Akira Tsubaki is a normal high schooler who sits next to new transfer student Mikoto Urabe during classes. Her face half hidden by hair, Urabe earned a reputation as a weirdo on her first day of school when she started laughing loudly for no apparent reason in the middle of a class. She does not like to interact with her classmates and instead prefers to nap on her desk.
One day after school, Tsubaki finds Urabe sleeping on her desk and wakes her up. However, after Urabe goes home, he notices her drool on her desk and impulsively tastes it. A few days later, he is struck down by a fever and is visited by Urabe at his home. After confirming the fact that Tsubaki tasted her drool that day, she informs him that his fever is nothing but love sickness and that he is suffering from withdrawal symptoms of her drool. Thus, the two enter into a strange relationship where Urabe feeds Tsubaki her drool everyday to prevent any more sickness.
Nazo no Kanojo X was published in English as Mysterious Girlfriend X by Vertical Inc. under the Vertical Comics imprint in 2-in-1 omnibuses from March 15, 2016 to June 13, 2017. The series was digitally published in English by Crunchyroll.
For me this has been a long time coming, or at least it's felt that way. Like a lot of people, I only began to read the MGX manga after watching the anime; I needed more of the very sweet and honest relationship I'd become obsessed with in the day it took me to marathon the series.
I've never cried before while reading or watching anything until I read MGX. I have never been as emotionally invested as I have in a piece of media before.
I picked it up at a weird time. The second (and final) major arc had just ended, allowing me to steam
through this and the other arc without the mental and emotional anguish involved in waiting YEARS for plot points to conclude.
Everything that occurs right up to the first major arc is basically perfect. We have the mysterious and fully three-dimensional girlfriend Mikoto Urabe's adventures with main protagonist Akira Tsubaki as they explore their unique relationship, subverting a lot of usual Japanese media tropes. Their relationship advances at a steady pace, confronting their feelings and dealing with them.
This is aided by the special bond they share via drool. She licks her finger, he sucks it. It's a definite hurdle to get over for any reader, but after the first few chapters it's very much downplayed. They can use it to share feelings, a great communication tool as the two are generally unable to open up to each other.
It's all very sweet, lovely and most of all it's honest. The only real mystery is a teenage boy trying to figure out the feelings and desires of his slightly odd teenage girlfriend. She's a human being with her own wants and needs and insecurities, and by the first third of the manga we begin to understand her just that little bit more.
Then the first arc happens and a lot of her character and development is changed or just thrown out the window. A preposterous beginning that suspends all disbelief results in an ill-advised plot which changes the dynamic and nature of the relationship almost irreversibly.
It took a long time for the manga to recover (it seems like the release of the anime kicked the author Riichi into gear), and even the return of the single chapter storys had changed in the process. The relationship felt more like a battle between the two than a shared experience, save for a few genuinely excellent chapters that captured the feel of the pre-arc series.
Pushing through this down period is in some ways worth it though - having re-read the entire run so I could finish it properly, it seems like Riichi had been thinking about wrapping up the story for about two years before it ended. Switching from weird fetish of the week back to actual relationship development began to save it towards the end, with the last six months building up to a fairly monumental moment.
Unfortunately, in a lot of ways the finale doesn't deliver. It seems a little rushed, especially after how much it seemed Riichi had been milking the series at one point. Perhaps there were outside forces beyond his control on the series' cancellation but at the very least he left it in a way that implied their relationship would go on past what the reader was aware of.
It does leave a sense of lack of closure though, wistful and a bit sad, which aren't really the right emotions to have when leaving a wonderful romance story behind.
I've given it a high score but I feel it's... difficult to recommend. First of all there's the whole drool aspect. It does take a bit of getting used to. If you manage to get past that hurdle, there's the problem that it's only up to chapter 36 that I truly recommend reading to. Unfortunately, by that point you'll probably have the urge to read more. The anime does a good job of taking the very best parts of these 36 chapters, changing a couple small things for the better and leaving out some of the less interesting plot points, so watching that may be a better idea, as it also has an 'ending' to stop at as well.
Now I have to go and try and forget about this series so I can go back to living a normal life.
