Anicorpse: Nazo no Kanojo X – 01

13 bloggers made their cuts, and this is what unfolded.

This past week, I took part in a little tag-team blogging game with some people on Twitter that we’ve come to call AniCorpse (I actually have no clue as to the origin of the name). The game is simple: the 1st blogger writes 50 words to start a post and reveals to the 2nd only the last 10 words. That 2nd blogger continues on writing another 50 words and reveals to the 3rd only his last 10 words. The chain continues until everyone has written once. This one was our first impressions of Mysterious Girlfriend X.

Before you read on, if you want to get just the text without any markup, you can check out the post on girl cartoons by 8C, the one who organized all this. Below, you will find the text alternating color every 50 words (except mine which are highlighted specifically), and the last 10 of each bolded so that you can see what each writer had to work with. Each section of the text is linked to the author’s Twitter profile. Note that the paragraph breaks were added afterward and do not indicate breaks between authors.

How far can curiosity take us? What does a single, absent-minded moment weigh? The decisions we wear can alter our lives in ways we can’t imagine. Bringing us to locales we never fathomed, consequences we never considered, love we never expected. Just a single moment, just a puddle of spit, and your life, too, could change, just like that. Tempted?

Well, maybe not quite. But for Akira Tsubaki, your average high school student who’s a bit of a sci-fi movie nerd, it’s not surprising that he decides to go for it. The mystery that Mikoto Urabe has to offer provides us a number of options to consider. Is she the source of the substance dependency? Or is it all in Tsubaki’s virgin psyche? Let us rule out the latter because, well as boys we’ve all been there… virgins and we didn’t turn into saliva junkies after our first kiss.

So in a sense, Mysterious Girlfriend X takes place in an idealized world. The elevation of not just sexual but emotional attraction to a unique physical response seems to speak to the uncertainty which can accompany a first love. This plays into the work’s larger themes regarding the ritualization of the taboo into the mundane. What society sees as strange behavior is realized in a sort of microculture containing just a few people, but is it valid to dismiss a culture merely out of an argument of numbers? As ritual becomes culture it becomes what society expects from normal humans.

Dutch anthropologist Johan Huizinga once wrote that our modern institutions are born out of a ritualization of basic human behavior. The centrality of drool in NazoKano deconstructs romance as standardized ritual, and, by association the standard notions of stereotyped romantic relationships in media in general are a target for critique. The general media perception is that anything beyond normal must come from characters who defy social norms. No normal person could be in that kind of twisted relationship. Here, we have a normal teenage boy entering into the most important relationship of his life in the most abnormal of beginnings. Urabe’s declaration of sexual intent jars the audience in its straightforward ripeness, as does Tsubaki’s ripping of his old crush’s photograph.

Both actions teem with an eccentric dramatic flair – and yet, seem natural in their own strange right. They over-brim with the budding sincerity of young love, the kind look that shone through Urabe’s eyes as the safety scissors stab-… No just kidding that didn’t really happen. But that does bring up largest mystery in my mind right now: what is with those scissors? Past the lol erodrool aspect the first ep of nazokano is actually pretty normal, and yet stands out from its genre peers with its bizarre and rather gut-turning use of metaphor.

Not that metaphors aren’t a staple of anime romcoms, the most obvious case being the nosebleed symbolising the rushing of blood to somewhere else. But the gushing of saliva to represent ‘extreme happiness’ is perhaps too obvious a metaphor for sexual excitement, but it’s not like the show is going for subtlety anyway. It reminds me of FLCL and KareKano which beat us over the head with their metaphors and ended up better thanks to it.

I suppose the old school aesthetic dovetails nicely with the occasionally seedy mood of the show, but said mood is often nullified by the extraneous amounts of sexual innuendos mainly perpetrated by the female lead. Most risque of all these situations has got to be, of course, Akira’s constant drinking of Mikoto’s drool is being played off as some kind of glorious, heart-fluttering moment in Akira’s life, reinforced by the recurrence of the subtle-like-a-badger-to-the-face flower and nectar imagery. Mysterious Girlfriend X’s grasp of subtlety is tenuous at best, and the drool-licking is a little icky, but its first episode is excellent.

With links to their blogs when available, here are the contributors in order of appearance:

  1. vucubcaquix
  2. bitmap
  3. ghostlightning
  4. 8C
  5. uncreativecat
  6. Kylaran
  7. emperorj
  8. SeHNNG
  9. R1CK_D0M
  10. Scamp
  11. lvlln (hey, that’s me!)
  12. bobbierob
  13. processr

Of course, other contributors have also posted this on their blogs. These are the only ones I’ve found so far:


A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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10 Responses to “Anicorpse: Nazo no Kanojo X – 01”

  1. Rakuen says:

    It’s crazy how most of this post fits together in a single train of thought. It’s done better than most improv I’ve seen, and they have the advantage of hearing the whole story.

  2. Metalsnakezero says:

    It a really incredibly written post about the analysis of MGX. So far it is living up to it with what I seen with episode 2.

  3. Gecko says:

    What. How did this work so well together? I don’t even understand how you guys managed to avoid touching on similar subjects over and over without sharing everything you wrote. I’m surprised you guys didn’t do a mass-edit or something like that before releasing to the world.

    • processr says:

      I promise you, the only edit made after collecting all the pieces was separating into paragraphs for the sake of readability.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Excellent post explaination on this anime. That’s an interesting game between you and the other bloggers. I’m beginning to see it a little differently to what I originally thought of it. Though I’m still in awe that someone’s drool could be so crucial a piece in a story, let alone a love story.

    The emotional attraction between the two characters feels genuine rather than goofy like in other romances and their straightforwardness is refreshing whereas others would just beat around the bush.

    • tatsuya says:

      ehhh …i think ur right `~ I felt a little genuine rather than goofy to maybe because it’s to reality and straightforward ~

  5. Joojoobees says:

    The name, for those curious, comes from a practice invented by the French Surrealists in the 1920s. It was called “Exquisite Corpse”. According to Wikipedia:

    The name is derived from a phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau.” (“The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.”)

  6. Kyokai says:

    This was very thought provoking and I love the Anicorpse idea. I was sure this was about dead people when I first heard the term. xD

  7. Overcooled says:

    It’s pretty incredible how cohesive the whole post is considering you only saw a snippet of writing and had to base your next words on that alone. Are you guys going to do it again? (please do).

    • lvlln says:

      Well, I’d say the post does a good job keeping a train of thought going, but to call it cohesive seems a bit of a stretch… we don’t have any plans for new posts now, but it’s always a possibility.

      Mysterious Girlfriend X actually just barely beat out Upotte! for our choice of the post. When I voted, Upotte! was in the lead by 1, and though I loved that 1st episode, I thought MGX would be more fun to write about, so I voted for that, which lead to 8C using his tie-breaker privilege to give the nod to MGX.

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