Title: Nazo no Kanojo X
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
Summary: Akira is a normal high school boy, but he nevertheless impulsively licks some drool left by the mysterious transfer student Mikoto. The next day he falls asleep with an inexplicable fever. After five days Mikoto suddenly comes to visit, and makes him consume her drool. The fever instantly vanishes, and Mikoto explains that he’s suffering from “love sickness.” She can transmit emotions through her drool, and the two of them are now bound together.
Review: I really wanted to review this anime because it took me by surprise more than anything else out there. If you read my Spring preview you’d probably know that I had zero hopes for this anime. Can you blame me? The guy falls for a girl because he drinks some of her drool. The anime was exactly that too! It wasn’t like “Oh he accidentally kisses her and falls for her”, he literally takes a bit of her drool from the desk and puts it in his mouth. No explanation, no reason, nothing. On the plus side he even knew how weird it was and panicked wondering what he had just done. He didn’t know that he soon became addicted, and her drool was now a drug coursing through his veins. The idea of him drinking her drool went from weird to… normal? After the first few episodes I actually didn’t even notice how absolutely off it was. Hell a part of me started to believe people actually did that kind of stuff in real life. I think this was the point I started to reconsider the level of enjoyment this anime was giving me. I looked forward to it every week to see how Akira and Mikoto’s relationship would progress.
The art style for Nazo no Kanojo X was one that not many anime have nowadays. It was a good mix of old school and new school. The character designs were far from common in this day and age of anime. It seems like something that should have been done in the late 90’s or early 2000’s if it weren’t for some of the newer artwork mixed along with it. Things like beautiful backgrounds, glistening water effects (or drool in this case), fluid body motion, and other minor shading details made this anime compete with the rest. I would say it was actually a nice change from the normal anime you see lately because it was unique. I find myself losing track of which anime I’m watching until I see one of the characters when marathoning the ones that came out that day. For Nazo no Kanojo X it was obvious right when the episode started. This was a great characteristic that the anime followed through in more than one area. It was probably one of the few anime that decided to take a different approach in every way possible and still turned out to be one of the best in the season.
The story for Nazo no Kanojo X was probably the only thing stopping some people from every picking this anime up. I would say anyone who managed to get past the first two or three episodes ended up watching the series religiously; I know I did. The thing about the anime that made it so great wasn’t the backstory of how the two leads got together, but rather where each day led them. It is one of the few anime that takes two characters, brings them together in a more-than-friends way from the get-go. I’m surprised a lot of other anime don’t do this. I suppose more people find it exciting to watch how a couple gets together rather than how they learn to be with each other. I’m glad that this anime decided to take latter instead of following the cookie cutter methods like everyone else. Despite having such a strange, fetish-related opening the anime itself was rather tame. There were a lot of very realistic scenarios that Mikoto and Akira were put in. For example, asking the other out on a date or jealousy between possible love rivals. You could argue that many other anime do the same, but I find the way the characters reacted more fascinated than the overall plot. Anyone who has followed my tweets about this anime probably know that I was pleasantly surprised as to how realistic the reactions were. They didn’t act like drama-seeking children, they acted like logical, capable adults. It avoided one of the most cliché plot devices in a romance, drama caused by miscommunication. Instead the anime took the path of showing a happy couple go through their everyday lives and how being honest was the best method to staying in sync. Both Akira and Mikoto didn’t bottle things up inside until it turned into a giant mess which could only be fixed by an act of unrealistic love situations. Instead they talked things out, understood each other, bonded with one another in their own special way. It may sound sappy but it is something that made me fall in love with this anime. Another thing that I feel every romance needs to put more emphasis in is what makes these two special. What made Akira and Mikoto stand out from the other characters? What made them separate from all the other couples I’ve seen throughout my anime career? That strange plot that made me want to avoid this anime in the first place turned into one of the biggest reasons I continued watching. The drool. I don’t mean some creepy way where I slow-motioned every time Akira went in for a taste, but in an appreciative way. It was something that I could never see any other anime couple doing. It was their thing, their special moment that no one else could take away. It was something that the characters themselves even realized. They knew no one else can be there for them the way they are there for each other. Akira and Mikoto have now become part of my top five favorite anime couples of all time.
Nazo no Kanojo X had quite a variety when it comes to its soundtrack. It has one of those soundtracks which will instantly make you remember specific scenes in the anime after listening to it after quite some time. One particular track that stands out is “Dream”. It sounds like something you would hear at a carnival with lights flashing all around you or while in a dreamlike state (hence the title). It fit quite perfectly with what was going on in the anime as it played in the background. As strange as this may sound (Get it? Sound? Arf arf) the soundtrack reminds me quite a bit of old Disney films. Which again fits perfectly with the series’ old school art style. Although I have no real intentions of getting the OST because I don’t see myself listening to it in my free time, it fit perfectly with the anime.
Final statements: I’m really happy with how this anime turned out as you can probably tell from my must see score. Get passed the summary and really give this one a shot, I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After watching the OVA I can’t wait for a season two just so I can see more of these two. Their relationship is just getting started!