Welcome back everyone! I somehow managed to pause my journey through well regarded and important anime, and have detoured right into the realm of infamy. But not all anime needs to be universally praised to be worth talking about right? So whether you’re foaming at the mouth in disgust, or drooling with anticipation, together let’s dive into the world of Mysterious Girlfriend X!
Today we are debuting a few new change ups to my formula. Yeah! First Time Controversials is my new addition to the First Time Classics series of anime impressions pieces. Controversials of course being reserved for those shows that I watch which have more divisive reputations than my usual fare. The FTC-mini moniker is also new. “mini,” will not necessarily be about the length of the articles, but is just referring to those series which I do not write about during my first watch (as is my normal custom) but rather simply giving my end point impressions.
This is a series about a boy who get addicted to his girlfriend’s drool.
Now on with the show!
Now if any of you were disgusted with the concept of ingesting someone’s drool, as mentioned above, this show is likely not for you. Though it’s probably a good idea to know that fact about the show before you go in so that you are prepared for what’s coming up. (Unless you are showing a friend it as a joke to see them squirm, but then that’s slightly different.) The funny thing is I actually didn’t realise just how revolting others found this premise until after I watched it. I mean it’s weird, granted, but the amount of immediate revulsion I got when I brought it up to my anime watching peers was crazy! So was it worth all the outcry?
No not really. At least it wasn’t to me. I came away from this show pleasantly surprised, actually. I never got super grossed out, and really the first anime episode is the worst for anyone likely to gag, or get squeamish from the slimy phlegm. But once I got over that initial hurdle what I found underneath was much more thematically poignant, genuinely touching and a sometimes clever show that used its strange gimmick for a deeper look at love and relationships.
As it is I find myself now, having marathoned through both the Anime and the manga over the course of two days, reflecting back on this series with a feeling of melancholic joy. It was an actually sweet romance, with the drool bond serving as a way to convey feelings, understanding and shared experiences. A literal manifestation of how our feelings, and our actions affect the other people in our lives, and what it means to care about each other. I found it actually rather compelling as it allowed silly things like hiding secrets from each other to become less important, while allowing the characters to face directly their relational issues.
I mean really, what it brushed on, in my eyes, was the depth of personal friendships, platonic and romantic love, and what it means to be emotionally honest with people. and really thats a lot to mine out of sharing someones spit.
The anime had a cool look, with a plain design sense, but much more edgy, “mysterious” design aesthetic. It also had a slightly haunting score that matched perfectly well with the show, and gave it its own personality. Actually that music, coupled with the more artistic (if a bit visual-metaphor heavy) direction of the anime was something I kind of missed reading the manga.
The one big complaint I do have, really for both series, is that I wanted to see them progress further into their relationship. I mean it’s kind of amusing that drool-sharing is somehow easier and more acceptable for Urabe and Tsubaki to do then kissing, hugging, or even holding hands. But the series does start out with the promise of a “boy wondering who their first sex partner would be” and well, we don’t even really get to kissing level by the end of the anime or the manga. So I was kind of disappointed there.
On the plus side, that does mean the anime is, in hindsight, as about as holistic as an experience you could want of a series, so you don’t have to read the manga to “finish” the story if you don’t want to. That said, I don’t think either version of the story go as deep into their relationship as I would have wanted It’s good for what it is, it had potential for greatness, doesn’t quite climb to those heights, but isn’t worse for the wear.
So yes, at the end of this, I sit here, contemplating my feeling for this strange show. Some might consider calling it a “Guilty Pleasure” show, but you know, I wouldn’t consider it that, because once I accept the drool, there’s nothing guilty about my liking for this show….
Alright fine I’ll Say it: I LIKED THE DROOL ROMANCE SHOW.
(Drool is still 10x easier to recommend than the litany of sibling/almost-sibling/act-like-sibling “incest” romances. Drool at least is present in normal mouth-to-mouth kissing.)
Mysterious Girlfriend X was a 2012 anime by Hoods Entertainment, Adapted from the 2004 one shot, and subsequent 2006-2014 manga by Riichi Ueshiba
If you want to you can follow me Krakken_Unleashed, and this site AniTAY on twitter. I should be back soon with more FTC posts (hopefully some of the ones I actually planned.) I will see you all then!