Episode 5 is so far the most normal episode, and that is saying a lot. Boys antics, the coming of summer, a trip to the beach, and another step in Urabe's and Tsubaki's relationship due to a strange tan line.
One of the interesting aspect of the episode was the beginning part where the boy took a sneak peek at the girls in their swimsuits. It similar to other animes where the boys catch a glance of their female classmates figures but it isn't over the top or anything outrageous. It more innocent since they are just curious. The one note that sticks out from this is the way Ueno and Tsubaki were only interested in seeing their Girlfriends, showing that they have little care about the other girls and only focus on the ones they truly care about, despite being slightly perverted about it.
Next comes Urabe's and Tsubaki's first date. Things have been pretty hard on Tsubaki when he and Urabe hardly see each other in the summer, only to meet up for some drool exchanges. However, Tsubaki's suggestion for a date definitely breaks the ice between the two's lack of time being spent with each other, where Urabe agrees to it after she comes back from her fathers house. It possible that Oka's influence may had a impact on Urabe decision to agree with Tsubaki idea for a date since she didn't agree to anything before.
Now that the date is all set, Tsubaki is hype to see his girlfriend in a nice bikini. What he didn't expect was the nice tan Urabe got from her trip to her father. This leads on to Tsubaki appreciating Urabe exotic looks while getting a spacial moment with seeing her scissor shape tan like. This makes it spacial since he the one who only knows that Urabe holds in scissors in that position. At the end of their date, Urabe taste how Tsubaki feels about the tan line and makeing her understand how he feels and his needs.
Nothing too spacial about this episode compare to the others, but this helps cements the small amounts of development that the two are going through.
next episode: past love comes back to the picture.
The Oka X Urabe episode is here and so is many male fans wet dream, including Tsubaki and Ueno apparently.
Now for the more serious matter. The meeting between Oka and Urabe is a strange one, mostly on Oka part than Urabe (Imagine that :D). Oka was hellbent on having lunch with Urabe and when Oka offered food to Urabe, as Urabe replies by eating it to everyone's surprise. We see Oka always watching Urabe and immediately offering her help when she got injured. And, as it turns out, she shares a drool bond with her that is similar to what Urabe has with Tsubaki. So what is Oka’s deal? She clearly interested in Urabe but how far does that interest goes? Is Oka a lesbian? Well not really..
You see, Oka isn’t interested solo on Urabe but on the relationship Urabe has with Tsubaki. We know that Oka has a relationship going on with Ueno, which is a normal relationship. However, after seeing the routine that the other two goes through, she is curious about Urabe standing in the relationship. She even goes as far as doing her own droll test with Urabe, which results in a sweeter taste than Urabe had with Tsubaki, stating that Oka is a step ahead in her own relationship with Ueno. Due to the drool connection, Oka and Urabe have a bond between each other that can be taken as close friends, even if Urabe was nevering planning on making friends. However, it also could be taken as a homosexual relationship between each, mostly on Oka’s part. However, Oka never goes any further than just drool exchanges and teasing with Urabe and views her as a buddy that needs a little help in her relationship. We see soon that, like Urabe, is very loyal and caring about their boyfriends and wouldn’t do any harm to their relationship.
In a way, Urabe needed a friend. Friends are there when you need some advice from someone with a different perspective. Tsubaki asked his friend, Ueno, when he was wondering what to do with a girlfriend. Urabe, while having some good ideas with bonding and exchanges of feelings, doesn’t have anything else to build upon that alone without some help. Someone that can listen to her problems that isn’t just her boyfriend.
Oka is voiced by Hirohashi Ryou who have done similar type character with that tiny yet deep voice of hers. The way she plays Oka is similar to Aoi Yamada from Working, where she talk with a slightly quiet voice gives off a lot of energy. It is very fitting with how Oka is. Amazing how much has changed with her since Kyou Fujibayashi.
While this episode wasn’t an relationship building between Tsubaki and Urabe, it was more on what else Urabe needed in her life. It was simply a friend that she could use for advice.
Don't have any good jokes, so here are some pics of delicious anime food.
Another year at the Sakura Matsuri and so comes the gathering of Japanese culture, food, games, and performances. Sadly, I missed the full bloom of the Sakura trees and was only able to get a few shots of some leftover leaves. However, I wasn't going to let it get to me and mess up my day so I looked to the more positive aspects of the festival.
