Bonding through Drool! Mysterious Girlfriend X (Manga Review)

Don’t you think a girl who drools when she falls asleep is cute? It sounds a bit weird and kinky. These were the first words I saw from Mysterious Girlfriend X, and what caught my attention. So I bookmarked it, till I finally decided to read it this last month.

Mysterious Girlfriend X is a romance manga that’s different from your usual boy-meets-girl troupe, with love triangles and grand public declarations of undying love. And it’s more than just drool.

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side note it was hard picking a feature image. These were my other options…

Mysterious Girlfriend X is a refreshingly down to earth take on the romance genre; they get flustered by their firsts (like holding hands, sharing an indirect kiss through a drink), wonder or worry about their partner’s feelings and slowly find their pace as couples.

Dating has a teenage can be awkward, you don’t overnight know how to interact with the opposite sex, or handle relationships. You trudge through it, acting on impulses you might not be completely comfortable with, acting on the knowledge you have available from yourself and friends, etc. Mysterious Girlfriend X is all about exploring that space, with observation and sometimes legitimately strange shenanigans. 

Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X)

Chapter 96 | Published August 25, 2004 | Author Riichi Ueshiba

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Bonding through Drool! Mysterious Girlfriend X (Manga Review) Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki dancing in a dream strange dream town

Summary

One day, a strange transfer student appears in Tsubaki’s class. Urabe Mikoto is an antisocial girl, whose hobby is just sleeping during class-breaks, carrying around scissors in her panties (which she can use to cut through anything) and on one occasion randomly bursting into laughter during class. One day, after school Tsubaki goes to wake up a napping Urabe and ends up tasting her drool… And a connection between Tsubaki and Urabe begins. A bond made on drool!

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Relationships are complicated but with one made on drool, there’s no way of knowing what might happen.

What did I think?

Mysterious Girlfriend X can definitely be filed under some of the weirdest manga I have read. But I really enjoyed my time reading this manga by Riichi Ueshiba.

The exchange of magical telepathic drool from boy to girl, girl to boy and girl to girl for some reason really didn’t bother me like I have heard people complain about. Yes it’s a bit strange but I also liked how quirky it was about the whole scenario Mysterious Girlfriend X set up.

Mysterious Girlfriend X is not your typical romantic comedy. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, ecchi fest or overly serious. Riichi Ueshiba found just the right balance for Mysterious Girlfriend X that made the story and characters feel very somewhat grounded with just a dash of fantasy mystery.

Mysterious Girlfriend X rewarded me with an unusual experience for a romance manga. It was a completely mesmerizing play on the confusing, awkward way that love and sex blossom throughout the seemingly never-ending stage of adolescence and firsts.

STORY

Mysterious Girlfriend X by Riichi Ueshiba is definitely usual especially because of the drool thing but really how different is it from kissing, if anything there is less exchange of bodily fluids.

Bonding through Drool! Mysterious Girlfriend X (Manga Review) Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki doing their routine at Tsubaki home

Mysterious Girlfriend X has fetish elements but also some very innocent fun that can be very tender and touching. And we get to see Tsubaki and Urabe take their relationship one step at a time with moments of anger, jealousy, and objectification. Really good, bad, and downright ugly that help them to grow together.

At its core it is a nostalgic story about falling in love and unnecessary early assumptions and epic fails so often made early on in relationships.

The manga builds off the romantic tension of the will-they-won’t-they. And the plot works on the idea that the opposite gender is extremely mysterious and intimacy can be weird and awkward. So there is a lot of discovering of new feelings and understanding what each partner in a relationship wants one step at a time.

The mystical telepathic drool bond brings a magical element to the plot, helping share thoughts and emotions that helps our characters understand each other better.

Bonding through Drool! Mysterious Girlfriend X (Manga Review) Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki sick because of love sickness

Mysterious Girlfriend X story had a lot going for it that makes it a worthwhile read. But what I loved most about the whole story was reading about these two characters so intent on loving each other that they both work through all the problems to be content with one another.

ART

Mysterious Girlfriend X art style to me is kind of reminiscent of the 80’s or 90’s. The backgrounds are beautifully detailed and with the retro character design style (small black pupils, simple hair and a stocky, cartoon-like build).

