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Nazo no Kanojo X – 13 (END)

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「謎の彼女と彼氏」 (Nazo no Kanojo to Kareshi)
“Mysterious Girlfriend and Boyfriend”

Episode 13 has combined two parts–a previously skipped over manga chapter and an anime original (correction, it’s actually just more chapters switched around)–to wrap up the current season. I find little qualm to argue this directing decision, knowing full well that the chances of this series getting a second season is sadly low. Watanabe shifted some chapters around to lead into this more satisfying end, rather than a cliffhanger to misguidedly lead fans to hope for a second season. Whilst he shows knack in handling long-cour shows such as Uchuu Kyoudai, his ability to work with the dreaded 13 episode format in Nazo no Kanojo X is an even more impressive feat.

Basically, what Watanabe has done is shifted the chapters in such a way that makes the transition of Urabe into an open and heartwarming character a smooth one. If Watanabe had decided to go with the manga’s original order of having Urabe bump into Tsubaki’s sister before the Cultural Festival arc, I honestly believe the transition into the funeral scene would’ve been a little bit more clunky. Granted, transitioning from their first hug to a declaration of wanting to be important in ones life isn’t so terrible a transition, it’s not linked persay. Tsubaki’s sister acts as the transitive medium–an important figure in Tsubaki’s life–making way for a much smoother segue to this anime original end, avoiding the critiques a show usually has from its loyal manga followers.

This romantic comedy thankfully ends on the ‘fully meaningful end without any sudden reversions in character’ side of the spectrum, rather than the ‘we’re going to put SOME sort of character development, but afterwards revert to happy go lucky as if it never happened’ side. We are presented with a wonderful end that reinforces the honesty of their relationship–a 13th ‘level’ built on 12.5 episodes of constant development, rather than a black-to-white jerk development that romantic comedies have a terrible tendency to fall in. When Urabe smiled her bright smile at the end, she didn’t have to use words to express the rest of her sentence. “Eventually, we’re going to be doing things that are even more inappropriate…but I’m glad that we’ll do those things–together.” With cherry blossoms in bloom and the lapse of a year’s worth of time, such sweet yet mature declarations warmed my heart, considering the growth that allowed that point to happen.

However, now is the time to put this heartwarming weird tale to rest. I’ve stalled it off for too long, but here are my final impressions of the series as a whole, categorized into important topics I feel should be brought up. In addition, I have also asked one of the commenters, mac65, to submit their final thoughts on the episode as well to honor the guy’s efforts to bring up challenging viewpoints and insight in his mini post comments!

Zanibas’ Final Impressions

Show Spoiler ▼

mac65′s Final Impressions

Mac’s impressions will be edited by me later, but here is the original text that I received.
Show Spoiler ▼

Due to many reasons which I feel would be selfish to list here, personal and and as a blogger included, I apologize for the ridiculous delay in this final. If you want to hear out my reasons, send me an email at “zanibas-rc@gmail.com” (use a period instead of a dash in the email) and I will explain my situation. Alt-texts and links will be completed later. Again, my deepest apologies: if I could’ve avoided this delay, I would’ve in a heartbeat.

Full-length images: 14, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 33.

End Card

Nazo no Kanojo X   13   End Card
July 5, 2012 at 7:15 am
29 comments »
  • July 5, 2012 at 7:19 amZanibas

    Before I forget: thank you dear commenters for sticking with this series to the end! I really appreciate the comments you leave. Seeing your take on each episode has always been, and always will be the highlight of my blogging career (to be overly cliche :P).

    Again, thank you for following, and thank you for putting up with my terrible tardiness for such a nice final! Hope to see some of you guys again this season too! ^_^

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:25 amSupaPairoto

    … ill just stick to the manga

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:38 amYamirokuai

    3 things:
    1 – Thanks a lot for review every episode form this series, it was a lot of fun.

    2 – Enjoy the full OP sweet as Urabe’s saliva :D

    http://nicosound.anyap.info/sound/nm18272053

    3 – For the no manga readers there is yet an episode to “watch”, from the Drama CD, one of my fav chapters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGts9ohZ5ys

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:42 amewok40k

    for those who yearn for more of our characters “mysterious love story” , I fully recommend the manga!
    and thanks for all the posts, dear bloggers! and for comments, dear co-readers!
    this has been one series that made me feel nostalgic about the times when every girl was walking mystery, and I have been learning to understand them (not that I think that this learning ever ends…)

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:53 amSherylfan

    Been following this on the side and glad to hear others enjoy it, and thanks Zanibas for your work although I only came to read final impressions. This was definitely a nice show and definitely got me interested in the manga.

