This anime was a pleasant surprise. It had a sense of humor, adorable characters, decent storytelling – which was more than I expected. No doubt that Ore Monogatari has flaws, but it was interesting enough that I stuck with it until the end.
The anime follows protagonist, Gouda Takeo, a high schooler with an enormous build and an equally enormous heart, as he starts a relationship with a cute and petit girl named Rinko Yamato, who he affectionately refers to as Yamato. Despite being a shoujo anime it’s not all about the romance and has a good mix of friendship and comedy, due to the extremely stark differences in Yamato and Takeo’s personalities. Luckily, this ends up working in the anime’s favor rather than against it.
The story is decent and isn’t really anything special. The characters are what makes the anime memorable, but the story is merely passable. It uses some cliché’s that you see in typical shoujo shows, like the guy saving the girl from a groper, or the guy being this underappreciated fellow who constantly gets undermined by strangers. I wish that the anime stepped out of their comfort zone a little more seeing as it had such an interesting premise.
Gouda and Yamato start their relationship fairly early into the show which is both a good and bad thing. I’m glad they got into it early since I got to witness how adorably they act around one another, but at the same time I felt the anime didn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s like they got lazy while writing and decided to resort to cheap drama subplots, creating misunderstandings that could’ve easily been cleared up if the characters took the time to talk.
While Yamato and Gouda’s antics can be somewhat amusing, it takes away some of the depth the show could’ve had. Which is a shame because there were some great, heartwarming moments peppered throughout the entire run of the show that got overshadowed by poorly written drama.
But that’s not to say that Ore Monogatari is bad at drama. It could be genuinely engaging at times, which eases my annoyance on some of the more poorly written drama plots. Still, I guess you could say that I expected more out of it.
The characters is what managed to hook me into the show. Gouda and Yamato are one of the funniest and couples I’ve witnessed and I adore their dynamic. They have great chemistry together, which makes for some hilarious situations whenever they have misunderstandings.
Despite Gouda’s bad luck with girls in the earlier parts of his life, due to his macho and manly-man personality, Yamato easily becomes a constant in his life and things improve drastically from there. It was sweet to watch. Even though their feelings for each other seem to be greatly exaggerated at times I felt it worked with the overall tone of the show – it was quirky and cute, and it was what made Ore Monogatari stand out from the other dozen run of the mill romance shows. Frankly, I haven’t loved the main characters of a shoujo anime this much since Kimi Ni Todoke.
Another character that has a huge role in the show is Gouda’s best friend, Makoto Sunakawa, or Suna for short. He’s an ikemen (read: a cool, good looking dude) who’s constantly gotten the affection of Gouda’s crushes while they were growing up. Unlike Gouda, he’s soft-spoken and has an aura of ‘coolness’ that attracts girls to him like bees to honey, but much to the surprise of everyone he considers Gouda to be his best friend and is always hanging out with him.
The friendship between the two boys is remarkable and isn’t sidelined by the budding romance between Yamato and Gouda. Rather, the two boys grow closer than ever. It’s surprising to see such a well written friendship in a romance anime and I hope future shows take a page out of Ore Monogatari’s book. Many shows have this idea that romance is supposed to be an all-consuming emotion and don’t bother developing friendships, which is why I found Suna and Gouda’s bond a really a nice surprise.
The show is pretty average in its animation. There weren’t any particularly bad parts that made me want to claw my eyes out, but there wasn’t anything that stuck out either. Madhouse did a decent job from what I could tell, so there aren’t any complaints from me.
Overall I think anyone looking for a fun and entertaining romance anime would feel right at home with Ore Monogatari. It isn’t the best romance I’ve watched but it was certainly a memorable one due to the lovable cast of characters, and will keep you entertained until the end. A definitely a must try for both casual and veteran anime fans.