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Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! episodes 15-18

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Takeo x Yamato forever

I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. But it's been such a long time since I've been drawn to a romantic anime since they've all pretty much become the same thing. It's either an inappropriate relationship, an appropriate but boring relationship, or a single guy (or girl) is surrounded by several members of the opposite sex vying for attention. It's always a toss up with these shows, so I like to base my choices off of interesting concepts. 

That's where the obnoxiously punctuated MY Love STORY!! (Ore Monogatari!!) comes in. Since I'm drawn to shows with exclamation points in their titles, I figured I needed to write about this show too. Although it's already far into its run (you can view our first impressions here), I've fallen in love with this. A large guy who's kind of awkward but genuinely loves everyone around him? I've been told it's basically me. 

Just without the, you know, friends and girlfriend and general happiness *sobs*.

Episode 15

Although I've conceded the fact that MY won't have the kind of big emotional breaks I'd see in a more nuanced romantic story, that doesn't mean there's a lack of tension. It's kind of nice to watch something that's so low stakes, every molehill seems like a mountain. The latest stake is the introduction of a new love rival, Saijou, a classmate of Takeo's who's really bad at athletics. When she gets swept up in a relay, she asks Takeo to help train her. In classic Takeo fashion, he's super cool and supportive (and eventually wins the relay with no problems) and Saijou falls for him. All the while Yamato (thanks to input from her friends) catches on to Saijou and is constantly worrying over Takeo. But good ole' simpleminded Takeo sees Saijou as nothing more than another classmate. As Saijou calls him out after school in order to confess, she chickens out and asks Takeo to be her teacher instead. 

Episode 16

Since this is as close to a conflict as I'd expect between the two of them, it has to be mined for as much as it can. Thankfully, the whole thing only lasts two episodes as a lesser anime would've stretched it out to at least three. That's sort of the show's best quality and biggest flaw. There's just nothing getting in the way of Takeo and Yamato's burgeoning relationship, so there really isn't any room for outside development. While that leads to some great decisions like having them form a relationship in the first episode, it's a greater effect of the Shoujo genre's flaw. In this episode Saijou is still trying to make advances on Takeo after she tells him she likes him just as a "person," and as pure hearted as Takeo is, he takes it literally and completely ignores her advances. Yamato is worried, but Takeo tells her not to worry because he's not popular with girls (instead of saying he really loves Yamato). When Saijou confesses again (during a particularly well crafted shot), Takeo turns her down and realizes why Yamato was so worried. After a pleasant scene, the two reconcile. 

Best part of this episode? Sunakawa comforting Saijou. He always seems so cool and collected (and a great flip on a traditional Shoujo protagonist), but he's in touch with people's emotions. He seems asexual himself, but that doesn't mean he's checked out. It's pretty neat. 

Episode 17

Even though I just went into this whole thing about the story not allowing for outside character developments, here comes "My Christmas." As Takeo and Yamato's friends Kurihara and Nanako confess their feelings to their respective friends, the two decide to cheer their friends on and take a back seat in this episode (even if it's their first Christmas as a couple). Since Kurihara is not used to talking with women, he ends up pushing Nanako away with constant jokes. Basically, he's trying the kindergarten tactic of picking on the girl you like in order to get attention (this doesn't work, gentlemen) and it's failing hard. After Nanako is finally fed up and Takeo gives a rousing speech, Kurihara climbs a giant Christmas tree in order to grab its top star (that's said to instantly make two people a couple, or something like that). Then the two reconcile and it's all back to normal.  

I didn't quite like this episode. I may complain that the show doesn't explore others well enough, but if the other character's lives aren't engaging, I don't really care. 

Episode 18

I'm a little sad it took so many episodes to get to this point, but it's finally happened. Takeo and Yamato kiss! It's also my favorite episode up to this point. It's Takeo's birthday (and also New Year's Day), so Yamato makes it her goal to make it Takeo's best yet. After hearing from Sunakawa that Takeo doesn't want to kiss until Spring (and calling back to one of the best gags of the series, Takeo stealing a kiss from Sunakawa), Yamato decides to push forward and kiss Takeo sometime on his birthday. This episode's full of romantic and well crafted scenes, and has a particularly deft hand with the lighting. It's all so well done, Madhouse just knocks it out of the park here. Story wise, not much happens other than Yamato and Takeo furthering their relationship a bit, but it's just so damn cute. It reminds me of why I fell in love with this in the first place. It's a return to the awkwardness, and I can't help but revel in it. 

Truth be told, it just brings up a lot of memories for me. I'm 6'4, so I've always towered over girls I've dated and I've had to take the position above a few times. Just seeing it here warms me up inside. 

I hope MY Love Story!! runs for more than 24 episodes, or announces a second season soon, because I don't want this to end yet. 

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Nick Valdez
Nick ValdezContributor   gamer profile

Nick Valdez likes Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, and songs about butts. Some genius will hopefully combine the three someday.  more + disclosures


 


 


Also on Japanator: MY Love STORY!!   (3)   From our database:

  • Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! episodes 19-23 - Nick Valdez
  • Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! episodes 15-18 - Nick Valdez
  • Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! Episodes 6-7 - Nicole Helmeid
  • Annotated Anime: MY Love STORY!! episode 5 - Nicole Helmeid
  • First Impressions: MY Love STORY!! - Nicole Helmeid
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    Filed under... #adaptations #anime #Annotated Anime #Recap #romance #romantic comedy #shoujo #top stories

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