Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san | First Impressions

What was my first impression?

Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san is what I consider to be a 50/50 anime. You either dislike or like it. However, since we’re so early on in the anime, I think many of us who are currently watching this anime are not not sure whether you’re able to pick a side just yet and I fall into that boat. The first episode I disliked, however the second episode I found myself liking. The premise is one I don’t really agree with because it’s essentially the female protagonist taking advantage of the male protagonists insecurities. Insecurities being his hidden perverted thoughts and manga loving side. The female protagonist isn’t any different though, as she’s openly perverted.

High schooler Hayase Nagatoro loves to spend her free time doing one thing, and that is to bully her Senpai! After Nagatoro and her friends stumble upon the aspiring artist’s drawings, they find enjoyment in mercilessly bullying the timid Senpai. Nagatoro resolves to continue her cruel game and visits him daily so that she can force Senpai into doing whatever interests her at the time, especially if it makes him uncomfortable.

Slightly aroused by and somewhat fearful of Nagatoro, Senpai is constantly roped into her antics as his interests, hobbies, appearance, and even personality are used against him as she entertains herself at his expense. As time goes on, Senpai realizes that he doesn’t dislike Nagatoro’s presence, and the two of them develop an uneasy friendship as one patiently puts up with the antics of the other.

I use the synopsis of an anime to gauge whether or not I should give the anime a try. If it doesn’t sound or feel interesting then I’ll skip over the anime. If I were to base my opinion on the synopsis above, it seems a little sketchy. It was because of the ‘sketchy’ feeling that the synopsis gave me that caused me to give this anime a try. There are times when something that feels sketchy seems very intriguing, that’s how I’d best describe the synopsis when I first read it. As of the time of me writing this blog I have just finished episode three which was an episode that I thought was alright for what it was worth.

I think the biggest issue I have with Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san, is how the comedy presents itself to us as viewers. It takes two to tango and to me that is what this anime is lacking right now. We have Nagatoro carrying the weight of the comedy through her own openly perverted personality and through her teasing of her Senpai (Hachiouji), who feels like he’s only there to react. That is the only real source of comedy and to be completely honest, that isn’t enough to keep the viewer engaged. The comedic anime that succeed are the ones where there are multiple sources of comedy, when all characters have their own little quirk and are all really entertaining. A few examples are; Servant x Service, Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai and Seitokai Yakuindomo to name a few. In each of those examples, every character have their own quirks and add to the overall delivery of the comedy. Each anime also has more than two main characters, which is extremely beneficial for any comedic anime.

That is what Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san is lacking at the moment. That being said, there is plenty of room for improvement. Not every joke is going to hit right away, sometimes the anime has to experience a natural progression where the comedy gets better each episode. That is something I hope for Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san as we get further along in the anime.

Moving onto something that I do like about the anime and that’s the OP “EASY LOVE” by Sumire Uesaka (上坂 すみれ). It’s extremely catchy and upbeat and I quite like that. In fact, the OP reminds me a ton of WataMote‘s OP, “Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui (私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い)” by Konomi Suzuki n’ Kiba of Akiba. The vibe is very similar. Apart from that however, everything else seems very mediocre.

Overall my first impressions on the anime have been so-so at best. There is a lot that can be improved upon and I am sure that is something that will happen as the episodes progress. But right now, in this moment in time, I do not think there is a major ‘wow’ factor or anything that causes the viewer to come back for more, that pull isn’t there. When all is said and done, I predict that Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san will be one of those middle of the pack anime for the Spring 2021 season. Neither good or bad, just there in the middle.