Teasing Master Takagi-san 😝 ・ Volume 1, chapter 3

meh. sorry all, I’ll have to figure out the hiding thing.

even more edit: this is why copy-paste rules over typing. a silly slash backslash issue. hmpf. sorry folks.

more off topic

fair enough. I just thought the concept might inspire someone. it would inspire me, only my grammar level is far too sub-zero to make sense. maybe a blog type online book somewhere on tofugu might be an option, with links to all the online resources mentioned, or similar. with publisher permissions, of course :crazy_face:
anyway I totally see your point re. time investment vs economic aspects and interest in outcome.

Indeed, I know (and read) some Mangajin, and I was super disappointed to find out it was discontinued a long time ago. Japanese the Manga Way is the only grammar book I own. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do the trick for me - whatever I read is fun and makes sense, but doesn’t stick very well. For reasons I can’t quite figure out. Linking corresponding grammar aspects to one single book therefore seemed more appealing to me, rather than linking several manga excerpts to a particular grammar aspect. kind of full immersion grammar learning from scratch. which is what I’m now trying to achieve by lurking in here.
The problem might be a wanikani specific one, though - having down a lot of vocab but building phrases like Tarzan…

so in a nutshell, I agree, it’s probably not worth the time and effort. yet, maybe someone with time on their hands feels like giving it a shot anyway.

thanks for the detailed reply and sharing your point of view!

Still off-topic!

Absolutely. I’ve dabbled in it myself, trying to do a page by page breakdown. The problem for me has been that trying to write it as “grammar from scratch” is difficult when you’re being hit with higher level grammar in the first few pages. I’ve tried various takes on it, but nothing has felt like it would work out.

The reason I feel it works for the book clubs here is that there’s an expectation that readers have the most basic grammar knowledge going in, or that if they don’t that they’ll be learning it in a disjointed manner. Perhaps anyone trying to do an “immersion with (manga title) guide” would have to lean into that. Don’t try to explain everything on the first go. Allow parts to be glossed over initially, and explained in more detail when the grammar comes up again.

I’d love to see an end result, though!


Haven’t checked in for this week yet, but I think I will be doing the same thing as some others and foregoing the line-by-line translations and just asking some questions on things I had doubts about. I’ve read up to page 10 so far so I will continue to ask questions as I come to them while I’m reading (some questions I had on the earlier pages were answered already in this thread).


If Takagi-san intends to tease me then I’ll have patience until she calls out to me.

For a while now there have been many different uses of the volitional form that didn’t seem to fit my understanding of it as a way to suggest something. I found this page that seems to explain many more uses of the volitional form past the “let’s…” construction. I wanted to make sure that my interpretation of the volitional here was correct.


「何をしようとしてるのかと思ったら… つまんないなー」
When I was thinking about what you were trying to do… how boring~

This doesn’t sound right to me. The 思ったら is throwing me off, but I can’t seem to find any information about any use cases for ~たら outside of it being used as a conditional. From what I understand about this case specifically, you could replace 思ったら with 思っていた and it would basically mean the same thing, so why was たら chosen in this case?


I’m not very good with translation but here is how I interpreted the meaning. I hope more experienced readers would correct me if I’m mistaken.



ごまかそう – ごまかす in volitional form
ごまかそうとする – trying to dodge [the question]
ごまかそうとするってこと – since [you are] trying to dodge
ごまかそうとするってことはそうなんだな – since [you are] trying to dodge [the question] it’s that way right…

In the context, Takai is trying to find out if Nishikata likes Takagi, so he is saying something that means “since [you are] trying to dodge [the question], it’s that way (you like Takagi) right…”


I find that very often it helps deciphering sentences backwards, starting from the end. At the end we have ガマンするんだ, (It is) that I will be patient. The まで before that bundles everything else into the event until which he’s going to be patient. Now is when it gets a little more complicated for me. I think that volitional+と+verb gives a meaning of intention, so オレをからかおうと声をかける would be she starts talking in order to tease me, with the intention to tease me . Now the くる at the end of all this probably signifies the event coming towards him in time, or in free translation “until the moment comes when she speaks intending to tease me”.

This one keeps throwing me off. I’ve read that たら is more on the when side of the when…if spectrum (conditionals can often be expressed with when in English too, after all, can’t they?), especially when used in the past. But there seem to be uses that don’t even require a “when” translation. It doesn’t seem to always translate directly. There is a grammar point for かと思ったら specifically, where it means “just when”, but that doesn’t seem to apply here. It doesn’t help that the doer/subject of the sentence is left vague too. Is Nishikata or Takagi the one doing the thinking?

