What’s it about? Ever since Our Protagonist inherited the Miracle TV production company from her father, she’s been working hard to find enough material to keep it afloat. When she gets a lead about an ongoing mystery involving strange disappearances and people with supernatural powers, it might just be the boost the program needs.
The opening shots of this episode involve a girl nearly getting hit by a truck. “Hold on,” I said to myself, in all seriousness. “I didn’t know this was an isekai.”
It’s not; but only because Our Protagonist is rescued by a mysterious boy who seems to have stopped time for just long enough to scoop her up and carry her to safety. If this fellow hadn’t intervened, I can only presume that Our Protagonist would have been whisked away to be reborn in another world. As it is, she gets to stay home, and the fantasy in Mr Love: Queen’s Choice is of the more urban variety.
Miracle TV makes shows about “things science cannot explain”, though the nature of this is not made 100% clear. Our Protagonist could be running the in-universe equivalent of Ancient Aliens, for all we know. Which could be potentially very entertaining, actually. Most importantly, anyway, it sends her on an investigative quest that leads to her brushing with the concept of Evolvers: super-humans who have developed genetic quirks that give them strange powers.
Professor Lucien, a scientist that Our Protagonist interviews for the show, suggests that these mysterious Evolvers are a natural progression of humanity, a last-ditch attempt to get an evolutionary leg-up in a changing world. And his establishing character moment is him reading The Origin of Species, so you know he knows his stuff!
The premiere moves at breakneck speed, introducing the audience to its sci-fi concepts and its cast of Handsome Boys at a snappy pace that leaves little time to mull over the unfolding events, the world-building information, or, indeed, the relationships that supposedly spring up and solidify between Our Protagonist and the Handsome Boys she befriends across the episode.
What exactly the range and limits of Evolvers are remains to be seen: thus far we’ve run into someone who can pause time, someone who can control the wind, a pop star who suggests he has a magical ability to win people over, and a man who spends the whole episode floating mid-air while running surveillance on the city below.
Thus far it seems fairly loyal to the usual tropes of people-with-superpowers-secretly-live-among-us sci-fi, though it’s a fun twist that Our Protagonist gets her glimpse into this hidden world because she runs a TV show about cryptids, rather than, say, working as a news journalist or unsuspecting bystander. Whether she has any grand destiny interlinked with the Evolvers is a mystery at this point, but it’s a potentially pretty fun one to explore if you’re fond of this type of spec-fic.
My questions of “Wait, so why did he agree to be on the show after one conversation? What did they actually talk about? And why are these men all the exact same kind of pretty?” can possibly all be answered by Mr Love being the adaptation of a mobile otome game. I expect a lot of these issues of pacing, world-building, and relationship establishment are the result of the medium shift: a more sprawling narrative, usually driven by the player’s choices, being mushed down to fit into a new format with very different requirements.
This is not to say that the anime will automatically be bad, it just may end up serving (as many adaptations do) as a tasting platter encouraging viewers to pick up the game so they can drive the story themselves and check out all the content that they inevitably missed.
Another consequence of this being a game adaptation is the construction of the protagonist, who seems like a fairly standard “plucky, but a bit bland” otome player-character. She’s an alright lass so far, though most of what we know about her is the fact that her dad mysteriously died and she’s trying to maintain his legacy.
She does seem to have some professional relationships (and what looks a little like a friendship) with some ladies at the TV company, but given the prominence of The Handsome Boys in all the promo material and the amount of screentime they get in the premiere, it might be a safe bet that Our Protagonist will end up spending most of her time interacting with, and motivated by, the male characters in her life.
Perhaps the most damning point here is the fact that, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, Our Protagonist does not seem to have a name. In the episode, she is only referred to as “Producer” by her co-workers, and never addressed by name by The Handsome Boys or any other character. Try as I might, I have not been able to dig up a title for her. In all information surrounding the game, she is referred to only as “MC” as the player gives her a name of their choice when they start. Series and episode synopses are written in first person perspective from the protagonist’s point of view, and she does not name herself. Most baffling of all, at time of writing, she does not feature on the character list as it appears in multiple databases. Even the show’s credits list her only as “watashi/わたし.”
I am as vexed by this mystery as Our Protagonist is by the Evolvers. Mr Love looks, at this stage, to be a fairly standard sci-fi otome series with all the pacing and compression issues you might expect from a shift in mediums from game to anime. If nothing else, it certainly looks gorgeous, so if you want a night in with some schlocky sci-fi full of Handsome Boys you might be in luck. If that’s not quite your thing, or you’re not well-versed in the ways of supernatural otome adaptations, this may not be the show for you.