My Love Story has been on my list to check out for a while now, and I finally decided to give it a shot this week. This anime was adapted from a manga of the same name written by Kazune Kawahara with art by Aruko. It was picked up by studio Madhouse for animation and was simulcast on Crunchyroll in 2014. I went into this anime only knowing the small snippets I had heard from other people and other reviewers so I was honestly surprised to learn how many nominations and recommendations the manga had received among the shoujo genre. This is mostly because I found the series as a whole fairly hit and miss in terms of story and my own level of engagement and enjoyment.
This romantic comedy features the high school student Takeo Goda who doesn’t have much luck with women. He’s tall, muscular, and not classically handsome. To make matters worse, all the women he falls in love with are more attracted to his best friend Makoto Sunakawa. That all changes when he spots Rinko Yamato, a petite shy girl, getting groped on the train and rescues her. Takeo, who’s never had a girlfriend in his life, must now try to make sense of what it means to be in a relationship.
I wanted to give something new a try this time around and take a look at some short anime series to see how they compare to the manga. For our first review, we have Say I Love You, created by Kanae Hazuki, and picked up for its 13 episode anime adaptation by Studio Zexcs and Sentai Filmworks. The manga itself currently has 17 volumes published with the 18th and final volume due to come out sometime this year. Like most anime adaptations, the manga continues well after the anime ends, but the question then becomes whether it’s actually worth it to continue reading the manga or even if it’s worth it to check out the anime. I’m hoping with these types of reviews, I can answer those questions for you guys. Over the past couple days I’ve binged through all 13 episodes of the anime and 17 volumes of the manga, and have come to the conclusion that while I love how the anime handles the story, the manga has its good points as well.
Say I Love You follows the growing love story between high school students Kurosawa Yamato and Tachibana Mei. Mei doesn’t trust people, not after being bullied her whole life, and refuses to make friends or open up to people. But that all changes when she round-house kicks the most popular boy in school, Yamato, and gains his unwavering attention and phone number. While she vows never to use it, soon finds herself hiding from a stalker in a convenience store with Yamato the only person she can call for help. After he shows up to rescue her and subsequently steals her first kiss, she begins to see that opening up to the people around her isn’t such a bad idea after all.