Even if you’ve watched Meine Liebe and Meine Liebe Wieder end to end multiple times, there are good odds you’ve never really laid eyes on the main character for more than a few moments. That may sound a little odd, considering we follow the lives of Orpherus, Ed, and the rest quite closely. But even so, the true, original lead of the story of Meine Liebe barely gets any screen time at all. Her name? Erika.
Ed’s little sister pops up only infrequently in the anime, but in the original source material she was the lead character of the story. That’s because Meine Liebe was originally… get ready for it… a dating sim.
Originally titled Tanbi Musou Meine Liebe, the game was released for the Game Boy Advance and PlayStation 2 by Konami. You played as a young woman attending the academy, pursuing one of six gentlemen during the course of the political machinations that make up the plot of the base story. At the end of the year, whomever you won over is your date to the end-of-year ball.
In the manga, the protagonist was given the name Erika, and left firmly in the middle of the proceedings. She’s come to the academy to find her brother, and the various potential romantic implications play out during her search.
So when it came time to do the anime adaptation, the focus shifted. We do occasionally see Erika’s smiling face, but she’s part of the background rather than a major element of the story. Then again, the boys of Meine Liebe have more than enough story of their own to keep two seasons of anime afloat. With class differences, political disputes, and family honor all on the line, they might not even have time for a school dance.
Have you seen either season of Meine Liebe? If you’re curious be sure to check it out in our library!