Our Dating Story: The Experienced You and the Inexperienced Me

Our Relationship Tale: The Skilled You and the Green Me Anime Assessment

Our Dating Story: The Inexperienced Me and the Experienced You are utterly lacking in ambition, although we are both ambitious in some way. I was first drawn to it because I like the dynamics of heterosexual relationships in which the lady is the more experienced partner rather than the other way around. It soon became clear that this is a study of permission and sex in the context of relationships and the emotions involved, rather than a tale in which a girl holds a guy by the hand and teaches him the ways of love. This did not deter me; in fact, it piqued my attention more since, in fiction or reality, that is a crucial concept that is seldom explored. As it happens, however, the implementation lacks the requisite impact, despite the good concepts behind it.

On paper, the premise seems sound. Nerdy Ryuto has a crush on Runa, a gyaru in his class, even though there are rumors that she’s promiscuous. Runa offers to take him home, has sex with him that same afternoon, and decides to give dating a try. It turns out that despite the fact that every partner Runa has had has broken up with her after a few months, she has always believed that having sex keeps them interested. Despite Ryuto’s desire to accept her offer, they choose to take their time and wait until they are both comfortable. As they navigate through relationship milestones like birthdays, travel together, and their first kiss before sex becomes a factor, the romance is soft and unhurried.

I really wanted to enjoy their connection, but I was never able to go beyond admiration. It is undoubtedly worth having the discussion it wants to have about consent, relationships, and sex. Runa immediately agrees to have sex with Ryuto, but her agreement has little to do with her desire. He wants to have sex, but he also wants her to desire it, and that’s crucial to him. Runa, meantime, is very ashamed of her prior relationships, but Ryuto reassures her that it doesn’t affect him. It’s amazing that the tale aggressively combats the concept that the heroine has been sullied, much more so than the fact that she is not a virgin. Sex is seen as a normal aspect of dating and relationships rather than as something filthy or shameful. Fiction has the power to spark meaningful discussions, and Our Dating Story has a lot to say about that.

The issue? Runa and Ryuto both have the personality of wallpaper paste—they’re both way too boring and dull to carry a series, but they’re also both kind of cute and maybe significant thematically. To make matters worse, the gyaru subculture has been reinterpreted in popular culture throughout time as “outgoing girl with big breasts who wears flashy clothes, follows trends, and uses a lot of slang.” Not because I am at a loss for words, but rather because there is just nothing to say about Ryuto. Nicola, Runa’s closest friend, is a more fascinating character than the whole ensemble. Although it comes out that she has her own chaotic love and sexual connections, she still protects Runa. But it would be asking too much of her to balance the show with her relationship, her part-time work to help pay for college, and her studies. A girl’s day is limited to so much time! To make matters worse, I watched My Love Story!! again in the midst of this show’s running, which is another series with two wonderful kids in a healthy relationship that always manages to be entertaining and interesting. This did not improve my opinion of Ryuto and Runa’s relationship.

A portion of the problem stems from the characters’ lack of chemistry outside of couple moments in a show that freely discusses sex. They place a lot of emphasis on their emotional connection, but isn’t it really only one factor in determining whether or not a person is ready for sex? Before engaging in sexual activity, there’s a lot of physical exploration to be done, from light contact to more intimate types of communication than just putting tab A into slot B. If Ryuto and Runa are doing any of it, the viewer isn’t aware of it since it’s all taking on off screen. Everything seems a little flat, both the screenplay and the images lacking a certain something.

The authors attempt to add some tawdry drama by creating a love triangle between the main two and Maria, Ryuto’s past infatuation and Runa’s estranged twin sister, rather than letting the character drama unfold organically. There’s little tension as Maria attempts to use her status as a Single White Female to have Ryuto taken from Runa. Furthermore, there’s never any uncertainty about how things will turn out since the story lines are either abandoned or finished way too fast. Runa is so kind-hearted that her aspirations of their family being reunited one day are greater than Maria’s creepiness, and Ryuto would never conceive of doing anything to harm Runa. Thus, they devise a scheme to reconcile their parents. It’s known as The Parent Trap. As a side story, they are performing The Parent Trap. Yes, exactly.

All along, I thought Runa’s viewpoint was incomplete. Her relationships with other people are given a lot of attention, but what about her relationships with her body? For a long time, she has considered having sex to be a duty, something she does for the pleasure of someone rather than herself. How had she arrived at that perspective? Was it society and culture, the bad ex-boyfriend, or both? Or is she maybe demisexual? The central premise has so much room for deep character development and, in an era when discussions about sexual scenes in literature seem to go on forever, for some real sexiness. Instead, we watch the two dullest adolescents on the planet stagger toward the nebulous idea of feeling prepared, without really looking at what that means. Furthermore, it seems that the show’s central premise is that “As long as you’re in a loving relationship, it’s totally fine to want to have sex.” What about the females who are completely OK with having casual sex? Why can’t they just enjoy having sex? Is it what makes them evil and filthy? It all boils down to an obsession with the emotional rather than the physical.

Our Love Tale: The Skilled You and The Untrained Me is OK. It might have been fantastic, even amazing, if the director, writing, and plot had been more effective, subtle, and compelling. More aggravating than everything was having to wait three months to see whether I would eventually get what I wanted.

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