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Mysterious Girlfriend X: A Manga of a Very Different Kind
Now, this series starts off very strange, so much so that it is a bit hard to describe. One day after school, Akira Tsubaki, the protagonist, sees Motoko Urabe, the female lead, sleeping at her desk. He wakes her up and tells her school is over and she leaves but left a pool of drool on her desk behind. For whatever reason, Tsubaki decides to taste it and it is incredibly sweet. Over a period of two weeks Tsubaki starts to have dreams about him and Urabe in a strange world and then begins to develop a terrible fever. After not going to school for a couple days, Urabe shows up to his house and knows why he is sick. He is suffering withdrawal from her drool and must have some of it to stave off the effects. Shortly after this event, the two of them get closer and start to date and begin there daily ritual of exchanging drool.
Weird. Honestly, I've had to explain that to a couple people and the looks I get.... But the series really does start off very strange but then quickly develops into the innocent relationship between this young girl and boy. Although the drool is a huge part of the series to the point that they can sense the feelings of one another through just tasting it, the real focus is on Tsubaki trying to be a good boyfriend while also trying to calm his own natural desires. Urabe remains an incredibly mysterious person but as Tsubaki learns more about her the reader begins to really understand Urabe's point of view, even if Tsubaki misses the point every now and then.
Tsubaki – Besides being the protagonist, Tsubaki isn't that much of a stand out character. He is really average across the board but I like that. He cares a lot about Urabe and is always trying to do the right thing but he isn't perfect and sometimes lets his desires get the better of him in some story archs. He is also incredibly innocent to the ways of the world and sometimes others can make a fool of him.
Urabe – Besides her drool apparently being magic, Urabe also always carries a pair of scissors underneath her skirt. In no time flat, she can cut anything into the shape she wants to and sometimes uses this skill as a punishment for Tsubaki when he does something stupid. She is also incredibly anti-social and talks to no one besides Tsubaki and eventually a girl named Ayuko Oka who kind of forces herself to be Urabe's friend.
Kouhei and Oka – Kouhei is Tsubaki's best friend who is also dating Oka. Essentially Tsubaki always takes relationship advice from Kouhei which occasionally works out or ends up in a comical situation. Oka plays the same role for Urabe, always trying to give advice be it intentional or not. Urabe is more resistant to this advice and is not always taken in like Tsubaki is. Outside of advice, Kouhei and Oka are background character who are mainly used as a plot devices.
What is really charming about this manga is how it deals with Tsubaki and Urabe as a couple. It takes everything very realistically of how a first relationship can develop. It is not that fast paced and it covers the very subtle pushes and pulls as they get to know each other more. I like this slow-paced romance mainly because there is usually something rather ridiculous going on in love stories in fiction. In manga especially, there is usually a major trial a couple has to undertake to be together be it a difference in social standing, family and friends being incredibly against them being together, to the more fantastic like one of them being involved with gangsters or even supernatural threats. These stories are fine but I really came to appreciate this series more realistic approach with it being only a little on the weird side.
This manga is currently not licensed in America but the license for the anime has recently been acquired by Sentai Filmworks so we can expect an American release down the line. So keep an eye out for this quirky series for it should be released some time not far into the future.