Thursday, February 04, 2010

[Review] Drool is Cool


With its colorless images and sometimes crappy lines, the uninitiated might find it hard to imagine how manga captivates its readers, I included.

I was introduced to the world of manga by my brother and best friend last year, and though I still prefer animé with its moving images, its stationary counterpart can be as engaging.

I started by reading Shounen manga, Naruto and Death Note in particular, and although the absence of colors discouraged me at first, the stories revolving around each character eventually convinced me to turn page after page. After witnessing Near put an end to Light Yagami's semi-psychotic ambitions, and while awaiting for the future that lies ahead of Konoha, I started searching the Net for other manga to gobble up.

During my search, I decided to move away from the Shounen genre and started exploring other genres, Ecchi to be exact. Now, if you know what Ecchi is, you just figured out that I was attracted to read manga of such genre for all the wrong reasons but ended up enjoying it for all the right reasons instead (although, I still get my fair share of the wrong and am enjoying it).

Now, I've only read a handful of Ecchi manga, since I'm still in search for more (don't get the wrong idea) but among those that I've read, Mysterious Girlfriend X seems to standout.

MGX tells the story of high school student Tsubaki Akira, whose attention was caught by Urabe Mikoto, a scissor-wielding transfer student who lacks interest in socializing with others, and has a knack for spending her breaks asleep while saliva freely flows from her mouth.

One day, Tsubaki saw traces of drool from Urabe's desk in class, and out of curiosity, tastes a sample of the said liquid. After a few days, he got sick (and who wouldn't after tasting a stranger's saliva right?).

Urabe then paid Tsubaki a visit, only to inform him that she knows what Tsubaki did (tasting her saliva) and the reason he got sick is because he developed dependence towards Urabe's drool. Urabe then placed her finger in her mouth and applied saliva to the tip, then placed her finger inside Tsubaki's mouth which led to his recovery.

Realizing that they are now bound by his saliva-dependency, Tsubaki asked Urabe to become his girlfriend, and after cutting the picture of his former crush into pieces, Urabe accepts his offer.

What follows is a series of funny spit-swapping events that allows the couple to communicate their inexpressible feelings through their saliva. In addition, readers are treated to Tsubaki's and Urabe's day-to-day progress as a couple as they try to make their relationship work while keeping it a secret to the rest of their classmates.

Aside from their relationship, the couple has to deal with sexual urges, miscommunication, insecurities, other people trying to break them up (or so I think) and all other problems that come with being a teenager and growing up.

Though most the issues tackled in MGX are common among your typical boy-gets-girl stories, the spit-swapping factor somehow changes the entire playing field putting this manga on a slightly different level. A must read for the young ones and the 'young…once', Mysterious Girlfriend X, an on-going series published in Afternoon, is guaranteed to make you drooling for more. - Marlone Viardo

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