So, as expected, a bit of a cop-out finale! It was OK, in a kind of fluffy, sickeningly sweet way, and I’m sure that’ll blow up somebody’s skirt, but I dunno, it just felt like the director decided to play it safe, a little disappointing given that the show’s been pushing boundaries almost since its start and that this is, you know, the finale, which should, ideally, be mega exciting and have you in tears over the fact there may never be any more episodes ever again by its conclusion!!
The final episode of Nazo no Kanojo concluded on a positive note- Urabe introduced herself to Tsubaki’s mother (kind of), dressing all flashy in a bid to impress, showing she was definitely serious about her boyfriend. She even went as far as to profess a desire to make Tsubaki happy, which was a bit of a shock as she’s been guarded about her feelings right from the very start! But whilst all this is bound to leave viewers feeling warm ‘n’ fuzzy inside, it wasn’t the kind of ending I’d envisioned. The first episode presented this show as a coming-of-age story, which would culminate in the couple losing their virginity to one another, needless to say, that hasn’t happened (yet. I’m still betting that’ll happen in the OVA, if at all!), which is OK, I suppose- their relationship obviously hasn’t progressed to that level… ‘cept it doesn’t actually feel like the couple’s relationship has progressed much at all throughout the show. Sure, they have established with one another what is acceptable in the relationship, worked through issues of trust, and jealousy, but they still haven’t worked through the biggest flaw in their relationship, their inability to communicate with one another. As said above, it was uncharacteristic of Urabe to have shared her desire to make Tsubaki happy with him- right from the start she’s been a closed book! Her pushing Tsubaki away when he makes physical advances the large majority of the time may be one of the factors which has had a negative impact on the communication between the pair, it has instilled within him excessive wariness. An example of their inability to effectively communicate and understand one another from this episode would be the fact Tsubaki didn’t understand why Urabe had made so much effort with her appearance when visiting his mother’s grave. Basically, I can’t see their relationship going very far unless they work on this issue! It’s a shame it couldn’t have been worked on at some point in the show, but alas, the producers seemed hell-bent on exploring the same themes over and over, hoping no-one would notice… Anyway, I moaned about that enough during my last post, now for some more positive criticism!
One of the things the show does right is push boundaries (as mentioned above). Even though the premise of the show, the gradual development of a young couple’s relationship, is nothing special or unique, the way in which the pair strengthen the bond between them can hardly be described as such, I mean, they consume each other’s drool, that’s pretty weird, right? Pushing the boundaries of what is considered appropriate behaviour for a young couple was something that was done in this episode too. Relieved was I that I wasn’t the only one who felt that sharing their drool by sucking it off one another’s fingers (even though it was played out to be tender rather than raunchy) in front of Tsubaki’s mother’s grave was weirdly inappropriate, Tsubaki seemed to share my sentiments! Whilst some may be made uncomfortable by the pair’s peculiar antics (I too have felt uncomfortable at points), I think that the fact that the show has attempted to try something different rather than to conform to what the average anime couple may/may not do is so admirable, that that completely overrides that possibility! It’s a brave move indeed to not adhere to what’s considered normal and what has previously proven to be a success in order to perhaps make a larger, more lasting impact! It’s such a pity that that hasn’t quite seemed to work in Nazo no Kanojo’s favour in terms of DVD sales, I mean, it lost out to the likes of Highschool DxD and The iDOLM@STER!
I’ve also really enjoyed the show’s use of symbolism. Symbolism has been present in most episodes- from the use of colour, to the use of subtle, and not-so-subtle, imagery! To give you an example of the not-so-subtle imagery used by the show: towards the end of this episode when the couple were exchanging drool, we were shown the image of a blossoming flower, and later on the very same flower oozing with pollen-y, nectar shit after having been pollinated by a butterfly. That’s all about as subtle as a brick through a glass window, so I won’t bother telling you what that could mean, work it out for yourself! Many of the show’s other uses of symbolism have been more subtle and interesting though such as the posters in both Tsubaki and Urabe’s bedrooms, Urabe’s pen, the use of colour in episode 9, etc. The reason I loved the symbolism used by the show is because, not only did it convey how the couple might have been feeling in a more creative way than just having them say how they were feeling, it also got you on the look-out for it every episode, encouraging you to look at each and every scene from a different angle and really think about what you were being shown, giving the show far more depth than say, I dunno, iDOLM@STER… *grumble grumble*
So overall, despite Nazo no Kanojo being extremely repetitive and, therefore, slow-paced at points, I love that it’s actually dared to be different and tried to be thought-provoking, factors which would’ve ensured that I remember the show long after its completion even if I hadn’t decided it would be one of the first ones I’d blog! A satisfactory 7/10