Don’t Toy With Me, Ms. Nagatoro! Pits Naoto’s Resolve Against Nagatoro’s Persistence

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

The brand new high school anime series Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro! has arrived, and it promises to be a rambunctious standout in Crunchyroll's spring 2021 anime lineup. In this charming seaside school, second-year student Naoto Hachioji just wants to blend into the background like he usually does, but it's too late. The wild Hayase Nagatoro has already set her sights on him.

Hayase is a first-year student, launching her high school career in flamboyant fashion. She's never seen without the company of her giggling, gossiping friends, and soon enough, Hayase corners Naoto and gets to work trying to get under his skin.

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Hayase Nagatoro, Naoto & The World Of Art

nagatoro art room

In the series premiere, Naoto is totally ignored at first, which is ideal when chatty people are around. One by one, Hayase Nagatoro's giggling friends leave to meet a mutual friend and her mysterious new boyfriend, and only Hayase herself is left. The verbal sparring begins. Hayase sits opposite her Senpai and introduces herself, then swipes Naoto's little project: the rough draft of his fantasy action manga series, starring Siegfried the noble knight. Hayase bursts out laughing -- since Siegfried is clearly an idealized, self-insert version of Naoto himself -- and insists on acting out the amateur manga's current scene herself.

Naoto tries to keep up but alas, Hayase is too intense for him, and he is backed against the wall in nervous tears. An astonished Hayase wipes the tears with a little hand towel, giving it to Naoto as a gift. That night, Naoto is kept awake with the memories of Hayase's teasing laughter. She's already rooted firmly in his head.

The next morning, Hayase catches up to Naoto just outside the art room and offers to pose as his sketch model. Being herself, Hayase teases Naoto and gets him all flustered, and is amazed once again at how sheltered and shy this upperclassman is. He sketches Hayase as requested but doesn't draw in her thighs, especially since Hayase's uniform skirt is a bit on the short side. Naoto will never be a true artist at this rate, Hayase thinks, but he sure is fun to tease. Can't she get him to toughen up a little? It's time to make a game out of this.

Hayase Nagatoro Builds Bridges (A Little Bit)

nagatoro talking to naoto

School is over for the day, but Hayase still isn't done toying around with her hapless upperclassman. She catches up with Naoto on a quiet street and teases him once again, pretending to ask him out on a date, only to burst out laughing when Naoto takes it seriously. What is more, Naoto is keeping Hayase at arm's length verbally, calling her "miss" as though they were total strangers. So Hayase gives him a shove and is shocked when Naoto flies right into the creek. Hayase didn't mean to do that, and pipes down a bit when Naoto emerges from the water. Yet somehow, he's not angry.

When asked about it, Naoto explains that he's always been picked on for his quiet, artistic ways, and has learned to "turtle up" until the bullies get bored of him and move on. He's doing the same to Hayase, but despite all the teasing, perhaps they could get along a little better. Hayase offers a tiny olive branch by explaining how her full name is written and asks Naoto to call her "Nagatoro" instead of the impersonal "miss." They're supposed to be weird friends of sorts, 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 Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro's titular girl is secretly into the quiet, artistic type? After all, artistic people like Naoto have an inner fire that their shy exteriors belie. In a way, Naoto might be just as intense as Hayase Nagatoro after all.

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