Ore Monogatari!! – Takeo and Suna are Best for Shoujo Business
I was never a big fan of shoujo. Not to say I hate them but every shoujo anime/manga I had seen are something of this kind-the wimpy heroine who easily cry even as you poke her slightly, and the pretty boy who started dating the heroine after some shoujo hijinks. Then after the heroine sees her own boyfriend two-timing (or something similar), misunderstanding, she will run away with tears in her eyes, and clumsily trip on a rock placed conveniently in the middle of the road for no reason and fall down with dramatic impact. Everything is so cliche-I can see everything telegraphed from a distance that I can’t help but sigh.
Additionally, I’m also never a fan of the “pure girl” archetype prevalent in shoujo titles. So despite the actual content of the title, there’s already problems beforehand to begin with-in that I’m not a big fan of certain elements common in shoujo. Admittedly though, it’s not like I watch a lot of shoujo to begin with, and there’s definitely some exceptions to the aforementioned formulaic pattern.
In this Spring season’s very shoujo anime Ore Monogatari, that exception is Takeo.
Shoujo is always known for their softer lines and pretty character designs. In Ore Monogatari, Takeo is a stark contrast to everything we had grown accustomed to. While Takeo is a high school freshman, he can pretty much pass off as a wrestler or something. He’s big as hell, about thrice the size of his peers, towering over every single characters we had come across. When a character who almost look like a
gorilla bear is a character in a shoujo title filled with pretty girls and boys, and a protagonist at that, he’s going to stick out like a sore thumb.
This design however also played interesting dynamics with the rest of the cast. One of the running themes of the show so far is how no girls would want to date her, especially with how Takeo being… Takeo. Being a big guy however, Takeo is always shown to be very emotional, but patient and chill, and doesn’t seem to mind even when people aren’t really treating him politely, for example, not giving him proper gratitude for helping out to downright being insulted. He’s also a man of respect, as you can see just how many male friends he has. However, the most interesting dynamic this played off is with Suna.
Before this, I had always wondered what’s with the “BEST BROS” tweets in my timeline. When I saw the character designs prior to watching it, I thought the pretty guy there would be the one to get the girls while the big guy would be in the supportive role. This element is actually executed in the show, but in the end, it’s played out in the completely opposite way than I expected. All the while, Suna, the pretty boy in this scenario, and best friend of Takeo, is supporting him throughout the show. I had expected this from the very get go I started watching, but in episode 3, when Suna officially claimed how he rejected all the girls who ever confessed to him just because they were insulting his own friend, it’s already enough for me to chime in and assert them the “best of bros”. I mean, we’re talking about a guy who even sacrificed his own first kiss just to help with Takeo’s kissing practice. Well, not like he actually volunteered for it, but don’t mind the small details.
Instead of the usual pretty boys/girl formula with possible love triangle, it’s actually pretty refreshing to see some variation from the usual pattern-from Takeo’s character design, which is the original root to all of these, to Suna’s supportive role. With this, a canon couple had already been developed as early as episode 3.
It’s funny though, because aside from aforementioned elements, this show is pretty much just a stereotypical shoujo romance story, those I can predict from miles away, but in ways that can’t be explained, it still managed to be earnest and heartfelt at the same time despite executing such a cliche story. Not sure why, but maybe Takeo’s juxtaposing design played it’s role again, by having an “ugly” design, the contrast makes cliche narrative seems more organic in a reverse psychology sort of way. All these made it pretty ironic too, because I think I’m liking Suna and Takeo more as characters than the main heroine of the show, Yamato.
Either way, looks like this anime will still be running for quite awhile (like 20+ episodes long), and since the canon couple had already been developed so early, I’m not sure where all this is headed, but it will still be interesting nonetheless, and I plan to continue catching up to it. Is any of you watching Ore Monogatari? What are your thoughts on the show?