Anime Review: My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999

My Love Story With Yamada-Kun at Lv999 was a tremendously fun little romantic comedy shojo anime. After the last Shojo series I watched, Fruits Basket, went kinda hog on the melodrama, I was rather pleased to find that this series was a lot more pleasant and chill.

Yamada from My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999
The titular Yamada.

The show follows Akane Kinoshita, a college student who has just recently broken up with her boyfriend, who got her into the MMORPG Forest of Saviour. Said boyfriend had been cheating on her with another woman. Fortunately, she’d joined a guild in FoS, and after deciding she would go to an in-person event for the game, she ends up running into (literally) an attractive young(er) man, Yamada. It turns out Yamada is in her guild. Also, he’s a senior in High School. So, she tries to manage her relationship with her guildmates and Yamada while also coming to terms with her feelings for him.

So, there have been other MMO-themed rom-com anime & manga before this (Recovery of an MMO Junkie being a classic example). However, I feel like My Love Story with Yamada-Kun does a better job of getting across the social dynamics of the whole guild situation – generally, the guild members are very supportive of their guildmates, and their interactions also are across a range of ages and genders (though not ethnicities). Where it gets a little silly is with Runa, the younger sister of the guildmaster, Eita, who is weirdly possessive in that sort of “No new friends” kind of way. She’s significantly younger, so it makes sense for her to be immature, but it adds an unnecessary layer of Shojo melodrama that didn’t need to be there.

The animation in the show is generally pretty solid, I like the mix of animation styles between showing the in-game world in the characters’ heads and what they’re actually experiencing. The game in question does feel like one of those Free-to-Play PC MMORPGs that used to be covered by ChaosD1 on his MMO Grinder videos (back when those were a thing and there were enough games of this type to make it worthwhile).

In all, it made for another fun little low-pressure show to go alongside some of the higher-stress series, like Heavenly Delusion and Witch from Mercury‘s second season.

My Love Story with Yamada-kun at Lv999 is available for streaming on Crunchyroll.

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