Ah, the stereotypical anime love story. Cold and careless boy meets overly ‘kawaii’ pretty girl… Nope, scratch that. Ore Monogatari!! is taking that typical told and retold story and turning it completely on its head. With a gorilla-faced giant of a male protagonist and teeny weeny cutie-pie love interest, Ore Monogatari!! has set up a premise of one of the most charming and utterly adorable love stories that could ever be written.
Takeo and Yamato are as opposite as it gets, and at first it seems utterly absurd to expect any kind of ‘romance’ between the big and brash gorilla and the tiny, nervous deer. However as the first events of the series unfold and link the two together, it becomes impossible to see them as anything less than destined lovers of the strangest kind. Takeo meets Yamato during a train ride back from school one day. When Takeo’s best friend (the previously mentioned ‘cool, pretty boy’ type) Sunakawa, directs Takeo’s attention to a ‘sketchy’ looking man on the train, it soon becomes clear that the man is seen to be getting inappropriately close to the high-school bag of nerves, Yamato. Being the knight that he is, Takeo barges over to the suspect, seizes his arm and in return gets a very emotional, doe-eyed ‘Thank you…’ from Yamato. Here’s where the screen goes pink and sparkly and the invisible breeze sets in to create the text-book ‘just fallen in love’ atmosphere. However, things quickly change as Takeo convinces himself that Yamato is actually infatuated with his notorious ladies’ man of a best friend and decides that he will ‘cheer them on’ in the hopes of making Yamato happy. It’s completely adorable and as the viewers, we are all completely aware that Yamato is only interested in Takeo, inducing in us the urge to shout at the screen as we watch Takeo remaining ridiculously oblivious to Yamato’s unfaltering focus on him.
An initial glance at our main man Takeo brings many thoughts instantly to mind. It’s surprising to find that a character so far from the ‘normal’ pretty boy of a shoujo anime is, in fact, the focus of the story, and that’s what makes this series so special. It’s easy to get irritated by the pan water personalities of shoujo’s ‘cool’ boys, so it’s refreshing to see a big, hilarious softy as a protagonist, challenging the norm in a humorous and casual way. The feeling that someone is out of your league, and the belief that they could never be interested in you, is definitely something to which most teenagers can relate, which makes this anime an uplifting, feel-good story that is very easy to watch. Although it is just an anime, it’s a great platform for spreading the message that looks aren’t everything, and that personality often makes all the difference. It’s also a lot easier to notice and appreciate the individual personalities and quirks of each character when not blinded by guessing who’s going to be the next anime waifu or hasbando.
The first two episodes will leave you smiling and eagerly awaiting the follow-up. The art is very light and pretty and the animation is fairly average for this style of anime. With just two episodes to judge from, it’s difficult to comment on pacing: however, with plenty of events and little twists to keep things entertaining, there hasn’t been any filler so far. Here’s hoping that Takeo gets over his naiveté and we get to see one of anime’s weirdest and cutest relationships blossom.