Posted by psgels on 1 July 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews

If there is one Studio that I consider to be the absolute worst out there, it’s ARMS. They only made one good series once, with Elfen Lied in 2004, and after that they have been churning out one crappy and poorly fanservice series after the other. A few years ago, a Studio named Hoods came along, formed by former Gonzo employees, and it was actually heading to surpass these guys by completely dropping all pretense and producing outright porn, disguised as television-series. Thank god for Nazo no Kanojo, which shows that they’re also willing to go for actually good premises, and treat them seriously.

Okay, the essence of this series is about the relationship between a couple of horny teenagers. This could have been done so badly, but instead this turned out to be a very refreshing and charming take on teenaged relationships. The characters aren’t dabbling in a constant “will they won’t they” loop, and instead start dating right from the first episode, and this series explores their relationship. It’ also helps that the lead girl is rather… weird.

Yeah the tag-line of this series is its drool exchanging, or a metaphor for kissing. Beyond that though, the female led Urabe has a bunch of mysterious powers that really give a fresh dynamic to the teenaged relationships. Her dialogue is often very sharp and unexpected, and she makes for a very interesting character. The male lead is a bit less interesting, but eventually he grows into more than just your average teenaged main character.

Amidst all of the romances in anime that are focused on characters not being able to say anything, the chemistry between these two characters is also really refreshing, as they very often talk out their problems and issues they have with each other. In fact, it’s the chemistry between the two of them that is the most worthwhile of this series, and how subtle the creators managed to portray the sexual tension between them with all sorts of metaphors. The use of fanservice in this series also tends to be very good and fits in the story quite well, rather than being forced to watch the “oops I fell and my panties are showing!”-routine over and over.

So yeah, charming, subtle and sometimes clever romance involving a couple of horny teenagers. This is pretty much one of the best and most believable renditions you can get of that even though the characters have rather weird ways of exchanging their own saliva.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Mostly subtle romance, although there are times when this series loses it a bit.
Characters: 9/10 – Very good chemistry for a teenaged romance. This series knows exactly what it is.
Production-Values: 8.5/10 – The creators got themselves a particularly good soundtrack for this series. You’ll understand when you hear it, but it really contributes a ton to this series.
Setting: 7.5/10 – Standard high school setting. Not the main cfocus of this series, but still.

Suggestions:
Bokura ga Ita
Seikai no Monshou

8 Responses

  1. Oroboros says:

    Probably my dark horse favorite of the season. Several episodes spiked in creativity and mood, though, which made me wonder if that level of quality was maintained throughout, it could’ve run away with this season’s honors.

    The manga is still ongoing, and has a funny arc with the lookalike Momoka.

  2. martin says:

    a pretty good series, i think i like the ending and how little their relationship progressed (i know other viewers wanted more). wonder if there’s going to be a 2nd season. feels like they should explore more urabe’s history and her super scissor skills , but i guess that would make her less mysterious and betray the title of the show.

    • Andmeuths says:

      There’s enough material leftover for a Second Season (and a Movie to boot!)based on the manga alone. Unfortunately, even the Manga’s still not providing answers, past the Culture Festival Arc. Indeed, there’s alot of foreshadowing for two big plot points for the post Cultural Festival material.

      Imai Momoko and Suwano will definitely come into greater focus, in a Second Season. As already mentioned, there’s a very long, but amusing arc coming up about Urabe’s lookalike.

      Really, I think a Second Season would make it clear that the main issue of Mysterious Girlfriend X is most definitely not Will they or Won’t they.

      It’s Will they they go public, or won’t they.

      Because so long as they keep their relationship a secret, the entire affair about the Cultural Festival is not a one off fluke, as subsequent chapters will demonstrate.

  3. David A. Young says:

    This was my second favorite anime of the season (after Bodacious Space Pirates). I also really enjoy this style of animation. It’s warm and understated — perfect for this type of romance/slice-of-life show. (Okay, WEIRD slice-of-life, but still….)

  4. RABUJOI says:

    We were worried they would pull something silly on us like have Urabe and Tsubaki break up for some contrived reason, but fortunately the producers were smart and wrapped things up with a calm, realistic, and still satisfying finale.

    We certainly won’t complain if there’s a second season, as there are a lot more interesting episodes to be made of these two, and the last episode certainly opened up the possibility of more people knowing about their relationship (what with Urabe seeking Tsubaki’s sister’s – and late mother’s – approval).

  5. vee says:

    Enjoyed the character dynamics. Definitely enjoyed that the characters *communicated* with each other about their feelings and problems. Really didn’t enjoy the *way* they communicated :(

    Drool seems to be a big part of anime erotic visuals. It’s there in every ship-tease not-really-a-kiss. It’s there in every physical seduction. It’s there in every passionate kiss: shining threads of saliva spanning the distance between the characters’ mouths. Is this a cultural thing? Because, honestly, I don’t get it; slimy, shining, inch-thick layers of slobber just make my stomach turn, and it made it *really* hard to watch this series.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:18 AM)
    Also looking back I notice heavy thematic similarities between Elysium and Battle Angel Alita. The labor division and the great disparity in life-quality of Earth versus Elysium is almost a direct parallel to Tiphares and the Scrapyard. I wonder if this is going to hinder the Alita’s Hollywood adaptation, in which case good- that horrendous GitS one is more than enough.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 01:13 AM)
    Truthfully Seinen is an age/gender demographic and not really a genre or category, but even within Japan the term has come to be identified with manga that have sexuality and violence like the works of Go Nagai instead of those that contain general adult themes. That’s why comedies are pretty much never considered Seinen, even though some are probably only appreciated by the Seinen crowd.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 2. 2015 01:29 AM)
    Late to this one but
    @BrendanVGC, that’s kinda tough. See there is a huge amount of very different manga that fall under the category “Seinien” You would kinda need to give us a more focused genre to work with here. Like horror, action etc.
    And pretty sure death note is shounen.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:35 AM)
    Damon I am more used to seeing in a drama or comedy role I reckon rather than an action hero.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 07:24 AM)
    Eric Bana is so underated =<
    I want to see more of the man on film.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:52 AM)
    The story would’ve been much more anchored and believable if the social imbalance wasn’t portrayed so heavy-handedly. It makes no sense for every house in Elysium to have a healing-bed that completely restores you and they dint bother to put a single one on Earth to keep the working class happy and healthy. I mean, c’mon now.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 05:49 AM)
    Yeah the action sequences were the best parts of Elysium. I don’t k ow, I just don’t feel Matt Damon in these roles anymore and I hope they stayed with Eric Bana like the rumors were hinting; that probably would’ve made it a more personal story.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:55 AM)
    Its been too long since I saw district 9 to have an accurate opinion on it.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:54 AM)
    I can remember giving higher points to elysium when I saw it first because I really needed/wanted to see an R rated action movie. But apart from Sharlto Copley as the villain it was in hindsight fairly miscast, the ending was quite poor and the script could have been improved on, I liked the robots/action scenes however.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Mar 1. 2015 04:20 AM)
    I have a feeling that the movie’s gonna suck tho. District 9 was good, Elysium was a mess and Chappie looks like a Short Circuit ripoff with nothing new to add. I have respect for Blomkamp since he started as an animator and probably has respect for the medium and a good eye for aesthetics, by he’s doing progressively more conventional stuff as his career goes on.

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