“Takeo-kun has really nice skin…and his eyebrows and sideburns really get to me…and his broad shoulders, and nice pecs…and his lips are so sexy!..His hands are so big, too. They make my heart race! I really want to cuddle, and hold hands, and stuff.” -Yamato Rinko
A modern day Beauty and the Beast, Ore Monogatari!! takes a much sweeter route through its tale of romance. Yamato Rinko appears to be your typical adorable female shoujo lead, with her small stature, high voice, and pure aura. Gouda Takeo towers over her and many full-fledged adults with a body builder’s muscles and penetrating stare. But unlike the fairy tale, our girl isn’t a hostage, and our guy is neither prideful, nor full of anger. We have two young people who genuinely care for one another, and come together as a couple in the first three episodes.
Anyone who is a frequent watcher of shoujo romance knows how miraculous this type of short development is–most anime of this nature take the entire season to get to where Rinko and Takeo stand, and even then, usually leave us at an open ending. The quick resolution of romantic tension is refreshing and unique amidst an ocean of unsatisfying love stories. And once they are a couple, the show refrains from taking a nosedive into excessive conflicts–save for Takeo’s miraculous feats of bravery–and showers us with scene after scene of the two happily in love.
This is where things get even more fascinating. With the amount of hearts and blushes flying around, you might think the romance overpowering, which is actually far from the actual response. Ore Monogatari!! mixes the fluffy with the humorous and the serious masterfully. All of our main characters–Yamato, Takeo, Suna, and even Suna’s sister, Ai–display a myriad of emotions that crack even the stoniest of hearts and warm you from within. It’s also important to note that this anime cannot be strictly classified as a shoujo romance. Our protagonist is actually the guy lead, and some of the best comedy takes place between him and his male best friend. Better considered a romantic comedy that reaches out to both sexes across a wide age range, Ore Monogatari!! continues to please mid-way through the spring season.
The recent arc featuring Rinko’s “secret” is my favorite of the show to date, though I’m only six episodes in so far. There’s a bit of speculation, mostly voiced by Ai, that Rinko is hiding something from Takeo. It’s all too easy to imagine the worst, like the idea of another guy in the picture, given Rinko’s anxiety every time her boyfriend describes her purity as the thing he likes most about her. But I wasn’t falling for that darker train of thought. The success of the character-building in this anime is a testament to why I was able to maintain my faith in Rinko and Takeo. I guessed the truth from the start, and wasn’t surprised in the least when Rinko finally confessed her desires to Ai. Even though there wasn’t anything startling about what she said, I couldn’t help but grin with affection, remembering my own first loves and all the accompanying wishes and hesitation.
If you’re not watching this currently airing show, remedy that right now. Don’t let the soft color palette and kyun-kyun deter you!