My Love Story!!
by Rose Bridges,
How would you rate episode 19 of
My Love Story!! ?
There are many adorable episodes of My Love Story!!, but this episode may be the most adorable, despite the fact that it focuses on one of the show's toughest, most no-nonsense characters. This week is all about Takeo's awesome mom.
Yuriko Gouda is a badass and then some. We already knew that she was strong, but this episode goes to show just how strong by having her accomplish the same feats when she's nine months pregnant. She carries another pregnant woman to the hospital who is about to give birth before she does. She insists on doing all the household chores even though her son and husband keep jumping to help her. Yuriko even tries to pass her can-do attitude down to Yamato, insisting that men aren't as tough as they look and women can be responsible for doing the heavy-lifting (in her case, literally as well as figuratively).
In many ways, she's basically an older female version of Takeo. It's clear that he got his superhuman powers from his mother's side, but he also received his compassionate and selfless nature from her. In many ways, Takeo's parents are like a gender-reversed version of his dynamic with Yamato. This hits home when Takeo's dad tells the story of how he fell in love with his wife. He saw her demonstrating those twin traits of strength and compassion when she rushed to help another woman who was in trouble. He said he knew instantly that he wanted to be with her. It's not too different from Yamato immediately falling for Takeo after he saved her from the creeps on the bus. When I started these reviews, I lamented that we would probably never see a female version of Takeo get her own romance. In a surprise twist, My Love Story!! has given us exactly that—in Takeo's parents.
One thing Takeo didn't inherit from his mom was her common sense. Takeo's a little clueless about how the world works, trying to approach everything from a presumptive, logical point of view that doesn't work for delicate social graces. We don't know what Yuriko was like when she was younger, but at the very least she's lived enough that she no longer holds this attitude. She admits to being worried about her son and his strange way of approaching problems. This episode also allows Takeo to demonstrate to her just how much he's grown up and become a caretaker in his own way. Taking care of people involves more than just rushing to their aid, after all. You also have to identify their specific needs and let them work at their own paces.
That will be a good skill for Takeo to develop now that he has a little sister. I was hoping when Suna made his comment about having trouble imagining a female Takeo that he would get a sister, and I was right. Of course, she does look very much like a feminine baby Takeo. She's bigger than all the other babies, just like her brother. It will be interesting to see how her brother guides her through the struggles he faced growing up. I've enjoyed watching Takeo's romantic love story, but there are many different kinds of love. Watching him learn how to love and care for his baby sister will likely be just as rewarding.
My Love Story!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Rose is a music Ph.D. student who loves overanalyzing anime soundtracks. Follow her on her media blog Rose's Turn.
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