Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Mysterious Girlfriend X: Volume One

An awkward romance about the relationship between 17-year-olds Akira Tsubaki a nerdy cinephile and anti-social transfer student Mikoto Urabe who form a bond after Tsubaki tastes the drool of Urabe when he sees her sleeping and on a whim tastes her spit and the lack of it makes him sick for days. So he and Urabe become unconventional boyfriend and girlfriend with drool being used as a way to express emotion for the stoic Urabe and Tsubaki to draw closer to Urabe. As relationships go in Manga this is by far a strange one and while it could very easeily have turned into an excercise in Eiken style levels of perversion. What instead is a faltering peculer attempt at growing closer to the one you love. While the focus on drool as the bond of love and the consuming of it will probably turn some off. It instead is a series that while the eventual end of Tsubaki and Urabe's relationship will probably be sexual that it's simply learning boundaries stumbling through what it means to have a girlfriend and realizing that sometimes what is perceived as a "normal" relationship is not what you have and what you have is precious. In particular the end of this volume brings a level of poginicey and bitter sweet loss along with the fan service, fetishism, and sometimes petty emotions with Akira comeing to terms with his Mother's death. While I also have to praise Riichi Ueshiba for his older looking artstyle being more comparable to 80s era Rumiko Takahashi with soft lines for the charcter preportions and highly detailed dream scapes while the classrooms feel like populated buildings filled with the prattle and chatter of high school kids and the bond between Urabe and Tsubaki is just as easily displayed in visual terms as dialouge. While as a herione Urabe is atypical comprable to a anti-social loner than a fantasy girl simply put a peculer girl who ther than Taubaki her closest relationship is with Ayuko Oka the girlfriend of Tsubaki's friend Kouhei Ueno and Urabe's only friend. Oka being the opsite of the reserved Urabe open, blunt and cheerful it's also nice to see a friendship between two girls in a romance series that makes the romance the main part of the series but not the only part. It's a nice touch to see the relationships contrasted. Along with Tsubaki's loyality to Urabe from destorying the photo of his first crush from middle school to makeing up hand singnals to express his feelings for and put Urabe at ease when she worries that he will stray. In short it's a cute series that makes a story about something that could be a gross and unpleasent peice of fetish fuel into a honest look at the stumbling attempts at emtoional and physical intamicey.

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