My Love Story!!, Vol. 1 Paperback – Jul 1 2014
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About the Author
Kazune Kawahara is from Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan and was born on March 11th (a Pisces!). She made her manga debut at age 18 with Kare no Ichiban Sukina Hito (His Most Favorite Person). Her best-selling shojo manga series High School Debut is available in North America from Viz Media. Her hobby is interior redecorating.
Aruko is from Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan and was born on July 26 (a Leo!). She made her manga debut with Ame Nochi Hare (Clear After the Rain). Her other works include Yasuko to Kenji, and her hobbies include laughing and getting lost.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
(And for a similar series, just with two guys instead of a guy and a girl, check out His Favorite.)
[More of my reviews are available on my blog, Geeky Reading, to which there's a link on my profile.]
I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this volume, how fast it would move, or what the art style would be like. And I must say, that this volume was just plain cute. All around adorable, and very funny.
Takeo, the main character, is a big guy, who can easily intimidate people. But he’s actually the type who wears his heart on his sleeve. He falls for girls easily, and he really just wants to help people when he can. He’s a nice guy. His best friend, Sunakawa, is the good-looking guy that every girl wants to date. But he’s actually rather straight-faced, with little interest in girls and who wants to study.
And then Takeo saves Yamato from a pervert on the train, but when she tries to repay him and bake him goods, he thinks it means she likes Sunakawa, because all the girls he’s liked before have.
I wasn’t sure what the relationship between Takeo and Sunakawa would be, given that all the girls fall for Sunakawa. I was surprised to find that they are seriously just really good friends. Takeo admires Sunakawa; he’s really just his best friend—there are absolutely no hard feelings. And Sunakawa just wants Takeo to be happy as well. I also like how Sunakawa jokes around with Takeo, for instance by setting him up near the beginning of the book.
I was also surprised by Yamato. She is seriously just adorable. The way she runs after Takeo in one scene, and then how she tries to hint and flirt with him. I admire her courage, the way she goes after him, and the adorable way she succeeds. Her and Takeo are just super cute together.
The artwork was not quite as good as I was expecting (although still good, don't get me wrong), but the characters were. This was an adorable volume, and I really can’t wait to read more.
Also, I hadn't realized that there were going to be longer release dates between volumes in this series. I'm not surprised, since there aren't very many out in Japan, but that still kind of sucks. Now I'm just going to have to wait longer than I thought for the next volume.
This charming tale opens on the day of middle school graduation for Gouda Takeo, the burly Judo captain. He is attempting to escape from his adoring kouhai to find the girl he is in love with—A classic confession scenario. When he catches up with her, however, he finds that she is already confessing to someone else: his best friend, Sunakawa Makoto. He can only look on as Makoto openly rejects the girl, in a manner that Takeo finds stunningly hurtful.
As the two head for home (they of course live in the same apartment building), Makoto points out a groper on the train. Angered, our Takeo stomps over and easily strong-arms the pervert off the train at the next station. The police arrive to question the parties involved, when the groper quips that the girl was ‘asking for it’ because she was wearing an ultra-mini. At this point, Takeo loses his cool and actually punches the guy smack in the middle of the face—And with a meaty hand like his, it looked as if the point of impact was pretty much the entire visage itself!
The next panels are of the following day: Takeo lounging around his room eating junk food due to suspension for the violence (in front of the police, no less). Makoto drops by to pass on the notes from school that day, when Mrs. Gouda pops in to announce the arrival of a guest, named Yamato Rinko. Neither boy can place the name, but it turns out to be the girl from the station… And when she enters Takeo’s messy room, his love is born.
Rinko explains that she asked the cops for Takeo’s information so that she could thank him properly. She takes out a homemade cheesecake and the trio eats together. Accidents bring them together a few more times, while Takeo struggles to come to terms with the fact that a girl so pretty, talented and sweet would never fall for him.
But let’s cut to the chase: this series is called “My Love Story”, and Takeo is the main character. I could never ruin that sweet, also accidental, confession scene for new readers, so I will just leave it at that! In any case, this book is a touching view of the oft-overlooked self-critical male.
Now, shoujo’s target audience is girls and women, but there are a few men out there who enjoy a sweet story every once in awhile. Taking a gander at my manga collection, I found a ratio of exactly two male-centric shoujo stories for every eleven female-centric. This is a quite a staggering number, considering that shoujo claims to be story-oriented (a feature any gender can enjoy), but usually only depicts the theme-du-jour from a female standpoint. What about us guys who yearn for a cutesy, dramatic, intricately-woven slice-of-life? There are just not many books out there for people like us.
Shonen, power-of-friendship sagas are a dime a dozen, but you have to really dig through the plethora of manga now on the market to find a spectacularly ordinary story that can whisk you from the confines of your reality, to the hopes, dreams, and desires of someone in another place. And when this occurs, we start to realize how similar we all truly are. Because when it comes down to it, we have all traipsed through feelings of inferiority or unworthiness at one point or another. These darker times are part of what makes us human; our experiences build us into the complex people who we are today. In this series, there are some brilliant moments brimming with unanticipated optimism, and the first volume of “My Love Story” does a truly marvelous job of encapsulating a turning point in Gouda Takeo’s life.
The art is beautiful and has impeccable comedic timing. I actually smiled while reading and that is rare. All characters are further lovable and the romance is just too cute. Best of all it really goes somewhere over time and there is a (back)story and character development for all cast members. Even the drama feels heartfelt. The very strong critical and award winning reception the manga got is very well deserved and i am looking forward to more volumes. What a find! Go on the read the similar and even better Angel Densetsu (10/10) from the 90s if you aren't familiar with it and the recent Last Game (9/10) next which has a slower paced romance.
The Madhouse anime is a well done adaptation btw. so watch that version too.