My Love Story Key Visual 001 - 20150430Every season, romance fans are treated to a veritable smorgasbord of shows, upon which they can feast their fancies. The spring 2015 anime season is no exception, with eleven different offerings to choose from. Madhouse’s one show this season, My Love Story!! (Ore Monogatari!!), is a contender for the romance crown this season. At this point, it’s shaping up to be one of the season’s best.

Takeo Gouda is a teenaged version of a man’s man. He is built like a work horse, he can knock someone out in one punch, and he has a black belt in Judo. While such traits make Gouda a figure of admiration among the guys, he just can’t get the girl. His unattractive exterior hides the heart of gold that beats within him. Worst of all though, the girls Gouda does like always fall for his handsome friend Sunakawa, who shoots them down in the cruelest ways imaginable. Gouda’s luck changes one day, though when he meets a beautiful young lady named Yamato on a train after he saves her from a groper.

MLS1There is a lot to like in the first episode of My Love Story!!. It is not trying to reinvent the genre, nor is the story anything original. Still it succeeds on the execution of its core elements. It’s a classic love triangle, though Madhouse is able to make it feel fresh. Gouda is completely oblivious to the fact that Yamato is infatuated with him. Instead, he believes that she is love with Sunakawa. This has been done before but it doesn’t feel clichéd. This can be traced to the source material as the first episode is with the exception of some trimming the first chapter of the manga. A likeable cast is a must for a romance series, and My Love Story!! delivers in spades.

Madhouse’s usual artistic talents are at the forefront. While there isn’t much animation in the first episode, the background art is colorful and visually appealing. Director Morio Asaka has experience directing romance shows, with numerous fan favorites under his belt like Card Captor Sakura, NANA, and Chihayafuru.

MLS3If there were any complaint that could be made about the first episode, it would be that Megumi Han’s portrayal of Yamato sounds a bit too high-pitched.

My Love Story!! isn’t looking to reinvent the shoujo romance genre, but it doesn’t need to. All of the elements come together to make it an endearing show that fans of the genre should check out.

My Love Story is currently streaming on Crunchyroll