Mysterious Girlfriend X

“I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” – Truman Capote

“Mysterious” is the word used to describe the title character. “Odd” could be used too, as could “funny”, “attractive”, and if you wanted to extend it to phrases, “very good with scissors”. However, Very Good with Scissors Girlfriend X doesn’t have the same ring to it. 

Akira Tsubaki is an ordinary male high school student, living with his sister who is acting as a mother-figure after their actual mother died when Akira was very young. One day a new transfer student joins the class and sits next to Akira. This student, Mikoto Urabe, has some odd habits. Her hair is unkempt and often covers her eyes. Plus she often sleeps all the way through breaks. She is thus marked out as a weirdo.

At the end of one school day, Akira wakes a drooling Mikoto from her slumber. She then leaves. But for some odd reason Akira puts his finger in the puddle of drool Mikoto left on her desk and tastes the drool. Though he finds it sweet, he later becomes ill. Mikoto arrives at his house and seemingly knows the cause. She cures Akira by getting him to suck her drool-covered finger. It turns out Akira was lovesick and suffering from withdrawal symptoms from not having tasted Mikoto’s drool again.

Mikoto takes this as a sign of the love between the two of them, so they become boyfriend and girlfriend. When they walk back home from school every day, Mikoto offers more drool, which has other mysterious properties. It can communicate feelings, both mental and physical between people, and thus heighten their emotions. Mikoto’s conditions regarding her relationship with Akira are that he is not to reveal their relationship to anyone else, and not to hug or kiss her until the time is right. Whenever Akira ends up angering Mikoto, he finds himself at the receiving end of her hobby – she is an expert at using scissors, keeping a pair hidden in her panties, and can cut anything down to size in seconds.

This is a very good series. First of all there is the art, especially the designs of the lead characters. Akira looks good and Mikoto is wonderful. I like her non-conventional, scruffy hairstyle, and when you do see her face she looks very cute. The relationship between Akira and Mikoto may be bizarre with him addicted to Mikoto’s drool, but it is clearly a loving relationship, and a believable one given the context. The oddity adds to the humour. At times it is visual, elsewhere it is in the characters; sometimes it is romantic, and even sexual. There is nudity, plus as Mikoto keeps her scissors in her underwear there are several panty-shots, but the fan service is not too overloading.

On the downside, this collection does not come with the special OVA episode. Aside from trailers for other anime, the only extras are the clean opening and closing title sequences. Also, some things are a bit lost in translation. Some written Japanese text is not translated, and some of the Americanisms used are confusing. For example, there is a scene in which some characters are drinking and buying cider from vending machines in the school. It wasn’t until I looked it up that I learnt that in Japan and the USA “cider” is a type of apple juice and has nothing to do with the alcoholic cider we have in Britain.

The only downsides with this release have been the production and and some problems with translation. Mysterious Girlfriend X as an anime on its own is great. An entertaining addition to any anime collection.

8 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and was also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. His debut book, CLAMPdown, about the manga collective CLAMP, is available now. Outside of anime, he is data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, has written questions for both The Wall and Richard Osman's House of Games, and has been a contestant on Mastermind.

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