Romance shows are so dull. Once you have watched one lovey-dovey series you have pretty much seen them all, as they all follow the same uninspired narrative. Or so I thought. My Love Story (also known as Ore Monogatari) stands out from the crowd thanks to its male lead. Instead of starring an effeminate pretty boy, protagonist Takeo Goda is a fifteen-year-old kid who has the body of an eighties roided out wrestler and looks that only a mother could love. Needless to say he isn’t very popular with the ladies, who instead prefer Takeo’s dreamy best bud Makoto Sunakawa.
I hear that Japan’s railway service is top notch thanks to its punctual trains. Delay free travel comes at a price however; as hentai has taught me that the country’s rail lines are infested with molesters. One day, on the commute to school, Takeo spots one of these gropers harassing an innocent girl. Incensed by the lecherous behaviour, Takeo pummels the sleazebag before handing him over to the cops. Rinko Yamato, the dainty lady Takeo rescued, is so smitten by her saviour’s heroics that she cannot resist asking him out on a date. Who knew that some females are into guys that resemble gorillas?
Normally a show of this nature would test my patience with two-dozen episodes of melodrama. Will they or won’t they hook up? Thankfully author Kazune Kawahara, who penned the manga that this anime is based on, dispensed with all that nonsense. After just a few episodes Takeo and Rinko are officially an item. Rather than tease its audience the series instead focuses on telling humorous tales about the fledgling couple. We get stories dealing with their first kiss, Takeo competing at a Judo tournament and a finale featuring a love rival who threatens to steal Rinko’s heart. There’s also a trip to the beach too. Heaven forbid that we get an anime devoid of bikinis!
BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
My Love Story does an excellent job of showing how different genders react to romance. When Takeo’s pals learn that he has a girl they waste no time in congratulating him. Rinko’s friends on the other hand cannot resist making snide remarks about her man’s appearance. Girls can be rather judgemental when it comes to looks. Thankfully Takeo is able to win over the critics… even if earning the approval of Rinko’s peers required that he use his brawn to save them from a burning building! Not everyone with a vagina is that shallow though. Takeo’s selfless personality doesn’t go unnoticed. Despite his physical deficiencies he attracts a number of admirers via his willingness to always aid those in need.
One failing that Takeo’s might and altruistic principles can’t overcome is how dense he is when it comes to matters of the heart. Thankfully his BFF Suna is always close by to impart relationship advice. Suna’s knowledge on courtships is surprising, as he has never had a girlfriend. There’s a long line of moist gals (and one bespectacled stalker) who would love to jump his bones, but for whatever reason he always turns down members of the opposite sex. Maybe he is gay? Nah. That one time Takeo tried to practice kissing on Suna, in a scene that will make fujoshis squeal, he wasn’t receptive to the idea at all.
I am awarding My Love Story a five star rating. The series is one of those rare shows that can appeal to anyone. Girls will dig the romance whilst guys can enjoy the jokes. Despite being overly cute the anime never made me want to hurl. The show’s unconventional heartbreaker offsets the sparkle heavy mushy moments, as do the hilarious visual gags. It also gives hideous freaks like myself hope. You don’t have to be a genius or possess Brad Pitt’s looks to lead a happy life. Takeo has a ton of friends and found love just by being a nice guy. Want a girlfriend? Just man up and help that cutie that is being harassed next time you hop on the underground. Sadly for me my town doesn’t have a train station. Doh!