If this anime were candy, it would be the gold standard for sweetness that begets happiness. It’s almost sickeningly sweet, like those lovey-dovey couples you see in a constant state of bliss, reveling in each other’s most mundane traits; nothing can stop them because almost nothing else can distract them from one another.
I realize I sound almost bitter about how sweet this anime is, but I’m not. I literally just can’t think of a better way to describe the relationship between Takeo and Yamato. I will admit, however, that My Love Story!! isn’t the most realistic love story. But let’s be real, who watches anime for the realism?
The main protagonist is a man named Takeo Gouda, a literal giant of a high school student with a gentle heart that’s big enough to match. He’s a bloodhound for injustice, constantly on the lookout to make sure others aren’t facing obstacles that he can’t overcome with his gargantuan athleticism. His naivete leads to the occasional heartbreak, but he soldiers on, determined that those closest to him experience a peaceful and happy life.
The woman he loves, Rinko Yamato, is physically the polar opposite of Takeo. But she makes up for her weak muscles with a strong personality. She’s always looking for ways to create moments of joy for those around her, especially for Takeo.
Again, I do realize this is all rather “perfect world unrealistic.”
But I simply do not care. The performance by the cast into these characters just instantly wraps you up and pulls you in. It doesn’t matter that what you’re seeing is a near constant ideal scenario. It doesn’t matter that Takeo is an almost flawless protagonist. Somehow, nothing of what I would normally complain about matters. I don’t get it either.
Takeo may be the protagonist, but one thing I love about this anime is that you mostly learn about him through the lives of everyone around him. There are moments of exposition here and there, but we really learn about who he is through those moments where he’s trying to intervene for someone else, be that Yamato, his best friend Suna, or a young mother struggling to get her baby stroller up the stairs.
Thanks to his size and menacing appearance, Takeo is often misunderstood by those around him. Until Yamato came along, girls largely ignored him. Strangers fear him. Even the police instinctively distrust him. It also doesn’t help that he lacks finesse in almost everything that he does. But despite all of that, he chooses to assume the best about those around him, shouldering the burden for their discomfort by blaming his appearance, his lack of ability to read the mood, or anything else he can think of. At his core, he is selfless and kind. Ultimately, the happiness of others is more important.
While the relationship between Takeo and Yamato might be modeled to be perfect, there are instances where discomfort arises. These moments are born out of ignorance and a desire to show unconditional trust by the both of them. One of these misunderstandings does drag on slightly longer than it needs to, and the fact that it’s a problem that could be quickly solved with a little communication doesn’t help.
More than anything, this anime takes a lighthearted approach to show a relationship that could exist between two people who value the happiness of others above themselves. It’s full of laugh out loud jokes, heroic moments, and two gentle souls who managed to find one another despite the odds being stacked against them. Any time I watch this anime, I can only describe the feeling it gives me as a “joyous heartwarming.” While I don’t expect everyone would feel such deep emotions when watching this, I can safely recommend at least trying it, especially if you’re feeling sad. It just might be the spirit lift you need.