Attempt at breakdown

何をしようとしてる - What (you) were trying to do
のかと思う - I’m thinking this か adds a wondering element, so thinking about/wondering about?
思ったら when/if thought
つまんないなー boring (wondering to myself)
I wonder if this な may be the key. “I thought to myself it’s boring, when I considered what you were trying to do” maybe?


Just finished the chapter - what am I going to use all this extra free time for now haha. The answer is more studying

Nishikata’s internal monologues definitely are the real tests here I think, I did breakdowns of two of them - both from page 11 - to aid me in understanding, but as usual I think it would be good for someone to look through and correct anything I may have got wrong. There’s also a little bit I’m not sure how to interpret in the second one. Otherwise I hope these can help people:

Chapter page 11 breakdown one

笑わせようとしてる相手 = partner/opponent in trying to make (subject) laugh
I think here it makes most sense as something like “my opponent who I am trying to make laugh” given the context of the rest of the sentence
に = I’ve seen this termed as the particle of establishment and I like that phrasing - it’s establishing the idea of the opponent who Nishikata is trying to make laugh to be used in the rest of the setnence
どうやったら how (can)
笑えるか = make (subject) laugh?
どうやったら笑えるか = how can (someone) make (someone) laugh - the か here indicating an internal question in the clause
を = direct object marker - the question of how to make someone laugh is the object
指導される = recieving guidance (from partner in trying to make someone laugh?)
って = here I believe this is functioning as a topic marker of sorts (you could also consider it as modifying the following noun phrase with what precedes it - ie: なんか屈辱 is modified by everything before the って)
笑わせようとしてる相手にどうやったら笑えるかを指導されるって = recieving guidance in how to make someone laugh from my opponent who I am trying to make laugh
なんか屈辱 = somehow embarassing
笑わせようとしてる相手にどうやったら笑えるかを指導されるって・・・なんか屈辱 = recieving guidance in how to make someone laugh from my opponent who I am trying to make laugh… it’s somehow embarassing

Chapter page 11 breakdown two

いや、いいさ!= No, this is fine!
高木さんが笑って = Takagi-san laughs (with 笑って being conjuctive)
先生に怒られさえすれば = as long as (subject) recieves anger from the teacher
I’m going to guess that Takagi-san carries over as subject so now you have:
高木さんが笑って、先生に怒られさえすれば = as long as Takagi-san laughs and recieves anger from the teacher
The only thing I’m not entirely sure on is the オレは on the end. Is it a contrastive は? So it’d be following on from the conditional clause like “then I, on the other hand-”


I cheated a bit with DeepL to get the jist of these, but I’m still a bit unsure of some things in last 2 bubbles on page 6.

Page 6 Bubble 3

「いいぞ、うまい具合に怒ると一番怖い 田辺先生だ。」
Good, happily Tanabe-sensei is scariest (no. 1 scary?) when angry.

I think と is quoting just 「怒る」 (to get angry) and not the 「うまい具合に」 before it, which seems to just be an interjection before the rest of the sentence? A bit unsure about 「一番」 meaning “most” but it seems to fit.

Page 6 Bubble 4

「オレの変顔で 爆笑して たっぷり怒られろ 高木さん。」
With my funny face, there will be plenty of roaring laughter and I will make Takagi-san angry.

Wasn’t sure how to translate 「怒られろ」. It’s the imperative form of “to get angry” I think? Does that translate to “I will make angry” here?


For the first one, from my understanding I think the と is actually a conditional:


怒る = to get angry = statement X
と = conditional = when/if [statement X] is fulfilled, [statement Y]
一番怖い 田辺先生だ = Tanabe-sensei is the no.1 scariest (most scary - something to that effect) = statement Y
so when statement X is true, statement Y becomes true
or in other words “when Tanabe-sensei becomes angry, he is the number 1 scariest”

I might be wrong with this bit, so someone can correct me if so
The うまい具合に I believe can be treated separately because of the に - if you break down the phrase you can see that うまい is something like “favorable” and 具合 = conditions - so the に establishes that conditions are favorable

And for the second since it’s in the passive it implies receiving so rather than “will make angry” I think it’s more along the lines of “will make receive anger”

If anything I’ve said here is wrong, someone more knowledgeable can correct me


Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. I completely forgot that と can be used as conditional.

