Love Stage!! 1×02 Review: Because I Was Able to Meet You
While the first episode set up the premise, the second episode seems to be setting up the tone of the series. We know who are characters are, what they’re doing, and why they are in the positions that they’re in, but now we’re getting deeper glimpses at who they actually are. We’re also to the point where I feel like these episodes are way too short and pretty sad that I won’t be able to watch next week’s episode right away (I will be busy reporting from Comic-Con). I’m hooked. The premise, the characters, the style, and even the damn catchy intro and outro music have won me over completely.
The episode doesn’t pick up right where the last one left off immediately. Instead we’re given a glimpse at Izumi’s obsession with LaLaLulu, a magical school girl anime character that he’s infatuated with. He seems to be having a sort of day dream about her and how he’d react if she were to suddenly appear in his life. Again, there’s a relatability factor with Izumi here that makes it very easy for me to connect with him. I think a lot of people who consume a fair amount of media find themselves daydreaming in such ways.
We’re snapped out of the fantasy rather abruptly, though, and thrown right back into Izumi’s uncomfortable kissing situation. Izumi understandably freaks out, shoves Ryoma aside, and flees the set. It takes some bribing from his brother to get him to even attempt another take of the scene. The bribe, a LaLaLulu body pillow, once again highlights his obsession with this particular character. The LaLaLulu theme seems to be one that’ll stick around and is clearly a big part of Izumi as a character. I hadn’t noticed it at first, but she even make a brief appearance in the intro of the show.
After they wrap on the commercial, Ryoma and Izumi find themselves alone in a hallway and Ryoma ends up confessing his true feelings. Izumi doesn’t know how to react, unsure of whether a simple polite rejection is the way to go or if he should reveal the truth that he’s actually a boy. He doesn’t really get to decide this for himself, though, because his brother barges into the situation and reveals the truth against his will. Once again, this episode is setting a tone that we only got glimpses of in the first episode. Izumi’s older brother, Shogo, is both protective of his brother and rather pushy. He just barged right into the situation on Izumi’s behalf, but hadn’t really considered asking Izumi how he wanted to handle it. I’m looking forward to more insight into the inner workings of Shogo and his relationship to his brother.
Ryoma reacts rather negatively to the news and leaves the scene with several harsh words thrown at Izumi. All the summaries of the show emphasize the fact that Ryoma still has feelings for Izumi and the opening and closing sequences show the two of them in fluffy romantic situations with each other, so his anger is obviously short lived. The show is also categorized as shonen-ai, so it’s not really a spoiler that the two of them will make up and enter a relationship with one another. It sort of deflates the tension that this cliffhanger is supposed to illicit knowing that Ryoma will get over his initial anger over the situation, but we don’t know how or when; or at least those of us who haven’t read the manga don’t know, and for the rest of you, shush, let us anime folk go in spoiler-free.
Even knowing where this is headed, I’m really excited to watch how it unfolds. Again, I’m a bit sad I won’t be able to watch and review the episode right away, but at least I’ll have something to look forward to when I return from my trip. The premise hooked me. The tone is making me fall in love with the show. The characters continue to deepen and develop in ways that I’m enjoying. Overall, this series is amazing so far and I have a strong feeling that I’ll be giving the manga a shot when I get the chance.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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