- Format: manga
- Author: Nanashi
- Translator: Kumar Sivasubramanian
- Letterer: uncredited
- Publisher: Kodansha
I’ll admit that the first few volumes of Don’t Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro haven’t shown the most wholesome of relationships. But outside of Nagatoro bullying her senpai, we’ve gotten hints of her actual interest in him – the asides in the omakes, and how she tries to protect Senpai from her friends’ bullying.
Nagatoro protecting Senpai is almost a running theme in this volume. It starts off with Senpai going to a festival alone, and getting captured by two of Nagatoro’s gang. She ends up rescuing Senpai, after which they almost act like a normal couple: going around the festival, enjoying the fireworks, and even making plans to come back together the next year.
Several of the remaining chapters of the main story also feature Nagatoro stepping in-between Senpai and her friends, protecting him in various scenarios. It’s good to see more signs of her interest in him – that he’s not just a target for bullying.
The final chapter of the main story doesn’t adhere to that theme, but it’s so lighthearted that I almost thought I was reading Teasing Master Takagi-san instead.
In the end, neither character is still willing to admit interest in the other out loud. But both characters seem to be willing to admit it to themselves, finally. It’s good to see their relationship slowly progress from the early bullying into something more recognizable as romantic.
If you’re uncomfortable with the bullying, volume 4 won’t change your mind. But if you find it amusing, then this volume manages to provide in both the comedy and the romance. ⭐⭐⭐⭐