My Love Story!!
by Rose Bridges,
This episode of My Love Story!! mostly continues where we left off. We get to see Yamato and Takeo's birthday date and also find out the outcome of Suna's father's surgery. Of course we see both, because it's impossible for Takeo to choose. He ends up with the best of both worlds: taking his girlfriend out for the first part of the day, then rushing to comfort Suna at the hospital after the surgery.
This sequence of episodes has been all about how much Takeo cares about both his best friend and girlfriend—as if we didn't already know. Still, it's nice to see a situation where the two interests actually conflict. All three characters are so sweet and perfect and get along so easily, it's hard to imagine there being tension. However, it's bound to come up eventually. Suna may have insisted before that he didn't need Takeo at his side when his father was in the hospital, but it's clearly not true in this episode. He breaks down and cries when he's able to admit to Takeo how bad the situation is. It also gives us a chance to really feel for Suna's father, beyond just what his dad means to him. Suna's father is just as selfless and caring as Suna and spoiled his kids. It's clear the world would be worse off without him.
The first half of this episode, before that pivotal decision, is sugary-sweet. It's all Takeo and Yamato smiling over each other and making cute faces. They go bowling, and Takeo gets to show off for his girlfriend by juggling the balls. (Even if, as Suna told us, Takeo still can't fit his hands inside the bowling ball holes.) Then they go to a cake shop, where Takeo planned ahead of time to have the staff sing Yamato Happy Birthday, and she wishes she could spend all her future birthdays with Takeo. Of course, the sweetness dissolves if you look beneath the surface. Takeo can't stop fixating on Suna and his dad's surgery. At some point, he realizes that his date would be happier if he admitted what was going on and let Yamato enjoy it with her friends while he checked on Suna. Even though it means betraying Suna's confidence, he realizes it's the best thing to do.
That's a theme that runs through this episode: what is the "right" action? When you have two relationships that are equally important to your life, and their interests seem to go up against each other, it can be difficult to decide. What's "right" for one person might not be for another. Sometimes the best option for everyone means betraying both parties a little bit. Takeo thinks about this while he's talking to Suna at the hospital, musing that he's not sure if he did the "right" thing. However, it's the thing that made the most sense in that moment, and because this is My Love Story!!, it all works out. Yamato was most upset that Takeo didn't tell her, and she quickly abandons the planetarium to go to the hospital after them. She can't stop thinking about Suna, either. These three all care about and support each other, even if it's in different ways.
There are a lot of callbacks to previous episodes this week. Ai returns to see their dad, and it's clear she's still attracted to Takeo, even if she knows that it will never happen between them. I liked that moment, much as I disliked the Ai subplot when it happened. It's realistic that she wouldn't move on that quickly, and it shows that you can have feelings for someone and still accept that they prefer someone else. Takeo and Suna finish the episode by going to the BUTT-PINE. I love that it has an official name now, and I hope it continues to appear in the show.
"My Friend and I" is so clearly connected to the larger series that it's hard to evaluate on its own. This week wasn't particularly spectacular, besides letting Suna finally show some genuine emotions. It did reveal a lot about our characters and how they have trouble being honest with each other when the truth could be upsetting. At the end of the day, it's nice to see My Love Story!! tackling meatier ongoing storylines, even if they only last one episode. As much as I love this show as a sweet diversion, I prefer when it's something more substantial. It can be dessert and fulfilling at the same time!
My Love Story!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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