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Nazo no Kanojo X – 07 »« Nazo no Kanojo X – 05

Nazo no Kanojo X – 06

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「謎のステップ・アップ」 (Nazo no Suteppu Appu)
“Mysterious Step Up”

Honesty. That’s how every relationship makes it through the toughest of times. Without it, the moment something goes unexpectedly wrong is the moment most relationships go downhill for good. Never is a relationship perfect, and what makes those imperfections survivable is the ability to face the heat.

Yes, Nazo no Kanojo X is weird, but it’s weird just because of the drool, but because of the various themes of honesty (or lack of) within every episode. Not often do you get a couple that is able to transmit their feelings in this unorthodox way, and even with that sheer intimacy connecting them, they STILL have their distances.

I’ll admit, Tsubaki is a little stereotypical at times. He can fall into that male protagonist who’s thick, immature and self-centered mold at times with his antics. However, I like him. When it comes time to face the fire of his wrongs, he oftentimes does the right thing and speaks out his feelings, no matter how it may come off. That moment when Tsubaki admitted upfront his disappointment at the bridge…touched me. I completely identified with him. Although we may be in love with another person, our past, present, and future rarely leave us alone. We can’t help but feel feelings we had in the past, be attracted to others in the present, and doubt our futures. However, when we finally outright share those worries when we need to…that is the beauty of a relationship. Yes, Tsubaki might have needed some help to feel the emotions, but how different is it from a normal argument between couples? Instead of Urabe vocalizing her worries, the spit spoke for her.

However, even with Urabe’s spit being the primary expression of her feelings, it’s fascinating that she still has her own reservations. She can be quite blunt and assertive when it comes to issues we might find sensitive, but come other issues…and she becomes as kuudere as Ayanami Rei. Even though she’s declared Tsubaki to ultimately be her first, she is reserved about certain physical contact and well…never really takes the initiative to progress the relationship. Even the decision to go commando was a reaction to external stimuli that forced her hand to move.

That is why I like this show. It accurately portrays the conditional honesty that many couples have, which often don’t really make sense! When it matters most, the two of them can open themselves up to each other, but when the relationship is going fine, neither of them are able to express their true feelings! The spit acts as a plot device that highlights the importance of communicating feelings, something many couples fail to realize properly before it’s too late.

Now that we’re halfway through, I truly hope the show continues with this strong set of messages to the end. Yes, it’s not a cup of tea for everyone, but for everyone that’s still onboard, I hope you’ve enjoyed the dynamics between these two as much as I have, and will follow their journey closer towards each other to the end. Leave your thoughts so far in the comments below! Let’s have a discussion! ^^

P.S: For those of you who have already read the manga, I’m sure some of you have noticed the foreshadowing in the beginning of the episode. If not, look closely ^^

Full-length images: 29.

 

Preview

Nazo no Kanojo X   06   Preview 01 Nazo no Kanojo X   06   Preview 02 Nazo no Kanojo X   06   Preview 03
May 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm
32 comments »
  • May 14, 2012 at 5:59 pmmac65

    This was a tough watch for me in some ways, mainly because I struggled a bit to get into the
    writer’s head about what he wanted to say.

    The first part was a good example of how Urabe will not interfere if he wants to leave – that
    much I got. But, the other girl, sweet as she seemed, was trouble. She obviously either
    gave him her picture, or allowed him to take it. So, it was much more than a crush on his part.
    But, she seemed the tease not going to any length to make a commitment (yeah, I know they’re
    young, but consider what the writer’s trying to show about relationships) to Tsubaki.

    I think Tsubaki followed his instincts correctly, but as with anything, there’s always a little doubt -
    could it have worked this time. This, IMHO, affirms that what he’s getting from Urabe,
    right now in their relationship, is enough for him.
    The tears was especially telling of how strongly Urabe feels about Tsubaki.

    Ahh…. Tsubaki taking Urabe’s picture had me puzzled. I don’t know how this episode follows
    the Manga (please don’t spoil), but the 1st half was a perfect segway into this part.

    At first, I’m thinking “Urabe – you bi***!” I think Tsubaki gave Urabe a dilemma, but she’s
    not able to explain it any better than by walking away from Tsubaki (and really, if the writer told
    us everything, where’s the fun?)

