Nazo no Kanojo X – 10

Oh hey, now I recognize you. So much trouble hiding behind that smile…

So we got to find out that the new girl was actually a return of Akira’s old crush from middle school. Except she stuck around for a lot longer this time and formed a plan on the fly to really get in between our main couple. Not that this show has exactly been predictable, but I gotta say that this is something I didn’t see coming. Oh how she threw a wrench into things.

Pretty tempting, right?

Oh poor, clueless Akira. Doesn’t he know that pretending to be someone’s significant other during a public event never ends without incident? Then again, he’s probably never had access to the media that have made that situation so cliche. Though honestly, he should have known better by this point. I compared him to a spineless harem lead before, and we got to watch that side of him as he let Aika drag him along for her scheme. What a curious one that girl is turning out to be. I had not expected her to reappear since their encounter in episode 6, so seeing her again was a bit jarring.

Good timing, following the hairstyle change episode.

The entire episode was a bit jarring, in fact. Mysterious Girlfriend X has been so singularly focused on Akira and Mikoto that it’s rare to see either of them holding a conversation with someone else for half the episode like in this one. Even supporting characters Ueno and Oka have minimal screen time, though the latter has certainly established herself as a significant character through her actions in her brief appearances. Some have been quick to call her an instigator, but I’ve always thought of her as just a really free spirited girl trying to have fun, no real agenda in her mind.

Aika, on the other hand, did have an agenda, or at least she developed one over the course of the episode. Akira’s actions might have been inexcusable, but certainly Aika was the instigator here. It’s unfortunate, but I’m not sure I like her return. Well, I did enjoy how they both casually laughed over a couple of acts that would normally be considered extremely creepy; it was a good way of keeping with the main theme of this show while also revealing a little more about them.

She was clever in her use of the environment.

Thing is, Mysterious Girlfriend X is treading very familiar ground here. The show hasn’t exactly shown variety with its episodes, but at least each one brought something genuinely new. This felt like a repeat of episode 6, just taken further. Aika as an actively malevolent force was a new development, but we still haven’t gotten to know her as a person. She’s a flat villain, driven by a jealousy that even she doesn’t fully understand. She’s too convenient and conventional a source of drama in a love comedy, and I’ve come to expect more subtlety from this show.

But as forced as the drama might feel, things are largely speculation at this point because they have yet to come to a head, which should be next episode. Surely Aika’s gambit will end in tears, but for whom and in what order? If the show plays it straight, Mikoto is going to get very upset, and Akira’s going to find himself in a very tight spot. Well, he’ll end up in a tight spot regardless, but we know that this show sometimes likes to throw things completely out of left field. At the least, I can’t deny I’m looking forward to seeing what will come.

I’ve mentioned it before: this show does have excellent eye catches.


School festivals do sometimes bring out the best in people.


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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12 Responses to “Nazo no Kanojo X – 10”

  1. Metalsnakezero says:

    I think that was the point of making Aika like that, to hate her guts for her current actions. While it is familiar ground, it is one thing that will need to end with the group meeting up. However, all of this would had easily be avoid if Aika just let it go.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I think Aika refuses to let go because she had someone who cared about her and seeing him again after all those years, she doesn’t want to lose him to somebody else so she’s resorted to making up stories.

    • lvlln says:

      They certainly made Aika easy to hate, but I don’t like it too much when villains are that transparent. I would’ve liked more complexity to her character.

    • Highway says:

      I know I read a lot into the show, but I don’t think they were trying to make her transparently villainous. Manipulative? Yeah. Selfish? Yeah. But I don’t think it’s just “I want to keep Tsubaki from liking someone else.” I’ll at least believe her that she just broke up with someone (although her known deceit later makes that harder to believe) and is likely looking for attention, so she goes back to a source of attention she has had in the past. It doesn’t quite go to plan, because someone else is now the focus of his attention, so she’s trying to get that attention back.

      • lvlln says:

        Well yeah, everything you described about her shows that she’s a villainous character.

