• Titles: Nazo no Kanojo X, Mysterious Girlfriend X, MGX
  • Genre: Slice of Life, School, Weird, Ecchi?, Romance (I almost forgot romance!)
  • Episodes: 13
  • Studio: Hoods Entertainment

Akira Tsubaki is a healthy teenage boy. And just like most healthy teenage boys, he is interested in girls. Very interested! But girls can be kind of mysterious and tough to understand. Take the new transfer student, Mikoto Urabe. She seems nice enough but half the time, Tsubaki has absolutely no idea what she’s talking about. And she acts in such a weird way. She sleeps through class, has manic outbursts, doesn’t seem to have any friends or any worries for that matter. Urabe is truly a very mysterious girl indeed. And now, somehow, she is Tsubaki’s Mysterious Girlfriend X.

I really liked the title of this anime and I think the art is awesome. That’s probably why I picked it up despite the fact that it’s listed as a romance series. After all, it’s also a comedy and I do like some funny romance series. I was curious and eager to discover the mystery behind this Mysterious Girlfriend.

very O’keeffe

Production

Like I mentioned in my paragraph above, I really like this art style. It looks reminiscent of classic anime but this came out in 2012 so it’s actually a modern take of old-school art trends in anime. And because it’s recent, it looks particularly polished and nice. The colours are simple but vibrant and there is some wonderful use of shadows throughout the series.

I actually watched this one in English and I really liked Urabe’s English voice actress. She gives a super flat performance which can come off as slightly phoned in but for some reason, I found it compelling. By the way, her name is Genevieve Simmons and since I rarely watch dubs, I haven’t heard her in anything else. But I am curious now.

I only have 2 production notes. As a borderline Ecchi (I’ll get back to this later) there is some attention brought to women’s bodies, more specifically to Urabe’s, and her proportions changed all the time. I found this really distracting and it’s not on purpose. Occasionally they were even a bit off and she ended up looking not quite right even when not compared to other scenes.

The other little nitpick I have is that animation shortcuts were really obvious. There aren’t that many high-action scenes, to begin with in Mysterious Girlfriend X. It’s an anime that just doesn’t move around too much. But the few scenes that were more dynamic would often employ stills and off-camera action to cut down on the animation even more. It’s not a big deal as the story doesn’t really require that much movement. But it did hit me as I was watching.

this is the extent of the ecchi – I hope I haven’t shocked you all!

Story & Characters

I’m just going to preface this entire section with this was not a show for me. The comedy aspect of the series is mostly centred around Urabe being very odd and that wears off quickly. The rest is a straight-up romance with an extremely quirky character to make it stand out. And I’m just not that big of a romance fan.

I must say, a lot more attention is put on describing how unusual Urabe is than on developing her character. As a result, I was left wondering why Tsubaki and Urabe were together. They certainly do seem to like each other a lot and they make a cute couple but they have nothing in common, they can’t seem to have so much as a conversation, Urabe looks bored most of the time and Tsubaki regularly wishes she had a completely different personality. So that made it a bit more difficult for me to root for them as a couple. I like them both individually but I think they might be better off with other people.

Let me discuss the genres a little. I have seen Mysterious Girlfriend X labelled as science fiction and ecchi. And having watched it, I think both these tags are correct but misleading. Urabe seems to have this odd power to link with others by sharing saliva. As in it has a physical reaction and she can share other’s feelings, memories and even wounds that way. But only certain people. This is described early on but never explained. And that’s it for the sci fi aspect of the series.

like I said, she’s quirky!

As for the ecchi part. Tsubaki is at an age where he thinks about sex a whole lot, there are quite a few panty shots and some barbie nudity (i.e. no nipples or private parts). So sexuality is a theme in Mysterious Girlfriend X but all in all, it has much, much less fanservice than DanMachi and that’s not considered an ecchi. So I would say it’s more of an intellectual or emotional sort of lewd than a visual one.

For context, Pintrest once removed some screencaps from Null and Peta because they were considered too racy. Null and Peta is a very innocent cute girl short. But none of my Mysterious Girlfriend X screencaps were an issue.

I have to admit, in order to finish the show I switched to English and ended up watching the series while doing other things. I am notoriously unromantic in my anime tastes so that was part of the issue. But more importantly, I have a slight repulsion from other people’s drool. There were a lot of scenes in Mysterious Girlfriend X that made me a bit queasy. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the premise was actually pretty fun and in many ways, this was a rather charming sex comedy. But I had to look away from the screen a lot. What can I say, I’m precious.

we need at least one image of the main character!

You might like this anime if:

You have a drool fetish. In fact you will love this anime if you have a drool fetish as it is a severely underserved fanservice niche!

