To be honest I would have preferred a full episode of Lala-Lulu than this weird clipshow thing.

Izumi is becoming aware of his blossoming feelings for Ryouma, although tries to convince himself that he’s only confused. Meanwhile, the rest of Sena Productions prepare for him to make his showbiz debut in a calculated move that will deflect attention from the ‘scandal’ about Ryouma. Also, Rei reminisces just a little bit about how he first came to work for the Sena family.
Nothing else much happens because for some reason the writers thought we needed to be reminded of everything that’s happened in the plot so far set out in this weird, psuedo reality-tv format.

Look how cute they are though.

Rei is still great.

I’ll admit that the reason it took me so long to get around to this episode was because it was honestly really boring. I’m really confused about what exactly the point in stretching things out any more were. If there is anything that needs stretching out, it’s Izumi’s feelings for Ryouma appearing because I still personally think they appeared a little too suddenly. But that’s not what gets stretched out here. It felt like most of this episode was just ‘hey, remember how Izumi was dressed as a girl? Remember how they did the commercial?’

Weirdly, the format of the episode is different to the others so far. For one, there’s a narrator, and several of the scenes seem almost like some kind of candid-camera ‘behind the scenes at Sena-Pro’ thing. There’s even this weird kind of shakey-camera effect.  I really hate it when anime does this, because it’s very rarely as clever or as funny as the writers think. It’s annoying enough in live-action shows, and when it’s a thinly veiled excuse for a recap episode it’s a lot more annoying.

Luckily, the episode isn’t entirely a recap clip-show whatever-the-hell because a few things do actually happen. There’s Rei’s flashback about him first meeting Izumi’s father, for one, which is probably the most interesting thing in the whole episode. (While also showing that Izumi’s father is literally Shogo with a moustache) …except we hardly even linger on that, and we don’t even have any idea why he was passed out in an alley. I really want to know more about Rei, because his past image is drastically different to his prim and proper present image, yet the episode seems to treat it like a footnote. Mostly the episode is concerned with Izumi decided to commit to making a debut in show business…but to be honest, I still don’t know what made him change his mind. And I cant help feeling vaguely uncomfortable about how his family seemed to force him into it and act like he was selfish for not going along with their wishes.

The sequence in which everyone discusses how Izumi is not independent enough because both Shogo and Rei dote on him too much was rather cute, though, but for the most part everything up until the last five minutes or so of this episode was pretty damn pointless. Normally this kind of thing wouldn’t annoy me as much as it does here – it’s just that Love Stage!! is already set to be a pretty short show so I really don’t know why they’re wasting so much time.

the hell is he wearing though.

Every now and then I forget that Izumi is supposed to be university-age because he looks like 12 years old here.

Out of 5,
melonmelon

 

Episode 9

Izumi used Splash Attack.

Izumi’s big ‘I was a boy all along’ reveal on live TV as his official showbiz debut goes far better than anyone expected, and he ends up being all the entertainment media can talk about for days. SenaPro is also flooded with phone calls from hopefuls after Izumi’s ”’talent”’, despite the fact that all he’s done is appear. As Ryouma theorizes, it’s mostly because everyone is captivated by his immeasurable cuteness. Of course, Ryouma then realizes that if all of Japan are suddenly in love with Izumi, he has far too much competition, and he begins to worry about Izumi being stolen away from him by somebody else.

Meanwhile Izumi himself has given up on trying to deny his now raging crush on Ryouma, and the only outlet he can currently find for this is to buy every single thing related to him online that he can get his hands on (and considering the amount of movies, tv dramas and merchandise featuring Ryouma he ends up with a small museum’s worth). Despite all this he still has his own qualms about rushing into a relationship with him, and remains oblivious to Ryouma’s childish jealousy over everybody now fawning on him. Ryouma also works himself into a state and eventually is admitted to hospital due to overwork-fatigue.

After this, Izumi embraces the fact that he is in love with Ryouma by ordering a small library’s worth of BL manga to study up on the art of how two guys get it on.  He is able to take Rei’s opinion as research material also, yet still considers himself unready to face Ryouma quite yet. Which is just as well, because he had an event with his anime club planned anway. Unfortunately, en route he ends up running into cliff-hanger enducing trouble again.

~*~*~Ryouma~!~*~*~

Ryouma was actually sent to the hospital because of Serious Anime Moment Disease. The symptons include a lack of eyes.

I just realized this episode is the second-last one, which makes episode 8’s fluffing around all the more annoying to me. But on the plus side – as you can see from the synopsis, a lot happened in this episode. Actually so much happens in this episode that it almost makes up for episode 8 (although not quite, because there are only ten episodes why are you wasting time like this.)

This episode also came at just the right time because let’s be honest, this series was nearly losing me for a bit, especially last week. It was all just getting a bit too stupid for me, but then this episode went and had Izumi buying a crapload of BL manga to study gay sex with and the show was suddenly hilarious again. (I find it hard to believe that an otaku like Izumi never thought to just use the damn internet to do some research on man-sex instead of buying a whole load of cartoon gay porn but the sight gag and idea of it was great enough for me to forgive it. Also, well, he is an otaku I guess, so learning things from manga must come naturally to him.) I do like the idea of Izumi actually taking an active role in wanting to know about this kind of thing upfront, because I’ve had it up to here with sex-obsessed semes coaxing naiive, pure little ‘it goes WHRE?!’ ukes in BL series. Yet, Izumi still maintains a charming innnocence about the whole thing, up until and including asking Rei whether he thinks Ryouma would be good at it or not. It’s moments like these where I’m a lot more forgiving of how fast his feelings for Ryouma suddenly changed. For the record, I still think they were too fast, yet I’m glad Ryouma had some Actual Nice Selfless Moments that led to this change of mind rather than the usual BL ‘oh he kissed/touched me I guess I’m in love with him now.’ (With that said, Ryouma was acting like a jealous ten year old who didn’t want to share birthday cake for most of this episode, and his dramatic fainting spell on top of Izumi was actually really damn funny to me.)

What interested me about this episode was that Takahiro – the other guy in Izumi’s anime club who doesn’t look like an otaku caricature – may finally be getting an actual part in this…in the last damn episode, but still. The episode ended with Izumi presumably about to be molested by some street thugs and Takahiro looking for him, so I can assume that episode ten will have Takahiro coming to his rescue. What exactly this is going to add to the story at this point, I don’t really know, and it seems kind of weird to make use of this character so late in the game (Unless a second season is in the cards – I hope so, considering that the manga is still ongoing). I’m also someone who really hates the ‘molestation for the sake of drama’ card so I hope the show doesn’t do anything too annoying in that regard.

But anyway, next episode will be the last one, so I’m interested to see how it does end. With an ‘uh just read the manga’ non-ending? With ‘hint hint they’re goinna have sex in the OVAs’? With ‘see you for season 2 in a year or so’?  With some weird fabricated anime-only thing? Time will tell.

Looks like he got some ones with nice art. I was kind of wanting to see him have some hilariously terrible ones like Selfish Mr Mermaid.

why the hell are you asking rei what ryouma’s dick is like though, how is he supposed to know this.

Outof 5,
melonmelonmelonmelon