    • May 14, 2012 at 6:15 pmmac65

      Man! I hate when I hit submit instead of preview – Divine, where’s the undo!!!!!! Anyway,

      Urabe saw the photo before Tsubaki tore it up. I believe she wanted to allow him to take
      her picture (remember, he sprung it on her), but was it because he just met the old flame
      that he suddenly got the idea? I think Urabe considered this as a possibility at some level.
      In other words, let’s do this cause my old flame and I did this too.

      But, still Urabe wanted to do this for him – and did it her own special way – for him.
      Besides, who wants a picture of a girl that looks like a yearbook photo – really.
      The photos I cherished most were the somewhat candid or silly-ish one – that’s where
      the real heart of the person lived – and held the most vivid memories for me.

      I think the underlying theme of this episode was trust and temptation…
      …and their rewards. Can’t wait for the next!

    • May 14, 2012 at 11:20 pmTRWOV

      I don’t think that Tsubaki is being satisfied, we’ve seen him whinning several times at Urabe’s antics but little by little he’s learning to go at Urabe’s pace (which is snail-like, it’s been what, four, five months since they started to “go out”?). I bet that he still wishes for a “normal” relationship as he himself said that he felt turning down Hayakawa’s invitation was a wasted opportunity… heck, he even asks Urabe how would she feel if he had gone with her, as if thinking “maybe next time I will”.

      Love isn’t a feeling, falling in love is but love…love is a decision. Tsubaki has decided to stick with Urabe for the time being, he even cherishes the picture of her that didn’t turn out like he wanted; he’s starting to get above those petty things… our boy is growing but still lacks confidence in himself and his relationship with Urabe.

  • May 14, 2012 at 6:05 pmEclipse

    Hey Zanibas, you’re doing a great job covering this show. I love your musings on “past, present, and future” as it pertains to relationships. It’s certainly something that many of us experience, even during strong, deep relationships. Tsubaki’s honesty there when he said having to turn down Hayakawa was a shame… really strong moment. It’s been the moments like that, amongst the tedious spells of awkwardly silent scenes, that seem to define the character of the show.

    I do hope Tsubaki gets the courage soon to tell Ueno he’s dating Urabe. That scene at the beginning where he lies about who he went to the beach with was just painful to watch. It made me sort of wish that the narrative gave us some insight to Urabe’s thoughts too, but I guess the nature of it is to keep her as mysterious as possible. Still, Urabe’s development has slowed to a crawl in the past couple weeks.

    That smile she gave him when he woke her up with “Mikoto”… second best moment of the series so far. :3 :3 :3

  • May 14, 2012 at 6:23 pmOtakuBrawler

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 14, 2012 at 7:15 pmTRWOV

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 14, 2012 at 6:49 pm†Croos†

  • May 14, 2012 at 7:23 pmTRWOV

    I wonder if any of these magazines are easter eggs for something…

    Actually, there is an easter egg for the manga readers:
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 14, 2012 at 8:16 pmstarss

    *sees Hayakawa*

    Oh well let’s see how this average-looking, bespeckled former classma–HOLY ZOUNDS THOSE MOUNDS!!

    • May 14, 2012 at 8:55 pmSpace Dreamer

      Them big bang cannons!

      -Andy

    • May 15, 2012 at 6:11 amstarss

      Someone keeps thumbing down my comments but not others!

      • May 15, 2012 at 6:23 amKJacket

        Saw your comment on recent sidebar and lol-ed. Here I’ll give you a thumbs up so don’t cry :P

  • May 14, 2012 at 9:07 pmlvlln

    One thing that struck me about this episode was how the climax was shot. From Akira taking in Mikoto’s drool to Mikoto explaining to him his tears was all one cut, about 45 seconds long, using the camera to pan to the characters instead of cutting to them. Very unusual in anime. I wanted to put it up on YouTube but their content filtering took it down, so I posted it on Tumblr instead. Beautiful scene.

  • May 14, 2012 at 10:35 pmDa5id

    Oka is quite the temptress…

    • May 16, 2012 at 9:00 amCasshern

      I can see her leaving her current boyfriend in the future. They just don’t seem like a good match. She’s a secret temptress(future milf) and he’s just a regular guy. And even if they stay together its highly probably that she would be cheating on him while he’s at work. She has the personality of a housewife you would see in hentai. Love her tits though and she’s pretty hot.

