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BROTHERS CONFLICT – 01 »« Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu – 01

Love Lab – 01

OP Sequence

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.

The Visuals

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

Random thoughts:

  • 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 Sequence

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)

Preview

July 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm
54 comments »
  • July 6, 2013 at 5:01 pmmianghuei

    Riko Riko Riko Riko……Hahahaha :)

    The best scene for me is probably the scene where Maki accidentally sends the love report to the school faculty…. If that happens in real life…..

    • July 8, 2013 at 6:46 amJohnHayabusa

      So much yuri in this premier and I love it! Go to love this new anime and this couple.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:12 pmTaiakun

    I was as freaked out by Maki in this scene (http://randomc.net/image/Love%20Lab/Love%20Lab%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2026.jpg) as Riko was!

    I could not agree with you more regarding the tsukkomi. Kitakubu KK’s tsukkomi was funny the first few scenes, but dragged on too much with the exact same dynamics for the rest of the episode. It kind of reminded me of Kill Me Baby to some extent. This one feels so much more natural, in which I would think that, if I was also in Riko’s shoes, I would probably have the same reactions as well!

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:12 pmTred

    Love Lab>Fate Prisma.

    • July 6, 2013 at 9:36 pmStilts

      There’s no reason to insult another show just because I’m not blogging your favored one. Also, I hate to tell you, but there’s very little chance I would have covered this regardless – pure comedies just aren’t very fun to write about week after week. Just a heads up.

      • July 8, 2013 at 8:17 amBirdway

        The comedy is something that can’t be explained by just words, otherwise you will be killing the joke.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:18 pmMgMaster

    Can’t say I’m into shows that give yuri vibes but even if it goes further down that path I’ll prolly’ watch this if most episodes continue to make me laugh as this one did,lol.Both Riko & Maki were hilarious & hopefully the other girls won’t disappoint either.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:30 pmZhinvu

    I love Maki’s eccentricities. Their take on the intersection meeting scenario was great. I didn’t expect Maki to slap Riko with her hair and later on break her fingers. This is a keeper.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:34 pminanis

    omg natsu xD .. when she went yandere on Riko i was like o.o then xD

    “it’s a faery”

    really fun first episode..lol

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:34 pmahomine

    according to the manga
    guys DO show up
    in like volume 2

    • July 6, 2013 at 9:37 pmStilts

      Do they have to? D:

      • July 8, 2013 at 2:45 amAnonymous

        Yes, because too many yurishits already exist.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:41 pmWanderer

    Hmmm… Added to my list of potentials for the season.

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:52 pmTSouL

    Maki = Ayase 2.0

  • July 6, 2013 at 5:57 pmtom

    The “wild one” looks like Amu Hinamori from Shugo Chara!, Both Tomboys,girls love them, same type of hair style, Even the Pony Tail is in the same place O.o

  • July 6, 2013 at 6:31 pmBear

    Looks to be more fun than K3. Maki reminds me of Sena from Haganai. Super smart about school things but totally out of it when it comes to real life.

  • July 6, 2013 at 6:32 pmNoZaku

    Wow! So fucking generic!

    • July 8, 2013 at 12:55 amStranger

      Just like you.

  • July 6, 2013 at 6:49 pmkatsudon

    This show is really cute, really enjoyed the pilot episode. If the humor stays this consistent throughout, it’ll be one of the better comedies of the season. Don’t care if it’s not really yuri, still shipping Riko x Maki, damn it!

  • July 6, 2013 at 7:02 pmstarss

    Riko looks SO COOOOL! *sparkly eyes*

  • July 6, 2013 at 7:45 pmSolara

    OMG, I fucking love this. I was laughing so hard. It has the right elements to be extremely entertaining even if they don’t focus on the Yuri itself. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the journeys between any same sex relationships than the actual act itself, and it seems that this series will be that journey. This is a keeper in my books even if you don’t blog it. Thanks for introducing it to me.

    I was quickly reminded of the many cliche animes that I have watched before, such as the vibe of Utena when you see the badass girl who isn’t on dress code that quickly has a fan base, the Marimite of an all girls school who have grace and elegance, and finally Maria Holic of ridiculous comedy. Having it all wrapped up in one series is truly a gem of hilarity. Listing the scenes that made me burst out laughing is basically the entire episode so I won’t waste time with that. In all honesty, while Yuru Yuri was well, very aimless in each episode and some were boring to me, I didn’t find it really moe or anything, to me this series is what Yuru Yuri should have been like, not what was delivered. But that’s just my opinion. I think the studio will really redeem itself in this show!

