Ore Monogatari!! – 04

Ore Monogatari - 04 -10 Ore Monogatari - 04 -24 Ore Monogatari - 04 -32

Lucky Abrams has nothing on Gouda Takeo…

OK, let me just say up front that I have no idea WTF is going on here.  One time is a twist, maybe an asspull, maybe parody – but two weeks out of three we have a convenient disaster allowing Takeo to strut his stuff at exactly the right moment?  It’s very odd if nothing else, and totally at odds with the mood of the rest of the series.  If it happens every episode I’ll be ready to call it a running gag, but right now I don’t know what the hell to call it – I just know it’s not exactly my favourite part of the show.

Up until things got weird, this was another very strong episode – in fact, I found it to be altogether subtler and darker than the first three, and a real broadening of Ore Monogatari’s emotional palette as a result.  Say what you will about the generally sweet and positive nature of this show, but it is built around some fairly painful themes, and I thought this storyline really brought them home.

In the beginning it’s largely more of the same – Takeo and Rinko still in the full flush of new love (in springtime, no less), Suna wryly observing from the peanut gallery that they’ll probably “be like that till they’re old and wrinkly”.  Because Rinko has done such a good job of selling Takeo and because she goes to an all-girls school, her friends see this as a perfect opportunity for a mixer – to take the measure of the new boyfriend, and maybe even poach one for themselves.

The girls’ reaction when they see Takeo isn’t at all surprising – it’s effectively the same as the woman whose stroller he carried up a steep staircase, much to her horror until Suna dispelled her fears (and it was he she thanked).  I think it would be fair to point out here that while Takeo has a ton of guy friends who see him for the legit bro he is, it’s girls (apart from Rinko) who constantly misjudge him.  Is there a touch of misogyny here, I wonder?  It’s not as thought high school girls aren’t incredibly shallow about things like looks (and height, and voices) but listen, high school guys are too.  And most adults of both genders – it’s tough for someone like Takeo not to be categorised and boxed in as something he’s not.

Suna once again dispenses the words of wisdom that frame the story – “Just because someone is friends with a nice person, that doesn’t mean they’re nice too.  Sometimes the person is just too nice not to keep them around.”  I wonder if Suna doesn’t speak from experience here – he certainly has the air about him of someone who’s been hurt emotionally.  It would be easy to assume that if anything traumatic like that had been a landmark enough experience for Suna to have been changed by it Takeo would remember – but we know he’s certainly not an especially observant person.

It really is a shame Kawahara-sensei had to throw that fire in there, because I thought the moments leading up to it were emotionally spot-on.  The mixer was suitably awkward, with neither Rinko’s friends or Takeo’s showing much polish in dealing with each other (Suna, as promised, doesn’t participate at all). Naturally two of Rinko’s pals say some incredibly cruel things about Takeo  (and by extension, Rinko) once they think they’re in-private, and naturally Rinko and Takeo overhear them. Once again this is a moment when Takeo really breaks my heart, because he’s so used to being treated this way that he’s barely fazed – it’s Rinko that’s upset.  It really is the sad truth of the world that most people judge others on that which is shallow rather than that which matters – but most of the time, there isn’t a convenient disaster standing by to offer a proving ground.

I like the straightforward and unapologetic way Ore highlights this problem, and the way Takeo deals with it.  In truth it seems like kind of a duex ex machina for him to get the chance to make everything right when the restaurant in which the kids have been mixing catches fire.  We know how strong and brave Takeo is, and we certainly don’t need any reminders – and is it really necessary that Rinko’s friends be brought around so quickly that the only way to do so is via the route we saw?  If the series is playing it straight with all these coincidences to me it amounts to a flaw in the writing, short-cuts – but if there’s a point or reason behind it (like a vampire curse) I stand willing to be won over.  It’s certainly not a deal-breaker, but it is the one off-key note in what’s otherwise been a nearly pitch-perfect series so far.

Ore Monogatari - 04 -8 Ore Monogatari - 04 -9 Ore Monogatari - 04 -11
Ore Monogatari - 04 -12 Ore Monogatari - 04 -13 Ore Monogatari - 04 -14
Ore Monogatari - 04 -15 Ore Monogatari - 04 -16 Ore Monogatari - 04 -17
Ore Monogatari - 04 -18 Ore Monogatari - 04 -19 Ore Monogatari - 04 -20
Ore Monogatari - 04 -21 Ore Monogatari - 04 -22 Ore Monogatari - 04 -23
Ore Monogatari - 04 -25 Ore Monogatari - 04 -26 Ore Monogatari - 04 -27
Ore Monogatari - 04 -28 Ore Monogatari - 04 -29 Ore Monogatari - 04 -30
Ore Monogatari - 04 -31 Ore Monogatari - 04 -33 Ore Monogatari - 04 -34


  1. a

    Gotta say though, the animation was superb in the scene as well as the music.

