Nazo no Kanojo X – 12

Tsubaki can’t get the image of Urabe naked out of his head, to the point where he’s starting to hallucinate. He gives in an grabs her, activating her panty scissor, but she accidentally cuts his head and brings him to her house to treat the wound. Upon testing the scissors on a picture frame, she realizes she’s lost her acccuracy, likely because of a dream she had about Tsubaki. When he trips and changes direction to avoid landing on her, he hits his head again, but Urabe hugs him anyway. The next day, when Tsubaki’s bandage is replaced by another girl, he asks for the one Urabe gave him back. That earns him another hug from Urabe.

And so, Tsubaki has finally worn Urabe down to permitting hugs…under certain circumstances. Or rather than caving, Urabe realized that embracing her lover was something she needed too. She can’t undo the fact that he’s seen her naked and that he is horny, nor can she deny anymore that she is also horny. For all of her scolding and menacing use of panty scissors, the last thing in the world Urabe wants to do is hurt Tsubaki. To the series’ credit, Tsubaki doesn’t just fall on Urabe and cushion his fall with her boob; another example of a creative spin on archetypal rom-com tropes.

The episode is probably  the most animated, clumsy, and outwardly expressive we’ve even seen Urabe, starting with how she reacts to Oka revealing she has a photo of her naked. That incident culminates in Oka trying to duplicate Urabe’s hip-mounted scissor routine, almost to the ruin of Ueno, in a hilarious scene of someone trying to run before she can walk. We also loved the dream sequence, prefaced by a loud march arrangement of the main “circus” theme, and some creepy Urabe dough-dolls she beats out of that gooey rice stuff…in a bunny suit. It’s extremely whimsical, weird, and dream-like…nicely done.

Rating: 9 (Superior)

Nazo no Kanojo X – 02

Tsubaki seeks advice from his friend Ueno on the first step with a girlfriend. Urabe shoots nearly all of them down, but reveals her hobby of cutting shapes out of paper with scissors she keeps in her panties. Tsubaki gets frustrated by their lack of outward appearance of being a couple, so Urabe takes him to an isolated place, makes him promise to keep his eyes closed as she gives him her saliva from when she’s nude in front of him. He keeps his promise, and the saliva makes his heart pound. When has a dream that night, and doesn’t reveal the details to Urabe, but she learns them by tasting his drool.

This is one of those rare series we find ourselves wishing all we could have all memory of it wiped, just so we can experience the awesomeness all over again. The first episode was the best of the season, but the second took everything to the next level, only further raising our expectations for the future, which at this point we have no doubt will be met or exceeded. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a romance this good and strong and bizarre. It’s just so well done on every level. Tsubaki learns this week that he’s not going to be doing the things boys normally do with their girlfriends. Whatever book he has on relationships, he can throw it out.

It’s not going to go that way with Urabe Mikoto. In many ways, it’s going to be better. We were blown out of the water by the episode’s smart and hilarious step-by-step subversion of high school romantic conventions. Forget hand-holding, movies, and discussing hobbies. Bring on the (really-nicely animated) panty scissors and drool that transmits excitement and reveals dreams…and the compelling, alluring enigma that is Urabe Mikoto. Her manner of  proving she and Tsubaki were lovers was a masterpiece of mood and timing that had chills going down our backs. We want more.

Rating: 9 (Superior)