Didn't catch much but the ones I seen were pretty solid. The Taiko drumming performance was really well done. It started off with a Children's team, offering a simple yet epic beat that showed how much they practice. Than came the Tailo Masala group who beats were felt many people inners. Heading over to one of the Garden's entrances, was the elegant Hanagasa Odori: Flower Hat Dance Procession while wearing bright colors of orange, white, yellow, and blues. Before I left I needed to check out Uncle Yo's ANime Stand-up Comedy which always puts a smile on your face when you hear him talking about references and how people look at our culture.
While I was at the garden, I spent some time play a game of Shogi. It has some similar properties as Chess with the idea of protecting the king and how some of the movements each piece has but there are a lot of differences. I wont go too deep in to what they are but the two major things that make Shogi different from Chess is rankings and droppings. Ranking or promotion allows a piece, when it gets to the 3rd row on the opponent side of the board, to change it movement type. Example Rook, like in Chess, can move left to right and forward and backward. When it is promoted, it can now move one space diagonal. Dropping allows you place a opponent's piece that you capture on to the board. It takes a move but it allows you to place pieces in most areas of the board. I lose my first game but the instructor was impress that by how smart I was in some of my movements and placements.
Lots of cosplay. From familiar series, more abstract American cartoons, and Gothiclolitas.
Mysterious Girlfriend X continues to surpass my expectation with this weeks episode involving kissing, test tubes, confessions, and being pantyless.
At the start of the episode, we see Tsubaki discovering that his best friend, Ueno, kiss a girl in a empty classroom. It was pretty obvious that he did have one but if you think about it, not many best friends in anime usually don’t get a love interest. As of now, Oka, Ueno girlfriend, hasn’t shown much of her character but it’ll all change once she starts hanging out with Urabe and helping her out in her relationship building.
After the kissing scene, Tsubaki wants to have a kiss with Urabe. Urabe agrees but not in the way he was expecting. Urabe spins around and proceed to put her drool in a test tube. She tells Tsubaki to taste it when he is going to sleep. And so he dreams of him and Urabe having a mouth to mouth exchange of candy. He notice, from the little exchange, had no feeling to it and so he tells Urabe that they should wait till they can truly understand each other. Despite having a relationship, the two haven’t exchange feelings with each other and would explain why Urabe doesn’t want any physical contact just yet. In a way this enforces that idea and it leads into the other part of the episode, a confession from another person.
Ogata, a classmate of Tsubaki and Urabe, confess to Urabe. He is popular with the girls at school, he’s on the soccer team, and has nice looks. All this makes Tsubaki worry about whether Urabe will choose him or Ogata. However, Urabe doesn’t care for looks or status, she cares for the bond and so she offers Ogata to taste her drool. When he does, nothing happens and so Urabe leaves him. When Urabe offers her drool to Tsubaki, his nosebleeds. Turns out Urabe wasn’t wearing any panties the whole day and only Tsubaki would know through the bonding. Its a pretty bold move on Urabe’s part, especially if Ogata did get an reaction to the drool. But nothing happened and Urabe was happy that her bond with Tsubaki is special. In the end, the two are getting closer and closer as they walk home hand in hand.
It impressive how the show can use these strange concepts and implement them so well in a romance build theme.
Next week, Oka X Urabe!
Our discovery of relationship understanding continues with episode two of Mysterious Girlfriend X and the on going impressiveness of the series. I said this before that this would be the make or break point for me since it has one of my favorite scenes from the manga was going to be shown in this episode. Well it here, and it was handled with respect and crafted with details.
The first note is the opening sung by Ayako Yoshitani with a dream like voice that fits with the opening scenes and feel. The opening also had some interesting imagery going on like the lemons, which I found out that they are a symbol of love but it could also connect with the sweetness of lemons like how the drool is sweet.
Next comes the struggle that Tsubaki is going through. He has a slight understanding, from his best friend Ueno, on what boyfriend and girlfriend do but not all of it works with Urabe. Physical contact is out of the question, both holding hands and hugging, and the strange behavior of Urabe from the way she response to things and her hobby of cutting things up with scissors. However, Urabe tells him there is one way they have an relationship with each other, it is the drool that carries their bond.
To understand where Urabe is coming, she shows him by going nude in front of him, while he isn't looking, and passing on those feelings through the drool. This results making him nose bleed and feeling flush and embarrass. This particular scene had incredible lighting, well shot camera movements, a very intense but gentle musical score, and captured the moment of their connection well that was shown in the manga. They even want with a dark shading to cover Urabe's naked body to not only censor it but to fit with the scene, unlike bars of light coming out of nowhere or fog. The music continues to work with every scene, specially the crazy drum solo when Urabe pulls her scissors out to teach Tsubaki a lesson.
Two episodes in and Mysterious Girlfriend X holds strong with it premise without sorting to overly cliche devices.
Next episode: test tube and a confession?