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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:15 PM)
    And I’d go as far to say this beats out birdman for me by miles.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    The film is a solid mood piece thanks to the in tone cinematography, a great performance from Hoffman that along with his characters drama makes for an emotionally investing film. And before it gets TOO sad theres all those bits of dark humour fitted in there that work out pretty well. This is probably my favourite work by Kaufman currently.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 04:14 PM)
    Well Bam, I had a go of synecdoche there. A bit of a slow burner, near the end slightly drawn out, however that last stretch was forgiven by that bonkers ending.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.

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