After a two week hiatus, I’m back. And as they say, the show must go on. Fortunately, Mysterious Girlfriend X has been a consistent theme these last few episodes, so it makes it easy to jump right back in. But rather than jump into a episodic review, I started thinking about the character Urabe Mikoto. What has always fascinated me is that she is such an atypical anime female character type. And it’s this that makes this anime rise above the contemporary high school romance genre, and begins to ring the death bell on the moe harem tsundere romance.
Mikoto is rock steady. She has a self confidence that is unshakable. And in (almost) every situation, she remains confident, and cool under pressure. From the very beginning, she doesn’t give a damn what people think. And when faced with having to reinforce her feelings toward Akira early on, she picks a fearless route of self exposure to provide the proof of her bond. And as this series progresses, her inner strength and confidence makes her the consistent pillar in the relationship, up to through the conclusion of episode 11, where she challenges her competition having confidence that, in the end, she will win.
Mikoto is intelligent and logical. This contrasts the typical female role of being a bumbling moron when chasing after guy they like. The high school romance anime is rife with girls whose thought processes have the complexity of an empty grocery sack. In each episode, we see Mikoto think through her situation, look at outcomes, and find a course of action that will produce the results that she wants. In most shows, the writing makes the girl’s attempts at relationships and courtship comical and pathetic, rather than complex and calculated. In this episode, we see Urabe plan her attack, and wait for her moment to strike. And because she’s self confident, she’s not afraid to put it all on the line.
Mikoto is a leader, not a follower. She quietly and distinctly manages the relationship with Akira. As he bumbles his way through each situation he faces, she directs things on she wants them to go. It’s her drool that Akira takes every day. She determines when he can hug her. When they walk down the street, she is in front. And when Akira starts to stray, its Mikoto that puts things back on track. As I mentioned in a previous post, the gender role is almost to the point of reversal. It’s unfortunate that we may not get another season to see more of this play out.
While Akira still is, at times, the bland male lead, Mikoto is anything but the typical female love interest. And while at times the pacing may be slow, and romance a bit old fashioned, I appreciate this show for what it is; a break from the moe normal. A chance to explore a high school romance not centered around cheesy fan service and empty headed females. Too bad it’s going to be short lived.