The popularity of Netflix's Lookism has brought much-needed character design variation to anime. This is a significant accomplishment considering how few characters in the medium accurately reflect the wide range of physical shapes that exist in reality. This is one of the reasons Lookism gained popularity because the protagonist was treated with kindness and the utmost seriousness in the novel. Thank goodness, it's not the first show to do this.
The protagonist of Lookism, Hyeong-seok, must forge his own way in life despite his socially unacceptable looks. The history of Hyeong-character seok's is very similar to that of Takeo Gouda from the anime My Love Story, another uncommon series with a rare physical type. In truth, these folks' inspiring stories and
What's the Point of My Love Story?
My Love Story follows teen protagonist Takeo Gouda who, despite having a heart of gold, strikes out in his love life. His male friends see his earnest and chivalrous personality, but when it comes to girls, Takeo typically scares them away with his large girth and socially unaccepted appearance. To make matters worse, every girl he's ever liked has fallen head over heels for his best friend -- and the most popular boy in school -- Makoto Sunakawa.
After saving the adorable Rinko Yamato from a creep one day, Takeo falls for her kind nature but believes that the same unfortunate scenario is happening to him again. Rather than having confidence in himself and fighting for Rinko's affection, Takeo would rather try to set her up with Makoto.
My Love Story and Lookism Have Comparable Messages About True Beauty
Though this anime is a comedy, it doesn't make fun of its main character like other series have done to those who look like Takeo. My Love Story humanizes him much like Lookism humanizes Hyeong-seok. In the same way that Hyeong-seok begins his journey hiding away his natural body, Takeo lacks his own confidence. He fails to see the worth in his own love life, which is why he goes through so much effort in setting up Rinko and Makoto throughout the series.
Though My Love Story doesn't have the same dark grit that Lookism has, it still drives the same morals home. Both series follow protagonists with body types that differ from the norm in mainstream media and their inspirational stories serve to show how everyone, regardless of their body type, is deserving of love and recognition.
In Lookism, Hyeong-seok depends on his sudden ability in switching bodies into a body more societally pleasing. This does mildly take away from the narrative theme of diversity, but Hyeong-seok learns over time to build his own confidence in himself and starts to see his own worth; it just takes him a long time to even begin to reach that point. This character narrative is identical to Takeo's, but with a change in genre and tone.
The Sugar-Coated Style of My Love Story Doesn't Change Its Meaning
Lookism is a more emotionally heavy action drama with supernatural elements, while My Love Story is purely a romantic shojo with upbeat and comedic tones. At the end of each series, however, viewers' emotions are led to joy, relief and hope for these main characters who undergo their own changes and own their version of happiness.
Without spoiling too much, My Love Story does manage to create a better happy ending than Lookism. This is due to Hyeong-seok's continued reliance on his "attractive body" by the end -- though to be fair, My Love Story has more episodes and a more complete story. Therefore, fans who love a pure and uplifting happy ending can look forward to watching all of My Love Story.
Regardless of their differing approaches to these morals and narratives, both these anime share an inspirational story and add to the diversity that the medium needs. Fans of Lookism who don't mind the sugar-coated style of shojo anime ought to give My Love Story a watch. It's the perfect series to brighten anyone's day while teaching an important lesson on true beauty.