Daiki YamashitaAina SuzukiNana MizukiYoshino Nanjo
Don't Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro 2nd Attack
Also known as: Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san 2nd Attack
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2023
Director: Hirokazu Hanai
Writer: Taku Kishimoto
Original creator: Nanashi
Actor: Aina Suzuki, Daiki Yamashita, Kaori Maeda, Mikako Komatsu, Nana Mizuki, Sayumi Suzushiro, Shiori Izawa, Sumire Uesaka, Yoshino Nanjo
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season Two: 12 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=24896
Website category: Anime 2023
Review date: 26 May 2023
Doctor Ramune
I'm going to continue the Uzaki-chan comparisons. Both shows are romantic comedies about a girl who loves winding up, insulting and/or riding roughshod over her long-suffering male senpai. I loved both shows' first seasons, although I preferred Uzaki to Nagatoro (both as a show and as a person).
Unfortunately, the similarities don't end there. Both go downhill in Season Two, albeit in different ways. Both increase the size of the female lead's family. Both become more focused on romance, although Nagatoro could still continue after this while I can't imagine Uzaki-chan having anywhere left to go in a hypothetical Season Three.
The differences are interesting, so I'll look at those.
UZAKI-CHAN = the supporting cast from Season One become a millstone around the show's neck and Season Two flails around without a clue until Uzaki's family show up. The romantic angle can get annoying, but the season ends quite well. Also, importantly, I find Uzaki herself likeable.
NAGATORO = does much better at getting mileage from its Season One formula. Senpai is still a spineless loser who talks in the abrasively masculine language of a dick-waving tough guy. (Unfortunately, there's no natural way of translating this into English and the subtitles I've seen don't even try.) Nagatoro calls him what he is, except that she goes over the top and is basically insulting him non-stop.
This is amusing. There's a massive power imbalance in their relationship, with Senpai invariably getting crushed underfoot even before Nagatoro's intimidating female friends weigh in. That doesn't stop him from talking as if the power balance is the other way, though, while in addition he's a nice guy who's thoughtful and considerate of Nagatoro when he can pluck up the courage. (He gets quite a lot of character growth over the course of the series.) Also, he finds her attractive, while she's getting increasingly serious about him underneath all the knee-jerk abuse.
Mind you, to be honest, Nagatoro's bullying of Senpai has become weak beer. She keeps calling him "creepy", but that's about it. When doing very very mildly naughty things to embarrass him, she always embarrasses herself too.
What drives this year's episodes is basically:
(a) Nagatoro and Senpai getting into dumb situations because they're idiots. If you can't handle cringe comedy, be warned that there's a bit of that.
(b) romantic progress. Slow, but real. Senpai starts making genuine attempts in that direction.
(c) non-romantic storylines that explore our protagonists' characters. Nagatoro's relationship with her older sister is a fun inversion, while the judo tournament is surprisingly good. It's a big deal for both characters and averts the unrealistic fantasy outcomes you might be expecting.
I hated the season finale, though. The universe gangs up to shove Senpai and Nagatoro into going on a date. Okay so far. Expected and inevitable, once our heroes get over their head-banging incompetence at that kind of conversation. It's not even their first date, technically. Once they're actually on that date, though, Nagatoro lives down to the show's billing and becomes the kind of date partner who can sod right off. Wow, she's repellent. If you were Senpai, you'd run a mile. (He can hardly afford to be picky, but even so.) She announces that this isn't a real date, but instead just practice for his hypothetical first date one day. She keeps announcing that he's lost points from a point tally on which she keeps a running track. She gets annoyed at him for not reading her mind. She uses "virgin" as a term of abuse against him (despite being one herself), which is normal for her but far more unpleasant on a date.
The supporting cast get a bit silly around here too. The former student council president is trying to support Nagatoro, for instance. Just what every girl wants on a first date... a nearly topless exhibitionist with huge boobs following you around.
Eurgh. I hated all that. Yes, I realise that the creators felt Nagatoro had to be herself for the finale, but it pushed me away. In fairness, though, Senpai's accustomed to it and they'd be an adorable couple if Nagatoro could keep her mouth shut.
Would I watch a third season? Yes, although I wouldn't be surprised if the anime stopped here. I like our exasperating lovebirds-to-be and the show's proved far better than Uzaki-chan at keeping its formula fresh. However, that date episode is toxic waste.