Don’t play with me, Mrs. Nagatoro! Confront Naoto’s determination against Nagatoro’s persistence

Don’t play with me, Miss Nagatoro! Episode 1 features Hayase Nagatoro, a tireless plague, while Naoto takes on the bullies.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Don’t Toy With Me Episode 1, Miss Nagatoro !, which is now streaming on Crunchyroll.

The new high school anime series Don’t play with me, Miss Nagatoro! has arrived, and he promises to be a standout rampage in Crunchyroll’s spring 2021 anime lineup. At this charming seaside school, sophomore Naoto Hachioji just wants to blend in with the background as he usually does, but it’s too late. Wild Hayase Nagatoro has already noticed him.

Hayase is a freshman, kicking off her high school career in an outrageous way. She has never been seen without the company of her friends who laugh and gossip, and soon, Hayase corners Naoto and goes to work trying to get under her skin.

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Hayase Nagatoro, Naoto and the art world

nagatoro art room

In the series premiere, Naoto is totally ignored at first, which is ideal when there are talkative people. One by one, Hayase Nagatoro’s laughing friends leave to meet a mutual friend and her mysterious new boyfriend, and only Hayase herself remains. Verbal combat begins. Hayase sits in front of his Senpai and introduces himself, then slides in Naoto’s little project: the draft of his action-fantasy manga series, starring Siegfried, the noble knight. Hayase laughs, as Siegfried is clearly an idealized and inserted version of Naoto himself, insisting on portraying the current amateur manga scene herself.

Naoto tries to keep up but alas, Hayase is too intense for him, and he’s leaning against the wall in nervous tears. An astonished Hayase wipes her tears with a small hand towel and gives it to Naoto as a gift. That night, Naoto stays awake with memories of Hayase’s mocking laugh. She is already firmly rooted in his head.

The next morning, Hayase catches up with Naoto just outside the art room and offers to pose as his sketch model. Being herself, Hayase teases Naoto and makes him nervous, and is once again shocked at how sheltered and shy this senior is. He draws Hayase as asked, but doesn’t draw on her thighs, especially since Hayase’s uniform skirt is a bit short. Naoto will never be a true artist at this rate, Hayase thinks, but it sure is fun to tease him. Can’t get it to stiffen up a bit? Time to turn this into a game.

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Hayase Nagatoro builds bridges (kinda)

nagatoro talking to naoto

School ended for today, but Hayase still hasn’t finished playing with his unfortunate senior. She catches up with Naoto on a quiet street and taunts him once more, pretending to ask him out on a date, only to burst out laughing when Naoto takes it seriously. What’s more, Naoto verbally keeps Hayase at a distance, calling her “miss” like they’re complete strangers. So Hayase gives him a shove and is surprised when Naoto flies straight into the creek. Hayase did not want to do what, and go down a bit when Naoto emerges from the water. Yet somehow, he is not angry.

When asked about it, Naoto explains that he has always been teased for his calm and artistic ways, and has learned to “torture” until the bullies get bored of him and move on. He’s doing the same to Hayase, but despite all the teasing, maybe they could get along a little better. Hayase offers a small olive branch explaining how her full name is spelled and asks Naoto to call her “Nagatoro” instead of the impersonal “miss”. They are supposed to be strange friends, and friends call each other by their names, right?

Based on her constant teasing and blushing, Hayase’s intentions might even go beyond simple friendship. Perhaps opposites attract and Don’t play with me, Miss NagatoroIs the titular girl secretly in the artsy, laid-back type? After all, artistic people like Naoto have an inner fire that their timid exteriors belie. In a way, Naoto could be as intense as Hayase Nagatoro after all.

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