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:57 amYes!@

    Did we got a Tsuritama easter egg in Urabe key chain ?

    I’m going to miss Urabe so much. At least we got One-san yodare which I was mising since last week post. For me it was an endearing closing to the series and hope we get more antics from Oka and Urabe soon.

    Finally I don’t think you need to explain to anyone for the delay. Life is life and is full of situations. Thanks for the coverage.

  • July 5, 2012 at 8:26 amtBKM

    I haven’t read the manga but I really enjoyed this show. It was rather “different” in it’s premise to most romantic comedies but that working in its favour, in my opinion at least.
    The ending was indeed very heart-warming!
    Thanks Zanibas… and mac65, you make me feel like an inadequate commenter ^_^

  • July 5, 2012 at 8:31 amCherrie

    Hope all is well then =) good luck with RL! and what a creative way to do your final impressions ^^ I’ll add you on Gtalk when I get home!

  • July 5, 2012 at 8:43 amLateralis_987

    Really loved this anime, but specially loved Yoshitani Ayako’s voice. I hope there’s a second season, and to me, the end card look more like Imai Momoka than Urabe.

  • July 5, 2012 at 10:13 amEclipse

    Thanks, Zanibas (and mac, and the whole RC team via podcast) for covering this series so thoughtfully. I loved reading your thoughts on each episode every week, and was continuously thrilled when the coverage went far and beyond “ew drool gross lol”. I don’t think I have much to add after such a comprehensive final impression – I think between you and mac most the details, metaphors, and themes were given ample space for rumination – and there sure was a lot to discuss!

    I think this was a really important show to have out there. Once in a while I think it’s important to pull your scope back and look beyond the immediate present, and Nazo no Kanojo X did that by supporting it’s mission with complementary artistic aesthetics. The thesis of “enjoying the build-up” that was discussed earlier was achieved not only through the timeline and subject material, but in the artistic aesthetics as well. The retro style art was discussed. The throwback music is a big contributor too – J-Pop these days is super electronic, and a lot of anime soundtracks (and OP and EDs) have been chock full of electronic elements, but the soundtrack here which involved [albeit samples of] acoustic instruments, utilizing older forms (such as the waltz style for Urabe’s mysterious theme) is a huge contributor to the “back to the beginning” sort of mission the director embarked on with this series.

    Yeah, this is a highlight anime of 2012. I suspect it’ll get one of my “best of” votes at the end of the year.

  • July 5, 2012 at 10:40 amfoofiebeast

    Thanks for covering this, enjoyed the posts!

  • July 5, 2012 at 1:24 pmjltrm

    ZANIBAS, could you just post your reasons here on RC? i’m sure enough people are curious (as I am) to warrant you posting them rather than having each one of us emailing you individually.

    re the series, slightly anti-climactic (but nice nontheless) end to a great series. just seems a bit strange so mundanely after all the crazy/weird (in a good way) things that have all the way through the series.

  • July 5, 2012 at 2:36 pmHououin Kyouma

    This season was great, and one of those milestones was without a doubt Nazo no Kanojo X! I don’t have much time to read manga, but this indeed deserves it…thank u for blogging and the great full-sized pics guys!

  • July 5, 2012 at 2:38 pmTRWOV

    The episode’s first half was chapter 19 “Mysterious Sister” and the second half was chapter 12 “Mysterious Memories” plus an scene from chapter 56 “Mysterious Twinge”. A few changes were made but I wouldn’t call this an anime original.

    I really liked it though. As you said, it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger (what episode 12 would have been) but also it doesn’t discard the posibility of a second season either as it works as an “open ending”. I really liked the small additions to the manga, like how Urabe and Tsubaki exchanged drool (in the manga only Urabe tastes Tsubaki’s drool). Here’s hoping for a second season and I’ll make sure to buy the DVDs (already have the first one coming my way).

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 5, 2012 at 2:55 pmTRWOV

    Oh, and congratulations mac65!!! As I told you before, I enjoyed all your comments and thoughts on the series. Nice to see your final impressions in the actual post rather than a comment. Good job!

  • July 5, 2012 at 3:19 pmskyhack

    Very nice show.

  • July 5, 2012 at 3:34 pmKalliente

    I’m glad to see this gem of a show getting a little attention. One of the 2 or 3 best rom-coms ever. Maybe word of mouth will eventually get it a bigger audience.

  • July 5, 2012 at 3:59 pmYamirokuai

    I think the link didn’t work so here is again
    MGX Full Opening Mp3 LQ
    http://www.sendspace.com/file/3ftkqq

  • July 5, 2012 at 6:58 pmxephx

    I loved this show. I was so sure I was going to hate it going by the show description before it came out. I don’t even remember why I watched it, but I’m so glad I did. It became one of my favorite shows of the season, and Urabe became one of my favorite female characters of the year so far.
    On a different note I really hope to hear a lot more Yoshitani Ayako she was so great.

