Every girl is a mystery when you're a 16 year-old boy, but Mikoto Urabe is in another league. She carries scissors hidden in her stockings. She sleeps on her desk every day. She seems to have no friends whatsoever. But none of that can compare to what happens when Tsubaki Akira decides on a whim to taste a drop of her drool while Urabe sleeps.
From that moment onward, things between Urabe and Akira are never the same, and the mysterious girl slowly becomes Akira's mysterious girlfriend. Along with their friends Ueno Kouhei and Oka Ayuko, Akira and Uraba try and navigate the minefield of high school first romance－and all the strange things that happen along the way.
On today’s episode of “Oh Anime, Why Do You Continue To Be As Uncomfortably Weird As Legally Possible?”, we have a supernatural high school romance ecchi show focusing on telekinetic saliva and possible aliens. That bit with the saliva seems to be the make or break factor when people decide to watch this anime or not. You can either take so much relationship building via drool (I never thought I’d type that sentence), or you can’t deal with the spit and flee to a different anime to watch. Or perhaps at that point you’ve had it with consistently weird shit and burn anything having to do with the medium. I assume at this point you’re still considering the show at the least, so I might as well tell you what’s in store for you.
Mysterious Girlfriend X is about a high school boy named Akira Tsubaki, a horny little fucker as the show introduces him to us via inner monologuing about hypothetical first-time sex. A mysterious transfer student shows up in his class named Urabe Mikoto, and after sticking around after class to discover a pile of drool on her desk from an earlier nap, Akira impulsively licks a bit of it to see how it tastes. “Mmm…sweet”. A week passes and Akira shows signs of sickness, to which Urabe shows up at his house and explains that he has suddenly become addicted to her drool. She gives him another sample to cure him and they decide to become boyfriend and girlfriend seeing as they can’t break the bond they share between saliva. Overtime they get to know eachother deeper, find out how Urabe’s drool can transfer emotions and sensations to the receiver, and get a bunch of other unfortunate students tangled up in their mess of slobber.
Still considering? I guess you’re immune to the indescribably bizarre. As I try to think of other synonyms for drool, let’s get some obvious stuff out of the way. In terms of high school romance with fanservice, the cliches pile on rather high in a short time. Growth between the couple is predictable, opportunities for lady objectification are never passed up, and the ploys for needless drama are unbearable at times. The funny thing is, at first it started out with a bit of a charm to it. The innocent view of sex held by Akira at the beginning was in no way overwhelming or uncomfortable, the discovery of the logic behind telekinetic spittle was presented so simply that it was surprisingly easy to roll with it. Then when elements added up, like other students tasting the drool and receiving feelings from the couple, it became genuinely intriguing. But eventually it did have to go down that road of putting Akira in increasingly heavier sexual situations, introducing useless characters to drag out the plot that was already getting old, all to end without a sense of closure. I do like to look at the better aspects of bad writing to appreciate any good that came out of it, but when the endgame turns out to be a weak finale surrounded by the same ecchi occurrences and devices that are so laughably desperate to generate conflict, I feel like the good stuff was pointless. It would have been something else entirely if the show started off as an ecchi comedy and evolved to produce a more effective tone with interesting topics (looking at you, Sakurasou). But as they say, the ends justify the means, and the show ended in unmoderated fanservice and an uncommitted close.
As for the characters…well, at least they’re effectively stale for the entire show. I never saw the cast as interesting people with some sense of depth, I just saw a bunch of tools. Akira is another boring grey wall onto which the viewer projects himself. Urabe is the tsundere tease that always provides the knowledge regarding plot elements and her attractive body to be subjected to a bunch of erotic imagery. Akira’s guy friend is the classic light comic relief, and his girlfriend exists only to create introspection and drama for Urabe by tasting her spit and feeling her conflicts. Akira’s sister and long forgotten crush are extremely lazy efforts to stretch the show with those predictable dramatic narratives. Telekinetic spittle suddenly becomes boring as hell when placed in the hands of dull people. The story aspect is what retains interest in the beginning, since how far they go with relationship development from magical mysterious spit is actually pretty cool, even with a boring couple. So once it takes a backseat to watching dry personalities go through overused scenarios without many twists, the meat of the show reveals that it can’t carry the weight.
The character designs helped with that instance of charm at the beginning, creating what seems to be a mixture of styles from Osamu Tezuka and classic Ghibli. But by the time we see everyone competing for the guy’s attention in full nudity, suddenly those juvenile don’t fit at all. Character movement was consistently decent and surprisingly active at times, unlike most other run-of-the-mill throwaway school anime. Background work was also solid, though anime in general has come a long way in that department. I especially liked the touches of sci-fi movie posters in Akira’s room and the alien posters in Urabe’s. They never explicitly state she’s an E.T. or something, but the hints are obvious in the art and that’s always fun to pick up. While I can’t remember any times the visuals really wowed me, they never dipped drastically in quality either so I can’t knock it too hard. Perhaps they could have made the nudity censoring a little less tacky, but then again, maybe you shouldn’t strip your leads and put the camera right infront of their naughty bits to pan up and down and all around.