I think you’re right about 「怒られろ」. So it’s both passive and imperative. Just to break it down as much as I can because I’m still getting used to all this conjugation:

  • 怒る - To get angry (godan verb)
  • 怒ら - あ-stem
  • 怒られる - Passive (あ-stem + れる). “receive anger”
  • 怒られ - Stem (れる is an ichidan helper verb)
  • 怒られろ - Passive + imperative (previous + ろ). “Make receive anger”

Just finished the chapter and reading through the thread to make sure I don’t double-up on questions that have already been answered. For what it’s worth, I second @VikingSchism on the breakdown requests on Pg. 11. We seem to have almost word-for-word the same breakdown and questions regarding those two sentences. :stuck_out_tongue:

For the rest, I’m just going to stick with doing things the same way as last time, only listing the things I am not confident on, page by page. 始めましょう!

Pg. 5

「オレに… こんな才能があったなんて…」
“(I didn’t know) I have such a talent…”

So, while I’m confident about getting the gist of the sentence (Nishikata realises he has the talent to make funny faces), I’m less confident about how I got there, since the way the sentence would break down for me would be:

オレに = I
こんな才能が = such a talent, with the が subject marker
あったなんて = there exists

And actually, just writing out, I’ve changed my mimd about my translation, and think I answered my own question. I’ll leave it in the post in case somebody else finds my silly ramblings useful. The better translation is likely:

“Within me… exists such a talent…”

Both sentences get the point across, but the latter is definitely the closer translation, if maybe slightly more awkward English (but I care more about the Japanese accuracy than it sounding good in English, personally.)

Pg. 7

“Alright, come on, Takagi-san, I am full of mistakes.”

Not confident in this at all. Maybe he is trying to make himself look vulnerable to bait her? I’m not sure how else to interpret that sentence.

Pg. 11

Besides the breakdowns mentioned above, I have one part I don’t really get.

“Hold your face tightly as is, then give more of an impression with your eyes.”

I get she is just coaching him through the funny face, but that instruction doesn’t really mean much to me with how I was able to translate it. What was she getting at?

Pg. 16

“Let’s have a staring contest.”

I have no idea what the「あーっぷっ」is supposed to be in that sentence. I am not even positive if those are supposed to be small つ or large.

“When Takagi-san makes my heart beat, nothing good comes of it.”

This is one that I’m really not positive of. I’m going to try and break it down again and see if that clears it up, but I’ll probably need an outside opinion, please.

高木さんに = Takagi-san with the establishing particle (not unlike on Pg. 11)
ドキドキした= to thrill, to excite, to palpitate. I took the last meaning
ロクな = satisfactory, I believe, though not 100%
コト = thing, intangible sense. We talked a bit about in the chapter 2 discussion thread.
ない = negation.

So literally:

“In regards to Takagi san making my heart beat, when that happens, satisfactory things don’t.”

I just cleaned it up in my initial translation and took some liberties. Am I correct or does somebody know something I missed?

As always, thank you everyone involved in the book club. This is super fun and informative!


For page 7:


So, ignoring the initial interjection you’ve got the first bit:
Which I would say would somewhat literally translate as “to come is good, Takagi-san”, or in clearer english “come on, Takagi-san” like you say
Next you have:
隙 here is probably the word that’s giving trouble in interpreting - one possible definition of it was chinks in one’s armour, which I think fits best here - which would then make it more like “I’m full of vulnerabilities/openings” (ie: opportunities to be teased)


There was a typo in your quote, it’s もっと instead of もうと。So I read it as hold you face more tightly as is, and put more power in your eyes (as in squeeze them more strongly?).

I have absolutely no idea either. It is a small つ though, that’s for sure. This is merely a guess, mind, but I think we can safely ignore the ー as a quirk in the way she speaks at the time, because all her words have it. Then あっぷ tends to sound like the English “up”, and I wonder whether it’s just a word that begins the game. I’m probably waaay off though.


I think - and again I could be way off here, it’s her starting to laugh in order to set Nishikata off


It was driving me crazy, so a quick search for 睨めっこ on YouTube gave me the answer. Apparently you always start this game with a song (which accounts for all the lengthened vowels in Takagi’s speech), and the song ends with あっぷっぷ, whereupon you make a face to make the other person laugh. Here’s a short video with the song, but you can find longer ones with families playing it too.


Ah, yeah, that was a typing error as opposed to a reading error, this time. I am on mobile and use the keyboard where you swipe each kana in different directions (it has a name that completely left my mind, but it resembles T9 keyboards on old phones), and the う and つ are close to each other. It causes me grief in my WaniKani reviews all the time. -.-

That interpretation does make sense. Thank you!