My favourite character:

Ueno, I felt bad for him. He’s clearly way more into his girlfriend than she is into him…

Suggested drink:

Mysterious Cocktail 1934

  • Every time Tsubaki has a dream – take a sip
  • Every time anyone says “drool” – switch to water
  • Every time anytime something happens because that’s how Mikoto is – take a sip
  • Every time  – take a sip
  • Every time we see the scissors  – gasp!
  • Every time Urabe is kind of a cold girlfriend – take a sip
  • Every time we see Urabe’s…eyes – take a sip
  • Every time it gets windy – cover your eyes
  • Every time Urabe refuses to do something really simple to make Tsubaki happy – take a sip
  • Every time Tsubaki tries to hug his girlfriend – be worried for him
  • Every time Tsubaki’s sister thinks he’s getting to be that age – take a sip
  • Every time Oka feed Urabe – take a sip
  • Every time anyone gets jealous – tsk
  • Every time Oka causes trouble – take a sip
  • Every time we see the sunset – admire

I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.

18 thoughts

  1. Man, I remember stumbling across the Mysterious Kanojo X manga many years back when I was still relatively new to being an otaku. Got to say, I remember it quite fondly because as you said, there is a sweet rom-com there, just with an extra helping of a drool fetish, which I personally find rather weird, but it wasn’t weird enough to hamper my enjoyment of the manga. I see in your pins that you reached the legendary blind tasting with the childhood friend and the gf, which I wasn’t sure was in the anime since I never watched the anime. Nice to see other people talk about this series, especially since it is rather old now, the manga did end in 2006.

    1. It aired in 2012 so it’s not that bad in anime context. I’ve been hearing about it for a long time, I think it’s pretty popular and certainly one of the more beloved ecchi I have come across so far.

  2. The drool gimmick was a very out there kink even for anime but beneath this was a rather sweet rom-com I thought, but I can see how it might not work for everyone.

    1. It’s too bad they didn’t put a bit more time developping characters other than Tsubaki. I think it would have made it even better as a romance.

  3. One of the romance anime I really loved. The drool thing was weird but didn’t bother me all that much. A good kiss does the same thing. The idea of being able to share another person’s feelings that way… I’d like to imagine what sex would be like with that ability. And I’m sure they’ll get there.

    I’m thinking that it is a genetic trait. There is a hint that Urabe’s older sister has the ability.

    There’s an OVA that I found quite satisfying.

  4. This was one of my favourite anime from 2012. I attempted to rewatch it at one time, but already having seen it, I no longer had the motivation to get past the drool scene. I winced quite a lot, but sort of got used to it, and getting over myself was definitely worth it. I wouldn’t have watched the show for deep character development. I’m aromantic myself, so I was sort of fascinated by the take on it. The drool exchange felt like fairly conservative take on sex, but they did discuss sex, too, so there was this odd doubling I never quite figured out. I really liked the visuals, and also the musical score, especially during the weird dream sequences (“If I did that, I wouldn’t have a doll tied to my head.”)

    I think I might have mentioned the on occasion in the comments, but it wouldn’t have been a high-priority recommendation. (It’s the difference between “I think you’ll like this at least a little bit,” vs. “I really liked this a lot.” I’m rather careful in my phrasing.)

    I still get the warm fuzzies whenever the show was mentioned, despite failing to re-watch the show. It’s probably one of my favourite romances (and make no mistake, that’s the core genre, IMO; I also don’t really see this as a comedy; the weirdness seems to be mostly there to highlight some sort of meta-take, I think.)

    Also, Urabe’s Japanese voice actress hasn’t voiced an anime character before or after the show. She’s a live-action actress. Her performance was rather controversial in the places I went to, with me loving it.

    1. You did mention liking it but a lot of my readers did. It’s a very liked anime, in fact I have a bunch of tweets right now telling me how great the show/manga was. And I kind of get it. I mean it’s not for me but itMs not a bad show by any means.

      Generally, you seem to like romantic anime quite abit. I’m no expert but I always assumed being aromantic in life doesn’t necessarily impact your preferences in entertainment.
      I think for me the issue was that I just failed to ever really figure out what Urabe even wanted so it made it difficult fo rme to be happy for her. Should I be? Is she happy bout this? That sort of situation. So engaging with the romance on s traightforward level didn’t work for me which left the humour and a lot of drool.

      1. Yeah, besides myself I’ve come across more than one aromantic who enjoys romances. I’m not hugely into shipping though, and I often don’t care if the characters get together, stay together, or what not. That was the case for Nazo no Kanojo X, too. I wished them well as people, but didn’t care if they remained a couple. I also didn’t really understand Urabe, but that just meant that the title was accurate.

        Would be interesting to go through my favourite anime and see how often I cared whether they got together. Toradora for example: I personally wished Taiga and Yuuji would have stayed friends (worked much better as friends for me), but if it works for them who am I to interfere. If I had a blog that might be an interesting post.

            1. Hm, I was just making an off-the-wall comment, but I’m actually curious what such a post might look like, and since there’s interest, why not? It’d make sense to do it here, since this post and our conversation in the comments inspired the idea, and I don’t think the timing is quite right for Derek. I’ll head over the contact form now.

  5. Great review! I tried reading the manga first and failed. Then I tried watching th anime and still failed. I think there is not much compatibility between this series and I… probably because of the drool! Seriously, even tough I tried, I couldn’t ignore it. 😂

  6. The issues you described here are pretty much what frustrated me and ended up becoming off-putting to me when I tried to read the manga. I’m sad that the main female didn’t get more development even in the anime because that would’ve made up for a lot of the other things that didn’t work too well. Great review.

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