I barely remember any of the background music apart from the odd polka-like ditty during the dreamland scenes and the annoying spastic drums whenever Urabe wields her wicked fast scissors. The voice actors didn’t really do anything special for me aside from just providing an adequate read through, though by personal preference, Urabe’s calm and cool deliveries made her presence a bit more entertaining. The opening ain’t too great and the ending is the typical case of slow pans and sexy outfits with a boring song. Not too much flare to the sound design, it just seemed like the bare minimum to pass the “not completely boring” mark.
Final wrap-up time. Does this show have more to offer than the usual examples of shallow ecchi romance? There’s a few interesting tidbits and surprises that make it much more passable than something at the bottom of the anime barrel, and considering the plot element of magical drool, that’s saying that the crew put more effort into this than the usual products. Should you bear the weight of the bad aspects to watch it for those elements? I’m gonna say no on this one. If it stuck with the initial innocent outlook on sexual stuff and worked with the premise enough to steer clear of recycled drama, I think this could have been a decent show, pure and simple. For what it is now, it’s falls pretty hard. I’d say skip over it’s remains, just make sure not to slip on that puddle by its mouth.
Now, now, now. I've been informed that certain people think that Nazo no Kanojo is ecchi. I've also been informed that a lot of people think it's bad that it has some originality. Well, guess what? It ain't so. Not often will you find an anime which revolves around drool, and this one did a damn fine job in doing so. So, you think that people sharing drool is nasty? Well, guess what, it is. Oh, but you watched only the first episode of the anime and took upon yourself to be an arse and immediatelly toss it aside? Well, guess what, not all anime start off great. There needs to be progress. Fluidity. And damn right I'm not gonna sit by idly while a perfectly good anime is being dissed.
Now, let me start this review right.
The storyline is about a guy. Not your generic anime guy without a personality/cowardly/insanely courageous guy, no; it's about a simple highschool boy with his unique personality. And, by a game of chance, he tastes the spit(yeah, kinda gross, but come on, you do that when kissing as well) of a new girl in class. Now, that new girl is kind of weird. She starts laughing in the middle of class without apparent reason, she's not socialising with anyone, and half her face is covered with bangs. And yet, this guy falls in love with her. And then, in time, he realises he's hit the jackpot. Now, her personality has been presented extraordingly. She's unorthodox, and mysterious, and I think that this anime will need a season 2 in order to fully explain her backstory. Now, let me move on from the characters.
The storyline progresses pretty slowly, as it should with highschoolers, but not slow enough to make you bored. It's reasonably paced and will make you anxious in about what'll happen in the next episode. I think they were low on budget, so they couldn't make more episodes, but if there were more, I'm damn sure they would be even more awesome.
The animation reminded me of old style. I'm talking before 2000 animation here, and it invokes a wonderful feeling of nostalgy and familiarity. Not too much fanservice in my oppinion, just the right mix. Didn't register many flaws in it, really.
Now, the music. It's WONDERFUL. Track 04 from the anime, dream, is composed to reflect the mystique and the weird nature of Urabe (female protagonist). Not too thrilled about op and ed though, but thye're not bad. The songs playing during certain scenes in the anime are exceptionally fitting and they don't get boring quickly.
And, finally, my overall and my grade.
Overall, this is an unorthodox anime, with an original storyline and plot, and damn right it shouldn't be cast aside for trying something new. It has almost no mistakes/errors and it's pretty well made. It's one of the better romances I watched, and it differs from all others with it's unique way of presenting and developing the feelings of the characters; and that's why, this anime will make it in my top 5, along with GITS, NGE, Bakemonogatari and Toradora.
My overall grade is 9, and I reccomend everyone to watch this anime, and not to give up in the first episode.
Over and out, please submit your feedback about my first review :Dread more
It is safe to say that the core concept of which this anime is built on, the saliva mind meld, is pretty obscure, if not totally weird. However, although Nazo no Kanojo X goes to the absolute extremes of weirdness in some areas, it is perhaps the single most realistic in others.
So I'm not going to talk about the drool, that may be what drew me to Nazo no Kanojo X initially, but it is not what kept me watching, it is not the part that I love about this anime.
Most romance anime, especially school-based romance, are ludicrously unrealistic. We see the tsundere girl, the weak, whingey guy. We see the noble, unfaltering cool guy and the submissive girl. Characters that are, for all intents and purposes, completely rooted in fiction.
Worse yet, we're often presented with a female character that has absolutely no control over her sexual urges, once the MC breaks down a few walls. We are given characters who are offensive to men, offensive to women and completely unrealistic.
Because of this, we are often presented with a type of romance which can only exist in the anime world. A type of romance that, if we were to try to emulate in real life, would end in utter catastrophe. This is where Nazo no Kanojo X surpasses all others and stands up as the pinnacle of anime romance, in my book. The utter realism that it shows us.
I see a lot of myself, or perhaps my former self, in Tsubaki. Everything he does, I can remember myself doing at-least once in a previous relationship. From flirting with an ex-crush, to not wanting others to see her after a new haircut, wanting her all to myself.
