Up Close With Takeo Gouda

I really fell in love with Ore Monogatari or My Love Story the first time I watched it. Certainly it had the advantage of being a little bit different from a lot of the romance anime I watched given it was from the male’s perspective. It also had the novelty of the two main characters establishing a relationship within the first few episodes so the will they/won’t they antics were kept to a minimum. This isn’t a story about falling in love so much as a story about being in love, but mostly it is a story about the characters and their lives and while falling in love is one aspect it isn’t the only thing this story is looking at.

A large part of the draw of this series is Takeo Gouda. He’s huge and towers over his peers as he enters his first year of high school but his size tends to put others off. He’s also not the brightest and tends to act impulsively which leads to misunderstandings. At one point in the series he sees a mother struggling to get a pram up a flight of stairs and so he picks up the pram and carries it to the top. Unfortunately he doesn’t ask first or let her know what is going on and it is left to his friend, Sunakawa to explain.

Ore Monogatari Sunakawa left to explain

While that might paint Takeo as a tragic figure, that isn’t actually correct. Takeo has a few bouts of self-pity but by and large just keeps travelling even when things don’t go his way. He’s supported by his parents and his incredibly loyal friend Sunakawa and as the series progresses, by his girlfriend Yamato. With a group of people who really get him and really see him surrounding him, the blows of those who take a superficial glance are a lot easier to deal with.

However, what continues to elevate Takeo as a character rather than just being a nice guy or a strong guy is his willingness to keep trying. He keeps helping people even knowing it doesn’t always work out and that he won’t always be thanked. When Yamato mentions going to a university, Takeo asks Sunakawa to tutor him to help him prepare for practice examinations so that he won’t hold her back. Takeo doesn’t like studying, and he isn’t particularly good at it, but his dedication is pretty admirable.

Ore Monogatari Takeo and Sunakawa

Equally admirable though is his loyalty to his friends. This is tested quite thoroughly when he’s made plans for Yamato’s birthday and then Sunakawa’s father goes to hospital for surgery. Torn for a fair while, Takeo ends up apologising to Yamato, handing her the birthday plan so she can enjoy it, and runs to the hospital to be with his friend. It’s a beautiful moment for a character I think most of us wish we had in our lives because friendship like that is hard to come by.

Takeo Gouda is a character who I don’t think gets talked about enough. He’s wonderful and just charming to watch. His story is well worth it so if you haven’t watched Ore Monogatari before I totally recommend it. In the meantime, if you have watched it, I’d love to know what you think of Takeo so leave me a comment below.

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Karandi James
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18 thoughts on “Up Close With Takeo Gouda

  1. He’s quite the towering first year haha. Haven’t seen the anime, but Takeo sounds like a cool dude. Got it handle to the mangaka for avoiding writing a perfect MC to keep the story interesting, and having Takeo keep growing.

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  2. Agreed with your perspective on Takeo’s character… But for me, the best part of the series is that it got “will they or won’t they [confess and start dating]” bit out of the way early. Too many anime stick in that rut and never really get to exploring what happens when they *do* start dating. (One of the reasons I was ultimately disappointed in 3D Kanojou – they punted on that part.)

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    1. It is actually a novelty to see them get the whole confess and start dating thing out of the way early on – I guess we can thank Sunakawa for that because if he’d left it to Takeo and Yamato we might still be waiting.

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  3. Yeah, Takeo’s a great character, and I really enjoyed his relationship with Yamato. Some of those episodes like the fire rescue and the one you mentioned with Sunakawa’s dad I still remember well, even though I haven’t watched them since it was initially streaming. The one time I had some issues with him was the non-consensual “kissing practice” scene, although it also perversely made me thankful that he was such a nice guy, since it was kind of a brief glimpse of how dangerous he could have been if he was a selfish or malicious person.

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    1. The kissing practice scene just makes me laugh because of how absurd the whole thing is. Taken as a real scene it has some disturbing connotations, but visually it is pretty amusing and Sunakawa’s reaction is pretty spot on – though he does seem to let it go fairly quickly. You would think he should hold a grudge after that for a little while but they just kind of move on after that scene like it never happened.

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    2. I think the fire rescue is one of my favorites… One of the few episodes that really tear at the heartstrings. (Especially Takeo’s “I’ve done good, now I can rest easy” scene.) How easily and quickly Yamato’s friends swapped their opinion has always bothered me a bit though.

      Interesting perspective on the “kissing practice” scene.

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  4. Non-standard MC are definitely the best kind. Takeo would usually be the side character in almost any other shoujo manga and his relationship with his tiny girlfriend could be seen as a gag instead of how relatively seriously they tackle it here.

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    1. I do like that while there are comedic moments, their relationship is never taken as a joke or a gag. The characters are serious and the writers are pretty respectful in how they portray their relationship.

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    1. This one is very easy watching and I find myself drawn to it when I’m feeling down or tired because it doesn’t make me think too much but the characters are really well thought out and fun to spend time with. It certainly has its sillier moments but the emotions the characters go through mostly feel genuine and I really fell in love with them while watching it.

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    1. It is great that all three of them are nice and they still manage to keep it interesting. It isn’t dull at all and it doesn’t feel like these characters are boring. They are just well realised characters and their interactions are fun to watch.

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