  • July 6, 2013 at 8:51 pmtom

    Soooo looks like we got ourselves a Thumbs down spammer -_-

  • July 6, 2013 at 10:58 pmHarpy12

    Well this has to be my surprise like of the season.

    Really funny, really cute! I love Maki, probably because her look reminds me of Ayase from Oreimo and Umi from Love Live. The voice acting in this show is just great, really makes the show work for me.

  • July 6, 2013 at 11:55 pmName (required)

    i love it

  • July 7, 2013 at 2:12 ambaseone

    This anime took me off guard. Maki-chan <3

    • July 7, 2013 at 2:13 ambaseone

      I should have said caught me off guard.

  • July 7, 2013 at 2:35 amAnonymous

    Um, there’s no yuri here. The girls all want boyfriends, and they actually get them later on. If you’re watching this for yuri, you shouldn’t be. If anything, this only furthers the “love between girls isn’t the real thing” stereotype.

    • July 7, 2013 at 2:26 pmHarpy12

      I’ve been thinking about this for a while, not just in relation to this show.

      These days it seems like all it takes for a show to be labeled yuri is that it has a mostly or all female cast with little to no emphasis on actual opposite sex romance. I’ve never really understood how the main cast of a show being a bunch of girls makes it that, especially if there’s zero emphasis on anything beyond the characters being friends.

      • July 8, 2013 at 3:10 amStilts

        People get a little reductive in these things, and like to ship characters immediately rather than wait for more characters to show up (even though those relationships might be better for the characters involved).

        In this case though, they’re explicitly practicing romance with each other, so it’s easy to see where the yuri angle could come in. If it doesn’t evolve into that – and some others here who seem to have read the source material are saying it won’t – then that’s okay. As long as none of the female characters actually are lesbians, in which case that would be dissonance-ville 2000, and very not cool.

  • July 7, 2013 at 4:59 amFiveOVER

    There’s just so many slice of life anime this that it’s just difficult to choose from the herd. But there’s just something about girls like Riko that could easily win me over. Whatever it will turn out to be, I’ll watch it till the end. Btw, I really don’t get any yuri vibes at all.

  • July 7, 2013 at 6:18 amCybersteel

    So Maki is a Super Duper Middle Schooler.

  • July 7, 2013 at 7:59 amDangerism

    This was surprisingly awesome. It showed how good tsukkomi-boke skits should be done, as opposed to the banality (or downright stupidity?) from Kitakubu. Even the physical abuse Riko was dishing out had me giggling. The not-in-your-face shoujo ai factor helps somewhat. I also noticed the subtlety in the early parts in telling that the Pres actually doesn’t get along with people (until that very obvious scene near the end).

    I tried this show out for fun, but seems like I’ll keep watching until the end.

  • July 7, 2013 at 8:55 amShrubbery

    Yuri fields will be formed

  • July 7, 2013 at 10:39 amCK

    i love that Riko is always changing up her hairstyle. so cute!

  • July 7, 2013 at 1:26 pmagr0n

    Considering that they were practicing holding hands I’m going to guess that once all the members are together there will be an episode dedicated to practicing kissing :D

  • July 7, 2013 at 2:17 pmStranger

    Aw jeez, all my favourite shows this season (‘cept Monogatari) aren’t being blogged.

  • July 7, 2013 at 2:57 pmkanade_

    Certainly better first episode impression given compared to Kitakubu.

    The tsukkomi-boke didn’t made me laugh-out-loud but left me smiling throughout the whole episode.

    With other characters ready to be introduced, it seems like a good comedy show to pick up for this season (as well as Stella).

  • July 7, 2013 at 5:04 pmVoyager

    I may belong to the minority here, but can I hope this show will not be a “yuri” show ?

    To say the truth, I don’t really understand why a yuri relationship is considered so appealing. If the girls are attracted to each other, which situation can possibly remain for me to project myself into ?

