Mysterious Girlfriend X Volume 1 Review
Mysterious Girlfriend X:
Reviewed by: Linny
Synopsis: When Mikoto Urabe transfers into Akira Tsubaki’s school and class, it doesn’t take long for Mikoto to establish herself as a rather odd girl, one that’s quickly avoided by everyone else because of her eclectic and unfriendly behaviour. However, due to certain inexplicable circumstances, Akira ends up becoming her boyfriend and finds himself addicted to her spit. But their relationship is as bizarre as his new girlfriend is. He isn’t allowed to even lay a finger on her, much less kiss her and thus begins a most bizarre romance.
Review (Warning: Spoilers to Follow):
Mysterious Girlfriend X has a very strange premise even for a manga. While anime and manga has always managed to come up with the most convoluted reasons why two people must be together and fall in love, Mysterious Girlfriend X tries to dial the strange to over 9000. So with that in mind, I’d like to save some of you some time and say that you should only pick up this manga if you want to see a rather unusual love story that focuses primarily on being strange. Also, general heads up, the first chapter of Volume 1 is extremely lengthy as it combines the one shot the series originally had into the story, thus giving you a first chapter that has 128 pages whereas the chapters after that only have about 26 pages.
Lets address the most bizarre component of the series, our heroine, Mikoto who is anything but conventional. She is sloppy, constantly dozing off and drooling, and has some extremely bizarre hobbies and habits like storing a pair of scissors in her panties and possessing some rather impressive cutting skills using said scissors. While this is clearly all in an effort to make her ‘mysterious’, it makes her feel more eccentric and strange rather than straight up mysterious. Our hero, Akira is a bit more conventional in that he seems like your average high school student for the most part throughout the story. While his reactions to some of Mikoto’s extreme behaviour seems tempered, overall he feels like the most sane and believable character in the story so far, the straight man so to speak. He makes a nice foil to Mikoto’s outlandish ways and balances out the story for anyone who likes some sane anchor amidst the chaos.
Moving onto the reason that the story comes up with to explain why they end up ‘dating’, it’s unsurprising just as bizarre as everything else in the story. Without spoiling anything, lets just say that it might make a more sensitive soul a little queasy. It’s not just the start but the entire relationship feels strange, From premonitions about who they’re going to lose their virginity to, to testing boyfriend potential through spit tasting..nothing about this story is normal. I cannot emphasize just how ludicrous things get. It’s not over the top exactly, more on the extremely bizarre side and if you like the unconventional, this manga definitely deserves to be on your reading list.
Some readers might have noticed that Mysterious Girlfriend X has an Ecchi tag but if you were expecting some really hot and heavy action, the x-rated content is somewhat tame. There are brief sequences where you see naked side profiles of the girl, and some panty flashing and even a dream about some sexual interaction but it never gets extremely graphic or sleazy. So far, the ecchi content feels tastefully done rather than a cheap shot at gaining attention and that’s definitely a plus point for the series. Fair warning, I still wouldn’t read this in a public place where a passing stranger might be able to see your screen/page. Out of context, some of the panels will probably earn you judgemental looks.
With that said, I have to confess that I personally did not find Mysterious Girlfriend X to be something that appealed to me. So my opinions and criticisms from here on out might not click with everyone. First off, my biggest issue with the story is that it’s so obsessed with being strange that it doesn’t seem to make the reader do anything else except think ‘well this is weird’. That’s perfectly alright if you pick this story up wanting exactly that. But if you wanted it to make you feel other emotions, volume 1 will leave you disappointed on that front. My other biggest gripe is that thus far the story is so extremely focused on its two main protagonist that it feels like there’s nothing else in the story for you if you aren’t enraptured by them and their relationship. Now, these criticisms are based on only a single volume, so of course they’re meant to be taken with a grain of salt.
And now back to the crux of the CrunchyCrawl series, is Mysterious Girlfriend a manga meant for you? Sure, if you like the sound an extremely eclectic set up for a romantic relationship between high school students that is anything but traditional. Unless you are extremely queasy or disapprove of any and all ecchi content, the sexual parts and the main bizarre crux of the series shouldn’t bother you either. The heroine is extremely unusual and definitely a complete departure from the more common romantic female leads in manga and packs quite a punch with her quirks. The manga also has some extremely eye catching dream sequence panel that look grandiose and are rather impressive. On the other hand, if you prefer your stories to offer more than a ‘wtf’ factor, and like well explored characters you can relate to, you might be left reeling and irritated by how devoted the story is to being mysterious and strange, refusing to explore anything else besides the eccentric relationship between our leads. Overall, I would recommend you give the series a try if you find yourself craving something unusual that defies all the preconceived notions of high school romance while containing occasional visually intense panels and tasteful ecchi component. Even if it doesn’t completely win you over, Mysterious Girlfriend X is sure to leave a mark on you just for its sheer strangeness.