Anime Watch: Ore Monogatari
By Howard Tyrone Smith II
If you’re looking for a great, comical, light hearted anime, watch, Ore Monogatari (My Love Story)! Social Awkwardness and love go together like oil and water. Only in anime could you find a series about these two antithetical forces to create something not only funny, but, dare I say, heartwarming: Ore Monogatari is that show. It follows the life of Takeo Gouda, a young man with a heart of gold, and the body of Heihachi Mishima of Tekken II series. Joining him is his childhood friend, Makoto Sunakawa, a quiet, good-looking guy that constantly rejects every girl that likes him. He may seem like an ass, but eventually the audience learns that he has a legitimate reason for doing this. Their dynamic relationship leaves Takeo frustrated by feelings of inferiority – from luck with women, to video games, to the way that people treat him in his everyday life – this leaves a major blow to his self-esteem.
Soon after, we’re introduced to Yamato Rinko, Takeo’s love interest. They meet when he saves her from getting a potential sexual assault on the local train. Takeo punches the perpetrator in front of her. Soon afterwards, she comes to visit him at home, bringing him cheesecake as a thank you for saving her. She enjoys baking and Takeo LOVES her creations almost as much as he loves her. But of course in Shoujo fashion, Takeo is oblivious. He thinks she’s into Makoto and not him. The show also references the Japanese folk tale Naita aka oni, the story of the red ogre who wanted to make friends with the humans of a nearby village, but the fact that he is a large monste causes them to fear rather than adore him. In a an effort to help him win over the villagers, the blue ogre strikes a deal with the red ogre. The blue ogre comes into the village and scares the humans and the red ogre kicks him out, making him a hero in the eyes of the villagers. But, when the red ogre goes to see how the blue ogre is doing, he finds that he had left in order to help maintain the red ogres’ trust with the villagers. It’s a sad story, but I can’t wait to see where the series takes this analogy.
Makoto finally helps Takeos’ last horse cross the finish line and explains that Yamato likes him, even going so far as to have him hide under the bed and have her yell that she likes him several times. It’s an adorable scene, and the cuteness only escalates from there. The fourth episode is so cutesy. In it, Yamato introduces Takeo to her friends during a singles’ mixer where he brings his friends, including Makoto, who unintentionally cock-blocks all the other single guys by just breathing. (Seriously, his swag cannot be stopped.) We also see that everyone, including Yamato’s friends, keep talking shit about her boyfriend because, well, he’s the Japanese Forest Gump. The episode ends with him going into a fire to save her friends, the same ones who basically said he looks like a Slowbro in the face with the body of Rob Gronkowski, and he almost dies!
By this point, we’re introduced to Makoto’s OLDER sister, Ai. She comes back into town randomly, wondering how Takeo is doing… and is sad he has a girlfriend now. Let’s go back to that earlier point about her age: Ai is somewhere between 18-22, much older than Makoto. I don’t need to say what we’re all thinking. Wait, yes I do: EWWWWWW! After that we see that Takeo is legitimately trying to understand what’s troubling Yamato after she sees him change to where he’s reading girls magazines and shoujo mangas. It’s not really that complicated, she just has a crippling fear of PDA. I’m not even joking. I understand intimacy issues being a thing, but the way the show handles it, you can’t help but chuckle and say: “…awww!” when she finally does tell him that all she wants is to hold his hand and kiss awwwwwwwwwww
This show is, it’s damn good and very funny. I’m currently watching this show with the anime club at the nearby college in my town, so I’ll keep you all posted on where this show goes. But, if you wanna binge watch this, by all means. Because we all need a dose of sappy romanticism mixed with good hearted high school humor now and then.
**Howard is an aspiring entertainment journalist & lover of anime after years of hearing his hyper religious family call it the devil. He’s 24 & lives in east Lansing,MI and hopes to one day make a living out of And hopes one day to find his blerd waifu**