Also known as My Love Story, Ore Monogatari follows Takeo as he starts high school and for the first time ever finds a girl who likes him back. The series follows Yamato and Takeo as they work through their first romance and occasionally try to help out their friends.
Ore Monogatari is a romance anime but it focusses very much on the males viewpoint. However, given the nature of the male, I can only assume the intended audience were females who are already fans of shoujo anime given Takeo freaks out at holding hands and tells his girlfriend he won’t kiss her until Autumn of their third year of high school (though that changes) and that’s about as far as anything physical in this romance is going in this anime. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s a perfectly sweet story, but despite Takeo’s size and sporting prowess, I’m thinking he isn’t exactly the most relatable male protagonist romance has every constructed.
I really enjoy this anime and it became one of my favourite binge anime almost immediately after it finished airing. It’s sweet and easy going. Each episode focusses on some problem or issue that the characters overcome in some way but there isn’t an awful lot of drama. The most dramatic moment probably comes fairly early in the season when Yamato’s friends are overheard trash-talking Takeo and Yamato runs away. When Yamato and Takeo come back, the building is on fire and two of Yamato’s friends are trapped inside. Takeo saves them but is then trapped himself. This ends after a phone call that informs Takeo that Yamato is going to go inside the building and so he escapes and bursts out through a second story window with flames billowing as he launches himself into a tree.
Not realistic, but certainly entertaining.
Other than these few moments of action and drama, most of the tension comes from the character’s having to confront their feelings about different situations. Most of this is funnelled through Takeo’s perception, but that isn’t really a problem because Takeo is known for not being the brightest bulb so people tend to carefully explain things to him.
The relationship between Takeo and Yamato proceeds fairly typically. We have Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Birthday’s, and all the usual occasions. Each one passes fairly innocuously but we continue to see the two become closer and understand a little bit more about each other. I did like the beach trip as for once it wasn’t the girl getting stared at but the guy (by the mother’s of the other kids at the beach), which was a change from the norm.
The opening theme is great. As a song it is so-so, but it kind of captures the overall spirit of the anime and watching it you can really feel the main characters.
Which leads us to the last thing I want to mention: Suna. Takeo’s next door neighbour and best friend. He is a great supporting character and actually the most emotional moments in the story tend to focus on him. Early on we learn that he has turned down every girl who has ever asked him out because they said mean things about Takeo behind his back. He’s also the one who get’s Takeo and Yamato over their initial misunderstandings so that they can actually date. His father’s hospitalization gives us one of the more nail-biting episodes. My favourite moment with Suna though comes in the third last episode of the series. A girl who has liked him for a very long time confesses and while he doesn’t dislike her (so does not reject her outright as he has every other girl before) she realises that he doesn’t actually like her and that kind of breaks her heart. Her conclusion is that Suna loves Takeo though it is ambiguous if she means as a friend or something more. All and all, Suna is what takes this show from being watchable and kind of enjoyable to fairly memorable.
Clearly, this anime isn’t really doing all that much different other than the male lead, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s a sweet romance and fun to watch and a great way to spend an afternoon.
What did you think of Ore Monogatari?