Nazo no Kanojo X – 02

Silly Akira, there’s no way Mikoto would hurt you… right?

Mysterious Girlfriend X had a very strong showing in its debut, but can it keep it up as it goes on? I thought director Watanabe Ayumu’s Space Brothers fizzled in its 2nd episode, so there’s a very real concern that this episode won’t live up to the 1st either.

It’s been a month since Akira and Mikoto became a couple last episode, but their relationship hasn’t progressed at all beyond their daily ritual of drool sucking. Akira goes to his friend Ueno – to whom he is still too embarrassed to admit he has a girlfriend – for advice. First he gets hand holding as a suggestion, but Mikoto shoots him down immediately. Akira takes things a step back next time and asks her about her interests, to which she responds that she’s into scissors. What does that mean? Well, Mikoto takes out a roll of paper from her backpack and tells him to hold it so that she can demonstrate.

Make sure you’re perfectly still… and done!

And voila, a cutout of flowers – after Akira’s last name Tsubaki – emerges after a Mikoto completes her quick dance with the scissors she pulled out of her panties. Akira is shocked, and Mikoto has no real explanation for why she does this. It’s not really a subject about which Akira can hold a conversation with her, so he’s back to square one, though that night he dreams about that strange city again, this time with Mikoto in nothing but her panties and scissors. He gets another demonstration some days later when he instinctively hugs Mikoto when they split on their walk home, resulting in a stack of cardboard boxes behind him getting cut up.

Akira keeps fighting the good fight, asking her out to a movie for Sunday, but he can’t help but sulk when she turns him down yet again. He explains to her straight up his frustration about the lack of progress in their relationship, and that finally leads Mikoto to meet him halfway, taking him to an abandoned building where she tells him to close his eyes before giving him an extra strong dose of her saliva. So much so that his heart starts pounding and he even gets a nosebleed. How did she do this? By getting naked in front of him before producing the saliva. On their way back home from this little episode, Akira asks her what she would have done if he had opened his eyes, and she responds by whipping out those scissors again, cutting up the notebook – which Akira took out for protection – into little people holding hands.

So this is the kind of stuff that turns Mikoto on, huh?

That night, Akira dreams about the city again, having sex with Mikoto on that platform, with a weird blindfolded doll tied to her head via bandana. As he’s walking to school with her the next morning he tells her he dreamt about her last night but realizes too late that he can’t tell her the contents. No matter, because she sticks her finger into his mouth so that she can suck on his drool, resulting in a nosebleed for her. She won’t tell him exactly what happened to her, but she does comment that, though he’s allowed to fantasize about her in any way he wants, she will never tie a doll to her head while doing that.

Yo Dawg, I heard you liked Mikoto, so I tied Mikoto to your Mikoto… and heck, this is in a dream, so the Inception meme works too.

There’s more than one way to exchange saliva. Like kissing candy!

Mysterious Girlfriend X delivers again with another solid episode. I was worried that the great cinematography from last week wouldn’t continue, but nope, we got more of the unconventional but effective angles and composition, the moving camera in the 2nd dream sequence, and some fancy dance work by Mikoto to boot. The 3rd scissors scene in particular was excellent, with the after-images used to good effect to show just how fast things were going while still giving us an idea of Mikoto’s movements.

What a curious girl Mikoto continues to be. The oddity of her hobby aside, cutting up paper in a flurry with her scissors seems to be the way she expresses a particularly strong emotion or reaction (how much did you love her taking out a huge roll of paper which she apparently has all the time in her backpack?). At least she’s always careful not to cut any humans, unlike a more famous strange girlfriend. Certainly an odd hobby to have, though she could certainly earn some money on the side with it if she wanted to. We also got a couple more pieces of information about the saliva swapping: Mikoto’s condition during the production of saliva affects how Akira reacts to it, and also she can read his mind or at least his dreams by licking his saliva. The metaphors are so thick and obvious I won’t even bother explaining them.

I found Mikoto’s embarrassment in that last part to be cute, the first time she’s been girly in any way. Still, her openness about being comfortable with Akira fantasizing about her displayed enormous maturity. She’s certainly a contradictory character, as her dry honesty makes her seem mature, but her apparent obliviousness to Akira’s desires in their relationship show that she’s still just a high school girl inexperienced in love. Her quirks also show that there’s a lot about her we don’t know despite how frank she is. I’ll say one thing, though: she won major points from me when she responded to Akira’s question about her hobby with, “That’s just who I am.” That’s right, one doesn’t need to explain or justify one’s interests, and as her boyfriend, Akira should be ready to accept her and her hobby without reservation or judgment. An important point that’s not made often enough in romantic works, I think.

Much more work for Mikoto’s voice actor Yoshitani Ayako this episode, both with more lines and with the first appearance of the opening sequence which she sang. Like the visuals, the song had a retro/nostalgic feel to it, reminding me most of Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do), interestingly enough. I was a fan of both the song and the animation sequence with all the lemons and especially the dancing, though I’ll admit neither blew me away. Yoshitani’s performance in the show continued to be solid, even if most of her lines were still deadpan as they were supposed to be. She did well when she had to act embarrassed in that last scene.

