What They Say
The new transfer student, Urabe Mikoto is strange, quiet, and unapproachable. But after Tsubaki Akira gets a taste of her, he can’t stop dreaming of her.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Tsubaki Akira is a high school student living the fairly normal life that most anime protagonists do in their first episode. He’s a sci-fi nut, as can be seen from the posters and Big O toys in his room, but aside from that, his life seems normal. He’s a teenager and curious about sex, but he has no girlfriend. This changes, however, with the arrival of mysterious transfer student Urabe Mikoto.
Something seems a little off about her when we first see her. Her bangs cover her eyes, and her classroom introduction is a simple “nice to meet you”. She seems even weirder when she sleeps during lunch, and asks to be left alone when some other girls invite her to eat with them. But what finally gets her marked as a weirdo is by having a fit of laughter right in the middle of a math lecture. After that, she’s basically ignored by all other students as being a basket case.
One day, Akira leaves his lunch box behind in the classroom and has to return after class to retrieve it. He stumbles across Urabe sleeping at her desk, and wakes her up to send her home. As she looks up at him, her bangs shift and he sees her beautiful eyes for the first time. She thanks him and heads home, but still enchanted from her gaze, Akira dips his finger in the drool that has collected on her desk and tastes it. It’s sweet, until he realizes what he did and runs home to forget about it.
But things are not so simple. Weeks later, Akira collapses with a fever that will not break in the middle of gym class. Urabe notices this, and goes over to his house to visit. She asks Tsubaki, point blank, whether he tasted her drool, and when he confesses to it, she offers him more. In a scene that will gross out many (which is unfortunate, because they’d actually be sharing more drool if they kissed), she collects drool on her finger and forces it into his mouth. His fever breaks. Tsubaki is skeptical of this quick fix, and asks Urabe whether she has any addictive substances or bacteria in her drool that might cause such an illness to occur. Urabe laughs at this, and responds that it’s simply because he’s fallen in love with her. And then he realizes he has.
It’s hard to know what to make of the show after this first episode. The animation is nothing special, but the character designs have a strong 1990s/Yuzo Takada vibe that make them instantly appealing to me. There’s also some fascinating art direction in the strange dream world Akira visits after tasting Urabe’s drool of the first time. The whole show, though, has an odd dream-like logic that makes it appealing to me, and the perverse eroticism of the Akira-Urabe relationship somehow seems to remain naive and innocent. Certainly there’s never been a romance quite like this in anime before.
If the show just remains a simple “isn’t my girlfriend crazy?” slice of life, I’ll still find it engaging, but I’m curious what the ambitions for the story are. Mysterious Girlfriend X is a manga that’s been running for around 6 years in Kodansha’s respected Afternoon magazine, so obviously it all can’t be covered in a 12 episode series. But there are strong hints, mostly in Urabe’s UFO-shaped toys and trinkets, that there’s something alien about her after all. Despite the lurid-sounding premise, this isn’t a mere drool-fetish anime. There seems to be more under the surface going on, but what exactly that is only fans of the manga know for sure.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony VAIO 17″ HD screen