My Love Story!! – Season 2

My Love Story!! – Season 2

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Takeo Goda is a high-schooler who looks like a fully-grown man. He’s a big guy with a big heart. Unfortunately, the girls at school are not at all interested in him, much preferring his classically good-looking friend Sunakawa. Being the good guy he is, Takeo accepts his fate and stands aside. But then he meets a girl named Yamato and his love life suddenly takes a different turn. What’s in store this time around for the adorable anime couple?

I was so pleased that this one was back for a consecutive second season. It’s an anime that I haven’t heard anyone say a bad word about. Probably because it’s such a funny feel-good anime that just warms your heart. It’s the chicken soup of anime – a cure for when you’re feeling low.

I have to commend Madhouse’s art style. They must have gone to great pains to ensure that everything is clean and refreshing whilst, at the same time, is wildly expressive. Takeo and Yamato in particular steal the show with their close-ups and expressions and these have almost become a staple of every episode. Especially when Yamato does something adorable and we see a close-up of Takeo thinking unashamedly: “I love her!”

imageThe character design continues to impress me, especially as now the cast is widening out to give more attention to Takeo and Yamato’s separate friendship groups and watching them mingle. Everything is very charming without feeling alien, allowing for a vein of consistency whilst giving the characters a great range. I mentioned before that the three main characters look like they’ve been taken from three very different anime genres and it makes for some crisp and intricate visuals, which is often a complement to the pastoral backgrounds.

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The comic moments are still laugh-out loud funny. Things never completely resort to being out-and-out absurd, but they walk a fine line between awkward and relatable, making for some painfully accurate teenage experiences. If you enjoy Sunakawa’s straight-man responses, thoroughly enjoy the varying situational comedy, or are just in it for Takeo being Takeo, there’s something here for everyone.

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Now that Takeo and Yamato are an established couple, we see some of their friends getting to know each other and even Sunakawa going on a date with his secret admirer, the cripplingly-shy Yukiko. We also see a fantastic Christmas episode, Valentine’s Day, Spring Break and Takeo’s mom finally gives birth! Each make for hilarious yet heartwarming episodes. Now we know the characters better, the second season takes this opportunity to provide us with a bit more substance. A lot more time is spent developing the supporting cast without noticeably distancing the viewer from the core characters. Everything is fairly coherent and well put-together.

imageWith so many tropes and cliches, it’s hard to do a love story well, and it’s even harder to manage the pacing so you get to know the characters, their background and what makes them tick. My Love Story!! shot to the top of its game very early on and has since maintained its position. It makes a point of avoiding all the usual pitfalls and low-hanging fruit such as fan-service and love triangles and really shows how two characters can exist inside their own world. Takeo is an honourable and enthusiastic guy and Yamato is so carefree and innocent and they work in a unique harmony that makes for a pure, irresistible love story.

I would still recommend this anime to anyone – it’s true gold and is the perfect pick-me up when you’re feeling a bit negative. It’s an optimistic show without being naive, preachy or tooth-achingly sweet. It’s a great example of what a romantic comedy can do when it wants to incorporate depth and emotion without having to skimp on things like humour and light-heartedness. I envy anyone who is about to watch this for the first time!