Don't Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro Second Attack
Senpai moves into his senior year (and Nagtoro becomes a Junior), and, while much remains the same (even the Art Club President remains in the picture), Nagatoro begins to be given a little nuance- and becomes a more sympathetic character as a result.
Don't get me wrong: when Nagatoro is in her jeering, taunting, and generally abusive mode, I find her as insufferable as ever (and her barbs as stale as ever); while Senpai, for his part, remains as tongue-tied and intimidated by Nagatoro as ever, despite receiving some clues about her vulnerabilities that he could use to cut her off. For example, despite her going on about Senpai's lack of sexual experience, back in Season One it became clear that Nagatoro is as virginal as Senpai. We will have a repeat of Senpai's and Nagatoro's wandering into a group of couples making out, and their reaction will be just as before as well. (On the other hand, there's an aspect of sexuality in what Nagatoro "dares" Senpai to do, and the viewer wonders how much of this is just to embarrass him, versus how much she really desires physical contact from him; she seems to have both those things going on, to one degree or another. There's the manga thing too: last season we found out that Senpai liked one called "Big Boob Vampires"; this season opens with a scene from another one that's apparently inspiring Nagatoro, a dominatrix-themed shoujo called Slave of Love.)
Season Two gives us more background on Nagatoro, and this helps a great deal in understanding her. In particular, when we meet her Big Sister, we begin to suspect that maybe Nagatoro’s just a product of her environment. We already knew she was into physical fitness, but we get much more immersed in this side of her, particularly her experiences in (and doubts about) judo- and Senpai may be able to give her a little personal encouragement. Her tournament bout with the school's favorite (a girl named Orihara) was, I thought, very believably done, especially in the efforts each girl made to upset the footing of the other.
As for Senpai (whose actual full name we will FINALLY learn this time), he's on a self-improvement kick as well, switching from glasses to contacts. (Which gives the show a running gag, since he acts like the glasses are still there.) He also tries to join Nagatoro in some of her sports activities, with results that vary from poor, to mixed. Well, their interests ARE pretty different (art for him, sports for her), and as they pursue these interests they may have less time to hang out together, so they may need to make other arrangements. For despite her insults- and, to her credit, these diminish a bit this season (this is one reason I'm going another star on the rating), it's become obvious that she actually likes being with Senpai. He's always put up with it because he's long felt the same about her, I suppose, though there are a few scenes here where one of them imagines/dreams being married to the other, and unfortunately these scenes look perfectly plausible- and don't reflect well on the long-term stability of that kind of relationship between them.
The show continues, and even expands, on its wild artistic depictions of Nagatoro's motions and moods. Her arms do continue to seem to turn into rubber flails to beat Senpai. (Crunchy readers having already taken the term "noodle arms" for this, I needed to find a different descriptor.) She also turns into a long, threatening shadow (with eyes) when she's disapproving some act of Senpai's. My favorite scene is where the former President of the Art Club (who's supposedly graduated, but still remains in Senpai's life) offers to show him some martial arts moves- and Nagatoro catches them in an embarrassing clinch. Trust me, NOBODY can do a jealous rage like Nagatoro can; it's really one of the wonders of the world.
We do get a few new characters this time, besides Nagatoro's sister. While the Art Club President (we finally find out HER name, Sana) is NOMINALLY gone from the club, her younger cousin joins; Cousin has a little history with Senpai, but her role in the present story was rather surprising. I mentioned Orihara, Nagatoro's opponent in the judo bout; she turns out to be a cheerful, maybe even charming, young woman, and the show, to its credit, makes her a continuing character.
I'm maybe a little sorry that Gamou remains stuck with the smug expression she's been drawn with throughout the show; for this time, she seems a more interesting character in her own right, and might have been given a little more nuance too. I really didn't understand her and Yoshi's project to "protect" Senpai's "virginity"; it's unlikely to be violated, and even if it WERE it would really be None Of Their Business. Yoshi, by the way, surprises us by having One Independent Thought, so there's that, too.
Nagatoro's "edge" began to soften a little during the art show that ended Season One, but it was Too Little, Too Late to affect my rating of that season. But with a full new season in which she's turned down the abuse a notch- and is even coyly (to the extent she can DO coyly) suggesting that she might not mind some physical affection from our beleaguered male lead - AND because we get to know her a little better- I'm willing to go another star. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: I don't remember any nudity, but some of Nagatoro's "challenges" to Senpai have an erotic element, and "Slave of Love" of course has the S&M thing going. And as for Nagatoro's friend Sakura- well, we don't SEE it, but we Get The Idea. So Mature Themes (sexual innuendo.) Rightstuf is sticking with 13+ for the manga, but frankly I would go a little older for the anime.
Version(s) Viewed: Crunchyroll video stream
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Don't Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro Second Attack © 2023 OLM Team Inoue, KODANSHA/Don't Toy With Me Miss Nagatoro 2 Production Committee
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