「センパイのもこもこ / センパイ、ゴチっス！！」 (Senpai no Mokomoko / Senpai, Gochissu!!)
“If We Buzz That Fluff, Senpai / Thanks for the Treat, Senpai!!”
Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san’s fifth episode makes strides to get Paisen and Nagatoro to take their current friendship to the next level as summer break rears its head. While Nagatoro’s able to show Paisen how well she can trim his hair, he actually makes some positive changes to his life by taking more of a stand when they decide to wait for kakigoori on a hot summer day.
It’s been nice to see a more sensitive side of Nagatoro with how blushy she gets from the measures she takes to get closer to Paisen. She’s had to be protective of Paisen from her abrasive friends lately, and her fury directed at her friends for trying to shave Paisen’s hair was no exception.
But it was sweet to see that she tried to earnestly trim Paisen’s hair without pulling a prank or mocking what she’s doing to his hair. It was also nice to see how important she saw exchanging numbers with him. It’s hard to imagine that the same girl from Episode 01 would wind up to be as caring as the Nagatoro we saw in this episode.
What impressed me the most is how much Paisen has bettered himself since the beginning. Even though he made the idiotic decision to blurt out to Gamou and Yoshi that Nagatoro was going to cut his hair, he took great measures to take care of Nagatoro during the last segment. When creepy guys were leering at her back, Paisen dunked on them by deliberately standing behind her, looking proud of himself as he acted out of irritation and malice for the creeps. But it was pretty cool to see Paisen take it upon himself to drag Nagatoro to a shady area where he can get her some water before she had a heat stroke.
So much of Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san is challenging the abrasive behavior that Nagatoro gave to Paisen, but it’s also challenging Paisen’s ability to gain a backbone and be more confident in himself. His art is one outlet he can be proud of, but this episode showed that his interest in both protecting Nagatoro and making sure she’s comfortable is another strength of his as it ends up propelling him to act out of character and be more of a Papa Bear type of guy. It’s always a pleasant surprise whenever Paisen has an emotion beyond a nervous frown, so it’s a relief to see that he’s been able to smile the widest when he’s getting kudos from Nagatoro and expressing concern when it’s time for him to take action and protect her.