First Look: Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro

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Alternative title(s): Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san
Manga Adaptation by Telecom Animation Film
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

An extremely shy young man gets aggressively teased by an underclassman, who happens to be a cute girl!

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Jel’s verdict: No thanks

Unless the thought of getting verbally berated and stepped on by a little anime girl appeals to you, there’s not much reason to watch Nagatoro. In fact, I’m not even sure it’s good for that. The actual content of this episode is more tame than I expected aside from one bit where Nagatoro opens her shirt, and one really weird scene where they zoom into sad sack main guy’s eyeball as she soaks up his tears with a handkerchief. Is that some kind of sex thing I’m not aware of? I’m not really up on what the kids are into these days.

While there’s not much happening explicitly on screen, there is definitely some sado-masochistic sexual tension between Nagatoro, sad sack main guy, and the audience. This is most obviously expressed in how the camera leers at Nagatoro and the “jokes” she chooses to make, and more subtly in how Nagatoro and sad sack main guy react to each other. I guess it’s a testament to the writing and directing that you can feel this immediately while watching the episode. It’s a bit creepy when you consider these are school age kids, but probably not much worse than most other anime romantic comedies. Make of that what you will.

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And so much like Nagatoro’s spiritual cousin, Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!, I might be less concerned about potential problematic content than the fact that it’s just not funny. I don’t think they are even trying to make jokes. For example, there is one scene where Nagatoro pretends to ask sad sack main guy out, then two seconds later yells PSYCH! and that’s it. That’s… not how humor works. There is some attempt at self awareness as sad sack main guy draws manga (this anime is based on a manga series), but that doesn’t really go anywhere either. If you’re looking for good comedy, it ain’t here.

And so once again, this just feels like some kind of masochist wish fulfilment, which I find a little creepy since it’s main subject is a tiny underage girl. Not sticking around for this one.

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Peter’s verdict: I think something has awoken inside me

Prior to episode 1, I’d only read the free manga preview on the Kobo store, and while I found it funny, I didn’t think it was all that. However, Uesaka Sumire manages to encapsulate Nagatoro’s way of speaking perfectly and give so much energy to a show that puts a huge emphasis on the spoken word.

I think there are two types of people who are into this show: Masochistic people who enjoy Nagatoro’s relentless punishment inserting themselves as Senpai, and sadistic people who enjoy Nagatoro’s relentless punishment inserting themselves as Nagatoro.

I’m not sure which one I am, but I’m definitely one of them.

5 thoughts on “First Look: Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro

  1. I been reading this manga and what i find in it that make it superior to stuffs like Uzaki-chan is the characters actually change. The main duo help each other grow: Senpai (funny enough i don’t think the manga ever tell us his real name) become less a push-over and stop letting other people walk over him while Nagatoro become more honest about her feeling.

  2. I’ve read the manga and what surprised me about the anime adaptation is that the animation was much better than I expected. The story is just two high schoolers hanging out so I thought this would be the anime equivalent of those mid-2000s adult cartoons made in Flash, but instead the animation is pretty dynamic and there are more camera angles than a live sitcom. Was the manga that popular or what?

    • It does look nice! I haven’t seen numbers, but the manga seems popular. I heard a lot about it even before the anime was announced.

  3. So I’ve watched the second episode and the S&M vibe is a lot more prominent than in the manga, or maybe it’s easier to gloss over when you’re not directly seeing and hearing a girl O-facing as she abuses a meek and compliant guy who’s clearly into it as well.

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