Love Stage 1×10 Review: Love Isn’t Enough

LS2

My first instinct when reviewing this episode is to just scream “PRECIOUS BABIES” in caps lock for several paragraphs and leave it at that.  It’d sum up my feelings pretty well, but alas, I do want to dive a little further into the episode.  It pretty much had everything I was hoping to get out of the series and more.  The only down side to the entire thing was that this was the end of the season.  I call upon the Anime Gods to please give us a second season or an adaption of the Back Stage novels or something.   Please, oh mighty Anime Gods, grants us this one wish.  I need more of this universe in anime form as soon as possible.

LS1As I mentioned in the last review, the beginning of this episode comes with a trigger warning for assault.  It doesn’t go very far, though, and Izumi fights his attackers off.  The incident sparks a realization in him that the only person he wants to be intimate with is Ryouma.  Everything falls into place for him then and he goes rushing to confess his feelings to him.  When he gets to Ryouma’s apartment, though, he forgets the whole confession part and they end up jumping right into bed together.

When the sex scene began I thought the were going to mix up the censorship a bit.  Instead of turning one of the characters into the sky randomly, they just started to slowly pan around Ryouma’s apartment.  Then, to my surprise, they cut Izumi and Ryouma naked in bed, no awkward sky censorship in sight.  It makes me wonder why they did that strange form of censorship in the first place if they were going to show these intimate scenes in the finale?  Either way, these two love birds finally did the deed.  As Rei had warned, it looks like it was probably painful for poor Izumi, but they were both gay sex virgins, so that’s not exactly a surprise.  I’m sure they’ll get better at it as their relationship evolves.

When it’s over and done with it dawns on Izumi that he never actually confessed his feelings for Ryouma at any point during the whole affair.  Ryouma is still doubting his motivations for sleeping with him, but Izumi is quick to correct the situation.  Upon telling Ryouma that he loves him, Ryouma breaks down into tears.  And okay, I cried too.  I cried worse than Ryouma was crying.  This love story has been dragged out for 10 emotional episodes and it finally got its happy ending.  This is the point where I considered just writing “PRECIOUS BABIES” 500 times and submitting it as a review, because I was just too damn emotional to really form a coherent thought beyond that.

LS3This episode also did something that I’ve been praying to the Anime Gods for for a very long time.  It finally confirms that Rei and Shougo do have a sexual relationship of some sort (which everyone who has read Back Stage is already aware of, but anime watchers may have only picked up through subtext).  It also proves that Rei, bless him and his craftiness, has mastered using this relationship to make Shougo ‘behave’ and get his work done.  Rei is perfect.  Please join me in the official Cult of Rei and appreciate everything that this man can do.  Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with Rei?  I’m sure that’s come up before a couple of times in my reviews maybe.  Anyway, moving on…

This episode had everything I needed.  It had Shougo, which there hasn’t nearly been enough of for a very long time.  It had Rei being crafty and amazing at every turn.  It had Shougo with Rei and turned the subtext into actual text.  It had Izumi and Ryouma finally being on the same page about their relationship.  It had an intimate scene without awkward cloud censorship.  It was perfect.  Now what am I supposed to look forward to every week now that this is over?  My Wednesdays just became infinitely less interesting.  If you know of a good Yaoi/BL coming up in the near future, please share.  I’m going to need something to fill my time now.

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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About the author

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.

Comments

  1. You’re right “precious babies”! This was such an adorable anime. Thanks for the “Stage Love” reviews.
    Also for putting me onto Yaoi. I look forward to more.

      1. Hi. Yes please. I’ve watched all of your past recommendations, and they are so good. Fave is Tskumi-Kun! Seen it 3 times so far. Still cry. Such a baby.

  2. Thank you for the “Love Stage” reviews! I’d left anime behind years ago, but I came across your review of episode 9 by accident while looking through the site, and I decided to give it a try.

    So glad I did! Now I’m making all my friends watch it. 🙂 It’s so awesome to see a relatively healthy and consensual BL anime. I’ve been watching Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi too, based on your recommendation, and for the most part I like it, but that one just about hits my limit for, “let me express my love by holding you down until you like it.”

    Thanks again!

    ~Bones

    1. I’m so glad I could share! Have you gotten to Kisa/Yukina in SekaKoi yet? They are BY FAR my favorite pairing and definitely the most consensual of the bunch. There’s also a series of light novels that focus on Yokozawa Takafumi and his relationship with another character (not seen in SekaKoi anime yet) which is also very consensual and super endearing. I think the SekaKoi universe is worth it for those two pairings, but you do have to deal with Onedera/Takano’s complications and… that other pairing that most of the fandom I’ve encountered don’t like either. So stick it out until you get to Yukina/Kisa at the very least. They are one of my biggest OTPs of all time.

      1. I love Kisa/Yukina! Though I wish there was a little more development for them. They’re really a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of pairing, and I kind of want to smack Kisa upside the head half the time. I’m reading the english translated manga now and there’s more of them there, so I guess I’ll see how it goes.

        Eh, I can’t help liking Onedera/Takano… I wince a little at some of the scenes, but at the same time, in Takano’s defence, Onedera is a pain in the butt to communicate with, who delights in mixed messages, and he clearly doesn’t want anyone else to have Takano, so… That one I can at least mostly chalk up to a genre flaw.

        As for the other pairing… I skip their episodes.

        Yokozawa though was a complete sleeper hit! I didn’t like him at all, then I watched the ova that features him, and I think that’s actually my favourite pairing in the manga now. Definitely one of the healthiest relationship in spite of it’s questionable origins.

        Eh, I’m rambling, but I’ll definitely be looking into some of your other recommendations in the future.

        ~Bones

        1. A+ rambling though! And hahaha let’s pretend that other pairing just doesn’t exist.

          You should definitely read the Yokozawa Takafumi no Baii light novels! It’s what the OVA is based on but it’s a hell of a lot longer. If you loved the Yokozawa OVA you will adore the light novels.

          Kiss/Yukina have a couple extra chapters in the manga and it’s my dream that they get their own spin off manga or light novel or something. Words cannot describe how much I adore them. My desktop wallpaper cycles through about 20ish different pictures and Kisa/Yukina are 3 of them.

  3. So… Read both the Yokozawa Takafumi no Baii light novels, and what there is so far of the Back Stage light novels… and you were right, they’re both fantastic.

    I think I actually love Rei/Shougo more than Izumi/Ryouma… which surprised the hell out of me.

    Why don’t we have more of these kinds of stories?

    ~Bones

    1. YES. Good. I like Rei/Shougo more than Izumi/Ryouma too. I am really really really rooting for them to have an OVA or something. And Yokozawa Takafumi no Baii is also incredible, but Kisa/Yukina is still my fav pairing from that entire universe. Still, the relationship is so refreshing and amazingly sweet.

      I wish we had more of these types of stories. It’s hard to say why problematic relationships are so popular while the sweet, consensual, mature stories tend to be few and far between. *sigh* At least we have these. And I will eat up every new chapter that comes out from the light novels immediately. So damn good.

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