  2. U

    Would have been interesting to see what direction the show would have taken, had he died at the end there.

  3. R

    The second half kinda fell into the predictable after Suna muttered that “Just because someone is friends with a nice person, that doesn’t mean they’re nice too." line, but, but, overall, still an engaging episode.

    I noticed a little animation quirk here. After the fire, Takeo was all dirty with all the ashes, so he looked darker. But why the heck was he still rendered darker after he cleaned up and was back in his room at the end?

    I also have to say that I really love how they animated Rinko in her spotlight scene in the ED.

  4. m

    hahaha i think it was a joke concerning his near invincible body, he was burned all over but instead of injuries he just got tanned

  5. Z

    I'm really taking the fire for the series running gag. I actually found it a pretty funny part of this episode. I agree that the resolution with the friends was a little forced, but I read that as the animators (and I havn't read the manga) taking a short cut with the series. Show like this tend to be over in 12 episodes and they want to move on to the bigger and better material.

  6. It's 25 episodes.

  7. S

    I agree well enough. I mean, when the fire started I rolled my eyes at how cheap a way was this of changing the girls' opinion on Takeo (and at how he seems to bring death and destruction around him, not unlike detective Conan). But if that didn't happened I wouldn't have had the ridiculously over the top scene of Takeo smashing a window and dropping to the ground while BURSTING IN FLAMES which made me laugh out loud, so the show gets a pass from me for now.

    It's also possible that the girls will be now part of the recurring cast, so this was a quick episode to introduce more characters that will then be used in more articulated plots.

  8. J

    Not only is Takeo huge, but Rinko is small. She's slighter than all of her school friends. I think that the mangaka likes to use their odd couple pairing to goof on social norms. There has to be some wink-wink in the outlandish feats that she has Takeo perform, but she obviously uses them to smash the expectations of the characters that judge him on looks alone. But he's not alone in busting stereotypes. Suna plays against the empty-headed pretty boy and Rinko is not the timid little thing.

  9. G

    I'm wondering if they get married how they are gonna have sex. No joke… the difference in size applies to other areas as well. He is like 5x larger then her (or maybe even more).

  10. D

    Have you seen Ariana Grande and that guy she was going out with? I'm embarrassed that I even have this pop culture knowledge, but somehow I do. Anyways, the size difference is probably even greater than the one between Rinko and Takeo…

  11. e

    Sex being a spectrum other than just PIV notwithstanding, human bodies can a) be rather supple and adaptable b) hold some surprises when it come to proportions, especially in private areas c) get a lot of range when both feelings, creativity and resources/tools are involved guys :p.

  12. I mean seriously, stop and think about what you're saying here – "5X larger or more"? So if she's 100 CM tall, he's 500? Or if he weighs 100 KG, she weighs 20?

    They'll be fine.

  13. e

    It's too bad that you disliked the resolution. I think I like it.
    This is anime that seem to have conflict and resolution in the same episode every time.
    And I am fine with that convenient fire. Come on, it's not something weird and illogical that a fire broke out in a family restaurant.
    And it doesn't have to be fire, our Super-Takeo can easily save them from muggers or bear, and clear off their prejudice. lol.

  14. g

    Well, I treat these kind of elements like "The Suddenly Fire" as a comedy, even a self-parody. I even wrote about it in comments under the first episode review, there are elements of parody in the manga. Of course, later there are some more serious themes, with a little solemner atmosphere, too.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one, who has noticed that suddenly all the girls/women look really bad, except Rinko. Unfortunately, many shoujo romances construct a main girl (who is mostly a protagonist too) as a special snowflake but not in a positive way "you're one of a kind" but in an opposition to others, you could say as a backhanded compliment, which at the same time downgrade other girls. Do you understand what I mean?

    Yet, when I've talked with one of my friend, he remarked a little tinge of hypocrisy here. With the MC such as Takeo, one of the strongest themes is "Don't judge a book by its cover", right? Yet all the girls Takeo had crush on were pretty or cute ones, not even one was a kind soul with an appearance, which would be considered stereotypically as ugly. And don't get me wrong, Takeo, as he is, for sure would help any other girl, who was in the train and was molested but the big question is: would he fall in love with her if she wasn't so cute like Rinko? This way Takeo isn't so different than any other shoujo heroine surrounded this time not by cast of bishounen but bishoujo. He's different than generic MC-kun of a harem of course, because we have from the start a firm couple, who is going be the end game, and they rather won't be swayed anyway.

  15. Y

    When the whole fire thing started, I was pretty disappointed and basically felt the same as you… But the scene where he smashes through the window with the giant explosion in the background was so over the top and just plain awesome and won me over.

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