The film adaptation of My Love Story stayed true to the original plot in manga and still able to stand tall on its own.
Anime/manga lovers sometimes choose to avoid watching a live action because more often than enough, it turned out to be a huge let down. With that being said, some anime or manga live action makes people like me feel grateful for the opportunity to re-watch the series that we love with a different perspective. I’m happy to say that My Love Story can now be added to the bunch.
“Why can’t we control our feelings? My own heart won’t listen. Maybe I’m stupid.”
Takeo Goda (Ryohei Suzuki) is a high school student 2 m tall and weighing more than 100 kg. He has a righteous character. The male students adore him, the girls, not so. But all the girls Takeo likes, prefer his handsome friend Makoto Sunakawa (Kentaro Sakaguchi).
One day, Takeo saves female high school student Rinko Yamato (Mei Nagano) from a pervert on the train. Takeo falls in love with her at first sight. He feels Rinko likes Makoto, but Makoto isn’t the one she likes. Takeo struggles to liaise between Rinko and Makoto.
A quick run-through
When most love stories feature an eye-candy leading man, My Love Story switch the focus to a more righteous character, Takeo Goda. This is a simple guy meets girl, fall in love kinda story but the problem comes in a handsome package – Makoto Sunakawa! This doesn’t help Takeo’s self-esteem which is already in the size of a peanut.
After the fateful meeting with a damsel in distress, Rinko Yamato, Takeo’s heart never beats the same again and surprisingly, so does Rinko’s. Thinking that he has no fighting chance, Takeo rashly assume that she has her eyes on his cool best friend, Suna and tries to be the matchmaker.
The entire movie had its moments and you’re sure to smile and giggle at funny dialogues and silly facial expressions.
More importantly, the movie prides itself for the rather subtle life-lessons. Here are some:
Looks can be deceiving: Although Takeo is big built, his Elvis side-burns and genuine kind heart entice the boys at school but other people see him as just a big scary odd-looking middle-aged man. It certainly reflects on our society who is often bias and judgmental when it comes to appearance.
True friendship is forever: The unlikely friendship between Takeo and Sunakawa opened my eyes to the dimming appreciation for the people around us that we refer to as friends. The admirable loyalty between the two and how they got each other’s back is truly refreshing.
Family is truly the best: The wacky yet warm Goda clan will remind you why you should not take your family for granted!
Extra points: The fact that Sunakawa’s explosive popularity (deservingly so) hogs the attention of every female there is, it doesn’t make him any less kind and thoughtful towards his friend.
It is undeniable that some scenes can be a bit draggy, the exaggeration in Takeo’s way of speech might annoy some people and some actions are just preposterous; it is however important to remember that this is how they do it in Japan (if you watch anime, you’ll know what I mean).
Even if you are not familiar with the anime/manga version of My Love Story, this simple yet refreshing movie is definitely worth watching. By the way, please stay until the end, for a short scene that will tickle your tummy.
Runtime: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Starring: Ryohei Suzuki, Mei Nagano, Kentarō Sakaguchi, Yasufumi Terawaki, Sawa Suzuki
Release date: 25 February 2016
P/S: The parade of pastries MIGHT make you crave for sweets afterwards.