Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro is a manga that is making me doubt how much I know about myself and how I feel about sadomasochism. In two words, I’m conflicted. I can’t decide if I like this manga or if I don’t, but I know for a fact that it has ultimately been an amusing read. Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro is manga with standalone chapters. You don’t need to read the previous chapters to understand a later chapter and I think it’s one of the charming factors of this manga. It’s lighthearted and is good for a binge once in a while.
The general premise of the story is based around two characters. The bully being freshman Hayase Nagatoro and the victim, her senpai. The manga proceeds with Nagatoro cruelly teasing her senpai by playing around with how he feels, mocking his loneliness, appearance and personality and generally treating him like a toy, even though it’s absolutely clear that she has feelings for the poor guy.
Senpai on the other hand just puts up with it, despite not being okay with the constant bullying. Nagatoro models for him so he can practice his painting, that in turn leads to a lot of both intentional and coincidental encounters that don’t end up well for senpai.
Nagatoro is first shown to be quite the character. With her shameless constant bullying and her loud personality, you’d think she treats everyone the same way but surprisingly, she’s quiet around people who aren’t her senpai. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a sharp tongue though. It’s as if she has a complete personality 180.
However, she clearly goes from a silent beauty to a sadistic whatever she is now. She’s a stubborn and annoying character but part of me is rooting for her and her love interest despite knowing how taxing and emotionally traumatising it would be for senpai.
Senpai is your average, quiet, anime nerd boy who keeps to himself and paints a lot. You wouldn’t think he’d catch the attention of someone like Nagatoro but by his horrible luck, he did. Poor guy deals with Nagatoro pretty much everyday and gets shit on for it too.
There are times where the two get into inappropriate and awkward situations where they fall and one of them get accidentally groped but that’s really just fanservice and insignificant.
As a reader, I feel that this is something I personally enjoy reading because of the art, occasionally the humour, the character interactions and the general uniqueness of something like this that isn’t common. For once, the main character is the bully and not just a supporting character for comedic purposes. Despite the bullying, in some ways I can see the wholesomeness in this manga.
This is not something everyone will agree with but the two characters interacting in this particular way is appealing to me because there’s something about a cute girl that doesn’t know how to express her feelings expressing it through violence towards a helpless guy that just makes me think “Aww<3”.
The art is a very attractive factor of this manga for sure. I can appreciate how crazed Nagatoro tends to look. It doesn’t try to make her look cute and adorable other than how cute she already looks in her character design. She will look evil and terrifying when she needs to. Senpai looks pretty good as a character as well and the art allows him to be very expressive towards her violent approach. If I were to compare this artstyle with Jinmen’s I’d say this is infinitely more flexible to work with.
All in all, this is something I’d binge in my free time but not religiously follow. If you’re into that sadomaso stuff, I’d highly recommend this manga. It’s great for a light read and is amusing in its own little and subtle ways.
How do you feel about Please Don’t Bully Me, Nagatoro? Let us know in the comments!
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