Anime Review: My Love Story!!

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“Everyone deserves to be loved.” It may sound cliché, but they were the words that a girl I liked had told me, after she rejected me; and at the time, I didn’t know how to accept it. That was seven years ago.

Some of my friends in real life think I’m a big, friendly guy like Takeo from this series, but that wasn’t always the case. Knowing how impulsive I can be, I have often thought of myself as a monster, and only recently have I learned to, at the very least, accept that as a part of myself. My story isn’t like Takeo’s at all, and yet, there’s something about him and his relationship with Rinko that speaks to what I might have done wrong all this time. And in some sense, learn how I can make it right in the future.

But I’m not going to make this review as dreary as my life’s backstory. This is a romantic comedy! So in that spirit, let’s make this review a lot more fun!

Takeo and Rinko

Takeo and Rinko compel you to be happy. RIGHT NOW!

My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!) is a shōjo romantic comedy that puts us in the boy’s perspective. Now something like that usually happens in a BL series, and this is not the first time a series like this one has taken that direction. But what I did find striking is that our protagonist isn’t some slim pretty boy like his best friend with all the punch lines. Takeo Gōda is a big, beautiful high school boy, with thick eyebrows, big lips, and a physique that looks like he’s about to crush something!

Takeo Face

You know you love him!

But let’s not forget that he’s only one half of our narrative. Takeo shares his story alongside the petite Rinko Yamato, a high school girl who has a soft spot for baking stuff like there’s no tomorrow! Takeo met Rinko, having saved her from a groper on the train, to which Takeo was briefly detained for assaulting the guy (heh). It was love at first sight for both of them, and eventually, they became a couple.

And while she may like Takeo for his actions or personality, Rinko can’t help but love that sexy body of his too!

Rinko Face

Down girl!

Takeo and Rinko seem to have a very steady relationship, spending lots of time together and happily enjoying each other’s company. But for them, their romance isn’t complete without their close friends.

Takeo’s neighbor and childhood friend, Makoto “Suna” Sunakawa is our stereotypical anime heartthrob and the girls are always infatuated with him, but he prefers acting aloof and throwing punchlines instead. Who would’ve thought that being the third wheel would be awesome?

Suna

Suna is far from being melancholy with that expression that hardly ever changes.

My Love Story!! focuses more on the romance between Takeo and Rinko, but they aren’t so selfish as to hog the limelight all to themselves. In order to make their high school lives a little more fun, they frequently invite their friends for group outings. And when you got a bunch of single guys going out with a bunch of single girls, you know there are plenty of shenanigans to be had!

Boys

Ugh. This is why you boys don’t have girlfriends!

Girls

Ugh. This is why you girls don’t have boyfriends!

And just in case you thought that this series wasn’t going to have any homo-eroticism, Takeo experiences a splash of it in good humor. Takeo gets a part-time job working at a café exclusively for gay couples, and he’s one of the customers’ favorite employees.

And let’s not forget that Rinko was NOT Takeo’s first kiss!

Kiss

On second thought, don’t remind Suna of this.

Takeo and Rinko share their love story, but it is not without its share of conflicts.Takeo doesn’t think he’s very popular with the girls, seeing how his best friend Suna often gets a lot of the attention. So when other girls try to steal Takeo away, you can bet that Rinko is going to get a little jealous!

Speaking of Rinko, Takeo also has a very idealized view of her. She’s the sweet, innocent girl who fell in love with a guy like him, but Rinko isn’t so pure as he makes her out to be. When they first met, she intended on making every excuse to meet him, wanting to be in control of their relationship. And let’s not forget the kind of fantasies she has of him!

Dream

Whoa, Rinko! What’s going on here!?

Rinko often blames herself for her selfishness, but Takeo doesn’t mind at all. In fact, he often assures her that he loves her just for being her, flaws and all. Or at least, he would, if he wasn’t so shy about his feelings!

While their concerns are trivial in hindsight, anyone who has ever been in love can agree that they were very real in the moment. I think it’s easy to point out the small problems they have when you’re looking at their relationship from the outside, but that’s not how it feels when you’re in love.

Takeo learns this the hard way that he can be just as jealous about guys being around Rinko as any guy would. Takeo has often thought of himself as less of a man because he’s so sensitive about such things, and simply wants to make everyone else happy, even at the cost of his own happiness. But as it happens, it seems that Takeo turned out to be just a normal guy like anyone else, to that extent.

ore-jealousyJealousy doesn’t feel very good at all, but it is a natural phenomenon that we all feel. Similarly, love can hurt, but we all handle it in different ways. What could possibly be the right way to handle those emotions when we experience them?

The answers are not as simple and clear-cut as some people seem to suggest. I’ve heard a lot of clichés about love and romance, but for some reason, the only one that seems to stick out to me at the moment is the one that I started with in this review: “everyone deserves to be loved.”

The Japanese language opts out of plurals in most cases, especially when knowing that a plural is often implied in context. And based on this series’ original title (which roughly translates to “My Love Story”), I would like to convince you that this is Our Love Story, with a collage of moments from the series.

Shojo MangaReal bros suggest shōjo manga… to their bros!

Ai SunakawaAi Sunakawa is Suna’s big sister who’s now in college. She used to have a crush on Takeo (and to some degree still does), but puts aside her feelings just to see him happy with Rinko.

MomTakeo’s mom is quite the veteran mother. She carried another mother on her way into labor just minutes before she gave birth to Takeo herself! She’ll deliver this baby with no problems!

Mariya SaijoMariya Saijō has a thing for Takeo too? Looks like Rinko has a love rival!

ore-yukikaYukika Amami has been in love with Suna since kindergarten, and she’s been watching him from afar for the past 10 years. That is one dedicated stalker!

ore-ichinoseKōki Ichinose is Rinko’s senior at the bakery shop. He’s fallen in love with her too, and is convinced that she’s his muse. Of course all he’s trying to do is use her like some kind of tool!

ore-osamuOsamu Kurihara is a coward by comparison to Takeo. But if Nanako wants the best Christmas ever, he’s going to literally reach for the stars to make it happen!

ore-nanakoNanako Yamazaki developed a much faster-paced relationship with Osamu, having met through Takeo and Rinko. Who cares if there’s some other guy out there that’s better for her friend? The fact is, Takeo and Rinko are in love right now!

ore-luckHow can you not love a girl like that?

Takeo is convinced that finding Rinko was the greatest thing in his life, and is worried that if she ever leaves him, he won’t find anything like that again. It’s hard to say if there is a better match for Takeo either, but I don’t think that’s important to find out.

Besides, if Takeo thinks he’s that unpopular that no one else could ever love him, then he’s got another thing coming. And with that, I guess I’ll wrap up with one of Suna’s one-liners:

ore-suna-2So if you’re looking for a sweet romantic comedy about purest, most unlikely couple, then watch My Love Story!!

And while I’m at it, I am pleased to announce that my 100th anime review will be coming up next time! Look forward to it!

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