    • May 17, 2012 at 1:52 amewok40k

      Oka is really a bit mischevious and overly inquisitive, but I like her (her chest of assets notwithstanding)… She doesnt seem like someone even a bit malicious, and seems to really like Ueno.

  • May 14, 2012 at 10:47 pmbertman4

    Oh Urabe, you are so cute when you stick your tongue out like that…
    I thought it was quite a good episode. I’m wondering if the other girl Hayakawa is going to show up again. She seemed a little more interested in Tsubaki than just an old classmate. She said they were on the same class committee and she did ask him out for coffee…

  • May 14, 2012 at 10:57 pmbelatkuro

    I couldnt help but tear up a bit as well when Tsubaki was shedding a tear and Urabe was explaining how she would feel about him going with Hayakawa.
    That scene had a certain impact which is rare nowadays.
    Certainly they’re a weird couple but they’re also one of the best ones out there.

    • May 14, 2012 at 11:22 pm†Croos†

      You know what they say, in a normal couple relationship there will always be a weird secret just the two of you will only know.

  • May 14, 2012 at 11:20 pmTRWOV

    I don’t think that Tsubaki is being satisfied, we’ve seen him whinning several times at Urabe’s antics but little by little he’s learning to go at Urabe’s pace (which is snail-like, it’s been what, four, five months since they started to “go out”?). I bet that he still wishes for a “normal” relationship as he himself said that he felt turning down Hayakawa’s invitation was a wasted opportunity… heck, he even asks Urabe how would she feel if he had gone with her, as if thinking “maybe next time I will”.

    Love isn’t a feeling, falling in love is but love…love is a decision. Tsubaki has decided to stick with Urabe for the time being, he even cherishes the picture of her that didn’t turn out like he wanted; he’s starting to get above those petty things… our boy is growing but still lacks confidence in himself and his relationship with Urabe.

  • May 14, 2012 at 11:45 pmpetitorenji

    I still wonder what the scissors serve as in the plot, since I highly doubt there’s going to be highly violent action sequences in this series anime. But then again, maybe there will be.

    And I’m also intrigued with the fact that she vomits out a mass amount of drool whenever she’s extremely happy. I do remember her stating in ep 1 that her spit is nothing special, and that it’s just a device for bond-making, but there must be an irregularity to her body that makes her produce that much of it involuntarily.

    On another note, every time Urabe shows her eye(s) and her front bangs change size+shape, she reminds me of Kino from Kino no Tabi TV. Even their voices sound similar.

  • May 15, 2012 at 9:32 amTingster013

    Somehow, every time I watch this anime, weird just come to mind, but is still a great anime

  • May 15, 2012 at 9:55 amfairx

    Wow! I like this ep personally.. It had a movie feels in it.

    The animation can be a bit jerky sometimes but the crowd and characters definitely look livelier, and post productions are splurging a bit (or it’s just my imagination) although they’re still way behind Hyouka.

    different storyboard artist / animation director perhaps?

    • May 15, 2012 at 8:18 pmewok40k

      wait til Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    “We can’t help but feel feelings we had in the past, be attracted to others in the present, and doubt our futures.” well…quote of the day?

    • May 15, 2012 at 8:46 pmZanibas

      Is that supposed to be a compliment or sarcasm? :(

  • May 16, 2012 at 9:22 amSinan Çevik

    The first part about use of first names (especially the scene where Tsubaki did it for the first time) was brilliant. I think Irino Miyu executed it perfectly as the voice actor. The second part was just as brilliant plus striking. I’m amazed by how well they’ve managed to adapt the manga until now.

  • May 16, 2012 at 9:32 pmomeganx

    I just dont like how she kinda just leaves at a stalemate while the the poor guy has to keep taking gambles to get closer to her.
    Its kinda one-sided right now even though declared that he will get in her pants one day.

  • May 16, 2012 at 11:27 pmAnomalous

    I happen to find Aya-chan’s glasses a charming point.

    And no, it isn’t just Mikoto’s saliva. All of her body fluids have an inebriating effect, and art at probably about as addictive as cocaine- if not more so.