What games did you play as a kid? Hopscotch? Red Rover (which is one of the most violent and dangerous playground sports ever)? Man, those were the days–you could just play games on the playground at recess with your friends and didn’t have to worry about things like relationship drama and/or company politics.
The story of FIRST LOVE MONSTER follows the many bumps that occur in the romantic relationship between high-schooler Kaho and elementary school student Kanade. How do they get over those bumps? Talking over their problems? Bah! Of course not! Games are the true way to solve rough patches in a relationship!
When Kanade thinks he’s not worthy of Kaho because he hurt her feelings, he decides that there’s only one way to prove himself: hula-hooping. If he can spin the hula hoop around his waist a certain amount of times, that means that they’re meant to be together–and if he can’t, it means they were never meant to be. Wow, to think dating was this simple!
Even when Kaho’s 29-year-old brother Daikoku challenges Kanade to a duel for Kaho’s heart, Kanade takes the non-violent route of making the method of the duel “Darumasan ga Koronda,” a game for children very similar to “Red Light, Green Light.” Despite Kaho and her brother having an important conversation about her relationship with her so-called boyfriend all the while, he completely ignores what’s going around him and continues his duel.
But does Kanade treat these as “just games”? Not in the least. To Kanade, who has only lived for a short time compared to Kaho’s brother and even Kaho herself, these games are the most serious way of solving his problems. What looks like just child’s play to the adults is in fact a very big deal to Kanade. Just like how disputes are solved with guns at high noon in westerns, Kanade solves his through games on the playground.
And maybe this is the reason reason why Kanade and Kaho can get along so well–even though she’s somewhat taken aback by his childish methods of solving problems, she has an understanding of how seriously he takes his games. Like I said in my previous article about FIRST LOVE MONSTER, Kaho and Kanade mix well together because of their innocence and lack of common sense about the world. At least with Kanade’s method of solving problems, nobody gets hurt. Well, at least for now–let’s hope he doesn’t find out what Red Rover is.
FIRST LOVE MONSTER is streaming in North America on publisher FUNimation’s streaming service and on the Anime Digital Network and J-ONE in France and French-speaking nations. (A full list of streaming locations can be found on our FIRST LOVE MONSTER Anime Basics page.)