework, while Sanae and Mina were off doing their own thing. It was nice to see Mina and Sanae work together as their common ground in defying Yukari’s studious schedule bring them closer in their mutual interest in making her angry. Yukari catches on to how similar they ended up as they both go for novelty popsicle flavors like consomme and kelp, and would rather read manga and rely on each other for getting their work done than bring their homework or study notes to be academically productive on break. Their constant agreements with what they think of Yukari’s rigidity was hilarious as they made their contempt of studying way too transparent for her not to notice. Takagi did have the most memorable segments in this episode with how her hangouts with Nishikata had more substance to them than being focused on studying, but the trio’s relationship is still engaging, and it is great to see how well they work as friends with Yukari trying to reign in Mina and Sanae’s eccentricities and general laziness.