「キミニアエタカラ」 (Kimi ni Aetakara)
“Because I Was Able To Meet You”

Man, who needs an introduction? Let’s just dive in and give this show all its praises!

So far, it’s very hard to find fault with the comedy of this show. The second episode slowed down a bit with the jokes for the sake of some plot elements, but the quality of the jokes stayed fairly strong. In my books, it currently ties with Gekkan Shoujo for most laugh-out-loud potential. While Gekkan is smarter and more clever with its jokes and characters, LOVE STAGE!! has strengths in its visual presentation and situation-focused comedy. The jokes and the plot weave very closely together, with neither slowing each other down. Ryouma and Izumi’s continual misunderstandings and escapades only served to progress the plot forward while giving us a great laugh in the process. Some of the comedic bits aren’t original–we may get tired of Izumi being the puppet of everyone’s intentions–but as of now the execution is clean and energetic enough not to matter much. What matters is that the show isn’t taking itself too seriously yet, allowing us to further the second point more closely: forming an emotional bond with the characters.

Oh, and these faces. Love these faces.

Thankfully the emotional overload hasn’t kicked into full gear yet. We’re still seeing mostly comedy, except we’re already getting a sense of how all of the characters connect together. That’s a good thing–laying it heavy too early isn’t conducive to long-term character connections. Izumi’s father is actually looking out for his son’s creative development, despite our cluelessness as to why the kissing scene would be a good idea in his eyes. Although carefree to a fault, Shougo plays a good role in supporting Izumi, albeit in creative and sometimes coercive ways. Using his star power to get all sorts of Lala Lulu merchandise, I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to get the seiyuu to come out and encourage Izumi personally. While his encouragement may land Izumi in some awkward situations, at heart we can see he has the best intentions for his little brother and the small moments of affection that weave into the story. These two have so far painted a very positive image for the Sena family, who use their wealth and status in beneficial and good-hearted ways.

Rei also received some hints of development this episode too. Might I just say that Rei looks so much better ruffed up and not wearing glasses. I mean, I totally get why he has to look neat for the job, but man, his character design isn’t so bad behind that neatness. It was interesting to see how he wasn’t initially hired to be a manager, but instead part of the Sena family–as the episodes progress, we’ll probably see more of Rei’s backstory exposed and how that links with revealing more of the Sena family. Shougo especially seems to share an interesting tie with Rei. Whether this is just ship bait or an actual hint of character bonding is yet to be seen.

On the other side of the development coin though, we get Ryouma, who turned pretty nasty, pretty fast, right there at the end. Of course if this was his permanent personality, I’d be super pissed, but judging how sweet the OPs and EDs are, this will be a story of transformation and acceptance rather than one of spite and dominance. In fact, I’m sure most of his anger comes from sheer shock and disappointment than malice at an actual crossdresser. The preview hints at some pretty dominant moments against Izumi, yet I have a feeling it won’t play too large a role before it’s fixed with mutual understanding. Personally I took a bit of shock when Shougo just pulled down Izumi’s dress (no, I won’t full-cap that) for Ryouma to see, but I think this sort of mutual rivalry between Ryouma and Shougo will play an important part in shipping Izumi and Ryouma together. Their actions will not always be correct (Shougo disrespecting Izumi’s self-determination, Ryouma’s desire to fix his conflicted feelings through force). Some people will get irritated at this, that’s for sure. It reminds people all too well of the dominant dynamic that often pervades BL stories and proves to be a turn off. Given that this is a one cour though, I am optimistic that their characters will find an empathetic endpoint and a change of heart soon enough.

Full-length images: 2, 14, 18.

 

Preview

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19 Comments

  1. Yep Episode three, judging from the screen cap is when a lot of people will jump ship . But i must say it is funny just gotta picture him as a girl over and over again.

    Duzz
    1. why not just leave him as a guy? you can sit through thousands of yuri bait anime (and probably the entirety of Sakura Trick too) but can’t stand just 2 guys kissing? come on.

      Nitro
      1. because it’s gay?
        “you can sit through thousands of yuri bait anime but can’t stand just 2 guys kissing”

        I swing for tits and skirts, not saying that yaoi shouldn’t be made, banned or no one else can enjoy it because I’m not but I can’t look at dudelove without needing to spit. It doesn’t have to appeal to me because I’m gonna move on…to the wonderful world of ilya 2wei!

        gui
      2. Because in Sakura Trick, it’s just 4 girls making out. In Love Stage, it’s Show Spoiler ▼

        All in less than 15 chapters. It’s even plot relevant.

        FlayvorOfEvil
  2. I almost forgot about that particlar chapter of the manga. It’s a minor blip to me. I think the comedy and the character development is worth seeing the series through. (And the way they play with conventions later).

    Blue
  3. say what you will about the show or BL in general but DAMN this show is pretty. I am eating up every second of this goodness. Long gone are the days of 2 episode max OVAs with no plot. #YaoiOftheFuture

    sosbrigade13
  4. One of the reasons I love this show is that there are definitely some really objectional parts of the BL tropes thrown in. However, the thing that sets this manga and these characters apart is that they deal with these happenings in a much more realistic way and become better characters for it. I really enjoyed this week’s episode and was laughing the whole time. I really love the visual style of this anime and I think they couldn’t have done a better job adapting the art style. Those faces!

    Ralicht
  5. I really think that the series was actually pretty gay. And when I say gay, that means 10 chapters deep of gay, since I have read the manga.

    I probably will be dropping this though the story is nice. I still feel awkward seeing two guys go at it.

    Hey, at least I was kind enough to give it two episodes and 2 volumes of manga.

    TheMoondoggie
  6. I loved Izumi’s reaction to his first kiss. I hate the whole thing in these mangas where a single kiss magically turns someone gay. That’s not how it works! I’ve read a bit of the manga and I know it’s going to get more graphic than a kiss but I really like how they play around with the audience and themes of this type of romance. It’s still definitely written for the “fangirl” audience but always carefully poking fun at the genre. What a fun series and interesting characters

    Irukichan
  7. So far, these two episodes were funny and enjoyable to watch. Shougo’s probably my favorite character for being part of a lot of the comedic moments and generally being an accepting, loving brother, although he might be a bit inconsiderate of MC’s feelings, haha. This is my first time watching anything BL related, so it’s a first for me, but perhaps I was okay diving into this because of the crossdress element. When the two male leads start to fall in love with each other and display more affection. It might feel a little weird for me to watch BL ,but I’ll give it a shot, I’m not against gay relationships in real life, so this may be an interesting journey.

    chromenova

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