    No matter the tastes, the first episode seems to favour me here: Maki just wants a boyfriend, and Riko has already been rejected multiple times, but that shows she’s interested in boys.
    If this ends up being a story of a beautiful friendship, i’ll be super-happy as I value true friendship as much I value love.
    It doesn’t need anything else, the comedy is superb, the characters are so cute and the voices are so sweet … I’m desperately looking for something to take the place of Hataraku Maou-sama (which I’ll miss nonetheless), please let it be this one :)

    • July 7, 2013 at 6:11 pmNKNKN

      Totally agreed. (Well not really as I don’t have anything against yuri but)
      I really can’t see that many undertones, and I don’t see where everyone is coming from on their expectations unless it was specifically advertised in the promotional material that this is a yuri show. Well, it’s just interpretations so far as we only have one episode to go by, so I would just wait and see. ^ ^

      Also, has anybody heard of the voice actors before because I thought they were spectacular.

    • July 8, 2013 at 12:54 amStranger

      Yuri is a spectator sport- you’re not supposed to project yourself into them.

      Or the flipside is that gender is irrelevant in light of a well-crafted love story.

      And the third hand is that this show is just meant for fun, and we’re overthinking it.

    • July 8, 2013 at 3:08 amStilts

      Personally, it wouldn’t bother me either way. I like the main duo/couple, so them getting together would be adorable, but if some interesting male characters are introduced then that’s fine too.

      As for projecting yourself, that I don’t understand. I can easily imagine myself in Riko’s shoes for instance, or even a more feminine girl. Then again, I do write stories in my free time, so I step into female character’s minds all the time. Maybe I just have practice :D

  • July 7, 2013 at 6:07 pmNKNKN

    This was really surprising to me. I personally watch anything and everything as long as A) it looks good to me visually and B) it’s interesting in some way, and that manages to encompass a lot of series, but when I read about this in the season preview I dismissed it based on the premise and the picture. I mean, how many of these all-schoolgirl club antics SoL have we seen the past few years? I personally don’t mind watching them but I usually choose some each season to cross off my list and this was one of them…

    Until I saw this post and the screenshots. Honestly I don’t remember the character designs looking like this when I read the preview but then I saw Riko on the main page and I went and watched it and wow. I was laughing the whole way through. Just goes to show the power of execution, rather than premise, in the ultimate appeal of a show. I mean, based on the character archetypes (which are quite common, a boyish girl who is seen as one of the guys and an elegant model student) and the whole premise, I certainly wouldn’t have expected this to be any good. But for me the jokes were spot-on, as well as the likeability of the characters (I feel like Riko’s relatability is a significant factor in her appeal) and the great animation and character designs helped strengthen that.

    Comedy is largely subjective, as well as people’s tolerance for this specific genre of SoL, but I thought this was a really good first episode. As to the whole thing about the yuri undertones, I would like to take the position that there really isn’t that much “undertones”; I would interpret it as simple budding friendship, because why can’t we have that instead? XP

  • July 7, 2013 at 7:23 pmbolton

    really cute show. i’m glad it isn’t a yuri fest, despite liking yuri, it’s actually quite funny.

  • July 8, 2013 at 1:39 amWhat?

    Glad it isn’t yuri. Can’t wait for the guys to appear.

  • July 8, 2013 at 8:21 amBirdway

    Funny how some users automatically give a negative reputation(-) to any person who affirms this series ISN’T YURI, come one guys. At least check the manga, boys do exist in this series, girls wan’t to have BOYFRIENDS.

    Just enjoy the series or deal with it.

    • July 9, 2013 at 1:08 pmAnonymous

      Yurishits are hateful assholes

      • July 13, 2013 at 4:43 amAnonybot

        Um… I’ve yet to see a “Yurishit” be “hateful asshole”… I’m guessing that you’re a yaoi fantard? Because they’re the only ones who’d say that…

    • July 10, 2013 at 8:55 pmRikoxMaki

      How about you shut up, stupid yuri hater!

  • July 16, 2013 at 6:45 pmjoshua

    Certainly with your thought.Thank you for the sharing.

  • July 17, 2013 at 12:21 pmNandemonai

    I stumbled over this picture:
    http://konachan.com/jpeg/014ea237d63d4652f57d5e0310019559/Konachan.com%20-%20164152%202girls%20blush%20kurahashi_riko%20long_hair%20love_lab%20maki_natsuo%20panties%20seifuku%20short_hair%20skirt%20striped_panties%20swordsouls%20underwear%20wink%20yuri.jpg
    and my first thought was it would be of Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru.
    So I tried Love Lab and it was quite funny. I will add this to my watchlist.

  • July 28, 2013 at 2:57 amRnzboy

    Walked in expecting yuri and laughs, collapsed from laughing too hard before walking out.