Love Lab – 01
OP: 「恋愛（ラブ）したいっ!」 (Love Shitai!) by 沼倉愛美, 赤﨑千夏, 佐倉綾音, 水瀬いのり, 大地葉 (Numakura Manami, Akasaki Chinatsu, Sakura Ayane, Minase Inori, Taichi You)
「出会ってしまった二人」 (Deatte Shimatta Futari)
“The Two That Met”
I was expecting lots of yuri, and got more comedy instead. Luckily, the comedy was really funny!
Not a Yuri Comedy, but a Comedy Based Around Yuri
In previewing this show, I likened it to Yuriyuri due to its subject matter and studio, and this comparison has ended up being even more apt than I thought. I thought a show that was explicitly about studying love (among girls) would have even more yuri that Yuruyuri, it really doesn’t. That’s the funny thing about this show – even though nearly every scene has a trace (or more) of yuri flavor, the situations are so immediately played for laughs that I don’t get that KYAAA YURI!! feeling.
That’s not a criticism though, because, and this is the critical point, it was funny. Gags are set up and executed well, and I ended up laughing quite a few times – sometimes uproariously! – throughout this episode. Plus, there were still some hints of proper yuri, as is only proper. Less yuri than I was expecting, but that’s okay because it was fun!
Versatile Tsukkomi, Expressive Boke
Though we’ll be adding more girls in time, Love Lab is primarily based around the antics of our main couple, the cool, boyish, “wild one” Kuruhashi Riko (Numakura Manami) and the perfect, lady-like, “princess” Maki Natsuo (Akasaki Chinatsu). What I enjoyed was that they fulfilled their comedic roles of boke and tsukkomi (respectively) in varied and energetic ways.
In Riko’s case, I’ll once again point to another show I introduced this week as an example of a one-note tsukkomi. Riko is not one of those. Sometimes she went for physical comedy while other times she was shaken or even scared, and the variety in her reactions helped to keep things fresh. As for Maki, she was just so expressive and energetic in how silly she was that I really got into it. I prefer it like this, where it feels like characters aren’t trying to act crazy, but rather just are crazy. It’s more natural, and that helps make it a lot funnier.
As for the visuals, color me impressed. I have a high opinion of Dogakobo, but they exceeded even my lofty expectations. The character designs are cute to be sure, but what struck me was how much effort they poured into the animation. There were scenes where Riko or Maki’s hair would swish with exquisite detail, and that scene in the teacher’s lounge was just Dogakobo showing off. Combined with some adorable expressions, and the visual aspects of this series are looking really, really good.
Looking Ahead – More Girls On The Way
They can only go so far with the main couple–erh, duo, so it’s probably a good idea that they’re moving to quickly introduce the rest of the group. By the way, I really like how the other members of the “Love Lab” aren’t going to be girls that Riko and Maki meet and befriend for the first time, but rather existing members of the student council that just have to be pulled into the fun. This harkens back to a compliment I had for Chu2koi, where Dekomori’s introduction was so natural because she was already Rikka’s friend. Same thing here. I prefer it that way.
But I digress. More girls are on the way, and I bet they’ll add fuel to the comedic fires. We here at RandomC doesn’t have any plans to cover this show any further, but I will be watching it, so feel free to follow me on twitter to catch my impressions each week. I just hope we get a kiss by the end of this series. Erh–not that kind, a proper yuri one! With feelings and stuff. Hey, I can hope, right?
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – More comedy than yuri, but the comedy was damn funny, so it works for me! Also, Dogakobo’s animators are showing off. Keep it up! #lovelab
- Poor tomboy. Don’t worry, I’ll take you as my kanojo :3
- The great things about Riko is that she acts boyish enough for guys to be able to relate to her, but girly enough to be super cute. She feels our pain!? Riko-sama!!
For more from yours truly, check out my blog on writing, art, and the book I’m working on at stiltsoutloud.com.
Full-length images: 06.
ED: 「Best FriendS」 by 沼倉愛美, 赤﨑千夏, 佐倉綾音, 水瀬いのり, 大地葉 (Numakura Manami, Akasaki Chinatsu, Sakura Ayane, Minase Inori, Taichi You)