Hi-Mit-Su

Just 2 episodes in, it’s already been quite wonderful to see these 2 teenagers awkwardly feel their way around a romantic relationship, and I look forward to seeing even more. Maybe Akira will be confident enough to admit publicly that Mikoto is his girlfriend eventually. In the meantime, I just want to see how far they can take this saliva swapping concept as well as Mikoto’s super human paper cutting abilities.

Preview

Test Tube of Love?

About

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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22 Responses to “Nazo no Kanojo X – 02”

  1. tatsuya says:

    Yahaaa … I’ve got the op !! thank ‘s
    wait , Test Tube of Love? ^^

  2. Karry says:

    Yoshitani’s performance in the show continued to be solid

    But still a grave miscast.

    • lvlln says:

      Do you see her fitting better as another role? Or perhaps another voice actor fitting her role better?

      • BlackBriar says:

        I think she’s well casted for the character. Her tone of voice fits Mikoto’s personality and her moods.

    • Bob from Accounting says:

      Miscast? Sounds to me like she’s doing a great job. I can’t really imagine Urabe sounding much different.

  3. Metalsnakezero says:

    One of my favorite scenes in the manga was done beautifully in this episode. The camera, lighting, and musical score was spot on. Also, panty scissor action FTW.

    • lvlln says:

      And which scene was that? For me, 2 scenes stood out: the 3rd scissors demonstration, and Akira’s sex dream. I loved the quick pan up in that last one. I love seeing the moving camera.

      • Metalsnakezero says:

        It was the nude scene, where Urabe was naked and pasted the feeling to Tsubaki.

  4. skylion says:

    Am I getting some hints that Mikoto is protecting Akira’s virginity as much as hers?

    • lvlln says:

      Certainly Mikoto seems intent on keeping things going at her own pace, not letting Akira rush her. But what do you mean when you say “protect” his virginity?

      • skylion says:

        I think she might be packing something that any young man might need to be taken into gradually. When she says she might have blown her top, my first thought was she’s really thinking, “I would have taken you then and there, and reduced you to an oily puddle…literally”.

        We only assume she would have used the scissors on him in some “creative” fashion cause we’ve been seen her response, and her odd character.

        So much of this may be paying part and parcel to the obvious metaphors of foreplay being so…well…obvious.

        Looking back, with her own spittle/mind reading/dream reading trick, perhaps I should not have said “protect his virginity”. Maybe, protect his mind would be more accurate.

  5. RABUJOI says:

    This second episode definitely cashed the checks the first one wrote and then some.

    The scene where Akira’s eyes are closed was a masterpiece.

    Loving every aspect of Mikoto at this point, including her very natural-sounding voice.

    • lvlln says:

      It might be a bit early to say that the show is cashing any checks. Rather, it’s continuing to build the foundation, writing out more checks, so to speak. That it seems like it’s starting to cash them in already speaks to how good it has been at presenting its ideas, in an effective and highly entertaining way.

      I’ve wondered a bit who else would’ve been fitting for Mikoto’s voice. Like the rest of the show, her voice have a more live-action drama – non-cartoony – feel to it that works.

  6. Foshizzel says:

    Best ending of all time! I did not see that ending at all, but still the best line was about the doll tied to her head ahahaha good stuff.

  7. BlackBriar says:

    So far so good with another well delivered episode. I’m still admiring the mid 90s feeling though the color of the anime has gotten brighter. This is becoming the most original love story that I have ever seen.

    Undressing in front one’s lover while their eyes are closed and giving them your drool is an inventive way to prove a bond. The things Akira was dreaming off threw me off. Who dreams of having sex with their girlfriend with a doll tied to her head? But to have her invade your dreams by sucking on your drool is hilarious. The question I have on my mind is: What could she possibly be to explain for her unique behavior?

    Though becoming stranger and stranger the more I see her, Mikoto is such an impressive character that I can’t look away. Instead of being called a weirdo, she should be feared for her scissor skills. Mikoto could definitely be friends with Senjougahara. Being a good hearted person, Akira will most likely accept her no matter who she is and what she does.

    • lvlln says:

      Well, what little of the manga I read did nothing to explain Mikoto’s quirks, and, to be honest, I hope it stays that way. It’s all part of the mystery. If I had to guess, she will become a much more “normal” person by the end of the story, with no explanation for that either.

      I actually don’t think she’d get along well with Hitagi, considering how much more an abrasive personality the latter has. After all, while Mikoto is making precise paper cutouts, Hitagi is bluntly sticking staplers inside people’s mouths.

    • Bob from Accounting says:

      She already explained: That’s just who she is.

  8. Jay says:

    I’ve got a feeling that I am too young to watch this, and I have to watch LOTSA anime before I try this.

    My body’s not ready yet.

  9. Bob from Accounting says:

    Picked this up slightly late and all I think I really like it. I love how it’s simultaneously a completely strange and unconventional but also grounded and believable love story. It’s about two people who are obviously crazy about each other. The only thing making it difficult is that at least one of them is just generally crazt. :)

  10. […] day after school, Akira catches his friend Ueno (whose advice he sought last episode) kissing blank, who has secretly been his girlfriend since last year. He is still too embarrassed […]

  11. […] something Mikoto finds out in the train ride home when she tastes his saliva (like at the end of episode 2) to get his feeling of the day. She asks him if he’d like to see that again, to which he […]

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