Both Senpai and Nagatoro have something to prove at the school judo tournament.
Episode 9 — “That Is, If You Win At least Once, Senpai”
We’ve seen it many times in high school anime. You might have experienced it yourself when you were younger. Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro brings the embarrassment of admitting feelings for another person into exquisite relief inside a judo hall. But why do kids feel that reluctance? It comes from fear. Youngsters who are starting to fall in love, and sorting out their feelings, also fear rejection. But it’s not just from the target of their affection. They’re also afraid that their peer group will reject their choice of love object.
Peer groups form because their members share common interests. In Miss Nagatoro, the “Nagatoro Friends” like accessories, fashion, and talking about attractive boys. The boy-crazy Sakura owns that faction of their clique, along with Rabi-chan and Nekoba. The Nagatoro Friends also like fighting, as we learned last week. So, how confident would Nagatoro feel about her friends’ approval if she openly stated she likes a mousy, artsy, bushy-haired nerd?
Thankfully, Nagatoro’s closest friends already know how she feels about Senpai. They show signs of approval by teasing her and pushing Senpai to act more confidently. They also like seeing Nagatoro squirm, especially when Gamou or Sakura toy with Senpai to provoke her. But they genuinely want to see their friend happy. In Miss Nagatoro, that means helping Senpai declare his attraction openly to her. Or pushing Nagatoro to do the same. The clumsy couple leaped forward when they loudly cheered for each other at the judo tournament.
Senpai is still sore from his sparring match with Nagatoro. Thanks for the flashbacks from last week, Miss Nagatoro! Senpai wants to win at least once at the school judo tournament. Nagatoro, on the other hand, dreads a matchup with Orihara in the second round. Huh. The subtitles messed up Gamou’s name in the tournament bracket. Oh! The printout misspelled Gamou (蒲生) to Urao (浦生). I hope we get the whole story behind why Nagatoro quit judo and how Orihara related to it.
The big day of the school judo tournament! I don’t foresee fanservice from Nagatoro in blue skintight lycra. She took down her first opponent quickly. Oh, fun. Yosshii should give us comic relief. Yosshii didn’t run fast enough to cause a tornado but ran afoul of the referee. Sakura swings both ways, at least for physically straining and pushing bodies together. She prefers guys to “finish the job,” as it were. Open to threesomes? Nagatoro is not as fired up as “Nao-kun.” Miss Nagatoro portrays Senpai’s friends as dependable bros. Hah! They call him a traitor for hanging out with popular kids.
Ugh. The crowd does the bragging for Orihara. It’s a lame exposition technique, but at least the main characters aren’t standing around talking about her. Gamou fights Orihara in the first round, not that imaginary Urao person. Miss Nagatoro shows Gamou take a beating, for once. The Nagatoro Friends need to fire up Hayacchi. How? Win for “Paisen!” Aw. Orihara still considers Nagatoro her friend, and their interaction clearly shows the problem was on Nagatoro’s end.
The hero enters the frame. Can Senpai drag Nagatoro’s backstory out of her? Of course! Nagatoro was a natural at judo, while Orihara was a genius at working hard. This dynamic reminds me of Sasuke and Rock Lee in Naruto. Nagatoro felt she couldn’t improve over Orihara, so she quit. Ooh. Senpai screwed up his courage to criticize Nagatoro’s decision to give up so easily. Oh man, Nagatoro loves getting compliments from Senpai. Har. Senpai, with contact lenses, still nervously adjusts his bridge. Nagatoro said the Miss Nagatoro episode title this time. She’ll do her best if Senpai does his best too. Or how about a kiss? Do your best, Senpai! That kiss will be hard to get. Look at Senpai’s beefcake opponent! The eye-catchers show Yosshii’s tornado technique and Senpai’s extra motivation.
Ha. Sakura likes the tall hunk’s muscles. Luckily for Senpai, his opponent only has strength and no judo skills. Is Sakura a closet yaoi fan? Senpai lost on points as time ran out. That counts as a win for his self-esteem! Better yet, Nagatoro cheered out loud. In public! I love to see it. Senpai and Muscle Chad shared a manly moment of sportsmanship. Will Miss Nagatoro give us the female version for Orihara’s bout?
Nagatoro put on her super-serious ponytail. Game on! Orihara and Nagatoro give us a fast-paced judo display and appear evenly matched. But Nagatoro is out of practice, so how will that affect the fight? Senpai cheered for Nagatoro, so let the rumors fly! Half the school in Miss Nagatoro will think Senpai and Nagatoro are already dating. Orihara scored the first throw, but Nagatoro almost won the match. Unfortunately, Nagatoro’s throw landed out of bounds, so Orihara won on points.
Is Nagatoro going back to the judo dojo? Will she still have time to bother Senpai in the art club room? Oho. Now Nagatoro wants a kiss from Senpai if she beats Orihara. Smooch already!
Next time, it’s time for sexy posing for Senpai! And it’s not just Nagatoro baring it all! The art club president’s younger relative is as competitive as the elder.