Ahhhh, that definitely clears it up. I was wondering why it was all elongated, but sort of just instinctively read it as sing-songy. (I had intended to end my English translation of the sentence with a ~ to indicate that, but didn’t for some reason. My handwritten notes included it, though.) Would never have gotten the あっぷっぷ bit without help though. I didn’t have much luck just searching that bit; didn’t even think to include the staring contest in with the search, which was silly of me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks again!

Edit: Flick input was the term I was searching for with the keyboard.


In this case, I would use the 相手(あいて) translation “other party”. Imagine you’re in a conversation with another person. To you, the other person is 相手. And the them, you are 相手.

In the case of Nishikawa, he’s thinking not in terms of being in a conversation with Takagi, but there’s still the communication dynamic where he’s trying to get her to laugh.

That said, I can see where the “opponent” meaning can make sense as well. I’ve found 相手 to be one of those words where it really helps to see it used in various contexts in order to develop a feel for its meaning, and I’m still working on getting used to these different uses.

I think your translations look good.

It’s almost like the mangaka wants us to struggle. Looking at the art’s not enough to derive context from. Now we need to learn about cultural childrens’ games and stuff!


Finished this chapter! I did hit a few bumps, but I think I got the main gist of the rest of the chapter. My only uncertainties were with some of Nishikata’s internal thoughts.


「いや、いいさ! 高木さんが笑って先生に怒られさえすればオレは!!」
No, this is good! As long as Takagi-san laughs and the teacher gets angry at her!!

さえすれば is a set expression meaning something like “all you have to do; as long as; if only”
What is the オレは at the end supposed to be conveying?

I’d like to see just the kind of face Takagi makes at the end of the chapter, but maybe that’s better left to the reader’s imagination.


I strongly suspect this is an instance of the classic Japanese unfinished sentence - as long as it can be inferred from context, it seems it’s usually left unsaid. So the implication would most probably be that “No, it’s fine. As long as Takagi laughs and receives anger from the teacher, I (will be content).”


You know that feeling when you close your computer for the weekend and come back on Monday to tons of notifications and you’re group project half done? :stuck_out_tongue:
Damn you guys are efficient! Great job everyone! Love reading through everything.


That’s why, it’s different, I say.
Incontinence, I’ve grown out of it a while back, I keep telling you.
What about incontinence, Nishikata?
N-nothing. It’s nothing. (Q: ありません → lit. “It doesn’t exist”. Is it common to use it to say “it’s nothing”?)
You’re an idiot.
ムキになっちゃって。(Q: What’s the texture added by changing part of the verb to katakana here? 向 is a fairly common kanji, so why katakana over that kanji?)
I’m just getting started. (Q: Not sure who’s the subject here. I went with Takagi.)


That Takagi-san
What should I do to win against Takagi-san? What to do? (NB: Just learned 勝, but didn’t recognize it because the scribbles are too small :T)
How to think up something good? I…
Oh, Nishikara what are you looking at in the mirror?
Nakai… (NB: The classmate’s name)


Practicing your facial expressions? (Q: Having trouble placing でも here. If it has the meaning of “but” I’d expect both halves to hold different tones. Yet the literal translation I have is more like “Practicing faces, but you’re going at it aren’t you?” which doesn’t make much sense)
So a weird face then?
I see… let’s do it…
By the way, about you, you’re awfully close to Takagi-san, aren’t you. (Q: I thought it was custom to use がる when speaking of people’s feelings, so as to respect other people’s inner thoughts. Is this not the same for relationships? Or is Nakai being pretty blunt here?)
Is it? (Q/Answered: Don’t know what this is supposed to be. I’d say “are we?” if the following panels didn’t imply he was lost in his own thoughts thinking of vengeance with weird faces.)


Nishikata, could it be you and Takagi-san are…
Interesting! This… I’m good at!
The whole manipulation thing, it’s like that I’m sure. (Q/Answered: Unsure of the first half)
Nishikata! You really like Takagi-san…
(Boo! Or another scary onomatopoeia maybe.)
What the hell Nishikata, that face!
I… had this sort of skill… (Q: Are こんな and なんて doing the same role in the sentence, repeating “something like this”?)


I actually watched a video related to this recently related to the different ways of saying “but”

To quickly go over the relevant info - ても as a conjunction meaning “but” tends to come at the start of sentences. When used inside sentences it means something a little different - I think here “or something” fits