Story & Art by Nananshi
Editing by Ajani Oloye
Translated by Kumar Sivasubramanian
Production by Risa Cho & Eve Grandt
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro has been pretty consistent so far. While the early chapters were a little rough, Nanashi gradually smoothed out those issues as the series continued. But at this point, what can Nagatoro offer beyond its comedy? Volume 5 starts to steer the series in a new direction, expanding its cast and alluding to the manga’s first proper story arc.
One point of interest in Volume 5 is the surprising amount of focus on Nagatoro’s friend Sakura. While Sakura was introduced in the previous volume, it was hard to get a full grasp on her character. While most of Nagatoro’s friends have aggressive personalities, Sakura stands out with her softness and charm. She’s especially nice to Senpai, and even assuages some of his concerns during this volume. That said, Sakura can also use her charm to manipulate those around her, which the series uses to humorous effect. At one point, Sakura infiltrates the video game club, attempting to use her skills to fragment the group and reclaim Nagatoro and her group’s usual hang-out spot. Most interestingly, Sakura’s actions are rarely malicious , and even in the case of the video game club, she eventually becomes friends with them rather than breaking them apart. Sakura has proven herself as a compelling addition to the supporting cast, and the series will hopefully give her more chances to shine in the future.
The end of this volume brings the biggest shake-up to the series with the introduction of the art club president (simply referred to as President). It’s revealed that the reason that Senpai is always alone in the art club room is because all the other members are third years that are nearing graduation. Unfortunately, Nagatoro and her friend’s frequenting of the club has started spreading unsettling rumors, tempting the President to shut down the club entirely. This is the first genuine conflict that we’ve had in the series, one that breaks the status-quo that we’re accustomed to. This not only challenges Senpai’s passion for art, but also the relationship that he’s built with Nagatoro. Nagatoro’s role in this is also important, as at one point she stands up for Senpai against the President. Despite all the stress and teasing that Nagatoro puts Senpai through, she understands what art means to Senpai and doesn’t want his feelings to be dismissed by others. The story is now building towards a clash between Senpai and the President at the school festival, and it will be exciting to see how it turns out.
As usual, Nanashi’s art is consistent and helps support the comedy of Nagatoro. The series’ facial reactions have become iconic at this point, and this volume continues to capitalize on that. Nagatoro’s expressions are the showcase of most of her panels, and they help convey the underlying emotions of any given situation. Nagatoro’s face of anger and jealousy is still my favorite of her reactions, since it contrasts from her usual smug demeanor towards Senpai. Nanashi’s artwork continues to stand out among other ongoing manga titles, and it will certainly leave an impression on you.
Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro continues to be a fun read and its gradual character development has been incredibly satisfying. The next volume continues the story arc from the end of this volume, and it will be interesting to see what will be the result of Senpai and President’s conflict. Until then, make sure to stay on Nagatoro’s good side!