12 Days of Anime #5: Love Lab

I have always been good at being tardy but it would appear that I have been getting better at it as of late. (This one should have been published on the 18th!)

Anyway, let’s rewind back to just a few months ago when one of the best comedies this year was airing. Yes, I am talking about Love Lab and yes, Love Lab was fantastic.

Love Lab 21

Like most romcoms and comedies, Love Lab wasn’t terribly great at drama. It wasn’t super bad at it but things like Riko’s ongoing “lie” conflict or the threat of Love research being exposed were the low points of the show. Fortunately, the low points were not bad enough for me to hate the show and more importantly, the rest of the show was wonderful.

Unfortunately, that high level of consistency also means it is not really feasible for me to pick out all of the fun moments but here are some things I found memorable.

Riko and Maki

Love Lab 3

Riko and Maki had a great friendship. It was a joy to watch. It started out with a chance encounter between a princess and a rebel. Riko was supposed to be the bad influence. She was supposed to take the honest, good to heart Maki and reveal her wild side but she didn’t.

As it turned out, Maki had a rather strange side to her all along. Instead of breaking Maki’s leashes and unleashing a wild Maki upon the world, Riko actually had to restrain Maki and save Maki from her own silliness. It was a great little reversal (from the perspective of the show’s characters, us viewers saw it coming).

This rather bizarre start to a relationship lead to gag after gag. Riko was Maki’s tsukkomi. Maki would say something ridiculous and Riko would smack her with her a slapstick. Time after time, the two repeated that routine.

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You’d think that would get old but it never did. Maki kept coming up with outrageous ideas and totally played the part of the fool. Riko in turn kept donning the best facial expressions. Her faces ranged from outright shock to calm and stoic to outright anger.

It was hilarious but each smack carried with it a hint of love. As the show progressed, so too did their relationship. Their friendship might have been started on a lie (a lie I wish had been resolved much earlier) but it was the real deal.

The cared for each other and they had great chemistry. Watching them run around on screen made my week, every week. Then again, the relationships in this how in general were great. The student council got along quite well. No one felt out of place and they bounced off of one another really well.

It was also kind of nice how they saved each other from trouble. Riko was saved after she took the fall for something and later on, Sayori was saved by the others (and MAKIHO) when the teachers found a picture of her and her boyfriend.

Riko visits the cram school

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If I haven’t made it clear by now, I am always on the prowl for romance. The first five or so episodes only featured the girls doing love research. I have never been very good at captaining Yuri ships (and well, I thought the 5 of them worked better as close friends) so I was really hoping for hints of romance to popup.

Then in episode 6, Riko encountered a childhood friend or two and all was well. Riko found herself a great ship in Satoshi and Maki found herself a ship in Jan. Of course, part of the fun was just how funny their initial meeting was.

The Student Council visits Riko’s house

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In episode 7, the girls visited Riko’s house where they met Ren, Ricko’s younger brother. There are two reasons why I enjoyed their meeting with Ren.

The first reason involves the “comebacks” that everyone tried to teach Suzu. She was both cute and kind of funny with her “I hope you miss the supermarket sales that should be impossible to miss” thing. it was even funnier because that is exactly what happened (I do hope Ren doesn’t go bald in 21 years. Going bald sucks).

The other reason I really liked this meeting was the crush Ren developed for Maki. His adoration was adorable and I found myself secretly rooting for him. How could you not want a cute little boy, so head over heels in love, to not end up happy?

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Siblings in general

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Suzu had one adorable flashback of her doting brother and sister. Eno’s brother was weird and amusing.

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Sayori pretends to be Maki

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july_13_839 july_13_840

See here (gifs)

Best song.

Great Facial Expressions

(This show had such a great collection of faces).

Love Lab 55 Love Lab 86 Love Lab 61 Love Lab_ 10 Love Lab_ 8 Love_Lab 365 11 Love_Lab 365 2 Love_Lab 365 31Love_Lab 365 32

Love_Lab 365 85


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  1. #1 by Highway on December 20, 2013 - 3:14 pm

    Love Lab was a fun show to watch. Sometimes it was a little difficult to blog, as comedy series frequently are, because you can’t just say what all the jokes were. So I was really glad that the show followed a plot arc from start to finish, because that gave at least a little bit of a hook to blog on.

    You had to really squint hard to see any sort of yuri relationship between any of the main characters. It just wasn’t there. None of them were interested that way, they all wanted boyfriends (well, except Sayo, who wanted to get rid of her “boyfriend in name only”). I’d like to see more of where they actually do start getting boyfriends, because it felt like they were just starting to get there, with Satoshi and Yan on the scene. And you just knew that Ren and Suzu are a fated couple.

    The only thing that was a little hard to go with was that they were in middle school, which always feels a bit young for that kind of desperation, but then again, they’re 13-14 year olds, and what are girls that age like? About what we saw.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 23, 2013 - 11:36 pm

      Sorry for the super late response…I blame technical problems.

      Yeah, any Yuri here was purely fan-made. I too want to see what their relationships end up looking like. (The manga is ongoing, so maybe I will look into reading that if I don’t hear of a second season soon.)

      And yeah, I guess it was a bit weird that they were in middle-school though anime tends to feature high schoolers as being a good amount more mature than they were so I am not sure if that would have been a better fit.

  2. #3 by donkangoljones on December 22, 2013 - 12:59 am

    Oh man, I’m having such a hard time picking out my favorite moments from this show. I agree with you, this was one of 2013’s best comedies. It was stuff like Maki’s insanity, her father’s lingerie song, and Sayori just being a surprisingly great character that made me fall in love with this show.

    • #4 by Reiseng on December 23, 2013 - 11:37 pm

      Glad to hear, you and I both found this to be hilarious. And yes, Sayori was a surprisingly great character. Her introduction made it look like she would be annoying but she was far from it.

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