  • July 5, 2012 at 7:19 pmbertman4

    Thanks for covering this overlooked show. Despite the initial “eww” factor about drool and spit, it really was a nice romantic series. I really appreciated how the characters actually grew, struggled, and changed throughout the stories. And this last episode was well done. It wrapped up the arc with a nice, upbeat outlook.

  • July 6, 2012 at 10:28 amGrant

    A very sweet episode, only sweeter would have been their first kiss (though considering how Urabe reacts when happy and Tsubaki reacts to her saliva things might have escalated quickly). Also impressive that they managed to make a decent 13-ep series, that’s usually a sign of lesser quality and trying to make a quick buck rather than giving it the attention it deserves. Ignoring the saliva-sharing, I’d say that this is one of the best romance series I’ve seen period.

    • July 6, 2012 at 5:55 pmTRWOV

      Now that you mention it, Tsubaki can barely handle the feeling of touching Urabe’s lips with his finger. I can’t begin to imagine how would he feel when he’ll actually kiss her… poor Tsubaki, to die from withdrawal or cardiac arrest, that is the question. ^_^

      I actually liked the fact that they didn’t kiss. If they had kissed then bai-bai second season. Even if it takes a couple of years, with this ending a second season could totally work.

      • July 6, 2012 at 8:53 pmGrant

        I’m thinking more death from lack of bodily fluids. As for a second season, I’m not sure there will be one. I’ve heard about an OVA handling the idol chapters, but nothing on a second season.

    • July 10, 2012 at 10:39 amTRWOV

      I don’t think the OAD will be the idol arc. Show Spoiler ▼

      A second season doesn’t have to come right away. How many years took for KyoAni to come up with Haruhi’s second season? What I mean is that with this ending a second season could work. Had they kissed then I wouldn’t even think a second season would be comming.

      Another good news is that we’re getting another manga volume. Volume 9 was completed with chapter 68 and the next chapter will cover the Kazamidai Cultural Festival so we’d still have at least another 8-9 chapters to go.

      • July 10, 2012 at 11:05 ammac65

        Even though I don’t read Japanese, I was so impressed with the series,
        I’ve picked up all 8 of the Manga (vol #1 by a hair before it sold out) and BDs.
        Vol 9 has a DVD, but it’s not exactly clear what’s on it, so I don’t know
        if that’s the OAD or there’s another OAD (usually with the last BD vol).

        I really hope that if a second series is executed, that the same staff produces it.

      • July 10, 2012 at 1:37 pmTRWOV

        Fret not, the volumes have been re-released several times. Yours might be the 14th or 15th edition since the 13th edition was released this february: http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/1535/img0103xbu.jpg

        The OAD won’t likely be the idol arc as the promo (http://kc.kodansha.co.jp/nazokano/) Show Spoiler ▼

      • July 10, 2012 at 2:29 pmmac65

        Thank you very much – now I know where to look in the Mangas for this.

  • July 12, 2012 at 7:05 amjreding

    Thank you so much for covering this awesome show, Zanibas! As you write, it didn’t have the emotional intensity of a Key drama but it was almost perfect for what it was, a warm and believable portrayal of teenage romance.

    I don’t have much to add re the character relations but imo this show was awesome productionwise, as well. I loved how the creators not only used these old-fashioned “retro” character designs but how the whole setting was unobtrusively placed in the recent past (Tsubaki’s room, the clothes, …). For me, this added a light melancholy as growing up might be less peaceful today in the age of smartphones and omnipresent media. I also loved the soundtrack. In the last episode e.g. it created so much suspense even though not much happened in terms of action. Finally, I totally second you, Zanibas, re Urabe’s voice. I particularly loved her hesitant “ah” as a way of agreeing to something!

    If there’s one thing I missed it would be a deeper portrayal of Urabe’s character and background. I’m not talking about the magic drool and her scissors. Instead, I wonder how she became what she is. Why is Urabe always alone in her apartment? Why is she so afraid of physical contact? Sometimes, I was also perplexed by how she is super confident and almost pushy in some situations (like in the last ep.) and in other cases shy and insecure. But maybe that’s how girls her age are ;-)

  • September 11, 2012 at 5:05 pmjeanpaulbm

    wooow really amazing jop man!!! i love your reviews!!! this cap and anime,manga are wonderful!!! :D:D thanks man :3

    PD: please!!! posting the review of OVA!!! *-*