If you’re too lazy to read, here’s a video I made a while back reviewing Ore Monogatari!!:
My Favorite Romance (Or at least one of them).
Ore Monogatari has a simple plot. Gouda Takeo wants to have a girlfriend, but most girls don’t like him because he looks (and sometimes act) like a gorilla. However, when Gouda Takeo saved Yamato Rinko from a molester on the train, his life changed forever. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, but both Takeo and Rinko were definitely attracted to each other when they first met. The show isn’t devoid of clichés despite breaking a few of them, but I still love it. The “misunderstandings” cliché was there, but by the end of episode three, both Takeo and Rinko quickly became a couple thanks to Gouda’s best friend Sunakawa Makoto.
Is it a good thing that they got together almost immediately?
Yes, I think so.
What’s there left to go back to after that? Where’s the tension and drama if there’s no more chase? Is there more to this story?
Plenty… but it may not be for everyone.
This one might just come down to taste, as with most things about Ore Monogatari. But one of the main reasons why I love Ore Monogatari so much is its characters, namely, it’s MAIN character (I even maid a video all about him as scene above!). Gouda Takeo’s a fun character to watch and even though I’m not a super-athlete, I can relate to his struggles and insecurities. He feels genuine and feels like a well-realized character with a personality not built solely on tropes (even if he is at some points.).
The other two main characters are Yamato Rinko, Takeo’s girlfriend, and Sunakawa Makoto, Takeo’s best friend. I initially didn’t like Rinko due to her squeaky voice, but I’ve since grown to love her and find her endearing. Yeah, I understand people might disagree with me on Rinko, but like Gouda, she just feels real to me. Is she too pure and innocent? No, because she’s not entirely pure and innocent. She’s not devious by any stretch of the imagination, but she is flawed, she does have concerns and fears—but despite that she’s still very much an optimist, and often times I notice that optimism is seen as a bad thing or something reserved for dumb people. Look, I’m a cynic, a nihilist, but I admire optimistic people, so long as it’s not too in your face. And that’s what I like about Rinko; she’s not in your face about how cute or pure she is like most other romance heroines are. Like Takeo, she feels like a character that was written as a person rather a trope.
Speaking of tropes, the one character that would have fit perfectly into a generic Shoujo romance is Suna. Suna is cool, aloof and intelligent—he’s often seen as a major hottie by fans and females in the show itself. When first watching Ore Monogatari! I was a little worried that maybe things might get clichéd and a love triangle between our three main characters decides to happen. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Suna plays a very supportive role in the show, and when more dramatic things do happen revolving his character, it’s often more about his friendship with Takeo… Which brings me to my next point.
Most of the show is still very much about Takeo and Rinko’s relationship. Just because they’re now a couple, life doesn’t just automatically become all sunshine and rainbows. For both of them, this is their first relationship and throughout the series we watch them grow closer together and learn what it means to be in-love with someone and what it means to be in a relationship. There are plenty of things that test our protagonists’ relationship, but that’s part of the fun.
The other quarter of Ore Monogatari focuses more on the people around Takeo and Rinko. One story arc might focus on Suna’s sister, another might focus on their friends’ love life and another might focus more on Takeo’s mother.
These stories are a bit hit and miss, but most of them are pretty good, though, they are a little predictable at times which is probably going to be my biggest complaint about this overall. But the stories themselves aren’t exactly the draw of Ore Monogatari—it’s the characters. If you don’t like the characters, then chances are you’re not going to care much for the stories depicted in the show. As mentioned earlier, I found the characters to be likable and relatable due to how they were written.
Some of Takeo’s traits might have been amplified and taken to the extreme, but they don’t ever overshadow his more human traits, and the same could be said for the other characters. Though they’re not as extreme as Takeo, they’re all still very human. And it’s these very human qualities that make them approachable, thus relatable, which then in term makes it easier for viewers to sympathize with.
The other thing I enjoy very much about Ore Monogatari is the humor. Now I’m not going to pretend like the humor is revolutionary or even witty, but I get a great sense of joy watching it. It’s formulaic and repetitive, but the show just has such a happy vibe that I can’t help but feel happy whenever the show does anything humorous, when I would have other wise have felt nothing. This again is linked to my enjoyment of the characters, but also, with the genuine cuteness of the show.
I say genuine cuteness, because the cuteness that comes from the show doesn’t come from moe characters doing moe things—kind of like what one would see in an anime like YuruYuri or K-ON! where cute characters do cute things. In Ore Monogatari the cuteness comes more from within the characters themselves. This is a little hard to explain, but bear with me. When I watch a moe anime, I can’t help but think that some creepy otaku (probably has on really big glasses, a headband over his forehead and fingerless gloves on his hands) drawing all of these characters with one hand while his other hand strokes his penis.
Now I’m no white knight who champions chivalry and try not to objectify women, I’d be liar to say that I’m not… But I do have a line, a line developed by my own personal taste. The moe cuteness is disturbing to me because of one simple reason… I find creepy. I find it creepy that some creep is drawing little girls be in cutesy and often suggestive scenarios.
However, when I watch Ore Monogatari and see a cute scene, all I can imagine and think of is how adorable Gouda and Yamato are together and how nice it must be to be that happy. I’m not sure how to describe this other than call it cute, but I like it a lot. I don’t feel cynical about their cuteness or their relationship. It feels pure to me, and I like that a lot. You can tell that it’s about love (whatever that might actually mean) and not about satisfying some sort of physical desire within the writer, artist, reader or viewer.
I’m a depressed cynic who sees very little point in life, but Ore Monogatari shines a ray of hope and joy in my otherwise crummy life. It’s not the best anime ever, but it’s certainly one of my favorites, if not only because of how much I enjoyed and adored it.
My Personal Score: 8.5/10 Great!
- Great characters.
- Enjoyable scenarios.
- Adorable and funny.
- If you’re not into the characters you might not like this show at all.
- Stories are mostly predictable (though they are still heart-felt).
- Not every story arc has any kind of pay-off (most do, but I can think of a few that felt unnecessary).
- Recommended For: Fans of love stories and cute things as well as hopeless romantics and saps.
- Not Recommended For: People who only want to see cute boys/girls in their “romance” anime. People who are not into romance (obviously). People with no souls (unfortunately it does require a soul to enjoy this show).