And those parts where Tsubaki would have dreams were just so imaginative, I wish we had gotten more of that and got to see a lot more of the wacky dream world.

CHARACTER

Mysterious Girlfriend X Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki Ryouko Suwano

I loved all the characters. They were unique and felt like real people, and weren’t just there to feel up space but they all served a purpose to the story. Some would appear temporary while others would stay throughout the story.

The character development between Tsubaki and Urabe was done beautifully where it was done in a realistic two-sided way.

All the characters were adorable and helped even make the magical and superhuman elements of the story feel acceptable.

Favourite moment?

My favourite moments from Mysterious Girlfriend X would have to be the ones with Tsubaki and Urabe. I love how Tsubaki can be so clueless sometimes or how Urabe  acts so expressionless on the outside but she can actually be very sensitive.

We get to see she’s just a human being too, with her own wants, needs and her own insecurities.

Mysterious Girlfriend X Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki chapter 2 taking a photo of your girlfriend

The way she can always tell something is bothering him or how she can get him all flustered is really cute. And the way she can get all flustered herself is just so adorable. 

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Plus those moments when Urabe is so happy she smiles or literally gushes out drool is weird but adorable. Or when Tsubaki realizes what he did wrong and apologizes is great.

It was really nice and touching watching them grow as a couple, I was always in the Urabe and Tsubaki camp supporting them and hoping they stay together.

Mysterious Girlfriend X Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki getting him flustered
Hehe…

Least favourite moment?

Mysterious Girlfriend X chapter 28 to 34 and 58 to 59. Those chapters was a bit sad cause I felt sorry for Urabe and Tsubaki was being stupid. But those chapters really made them grow closer and makes me smile like a dirty old man. 

love-lab-natsuo-maki-akanbe-lower-eyelid

Favourite character?

Ayuko Oka

Mysterious Girlfriend X Ayuko Oka Kouhei Ueno messing up hair fogged glasses

Oka is Ueno’s (Tsubaki best friend) girlfriend and first friend of the unsocial and very reserved Urabe.

She’s a short, smart A student, good cook and as the mind of a dirty old man. She’s just so funny, devious  and with her intelligence, she sometimes helps Urabe and Tsubaki develop and deepen their relationship.

Least favourite character?

Aika Hayakawa

Mysterious Girlfriend X Aika Hayakawa Tsubaki first crush

Aika Hayakawa was Tsubaki’s classmate throughout junior high school, and also his first crush. 

I don’t hate her but she’s not my favorite, she tries to steal Urabe’s Tsubaki. Hayakawa’s very relatable once we get to understand her. But she is still the enemy of the Tsubaki and Urabe camp. Plus her plan was so obvious I don’t know how Tsubaki couldn’t see through it. It was so annoying!

What I learnt?

  1. Couples should always find their own pace in a relationship, confronting their feelings and dealing with them.
  2. Never get too comfortable around your significant other that you still don’t appreciate the little things now and then.
  3. And never ever make your partner cry. You have failed if you hurt them. This person picked you from the millions of other people on our planet.
Mysterious Girlfriend X Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki with schoolmates

Would you read more?

Yes Yes Yes Yes! I am glad I finally sat down and read Mysterious Girlfriend X (Nazo no Kanojo X) I found myself not being able to put it down, it was a wonderful manga.

I would recommend it for everyone who wants to read something funny and optimistic. It had a nice conclusion but I want more, I really fell in love with the characters especially Tsubaki and Urabe.

I would have like to be immersed more in the story of Tsubaki and Urabe, and maybe see them has adults with their kids. Their story was so grounded and realistic, it blew me away.

Thank you Riichi Ueshiba for creating Mysterious Girlfriend X.

Mysterious Girlfriend X Mikoto Urabe Akira Tsubaki thanking readers

Well till next time fellow otaku fans…

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YumDeku
20 something year old, spending a lot of free time watching anime, playing video games, reading manga, sometimes meeting new people and learning game Dev. Loves battle shounen, slice of life, comedy, horror or anything that has an interesting plot.

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