Sorry this one’s a bit late, I’ve been a bit busy lately getting everything prepared for SMASH ’14 this weekend. If any Australians are going to SMASH in Sydney this coming Saturday and/or Sunday, both me and my sister will be selling stuff under the circle name MoeMart. Between us we’re going to have a lot of prints, badges, magnets and even paper doll standees from stuff like Free!, Pokemon, Dangan Ronpa, DRAMAtical Murder, Kingdom Hearts,  Sailor Moon, Madoka Magica and my own webcomic Southern Cross. Come have a look if you’re going to SMASH!
Since I’ll be away a few days, my next reviews will either be late or be posted as batch reviews later, but hopefully I have time to at least watch Zankyou no Terror before I go.
Anyway, the review.

Have I got news for you.

Izumi is still holed up in his room after what Ryouma had done to him – and while his despair is mostly trauma, he’s also finding himself questioning his own sexuality. With Rei’s ‘help’ he manages to recover and return to university – and the first thing he sees there is Ryouma. While Ryouma had spent this entire time moping himself and wanting to apologize to Izumi for acting like trash, Izumi doesn’t know this and thus a ridiculously cartoony chase scene ensues.

After finally getting the apology out, however, Ryouma is able to take Izumi on some kind of psuedo apology-date. He explains that his show business life was actually rather difficult and that he had to carve it all out himself – unlike  Shougo, who was lucky enough to have famous parents – hence his resentment towards him. Since it was the thought of meeting his first love from ten years ago (Izumi) again that kept him going, he finally admits that he is still in love with him regardless of his gender….but he’d be happy if they could at least be friends.

Finally, the quote we all wanted to hear spoken aloud.

yeeeeah, about that…

Run! Run from the poorly animated Ryouma!

Well, the anime has now passed where I was up to in the manga, so this is all unknown territory from here on out.
There’s some very likeable things in this episode – Izumi’s adorable, one of the best quotes from the manga was spoken aloud, but most of all, it focused almost entirely on Ryouma’s apology and reflection of his bad, seme-typical behaviour. I don’t think I’ve seen something like this happen in BL before (granted, I haven’t read a great deal of it) so it really is just refreshing to see a character trying so desperately to atone after acting in a way that wouldn’t even be questioned in some other series. One could easily accuse Ryouma of being emotionally manipulative, and him reverting into a simpering clingy puppy borders slightly on pathetic in how it’s presented, but I honestly just really like this sudden self-awareness of terrible BL tropes.

However, I’ve been noticing a decline in the animation quality lately, and this episode in particularly seemed to use a lot of shortcuts.  Several parts of it were overly cartoony in a way that was more stupid than funny. For example, when Izumi is running from Ryouma, Ryouma manages to catch him because Izumi’s path was blocked by….sumo cats? Yeah. Sumo cats. There is no explanation given as to what the fresh hell these giant sumo cats were, but they were there and they wouldn’t let Izumi pass. The scene just kept playing on after Ryouma caught up with him and started to apologize but the entire time I was sitting there thinking ‘…the…sumo cats? is anyone going to question the sumo cats? What the hell is up with the sumo cats?’ No, really, I’m still so confused by this.

Anyway, Love Stage is now moving into uncharted territory for me so I hope that the animation improves again. Let’s see how Izumi and Ryouma’s ‘relationship’ develops from here.

Ryouma causes the universe to implode by being a seme-type character in a BL series who apologizes for being a dick.



Out of 5,