Nazo no Kanojo X – 12

Apparently underage porn is okay if it’s girl on girl (what I want to know is, why is Urabe posing here?).

First of all, thank you to everyone who helped Metanorn advance to the last 8 in the Aniblog Tourney. It’s been a fun and weird journey, and we’re all excited to have made it this far. Speaking of fun and weird, was there any way this episode could top the previous one’s shenanigans? With just this and the finale left, it may be winding down with the falling action instead of building up to a climactic finish. Which is just fine, because this penultimate episode was a pleasure to watch. I guess many others thought so too, because it made its first return to the top 5 in the Anime Power Rankings since its debut episode.

Besides the parallel between Akira and Mikoto, we’ve got Oka trying her darndest to make her and Ueno act in parallel to the main couple. Poor Ueno.

One of the joys of watching Mysterious Girlfriend X has been seeing the ways this couple reacts to the new experiences of their first relationship. Despite the slow feel of the show, we’ve seen them learn and change through these experiences. We’ve mostly seen Akira’s side of things, so it was fun seeing more of Mikoto’s this episode. A good way to follow up her nude antics in the previous one.

As Mikoto herself pointed out, she’s just as perverted as Akira is, and most of this episode was seeing her coming to terms with that. It was refreshing to watch her struggling with her feelings, since we had primarily been watching Akira’s struggles up to this point. Oka had to make her think of it, but just like Akira, she couldn’t stop once she started. As usual, her emotions manifest themselves in unique ways: first by (unknowingly?) letting him see her nude during their daily saliva exchange; then by committing an error while cutting up his handkerchief.

The look of abject terror in Mikoto’s eyes clearly conveyed the weight of the situation. Apparently, hurting anyone, much less her boyfriend, with her scissors skills never occured to her. To be honest, I was quite shocked as well. I know another well known female character might be known for using school utensils in a much more blunt manner, but I had always considered Mikoto’s scissors dances to be non-violent. But when emotions overflowed, both of these characters found themselves inadverdently performing violent actions: Akira with the unprompted hug and Mikoto with the slip-up during her scissors dance.

It was funny that, in the end, it was an embrace – the thing that got Akira into trouble in the first place – that got Mikoto out of her funk. Perhaps the key was that Mikoto initiated the hug, and to Akira who was clearly willing (actually, it looked like Akira was the one getting more out of it).

Good job with the color as usual, the orange hue of dusk in Mikoto’s room turning into a lemon-yellow background.

We also saw the same act in the dream sequence. There was a head fake here, seeming to be Mikoto’s dream at the start, but the barrage of rice cake breasts making it clear that this was Akira remembering the feeling of the aforementioned hug. But then again, was it only his? Maybe this was a shared dream. If Mikoto is as perverted as Akira, who’s to say that that dream wasn’t also hers? We’ve already seen her exhibitionist side. Maybe Mikoto visits this city in her dreams too and did so in that dream she refused to tell Akira about.

I’ve said it before, but as slow as the show can seem, it keeps throwing new stuff at us each episode. Just like Akira, who (could have) hurt her with his actions in the last couple episodes, she ended up hurting him twice due to her own awkwardness. Seeing Mikoto finally accept Akira’s desire to be close, tell him that it’s okay, and even initiate it in one case was immensely satisfying. These teenagers still don’t quite know what they’re doing, but their learning experiences have been so fun to watch.

Besides the drool, another connection that Akira and Mikoto share is that they’re apparently fans of old school science fiction movie posters.

We were treated to quite the assortment of new facial expressions on Mikoto.


It’s a romantic thought, but it’s highly unlikely that Akira and Mikoto stay together for the rest of their lives. Then again, this show has never been one to eschew romance for realism.


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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15 Responses to “Nazo no Kanojo X – 12”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    This was the best episode yet. Emotions are running rampart due to sexual tension and stimulation. There sure were a lot of innuendos in this.

    We got to see more expressions from Mikoto and the best ones were when she was embarrased. It’s proof Mikoto is finally giving in to her feelings. I wonder if they’ll finally end up kissing in the last episode. She admits that she’s also perverted. I wonder if that means she has the same kind of dreams as Akira.

    Mikoto in the bunny costume was awesome. The HHHHNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG levels were high.

    • lvlln says:

      With Mikoto’s new facial expressions, the continuing return of her scissors, and that crazy dream sequence, this episode almost felt like sensory overload compared to the slow paced mostly single track episodes we’ve had until now. It really is great seeing the show cash its chips in.

      • Racer X 47.1 beta says:

        I like the “sensory overload” description. Tipping point reached.

        Is Mikoto’s “Wall of Weirdness” finally going to succumb to the avalanche of emotions? I can’t wait for the last episode.

  2. animekritik says:

    It’s a wonderful thing when we can talk about an episode 12 as being one of the best in a show. So often this is not the case…

    As you said, Urabe’s expressions were great this ep, so many of them. One wonders what would happen if she were really off when doing the scissors thing, it’d had been bye bye Tsubaki.

    Wouldn’t it be an awful cliffhanger if the show ended with some doubt as to the couple staying together? I say awful, but I think it’d set up a second season quite well.

    Congrats on reaching the endless eight! (i mean, final 8).

    • lvlln says:

      Actually, since 12 is close to the end of 1 cours shows, I think it can often have the best episodes. For example, the 12th episode of Bakemonogatari was the date under the stars, and the 12th episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya S1 (both in airing order and chronological order) was Live Alive.

      I thought it was funny that when Urabe was checking her skills, the curtain behind the picture got cut in a horizontal line. Would’ve beheaded Tsubaki, or at least given him a nice long gash if she had done that to him. Hard to even imagine how to do that by accident, actually.

