Story/Art: Kazune Kawahara/Aruko
Translation/Adaptation: JN productions/Ysabet Reinhard MacFarlane
What They Say
Takeo Goda is a giant guy with a giant heart. Too bad the girls don’t want him! (They want his good-looking best friend, Sunakawa.) Used to being on the sidelines, Takeo simply stands tall and accepts his fate. But one day when he saves a girl named Yamato from a harasser on the train, his (love!) life suddenly takes an incredible turn!
Takeo and Yamato spend their days deeply in love. Yamato invites Takeo to a date at her house, but what’s in store when Takeo meets Yamato’s family for the first time? Furthermore, Takeo now has a rival in love! What will the gentle giant do about his incredibly handsome foe?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Even if you’re a My Love Story!! fan who prefers the anime over the manga, you should still consider getting Volume 8 because it contains two arcs that were not in the television series. The first arc introduces Yamato’s family, which didn’t appear at all in the anime. The awkwardness of Takeo’s initial encounter with Yamato’s dad is pretty funny, but the wittiness drops off after that. Unlike Takeo’s family, where everyone is extremely unique, Yamato’s family is so average as to be borderline boring, with the exception of Yamato’s crazy dog. As such, the comedy predominantly comes from physical humor (i.e., Takeo’s big body bumping into things) and the usual first meeting with girlfriend’s parents goof-ups. While it translates all right in manga format, I do wish the animators, who had done such a spectacular job adding impact to these kind of scenes, had included this arc in the anime.
Then the focus shifts from Takeo’s Love Story!! to Ai’s Love Story!! Again, I’m surprised to see Ai and the ever persistent Oda return for not one, but two chapters. While the previous Ai-Oda arc was about Oda meddling in Takeo and Yamato’s relationship, this time Oda’s out to win Ai on his own merit. Takeo, of course, is rooting for Oda, and Oda once again stays with the Godas as he makes a new bid for Ai’s affections. Although Ai is not a Goda, she has been Takeo’s big sister figure, and it’s fun to see the Goda family perspective on Ai’s suitor. The story concludes with a literal wild ride, and though it’s entertaining, action scenes are not Aruko-sensei’s strongest point. As with the meeting with Yamato’s family, it’s a sequence I would have loved to see animated.
The volume concludes with the start of summer vacation and a part time job for Yamato. One of the running themes is how women fall for Suna and how they don’t fall for Takeo. Even so, Takeo’s captured the hearts of three girls so far. On the other hand, Yamato, who is universally considered cute, hasn’t attracted anyone else’s attention. Well, that changes with Chapter 31. An actual rival for Yamato’s affections finally arrives in the form of a coworker. But this isn’t your usual high-school love triangle. In addition to being as different from Takeo as can be, Ichinose is a working adult. However, he’s pretty immature for an adult so it works out. At any rate, this kind of competition is bound to send Yamato and Takeo’s relationship into new territory.
Extras include story thus far and notes from the creators.
As fun as it is, Takeo and Yamato’s relationship continues at a snail’s pace. After the sitcom that is Takeo’s first meeting with Yamato’s parents, the attention shifts to the as of yet unresolved Oda-Ai relationship for two chapters. Fortunately, the volume refocuses on our main couple with the introduction of a rival for Takeo, who is certain to bring new complications and romcom fun to Takeo’s Love Story!!
Content Grade: B+
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: April 5th, 2016