Tsubaki is a good reflection of most of the 'regular guys' in their first relationships. We, who watch anime and may not be the best at sports. We might not be the top of our class, but we know a thing or two. The regular guy.
He is a cacophony of contradictions. He has an inferiority complex, but believes he can get better. He is needy, but sometimes wants space away from Urabe. He is proud of his girlfriend, but in some ways ashamed. Love doesn't make sense, love is rife with contradictions and Tsubaki represents them perfectly.
He is almost like a mirror of myself, back in the day but, hopefully, not anymore. Don't get me wrong, he is very likable. He is not the whingey MC we're used to, he's not the asshole, he's not clueless. But that doesn't mean I necessarily want to be him.
Now we see Urabe. Beautiful, shy, strange, kind, strong, talented, awkward, uncomfortable. There are so many words to describe Urabe, but submissive and reliant aren't some of them.
She represents the real girl. She gets sad when Tsubaki hurts her, very sad. But she doesn't get on her knees and beg. She gets turned on by Tsubaki, sure. But she isn't taken aback by sexual emotions, emotions which take complete control of her mind and body.
She's not quite an open book, but she's not mean - she's very kind. She's not submissive, dependent or a tsundere. She doesn't represent any of the offensive female characters we see in most romance anime. She is real.
And best yet, although there are other love interests - there is no ridiculously unrealistic harem.
I'm not a girl, so I don't know what this anime gives them. But if you're a single guy wanting to know what real first relationships are like, watch this anime. If you're a needy, dependent, possessive guy in a relationship and want to see a reflection of all of your negative aspects; watch this anime. I wholeheartedly believe that Nazo no Kanojo X can teach you about love, about real love. An aspect which most romance anime fall completely flat on.read more
Ah yes. Mysterious Girlfriend X. When I heard that the manga was getting an anime adaption, I looked forward to seeing other people's reactions to the synopsis almost as much as the show itself. Perhaps a fair few WTFs amongst viewers who've never read the manga?
The story is simple. Boy encounters transfer girl. Boy deliberately tastes girl's drool on a desk. Boy falls in love with girl after that. Um, yeah.
The drool. If there's anything in this series that would turn off those who watch it, it'll obviously be the various saliva-swapping scenes. Personally, I don't think it's that bad. If it helps, think of it as an inevitable aspect of French kissing except without any lips touching. Nor tongues. Nor sensation. Well maybe sensation, in the form of the recipient of the drool experiencing the other's mood or feelings. Perhaps not as romantic though. But it's mostly down to individual tolerance levels for the things you find okay in anime; the same with fanservice, blood and gore, hentai, etc.
The series closely explores the slow-building but charming relationship between the main characters, inside and outside of high school. It's quite different to the romances found in other anime. After all, who shows affection by ripping up a photo of a previous crush as opposed to holding hands or kissing to start a relationship? And that's just one of many examples. Although it rarely feels out of place, there is some ecchi and fanservice present.
Saying that Mikoto Urabe is weird would be a huge understatement. At times in her relationship she just seems like a normal shy and compassionate girl underneath a cold demeanour, but her hobbies and certain superhuman abilities makes her more than that. She's a compelling character to watch however, and her various quirks (Fits of laughter? Scissors?!) are what makes the anime so addictive, along with her bond to Akira Tsubaki. Tsubaki is a relatively normal character, despite his attraction to Urabe's drool, and it's fun to see him cope with being the boyfriend of such a strange person and the requirements that come with the role; romancing Urabe is much harder than he thinks. The anime mainly focuses on the odd couple so important side characters are limited, but two of their classmates, Kouhei Ueno and Ayuko Oka, provide some extra entertainment; the playful and wild Oka has a particularly big influence in how the relationship develops between Urabe and Tsubaki.
The art style of Mysterious Girlfriend X is excellent and rather interesting. It goes for an older style of animation, and reminds me of anime that were made a decade or two ago, back when clichés were still original ideas. Backgrounds are also quite nice, especially parts of the school like the classroom and gardens as well as the surrounding town. However, I'm still undecided as to whether I like the character models retained from the manga, which are sharp and detailed but make the 17-year old students look like they're in middle school rather than high school.
The series makes use of a variety of background music that is sombre and mysterious, but also some which makes you think of a circus, and this works well with Urabe's character and the strangeness of the show itself. A few soothing melodies are thrown into the mix too. The OP is a catchy and upbeat song that fits with the high school setting, while the ED is also good and has a nice tune. The voice acting is decent all around; the voice actress for the role of Urabe is a newcomer but she's done an especially good job.
Overall Mysterious Girlfriend X, or Nazo no Kanojo X, is about a bizarre high school romance with unique additions in the form of drool with multiple and mysterious effects, excessive nose-bleeding and a very weird yet enjoyable character in Mikoto Urabe. This anime is sure to captivate some viewers while alienating others but like the manga, it does what it sets out to do with a passing grade. And that is to provide us with an entry in the genre that feels fun and more than just a little different. Assuming it doesn't make its audience sick to the stomach first.read more
Fan service is not only about boobs and butts. There's also legs! They may be under-appreciated but they are just as good if not better. Let's help promote them by taking this time to appreciate their flawlessness!