      • Highway says:

        When I was watching episode 12 of Bakemonogatari for the first time, I was thinking “THIS is what an episode of anime should be like.” Absolutely riveting.

  3. animekritik says:

    I posted earlier but the thing didn’t go through.

    Urabe’s expressions..priceless.

    Quality of next-to-last episode..priceless (so often this is not the case with a show).

    As awful as it might be, I wonder if they’ll end this show on a cliffhanger to set up a second season. Maybe some couple trouble?

    • Jrow says:

      Got your previous comment back (as you’ve noticed). It just got picked up by the spam filter which happens from time to time.

  4. Highway says:

    This episode was tremendously good. The cold open was 2 minutes of priceless amusement, with Oka not even fazed by having her picture cut up right out of her hand, but grabbing Mikoto’s skirt to see where she keeps her scissors. BTW, in that photo, Mikoto was ‘posing’ like that during the previous episode when Aika was taking her turn at Akira. I remember thinking “who the heck is gonna sit like that on a desk in that situation?” but instead it turns into another piece of excellent direction and continuity by the people doing the show.

    I love how Mikoto’s ‘misses’ were the smallest thing but nowhere close to her target. Akira’s forehead when she’s after his handkerchief held at arm’s length, the side of the curtains when I thought a couple petals would fall off the plant next to the picture (I think she just nicked the side of the curtain, and then it tore from the small cut, she didn’t cut all the way across).

    And of course, the emotions. Again we see the payoff from both the relatively subdued expression history of the show and the care they’ve taken to make everyone’s emotional reactions proportional and on a smooth continuum. The full range of emotions is there and we can easily tell the difference. Something else I thought I’d noticed is that we have been seeing Mikoto’s eye a lot more as the show moves on, just in normal scenes, whereas earlier in the series it was a much rarer sight.

    • Racer X 47.1 beta says:

      Overall, I think we are finally seeing Urabe begin to buckle and have to deal with her normal-self, i.e. emotions. All those “misses” proved to me just how rattled she is, but to hurt the one she honestly loves is a big tipping point.

      Which leads me to your observation on Urabe’s eyes. Even in the first episode when her classmates ask her to lunch she blows them off with her face planted on desk. I really noticed it with her lunchtime talks with Oka. When Oka would call her out, Urabe would hide behind her bangs. Her hair is like a mask that she retreats behind. Even when she confronts Tsubaki, that one eye peers from behind the mask waiting for the response (Reminds me of Kitaro from GeGeGe no Kitaro when she does this). That makes the episode when Oka styles her hair important. People get to see the “real” Ubrabe (she’s beautiful), but she gets a clearer view of the world. With Urabe, her eyes really are the window to her soul. Once you know this, you can read Urabe like a book. Oka knows this and I think this makes her a lot more important character in the story for the influence she has on Urabe. I think Urabe influences Oka just as much (Oka the scissorslinger?), but that’s another couple of paragraphs . . .

      Sorry for the long response, but I think you hit on a very important piece of the puzzle to understanding Urabe and her “weirdness”.

      • Highway says:

        Yeah, the parts I noticed were like the screenshot above where Suwano is leading Akira out of the room. Earlier in the series, we’d get a very closed, inscrutable look from Mikoto behind her bangs, that we could interpret many ways. Now it’s lot more evident that she’s a tad perturbed (but I didn’t take it as angry at all, just interested and concerned). And also, when she’s talking to Akira more often. I wonder if some of the change is due to her realizing that some of his wayward behavior (with Imai Momoka picture books) and jealousy stemmed in part from her closed off nature and that he felt others were as close as he, her boyfriend, was.

        • Racer X 47.1 beta says:

          Hayakawa was on the rebound and I think Urabe picked up on that she wasn’t a real threat for Tsubaki. Suwano could be the real deal. I think your right that Urabe is realizing the part she’s playing in the relationship and, even though she’s slowly been opening up, she really needs to step up in a big way. She needs to open up, but she’s unsure, if not just afraid, of herself. I think we’re seeing some of that with all the shots of her face and being able to read her emotions. If she doesn’t change, however, she’s just going to keep hurting Tsubaki and will probably lose him. That’s why we had the first real hug. By looking at the preview picture from ep. 13, does that mean Show ▼

          That would be a huge change in Urabe’s world.

      • lvlln says:

        Heh, the scene with Oka and Ueno was hilarious. Interesting that Oka didn’t decide to do the real deal and slip it in her panties. I liked how it created a parallel in injuries between Ueno and Tsubaki, especially since Tsubaki was already reminding me of Naota.

        • Racer X 47.1 beta says:

          The more I watched this series I’ve seen more of these parallels between the two couples. I wonder if Oka/Ueno are supposed to be the “normal” couple and Urabe/Tsubaki are the author’s “idealized” couple. Oka has always seemed more than an instigator, although that is part of her charm. Just a thought.

          I like the Naota reference. So true.

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, I’ve said it before, but I love how much this show puts so much focus on the little things, like that cut or the way Mikoto’s face is presented. I think anime in general doesn’t do subtlety well, which is part of the reason why there are few high school romances I like. Even the good ones like Toradora or Ef tend to beat you over the head. It’s refreshing to see one that takes things slowly, with little steps instead of grand gestures.

      Also, I’m gonna have to rewatch that scene now that you pointed it out. Of course, that doesn’t solve the issue of how Oka managed to get such a perfect shot. Does she have Shiranui-like abilities? Or is this the far future when camera phone technology has become this incredible?

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