Could “My Love Story” Be a Positive Influence on “Nice Guys?”

My-Love-Story-Episode-9

My Love Story!! (aka Oremonogatari!!) is a twist on the reliable yet well-worn tropes of shoujo manga and anime. A manga and recent anime adaptation, it features many of the warm, fuzzy feelings that come with seeing a likable protagonist fall in love, only the main character is a hulking mountain of a man who looks like he stepped out of a manga bout gangster and delinquents instead. Takeo is portrayed as a goofy, lumbering, yet well-meaning guy who’s able to win the heart of a girl he meets through a selfless act, but is slow to realize it because he believes girls can never fall in love with him because he lacks the typical appearance of an attractive guy. When I see My Love Story!! and the message of hope it has for those guys out there who feel like girls will never see them as anything more than a curiosity, I wonder if the series is better suited for our current environment, or if it might have made more of an impact 10 years ago.

What I mean by that is not so much that the show feels older or outdated, but rather that the early to mid 2000s were when sites like 4chan and its Japanese predecssor 2channel truly showed how much they could mold significant parts of how internet culture viewed nerds and how nerds viewed themselves. 2005 marked the drama adaptation of Densha Otoko and the idea that “otaku are in,” Web 1.0 was making way for Web 2.0, and stories about being “forever alone” abounded. There has been the controversy over the “nice guy,” who has symbolized both women’s failure to date the right men and the sexism of men who expect sex just for treating girls nicely. If My Love Story!! had come along to show the difference between genuine compassion and a slick veneer, would it have altered many a nerd’s viewpoints? This is what I’m wondering.

Then again, between harassment of women working in and around video games, an increasingly vocal sense of chauvinism and false victimization over how men are treated, and a variety of other elements in our current media environment, it might be just the right time for a show like My Love Story!! to exist. Maybe now that these aspects are more visible, and now that “nerd culture” and “mainstream culture” are more integrated than ever, the positive messages this series sends are what people need to hear. Another factor in all of this that might complicate the issue is that, at the end of the day, even Takeo is not the handsome prince, he still has numerous qualities that play into the typical image of manliness, and his sheer strength might potentially overshadow his personality with all of its little quirks and moments of weakness. He’s certainly not a “nerd” or “otaku” in the typical sense, after all.

What do you think? Is My Love Story!! the show for today’s anime-watching audience, or could it have actually influenced on the confidence in guys and sense of respect for themselves and for others more greatly if it had been a part of the fabric of our cultures sooner?

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7 thoughts on “Could “My Love Story” Be a Positive Influence on “Nice Guys?”

  1. Unfortunately I think most of these people are too entrenched. They’ll view it almost as insulting. “This would never happen to me!” sort of attitude. Wasn’t there even a backlash against stories like Densha Otoko that it was stupid wish fulfillment and could never actually happen to a real otaku? Not to sound too much like Kazuya Hyoudo but to be entirely selfless might be impossible for some people; everything they do is weighing what they might get out of it in return. Hey, let’s hope most people take it as “Let’s be excellent to each other!” though.

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  2. Im actually on the last episode, by tonight. “Oremonogatari” is such a treat, not a completely great one, it`s good, though.

    I Think the “nice guys”, need to shine. That`s the one`s who are going to be caring by the end of it, right? Unless you are a tsun! So what are you good or bad!

    Chrissy.C Of https://saechaocirculation.wordpress.com/

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  3. In my teens I always thought myself as ‘the nice guy’. Later in life I would realize a lot of nice guys are only ‘nice’ because they haven’t had the chance to be vile. Most people are pleasant if you only see them for a couple of minutes. Otherwise horrible people then get the impression they’re of the ‘nice’ set.

    A lot of it I think comes down to experience and perspective. If you’re surrounded by people that reaffirm how nice you are despite never having risked your skin in the game it can be quite a compounding problem. The internet excels at making echo chambers.

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  4. I think it takes a lot more than being nice. In the last 2 episodes, it was pointed out that Takeo had to be a bit more selfish about Yamato because of Ichinose’s advances towards her. He thought more about Yamato’s happiness than his own, which could’ve cost him his relationship.

    Though at the same time, Takeo has a commitment towards helping others – which makes him attractive. It also helped that he was confident in his ability to help them. Yet being nice doesn’t mean you will be confident in things. Nor vice versa.

    I think in the end, it might come down to having confidence and commitment to something you care about. In Takeo’s case, it was about helping people in trouble without thinking of himself.

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  5. Purely in terms of challenging the “entitlement” problem this show doesn’t work since it has the Beauty & Beast formula. Where an ugly guy wins over gorgeous woman. Of course this story is never told with genders reversed. So the message is still “any guy can get a 10/10 girl but girl must be 10 to get even an unattractive guy”. So “nice guys” have a problem of thinking they should get a perfect girl too just because of “inner beauty” while ignoring the girls inner qualities.

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  6. I’ve not finished the series yet, but I’ve enjoyed it. Takeo is pretty much a super hero though. In a world that feels pretty realistic otherwise, he’s jumping out of burning building though a brick wall on the 12th floor and walking away with out any serious injury. Even though I share a lot of things physically and mentally with Takeo, it’s hard to relate someone who is basically a gentle hulk. It started so realistically and I was really enjoying it, but it just got too extreme to take seriously.

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