- Alt. Name
- Nazo no Kanojo X
- Released Date
- Spring 2012
- No. of Episodes
- Hoods Entertainment
Mysterious Girlfriend X is a 2012 Slice of Life Romantic Comedy anime series from Hoods Entertainment. While some viewers may find this studio a little unknown, they may recognize some of the other series that they have created, like The Qwaser of Stigmate, Drifters, and Real Girl. The most exciting thing about this series is that this was only the third anime property they ever worked on, which can raise some red flags for some viewers. However, sometimes there are occasional hidden gems within a studio’s backlog that should be seen again. Other times the backlog of anime creations need never see the light of day ever again.
Every girl is a mystery when you’re a 16-year-old boy, but Mikoto Urabe is in another league. She carries scissors hidden in her panties. She sleeps on her desk every day. She seems to have no friends whatsoever, but none of that can compare to what happens when Tsubaki Akira decides to return to the classroom one day after school. This fateful turn of events changes not only his life forever but for Urabe as well. Could these events have been avoided? Absolutely, but being a hormone-raging red blooded male, sometimes it acts now ask questions later.
From that moment in the classroom onward, things between Urabe and Akira are never the same, and the mysterious girl slowly becomes Akira’s mysterious girlfriend. Along with their friends Ueno Kouhei and Oka Ayuko, Akira and Urabe try and navigate the minefield of high school first romance and all the strange things that happen along the way. For anyone going through puberty and especially being in their first relationship, problems are bound to arise. Whether the issues are from inside or outside the relationship, it’s all part of growing up.
While the most significant positive of this anime series is it takes a straightforward premise and gives it a quirk that has never been done before, and it works! The ability to create something so out there and find a way to make it work within the plot of any story is exceptionally challenging. The enormous praise that this anime series story must receive is having a solid mix of Romance and Comedy. Having that paired with the pacing was remarkable! There are very few anime series, regardless of what genre they’re categorized into, that can do with the same amount of episodes.
Another positive aspect of this anime series was the levels of what viewers can expect from a Romantic Comedy anime series. There are very few anime series that can captivate its audience from the first episode and keep them there, and It is fantastic within its right. Still, the ability this series has to throw a curveball practically every time. Not to mention that as the story progresses, the viewer will not only see the relationship between the two deepen into genuine love, but they’ll be able to feel it as well. The plot is very rememberable, and viewers will undoubtedly remember this series long after they’ve finished the last episode.
However, this anime series is not perfect by any means, but the first one must be stated. The biggest problem is that the viewer will decide to either continue the anime series or drop it after the first episode. The gimmick is not to toy around within this series, and this anime does give it full force during the first episode. Though this will not be stated within this review, it is an exciting spoiler, but it’ll make or break the anime series for anyone. Once you’ve seen the series, the viewer will understand.
The other problem within this story is that the amount of repetition is off the charts in this anime. Almost every episode has very similar animations, almost so that the viewer may think they’re just recycled animation movements. Whether it’s identical is redundant due to it being cheap and sleazy writing. To begin with, if the story progressed further, they potentially didn’t need to use specific scenes multiple times or try to use the gimmick repeatedly.
When it comes to Mysterious Girlfriend X’s art style is excitingly pleasant. This anime series debuted in 2012, and the source material in 2008. Yet the series feels very reminiscent of anime from the eighties and nineties. The older-looking art style is very refreshing, and the areas that stand out are the backgrounds and the atmosphere that this style gives off. While some may not enjoy the character models, they bring a certain level of creativeness that almost seems similar to character designs that premiered a decade or two earlier.
Though when it comes to the animation production side of this anime, that’s when things start getting a little tricky. The opening animation is chock-full of metaphors and cut scenes oddly put together. Even though this is weirdly generic and symbolic, this works for a series such as this for some strange reason. If this were done to any other series, the opening wouldn’t fit as well. Would it work? Potentially, but it would feel a bit off. Even the opening theme song seems to be appropriately titled “Orchestra of Love,” which Ayako Yoshitani. Though when it comes to the opening theme versus the ending, both are on the same par regarding being weird. Weird being the keyword regarding that the animation is just seeing pictures of girls sleeping. A little bit creepy.
However, Mysterious Girlfriend X has an interesting cast of characters, but by no means original. First is Mikoto Urabe, the main female character of the anime. Very little is known about Urabe as the series lacks any real character depth, so much so that her parents are either dead or working twenty-four-seven since the viewer will never see them or hear about them. She is best described as a quirky character, as she sleeps a majority of the time in class and will think nothing about this action. Though outside of her weird fluid running inside her, she also carries a pair of scissors inside her panties at all times. That is also never explained, which is surprisingly not the most critical question about the character.
Akira Tsubaki is the main male character, best summed up by being an average boy by most standards. He lives with his sister and father, though the sister has taken a more motherly role towards her younger brother. His mother, unfortunately, passed away when he was very young, and he doesn’t remember her. Though when Urabe transfers into his class, he is instantly intrigued by her, especially after one outburst of her hysterically laughing. When it comes to Akira’s personality, he’s very passive. He’s not aggressive in pursuing furthering his relationship with Urabe, slightly due to his fear of getting cut by her scissors. He is a little bit inside his head when he compares other people’s relationships and emulates them.
Ayuko Oka is Kouhei’s girlfriend and eventually becomes close friends with Urabe. She is a relatively short person standing just barely over 4 feet 8 inches tall, yet she is classified as having a model-like body. This is a good thing for her, especially when she dresses in her favorite clothes for her boyfriend. As the series progresses, the sweet and innocent young girl slowly shows that she has a little bit of a passionate side to herself. She also happens to view their relationship as competition with Urabe and Tsubaki, for reasons not explicitly placed but is left more as an interpretation.
Kouhei Ueno is Tsubaki’s friend and Ayuko’s boyfriend. He is respectably shy throughout the series, to the point that he kept his relationship a secret, and when Tsubaki found out, he asked him not to tell anyone. However, he is always willing to help his friend by providing advice about relationships whenever he can, and in a way that teenagers would think. Though throughout the series, Kouhei is shown to be very jealous of Ayuko and would instead dress a bit more conservatively, especially at the beach.
The last of the main cast of characters is Youko Tsubaki, Akira’s older sister. She considers it her duty to raise her brother correctly in the place of their deceased mother and has refused to consider marriage until he graduates and finds a job. She spends her time housekeeping throughout the day and shopping for the family. Outside of these, there isn’t much depth of the character, but this is plenty to get a strong emotional connection towards the characters she interacts with.
Mysterious Girlfriend X is one of those strange anime series that is once the viewer finishes watching the series, they are going to remember it. Whether that is for a good or wrong reason is up to the viewer, but they’ll remember this series for sure. However, Mysterious Girlfriend X is not for everyone, and for those who love a slice of life, Romantic Comedies are bound to be well divided on this series due to its quirkiness. Don’t underestimate the power of this series; its writing is exceptionally well done, and the art is just as good. The amount of emotional connection this series has is outstanding in its own right because they somehow found a way to make something weird into something beautiful. If someone is looking for a lovely but weird anime series or one that will stay in the back of one’s mind forever, this is the series for them.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.