MANGA REVIEW | "Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro" - Vol. 14
Audible gasp! If you had told me the fourteenth volume of Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro would have the biggest plot development yet, I would’ve smacked you and called you “gross”! And yet, there I was reading through Nagatoro and Senpai’s school trip, and stumbled upon the moment some have waited since the beginning for. That’s right: one of them comes to terms with their feelings for the other!
There’s a good amount of goofiness showcased in the beginning of Volume Fourteen, as Nagatoro and her catty friends hop around the train frantically as Senpai and the other boys watch. Only when Senpai promises Nagatoro something does he accomplish the impossible, which earns mad respect points from his peers. But during the night, as the boys and girls are in their separate rooms, love talk starts filling the air. (Also in the air is the occasional pillow, a high school trip tradition that shan’t ever be broken!)
It’s in this instance where both Senpai and Nagatoro acknowledge their promises to their friends. They don’t fully say what the deal is, but everyone has their suspicions. When a free day to roam Kyoto arrives, Senpai and Nagatoro roam gleefully through the aquarium and other tourist sports. However, it’s the Jishu Shrine at Kiyomizu Temple where Senpai finds his greatest challenge yet: the love stone!
And right there, as Senpai attempts to touch the stone with his eyes closed, does everything click into place for him. He realizes that his greatest fear is a life without Nagatoro, with a possible flash forward presenting a what-if scenario that terrifies him. As one obstacle after another come out to hinder his stone-touching techniques, Senpai finally comes to terms with how he feels about Nagatoro. Although he keeps these feelings to himself, it’s obvious that Nagatoro knows what’s really going on in Senpai’s mind and heart.
Also in Volume Fourteen is a sudden realization of who the smartest one in Nagatoro’s group of friends really is. Considering her derpy exterior, it’s shocking to see Yosshii actually being the voice of reason within the clique. In fact, after looking at past volumes (and watching the second season of the anime), it should’ve been pretty obvious at the get-go that Yosshii’s got plenty of gears spinning in her brain. (Perhaps Nanashi can give Yosshii her own spinoff series once this manga’s completed.)
But yes, the fourteen volume of Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro has some huge revelations. Senpai’s realization is something that has building up probably since the second volume, and for him to finally comes to terms with it is both endearing and satisfying to read. But now the tough part: saying what’s in his heart to Nagatoro. If only he could read her mind and see that she’s waiting for that confession, too…