For all the strange things that happened in this episode, the one my mind zoned in on were the references to Big O of all things. I happen to be watching it at the moment, so seeing both the Big O Robot and a Dorothy figurine rather threw me for a loop. I’m not even sure what their significance is. I don’t think the two shows share any staff. There doesn’t seem to be any thematic similarities between the two. Maybe this director just really likes Big O or something. Well, he’s confirmed for good taste at the very least.
I’ve read a bit of the manga, so I thought I was prepared for drool sucking, but watching it in animated format was an entirely different experience, and one that turned my gut in a unpleasent way. It’s quite gross, but also well-explained and realised in animated format. They don’t shy away from how icky it is. In fact, the animators seem to be revelling in making that saliva as goopy and horrible as possible, but it’s important to come off as such for the story its trying to tell. It’s a commentary on how formulaic relationships are, particularly in the embarrassing, uncertain world of teenagers. Grabbing a girl by the shoulders and going in for the kiss? Pah, boring old stodge. Do something less typical, like plunge your finger into her mouth and take a good long hard suck oh dear my mind is in the gutter.
There’s a lack of cynicism that makes the show endearing. A big part of that is the old-school character designs, looking like they came out of the early 90’s. The directing is also top-notch in realising this charm the show has. It’s the same director Space Bros has, the guy who only previously worked on Doraemon. I guess working on Doraemon really is the anime director’s equivalent of training in the mountains. Both shows are fantastically directed. What makes Mysterious Girlfriend X stand out is it’s a stereotypical set up presented through an atypical filter. The dream sequences in particularly are fascinating.
I suppose if I was in a bad mood, I’d start whining about various other aspects of this anime. The main character is some blank slate of nothing. The question arises again of why the only girls in anime who make any sort of early romantic development are the weird ones, ala Yuno from Future Diary. Mind you, this is less Mysterious Girlfriend X’s fault and more the fault of every single other anime. There’s also a question of how far can they make this premise last, but at 13 episodes it shouldn’t run stale. Maybe I’m just in a good mood this season, but Mysterious Girlfriend X has the allure to it that puts me in a good mood anyway.