Another mysterious girl to join the cast?
|Last week’s preview clued us in that Ueno’s girlfriend would be entering the picture in this one. With the episode title Mysterious Girl Meets Girl, what does she have in store for us? Are all the girls in the world of Mysterious Girlfriend X supernatural? Or just mysterious? Wait, that last one’s no different from our world, is it?|
I like the way this boy Ueno thinks.
Summer is coming, and during lunch Akira’s friend Ueno is daydreaming about getting to see his (secret) girlfriend Oka in summer gym clothes the next day. And speak of the devil, Oka comes and asks Mikoto to eat lunch together. Mikoto refuses, saying that she never eats lunch, but Oka sticks around to eat and, drawn by the smell of her lunch, Mikoto ends up eating some. The entire class watches in bewilderment as Oka feeds Mikoto piece by piece. Akira fantasizes about Mikoto feeding him that way and he gets to experience just that in that crazy city in his dream that night.
Too bad for Akira, this is not how Mikoto works. But that would be boring, wouldn’t it?
I like the way the recurring dream sequences are used. Notice the egg focus in the sign and the imagery, connecting with not only the food they’re eating but also sex.
Next day, to Ueno’s disappointment, the boys have to stay indoors to do judo while the girls are running track outside. Mikoto trips and scrapes her knee, and Oka takes the chance to bring her to the nurse’s office alone. She asks Mikoto to be her friend, but the latter refuses, saying that she doesn’t need any friends. But things become interesting when they share a water bottle, and Oka suddenly develops a wound in the same knee as Mikoto, to the surprise of both. Mikoto decides to experiment, cutting her own palm and giving her saliva to Oka, resulting in the same cut for her.
Mikoto tells her that this means that the 2 share a bond, but she still refuses Oka’s friendship, saying that all she needs is her boyfriend. Oka knows that this is Akira, revealing to her that she saw their daily saliva exchange from afar, which is what got her interested in them in the 1st place. Next day during lunch, Oka finds Mikoto at the vending machine and gives her some of her own drool, which Mikoto says is the sweetest she’s ever tasted. This tells Oka that Mikoto and Akira haven’t kissed yet, because she had been thinking of her first kiss with her boyfriend while producing the drool. Somehow this seems to get through to Mikoto and they become friends, which Akira and Ueno discover when they see the 2 girls eating lunch together.
This new relationship for Mikoto is just as bizarre as her romantic one with Akira.
It’s nice to see the show throw a couple new protagonists at us after seeing just Akira and Mikoto dance around each other for 3 episodes. We’ve grown used to learning something new about the magic of drool each episode, and having another girl in the mix gave us even more insights. We see now that the connection Mikoto shares with others through saliva doesn’t have to be romantic, that it can be tied to friendship. It’s part of the show’s overall idea of demystifying the romantic relationship, painting it as something that’s certainly magical but not fundamentally different from other relationships we have.
Interestingly, Mikoto seems to have the exact opposite problem most people her age have, in that she is accustomed to having a boyfriend but is completely oblivious to regular friendship. She’s not ambivalent to it, she actively avoids it with the way she responds to Oka’s advances. In much the same way Mikoto pulled Akira into the world of romance with drool, it seems that Oka has pulled Mikoto into the world of friendship. I think part of what makes Mikoto so lovable is that even though we’re always learning new things from her, she doesn’t ever seem ahead of her peers. Like any teenage girl, she is bewildered and confused by many things; it’s just that she knows her own unique quirks very well. She’s not guiding Akira in this romantic relationship, it just appears that way from Akira’s perspective even as they’re guiding each other.
Lots more care spent on showing the drool exchanges this episode, and I do think it’s getting a bit excessive. I’m not one to deride fanservice, but this isn’t so much fanservice as it’s a gimmick or a narrative tool. We’ve seen it enough times by now that we understand what’s going on without it being dramatically drawn out every episode. Let’s see more paper-cutting action; at least with that, you can get creative with the choreography and animation.
Shots like this don’t seem necessary given that this story isn’t a celebration of drool, it’s a celebration of first romance.
Of course, it’s hard to avoid the yuri vibes with it now happening between the 2 girls, and Oka’s voiceover during the preview doesn’t help. But given what we’ve seen so far, this doesn’t seem like the type of show to play around with that much. It’s too focused on telling stories of awkward first love to cover unconventional love quadrilaterals. I expect the secret relationships to come out now and Ueno and Oka to act as a more conventional foil to Akira and Mikoto. Or who knows, maybe Oka is a Mysterious girl as well? She’s certainly got a few fetishes covered, such as her tiny stature, glasses, and big boobs.
Just because this is an unconventional show doesn’t mean it gets to skip out on having a beach episode!