「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.