*Warning: Possible Spoilers.”
Takeo Goda is a larger than life guy with a heart of gold, has an honorable personality, and has a love for helping others. You would think this would be enough to have the ladies knocking down his door. But alas, it’s not Takeo that the girls want. It’s his quiet, handsome friend Sunekawa that all the girls fall for.
This is the premise of My Love Story!! which is currently being simulcast on Crunchyroll. New episodes air every Wednesday as they air in Japan. Here is my review on episodes 1-7.
Episodes 1-7 closely follow the manga from which it’s adapted from (currently being published by Viz Media, with volume 5 set for release in July), with only episode 4 being out of sequence (the premise from episode 4 doesn’t show up in the manga until the beginning of volume 2). It starts with a simple premise and introduction to characters. Middle school is over and Takeo is about to confess his feelings to a fellow classmate, only to witness her confess her feelings to his friend Sunekawa. While he is shocked, he is not surprised as this never-ending cycle as been repeated since the two met in grade school. Here we start to see that while Takeo and Sunekawa are complete opposites in looks, stature, and personality; there is a lot of respect between them. The first episode ends with the introduction of a third character, the shy and incredibly cute Yamato. Takeo saves Yamato from a groper on the train, and instantly he falls in love.
By episodes 2 and 3, you’re rooting for Takeo and Yamato to get together. While it’s quite apparent to the audience Yamato is in love Takeo, because of current and previous circumstances; Takeo believes that she is in love with Sunekawa. With admitting defeat before things come to a head, Takeo decides to hook the two up. It is only by eavesdropping does Takeo get the picture when Sunekawa gets Yamato to yell about her undying love for Takeo.
Between episodes 4-7, we watch Takeo and Yamato’s relationship start to grow. From insensitive friends to fires, judo tournaments and awkward misunderstandings, the series never gets stale. It always comes off fresh, and the colors are always bright. We can’t help but blush along with Takeo and Yamato as they grow in their budding romance. The feelings and personalities of the characters match their design and at times even Takeo is extremely cuter than his girlfriend Yamato. We also see how much of a great friend Sunekawa is. While at this point in the series Sunekawa is just the third wheel; he is the anchor of advice when Takeo and Yamato need help in quashing their doubts about the relationship. We see how much of a nice guy he is, so nice in fact that we find his reasoning for declining all those girls advances simply wonderful.
What appeals to me most about this series is how genuine and pure it is. It feels more real to life, that awkwardness of first love we all experience when we’re young. It’s very original in contrast to most Shojo anime or manga I’ve read. While not magical or fantasy, it’s magic comes from the feelings and experiences that these characters are going through, and we can’t help but feel it right with them.
Another reason why I love the show is you can almost say the show parallels my own experience being in love. My husband Brad was almost like Takeo (minus the sumo wrestler looks, of course). He is tall (stands at 6’5), and had the what we now call the “dad bod.” He had confessed feelings to a few, only to get turned down. And once he met me, while wanting to go out with me, his first move was to place himself out of the running and suggest me to one of his friends. Like Yamato, I would make hints on wanting to date him. Yadda, yadda, yadda, we have been happily married for 3 years. =)
I cannot stress enough how awesome this series is. For fans of shojo, or just love stories in general without all the pomp and circumstance of magic or fantasy, this series is worth checking out. It is currently airing on Crunchyroll. Seven episodes are currently up with new episodes airing on Wednesdays. Viz Media is currently translating the manga. Volumes 1 through 4 are now available with Volume 5 coming out this July. Happy watching!!!
All screen caps copyright Madhouse Studio, Sentai Filmworks