Original Run: July 16, 2020 - October 1, 2020 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Mystery, Romance, Supernatural Based on the Video Game: Mr Love: Queen's Choice
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Mr Love: Queen’s Choice. Reader discretion is advised.***
Following her father’s death and inheriting his television production studio, a young producer, Watashi (voiced by Hisako Kanemoto), is struggling to keep the lights on. Her company’s final show, “Miracle Finder,” is in danger of being canceled, thus marking the studio’s end.
Watashi is determined not to let that happen and goes all-in with covering a recent rumor of superpowered beings. Little does she know that she’s about to stumble into a fight for the future of humanity.
While chasing her story, Watashi manages to find several people who wield extraordinary powers:
- The successful business mogul, Zen (voiced by Tomokazu Sugita)
- The popular idol, Kira (voiced by Tetsuya Kakihara)
- The brilliant scientist, Simon (voiced by Daisuke Hirakawa)
- The righteous detective, Haku (voiced by Yuuki Ono)
Watashi has begun a journey that will put her in immense danger, but one that will also answer many long-standing questions.
The long and short of it is Mr Love: Queen’s Choice (Mr Love) wasn’t great. Now, was it broken? No. Was it watchable? Yes. Was it problematic? Absolutely.
Is this series recommendable? Surprisingly enough, I have to say that it is.
There were many aspects to Mr Love that simply didn’t work, and we’ll get to what those were soon enough. For the time being, we should recognize that this series was as passable as it was thanks to two qualities.
First, the artwork was pleasant. Please note, I am only referring to things such as the show’s color schemes, backgrounds, lighting, and (to a point) character designs. Mr Love’s actual animation, though, was often stiff and cheap looking.
While watching this series’ opening scene, I remember being pleasantly impressed. My hopes were not high at the start of this show, but at least I saw indications of potential eye candy – indications that reached a satisfying level of fruition.
Second, Mr Love’s heroine, Watashi, was excellent. Perhaps it was because the four male leads were a tad flat and uninteresting; nevertheless, Watashi was an unexpected gem to come out of this series.
If you aren’t aware this show is based on a video game, it becomes insanely obvious when watching. Everything from the pacing to the story’s content to the chiseled, good-looking features of the four male leads, Mr Love had all the hallmarks of a dating sim. Hell, the heroine’s name, Watashi, is just a placeholder; the word “watashi” is Japanese for “I.”
Having never played the game at the time of this review’s writing, I can only make assumptions. If Watashi is, indeed, the player character, her in-game persona is most likely paper-thin. Such a quality would make sense since a major component of any dating sim involves players choosing the romantic route they want to take. This sort of game’s protagonist is usually a hollow shell because it is expected for the player to infuse their personality into the character.
However, we are focusing on the Mr Love anime, which has no dialogue options. Therefore, a fill-in-the-blank Watashi simply wouldn’t work. Fortunately, the direction this show took her in helped mitigate many of the show’s other problems.
For starters, Watashi was tough. She didn’t let others push her around, and she knew how to stand up for herself. That doesn’t mean she was unshakable. Watashi could get scared, she was often way in over her head, and she wasn’t a one-woman army. But instead of detracting from her character, these traits allowed her to be more relatable.
Watashi was also no maiden in distress. There were plenty of times when she threw herself in the way of a hit. Although she had people who could help her, she was never in constant need of saving. Watashi could fight, throw a punch, and defend herself when necessary. People were relying on her, so she couldn’t afford to be a defenseless onlooker.
It was these characteristics – self-confidence, independence, kindness – that made Watashi worth following. It was no mystery why people gravitated to her. She wasn’t just a pretty face; her looks were not what made her attractive to others.
Thus, is it any wonder why Watashi was considered a threat and not a mere happenstance?
I’m not going to lie. This show’s artwork may have been lovely, but it was Watashi and Watashi alone that saved Mr Love. Had she been on par with everything else in this series, I assure you that this review would have gone much differently.
Again, I’ve not played the Mr Love game. Thus, I don’t know what the male leads were supposed to be. I only know what was in the anime, and what was in the anime was forgettable.
I’m not joking; there were instances when I forgot who a main character was. Sure, the guys had one-note personalities, but it also didn’t help that their character designs were not exceptionally varied. For example, if they were far enough away, Haku, Zen, and Simon were almost indistinguishable from each other. The only reason I could tell Kira apart from the rest was thanks to his blonde hair.
Therefore, I think it was smart of this series to have Watashi NOT lean into any of these four routes. Her romantic interest in any of the men remained neutral. Or, in other words, Watashi was too good for these boys, and this show knew it.
To move on and as hinted above, the animation in Mr Love was no highlight. Every time anyone moved, it was stiff, awkward, and repetitive. Although this quality might work in a dating sim, which can exist as a visual novel that doesn’t require much movement, it doesn’t do too well in an anime.
This was such a waste of stellar artwork.
With all that said, these two traits were not what sunk this series. They certainly didn’t do it any favors, but they were not the most glaring issue. No, that honor goes to Mr Love’s story.
This series’ narrative went from bland to absurdly stupidly. When this show focused on Watashi and her getting to know Haku, Zen, Simon, and Kira, that was fine; things weren’t stellar, but they were simple. At that time, even the idea of a secret underground organization trying to forcibly advance the evolution of the human race in this DATING SIM-based anime wasn’t that crazy.
However, that changed when we got to see said secret underground organization in its Legion-of-Doom-esque lair. Then when this series introduced its main villain, that’s when I realized everything was on the verge of jumping into the abyss of silliness.
I’m sorry. Did I say, “jump?” What I should have gone with was “nosedive.”
The build-up to Mr Love’s ending was a total downward spiral, but it was nothing compared to the climactic fight for the fate of the world. The entire time it was happening, the only thing I could think of was:
Wasn’t Watashi just trying to save her production studio?
Maybe this journey from point A to B makes more sense in the video game. It sure didn’t in the anime, though.
This show’s dialogue could get quite cheesy. I didn’t mention this earlier because such a quality could be a deterrent or a selling point for some people; I’ll let you decide.
Regardless, this series made it across the finish line in the end. Granted, it crossed battered and bruised thanks to a disappointing story, weak animation, and a mostly boring cast. So, that wasn’t too great. However, many of these faults were less impactful due to an outstanding lead heroine.
Although this show probably won’t wow you, it is, at least, worth a look. Mr Love: Queen’s Choice has earned a recommendation.
But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Mr Love: Queen’s Choice? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.