In the end, it was quite a letdown. I understand being modest, I really do, though I don't really have this trait myself. But there are limits for that too, there is a line between modest and choking. And this story really gets more on the choking side. Being a sucker for sweet romance, I am really sensitive of relationships develoment. So, if you are like that too - be warned, there's not enough!
There's nothing much to say about the story besides that. It rides the whole time on the kinky "drool" thing, even reuses it's own ideas as story in the story. Which is
not really bad, but it's also nothing outstanding or immersing. There are some episodes that are filled with genuine emotions but the major part is just the old man (not really too old but already too grumpy) forcing his ideals on us readers. And it would be even fine to do that, but it surely has to be more subtle than that. Punching us in the face with that ending is quite the opposite.
The characters here are not really unique too. Well, yes, you don't see many "drool bonding" girls around, but even Uraba Mikoto is mysterious enough for the manga and chapters titles. She's just shy and knows her scissors, what you're gonna do about it? The good point is that the heroes of the story feel realistic enough and not too stupid, that is really a positive thing. Because stupid wimpy, stupid agressive and just stupid characters can really fire up the rage. But even so, the people of this manga don't seem too deep or too amusing for a story with a 10-year long run.
The art is good, not anywhere near exquisite but that's fine. You don't really have the need to "drool" over every page to read the manga. It is nice enough, detailed enough and also has its own style - which, by the way, presents itself more subtle than authors views on the modern youth and how they should do relationships.
All of that said, I kind of wish I didn't read the manga. I watched the anime first, and the story it covered left room for hope - and I did hope. Well, of course, it's the author's right to ruin thing by doing them strictly his way. But it's the reader's right to complain about it. We all have our sacred things and the understanding of which way exactly they should be treated while being sacred - and that is really my cornerstone problem with this manga. If you plan to read this, don't expect much. Well, don't expect anything, that way you can't be dissapointed.
My god! I finally got a chance to sit down and read the final chapter of this wonderful manga. I was nearly in tears as I read this I could not believe this was the end. It a nice conclusion to this but I want more, I guess I really fell in love with the characters especially Tsubaki and Urabe. The artwork was great I enjoyed how wonderfully drawn they were the color pages from time time were color just right. I really immersed myself in the story every chapter I was left wanting more and got it in the next. This was the first
romance manga I have ever read and was blown off my feet by I dont think I could commit to another one. I was hoping that we could see them leave high school and leave it from that but hey Its still great!
I actually just finished this series and just felt like I needed to write a review for it.
My reviews are very sparse and I only write a review for my all time favorites.
This manga had been sitting on my to-read list for quite a long time now.
As I do with most of my other favorite shows, I just passed this off as I was not in the mood for it.
But this manga felt refreshing. It felt unique. That's saying something since I recently got extremely bored of anime and manga and went on a 3 month hiatus. This manga(& anime) rekindled my love for the
This manga in a way felt like it was made for me. Quirky characters, a refreshing plot, unorthodox writing. It was right up my alley.
Many people pass this off due to the strange concept, including me when I first stumbled upon this show. Those people made a huge mistake.
While this manga is definitely not for everyone(like most manga's &anime), I encourage you to give this one a shot. Start with the anime and (if possible) continue with the manga. It may seem a bit weird at first but, stick around and you'll read an excellent(while weird) love story. So I encourage anyone who's reading this to not make the same mistake I(and a lot of other people) made and sweep this manga under the rug. Give it a shot, and remember not to judge a book by it's weird cover.
Also as a last note, the ending gets a lot of slack for some reason. I'm quoting a random dude online since this guy portrays my opinion perfectly(beware of minor spoilers):
I think the point of this ending is to prove what we all already knew. They relationship is unorthodox, but it is so much more than just kissing, and they continue to be together and show each other there love in a way only they can, so regardless the moral is that something as simple as a kiss isn't going to strengthen what they already have, because it's already that strong, thus it's not necessary. I think the proves so much more than if they would've kissed, and I believe this was quite an ending.
So ladies and gents, to wrap this short review up, go and read Nazo no Kanojo X. It's an amazing manga that I will remember for a long time.