        • Highway says:

          Yeah, you’re right. I was thinking of it more as an absolute evil / villain thing, but in the purpose of this story she is playing the ‘villain’ part. I was thinking more in a way that if the show was “Hayakawa Aika Suffers a Bad Breakup” she’d be the hero (if a somewhat morally ambiguous one) rather than the heel. Her actions are not unambiguously ‘evil’, in my view.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Hayakawa is giving off an untrustworthy vibe. She just wraps Akira around her finger and knows very well that he doesn’t have a strong enough will to resist. She is bad news and she used his guilt to get him to go to the fair. It’s a trap, yet he still goes for it.

    There’s pratically a confrontation between Hayakawa and Mikoto coming up. Mikoto didn’t seem too keen on Hayakawa the first time they met and she doesn’t seem subtle about her distaste. Their run-in is almost inevitable and Akira will have some explaining to do.

    Akira should’ve been more honest with Mikoto. He’s not good at lying and she can effortlessly see right through him. He should fess up lest he feels the wrath of her scissors.

    This episode highlights one of the reasons relationships get into trouble or even outright fail. Lack of communication. Although I understand why Akira didn’t tell Mikoto, he still should have. A girl like her would appreciate such honesty, and maybe even help him get out of his situation.

    • lvlln says:

      The characters’ lack of experience and their fumbling around due to that have been mostly innocuous until now, but looks like we’re entering some danger. You’d think it’d be easy with a girl as straightforward as Mikoto, but I guess Akira will learn the hard way. Mikoto sure is hard to read, though. She definitely seemed bothered by Aika coming to her, but how much was her natural bluntness?

    • Highway says:

      It just occurred to me that we might be giving Mikoto a little too much credit in immediately seeing what we, the audience, knows, i.e. that Akira is lying about what he’s doing on Sunday. Thinking about the timeline presented in the episode, Mikoto believes Akira when he says he’s going shopping with Kouhei on Sunday. True, she was a bit reluctant, and pressed him a couple times, but she wants to believe him. She seems genuinely surprised when Oka says that they’re definitely going to the Culture Fair. There really doesn’t seem to be any ‘I knew it all along’ from Mikoto in that exchange with Oka.

      Of course, this is actually *worse* for Akira in the realm of boyfriend-girlfriend relations.

  3. Highway says:

    Naivety strikes again! I want to at least give Akira credit for some of his actions in this episode. He stops before ‘cheating’ on Mikoto, and before his moment of weakness he really seems to be talking to Aika out of niceness, not just flirtiness. And when he gets called out by Aika and given the sob story about her ex, he tries to hedge and get out of it, before resigning himself to what we all knew he was going to do. So at least he knows what he should do, but one of the things we like about him is his chivalrous nature, so you know he’s gonna fall for it.

    If he could play this episode for Mikoto, it would go a lot easier for him. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have that luxury. I think the thing that might be luckiest for him is that Mikoto has a very relaxed (not really the word I want to use, but can’t think of a better one) attitude about actually trying to control his thoughts. She hasn’t gotten *angry* with him about things he does (dreaming of her, talking to Aika before, talking to Oka) in the past, although I don’t know if her cutting up his Momoka picture book is a trend away from that or just a particular weak spot. And speaking of Momoka picture books, wasn’t that such a guy thing to do? “She just doesn’t *understand*!” Eventually he’ll learn, but for now it’s naivety, no malice.

    • lvlln says:

      Given what Mikoto said in episode 6, I don’t think her reaction will be violent or even particularly angry. But that could turn out worse for Akira; after all, he’s the one who asked Mikoto to punch him over some misunderstood crying. The guilt would eat him up if she cries just as he did back then. But honesty always seems to win out in this show. Like Aika and Akira revealing their stalker actions to each other in this episode. Should be fun to see how they stumble, trying to find a satisfying resolution.

  4. Bob from Accounting says:

    You know, even if Aika had been telling the truth, what on earth would this plan of action achieve? If this person will hit their ex, what would they do to a sudden new guy on the scene. And then be even more upset with Aika to boot, probably. Akira really didn’t think this through. Of course, neither did Aika. She’s just lucky that Akira is too stupid to spot the obvious flaws in this extremely weak pretext.

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