Picking up with the same hilarious energy of the first season, this episode reminds viewers of everything they loved about this rom-com in the first place.
We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro Season 2 Episode 1, “It’s You and Me, Senpai,” which contains spoilers.
Last season, fans first hated but then learned to love an onery high school game named Hayase Nagatoro (voiced by Sumire Uesaka). Through the eyes of the main character, only known as “Senpai,” we watched their relationship grow from bullying to playful chastising to one of mutual caring and respect. While she loved to mess with Senpai, she would never let anyone else treat him poorly, showing everyone there was more to their relationship than just a few jabs.
As one of the more anticipated sequels of the Winter 2023 anime season, viewers expect even more teasing and more jokes as the relationship between Nagatoro and Senpai grows deeper. After last season ended with an unexpected cheek kiss that left Senpai flustered, here’s hoping the romance gets turned up this season as well.
Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro Season 2 Episode 1 recap
The episode opens with a first-year student, Ai Mashiro, being scolded by the Class President, only to catch him cheating on a test later. He begs her not to tell, and she agrees in exchange for him doing everything he tells her to. This feels almost reminiscent of Senpai and Nagatoro’s relationship, as viewers see it is actually the plot of a manga Senpai is currently reading. Even he seems to think so.
While reading, Nagatoro busts into the art room to get his opinion on her new shoes. When Senpai doesn’t react as excited as she expected, she sees that he is trying to hide his shojo manga from her, knowing he’ll be teased for it. However, she also likes this series, specifically because she resonates with the main girl. He jokes that there’s no way anyone could treat him worse than Nagatoro, but apparently, the story only heats up later in the manga. Nagatoro shows Senpai a scene involving shoe-licking, which leaves Senpai shocked and a little embarrassed. Yet when Nagatoro spills water on her shoe, and he leans down to clean it, she’s the one left flustered in the end as she reluctantly thanks him.
On his way to school, Senpai sees Nagatoro walking in front of him and contemplates if he should be the one to approach her for once. Although he’s about to decide against it, Nagatoro seems to sense his presence, popping up beside him to chastise him for being a “creeper”. She teases him about how she should, but isn’t, going to report him when Senpai admits it wasn’t anything weird but that he was simply going to speak because he saw her. Unprompted, Nagatoro decides she will help Senpai by teaching him how to talk to people.
She then proceeds to teach him a series of different greetings, ranging from violent to annoying or even strangely adorable. For the last greeting, however, she hugs him from behind, causing Senpai to stutter and blush uncontrollably as she messes with him. Nagatoro offers to allow him to try a greeting on her, but when Senpai refuses, too afraid to touch a girl, she says she will tell everyone at school he developed an erection from her hug instead.
As they continue walking to school, Senpai begins to wonder how Nagatoro would react if he greeted her in any of the ways she showed him. In his distraction, he trips on the sidewalk, embracing Nagatoro from behind, accidentally fondling her, and getting physically shoved off just as Nagatoro’s friends walk up. They ask Nagatoro if she’s still down to go to the Culture Festival after-party later, to which she agrees and promptly invites Senpai.
Senpai wonders about the event in the art room later as he and Nagatoro hang out in the art room. However, when the room becomes cold, he’s distracted by Nagatoro’s lesson on women’s fashion and tights. When he tells her it’s fine to put on tights if she’s cold, she then teases him for being disappointed that he won’t be able to see her bare legs anymore and offers to let him help her. The more she teases and tricks him, the more determined Senpai is to help, thinking it can’t be any harder than bagging radishes at a grocery store. Of course, as he starts pulling the tights over her calf, Senpai immediately realizes a girl’s leg is nothing like a radish. Despite acting so calm before, Nagatoro’s cheeks burn bright red as she allows him to help her. When it becomes too much to handle, she gets flustered and declares she will do it herself.
Senpai accompanies Nagatoro and her friends to their after-party, which seems to be a dinner at a conveyor belt-style restaurant. She tells Senpai the food is on them, as they earned quite a bit of money from their straps.
Despite knowing them, Senpai still feels a bit awkward with the girls. However, he quickly realizes he ended up with the worst seat, forced to pass everyone their food from the conveyor belt like a slave. Senpai’s almost sure they invited him to use him, but Nagatoro surprises him by reaching out to grab his next plate for him. She even expresses how excited she is to treat him after seeing how hard he worked on his paintings for the Culture Festival.
In an unexpected surprise, she declares Senpai the star of the day and even tells her friends they are not to tease him for today either. Everyone begins offering up portions of their food and giving him recommendations, making him realize he may have had the wrong idea about today after all. As her friends feed him, however, Nagatoro clearly begins to grow jealous. Her friends scold her for her terrible food choice and poor jokes, but Senpai tries it anyway, finding it surprisingly delicious, and getting everyone else to try it as well.
What’s compelling about this series is that it feels very similar to juvenile high school flirting, especially when one person has more social experience than the other. While the idea that someone teases you because they like you is highly outdated, in this series, it’s easy to look past when you realize that Nagatoro isn’t malicious but hiding her own feelings behind a thin veil of goofy antics and empty threats. They’re teenagers, probably falling in love for the first time. She’s learning to be softer and care about his feelings, while Senpai picks up some confidence and much-needed social skills. It’s cute, and you can’t help but root for them, romantically or not.
For a show that isn’t about shocking plot twists, this anime always manages to surprise me by turning even the craziest of teasing, into a surprisingly heartfelt scene between the main characters. The awkward moments feel awkward, and the flirty moments always deliver. It’s nice watching a show that actually feels like it’s trying to mirror genuine teenage interactions. It’s no wonder fans were looking forward to the return of this series. If it continues building upon the premiere’s solid foundation, it’s sure to be one of the best romantic comedies of the Winter 2023 season.
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