Author Topic: Mysterious Girlfriend X - reviews (BW Transplant)  (Read 109 times)

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Offline Zen

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Mysterious Girlfriend X - Episode 1 - Mysterious Girlfriend

Rating: 5 of 5

Synopsis:
(From Crunchyroll)

Quote
Akira is a normal high school boy, but he nevertheless impulsively licks some drool left by the mysterious transfer student Mikoto. The next day he falls asleep with an inexplicable fever. After five days Mikoto suddenly comes to visit, and makes him consume her drool. The fever instantly vanishes, and Mikoto explains that he's suffering from "love sickness." She can transmit emotions through her drool, and the two of them are now bound together.
NOTE: All of the synopses I have found have the same error, they say he falls ill the day after tasting her drool, it is actually several days later...
Spoiler (hover to show)

NOTE: Spoiler tags don't seem to be working. I put the spoilers in "white text" so you have to highlight them to read them...

Impressions: Let me start out by saying that this is possibly the most polarizing anime of the season on discussion boards that I frequent. It is obvious that some folks just can't get past the concept of a boy tasting the drool on a girl's desk. It is just too much for them.

I don't have that problem. For one thing, I had already checked out the manga in preparation for the anime release. I read the premise of the show, boy tastes drool and love blooms, thought "WTF?????", read a few chapters of the manga, and several hours later I was a fan. What I see when I watch the first episode is a show with an offbeat premise, old school art style, originality applied to a familiar genre, and an amazing level of sweetness that shines through the off-putting weirdness of the show's hook. And I am a sucker for sweet, romantic stories, so you know that I am lovin' it!

The main strengths of the show are the character designs, the music, the background art, the voice acting, and the writing. Frankly, I'm hard pressed to find anything that I didn't like about the show, so lets start at the top:

Character design: The characters really look like they stepped out of a late 80's/early 90's manga magazine! There is a refreshing lack of the prevailing moe, cookie-cutter style designs.

I have seen comments that the characters look a bit young to be 2nd year high school students, but when you look at their homeroom teacher and Tsubaki's older sister, who is in her mid-twenties, you realize that it is just the style. They look extremely young as well.

Then you look closer at the bodies of the characters, especially the young ladies, and you realize that they have subtle womanly curves that indicate that they are definitely young women, and not little girls.

The design of Makoto Urabe, the main character, is especailly striking, as her hair is almost always over her eyes, and the times when you see one or both of them has a tremendous impact.


Combine that with the fact that pretty much all of the minor and background characters are very individual, as opposed to being cookie-cutter versions of the same basic character style, and it leads to an impressive set of characters.

Spoiler (hover to show)
Music: The score has a slightly haunting feel to it sometimes, matching the mysterious mood set by the story. It is always right for the mood of this episode, and the ED is wonderful. No OP in episode 1...

Background art: This is one of the true standout features of this anime. If you look carefully at the backgrounds and fine details surrounding the characters, you will find them rich in symbolism and absolutely packed with little tips of the hat to famous SF movies, anime, and manga.


From the "Star Mars" poster on Tsubaki's door, to the little space-ship charm and pen Urabe has, to the ever present "Bad Cat" items all over the place.

The dream environment where Tsubaki dreams about dancing with Urabe is particularly rich in symbolism and outright bizarreness, in a good way. I'm sure I could watch the episode three or four times without catching all of the references in the background.

Voice Acting: One of the truly brilliant things about MGX is the voice cast. As Tsubaki, veteran seiyuu Miyu Irino (Jinta from Anohana, Ryōshi in Okamisan and Her Seven Companions) performs the role with just the right level of maturity and lack there of, with a youthful feel, but not too young. The real prize, however, is the performance of newcomer Ayako Yoshitani, a 20 year-old actress in her first voice acting role. Her Urabe is almost the perfect voice for what I heard in my head while reading the manga. With a voice low in the female register, her husky, sultry, sexy, and slightly breathy voice is absolutely fantastic! Her laugh is amazing too!

Writing: Above all, I found the first episode of MGX to be a wonderfully told story of boy-meets-girl. It mixes in some classic tropes, like the mysterious transfer student, but uses many of them in original, or at least non-traditional ways. The love story is classic old school. There is no harem, no hemming and hawing about whether they will get together or not. Just straight forward young love. The lead female is strong and enigmatic, with a fine sense of mystery about her, befitting the title of the show. (There is more to come, too!
Spoiler (hover to show)
She is nothing if she isn't strange!) It may use strange, some would say even disgusting, methods to tell its tale, but the tale it is there to tell is a classic tale of young love, told with a deftness and a sweetness that is absolutely wonderful to behold, if you can handle the drool part...

« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 23:38 by zensunni »
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Offline Tiedye

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I haven't checked out the anime yet but I have now started reading the manga thanks to your review here.  The oddness is a nice hook for this story as it is definitely a-typical in the love portrayal and essentially activities between the two.

Thanks Zensunni as the anime will really be a nice show to watch.