First Impressions – Love Lab


Meanwhile, back at the lab…


spring13-highwWe keep the First Impressions coming with maybe the funniest opening episode of the season from Love Lab. So join me and Foshizzel for what we thought of this opening episode of the adventures of a love-seeking group of girls.


spring13-fosh Time to join Highway for a first impressions look at Love Lab which looks like the usual generic slice of life comedy anime or will it do something different? I certainly hope it can do something interesting to fill the void left by Yuyushiki from the previous season for me anyway!

Student Council President’s Secret

Uh oh

Ah yeah, sucking face with a dakimakura

When Kurahashi Riko gets sent to deliver some papers to the perfect student council president Maki Natsuo, she accidentally walks in on kissing practice with a dakimakura. Somehow she gives the impression that she knows about love, and from there, Maki goes pretty far off the rails getting advice and pressing Riko into practicing different aspects of love. Maki’s almost perfect in every way, but doesn’t quite understand how to get a boyfriend, or really how to deal with other people in normal friendly ways. She’s not nearly as dysfunctional as a lot of smart and capable girls, but she is an overachiever.

Oldest shoujo cliche ever

Practicing the oldest shoujo cliche ever

On the other hand, Riko is a bit of a tomboy, unique in the school for her less put together style. But since she’s been drafted into being the ‘special advisor to the Student Council President’, she’s getting regular comparisons to Maki, and not really in favorable ways. But for whatever reason, Riko and Maki do seem to be getting along more than you’d expect. Riko is generally the Tsukkomi in the pair, but doesn’t overact as much as, say, Natsuki from Kitakubu. But the biggest problem is that Maki can’t let anyone know about her secret longing for love.

Crazy Art in Motion


I think we have all seen our fair share of hilarious reaction faces found in just about every other comedy anime from stuff like Acchi Kocchi, Nichijou, Gj-bu, Yuyushiki and I could go on and on, but one series pops into my head with Love Lab because it shares the same character designer Chiaki Nakajima that worked on the Yuru Yuri anime series. That said the original artist is simply known as Namori while Chiaki just adapted Namori’s artist style for both shows and you can find all of Namori’s original artwork on her twitter page, Pixiv account and personal website. So why do I love these character designers? For starters their design work looks simplistic on the characters themselves but most of the animation budget is spent focused on the over the top facial reactions because they have to relay certain emotions to us watching! So what character had the best reactions to certain things? I think that prize goes to Natsuo Maki who jumps around from super excited, afraid, sad and surprised at breakneck speeds; however every goofball character needs a sidekick to cause those kinds of reactions and Natsuo has the “wild” Riko Kurahashi to cause her freak out over everything. It is quite early to say who I like watching more since we only have two characters but it appears that the next episode will introduce the other student council members! I can’t wait to see how Maki and Riko react next time.

Other Production

Riko with hearts


Besides the characters, the rest of the show is put together well. The show uses a lot of art shift to keep track of the moods of the characters, and does a lot of embellishment for effect, like sparkles around all the bishoujos or hearts for eyes as the other students fangirl over Riko and Maki. There’s also a lot of thought and dream sequence interaction, including waving it away, so the show is very much in its own moment. Music and sound effects are nice, and don’t over-intrude. The OP and ED are ok, but nobody’s going to accuse them of being very original (the OP really reminds me of the Minami-ke Tadaima opening from winter).

Sparkly Maki

Maki gets all sparkly like Syrop

This is also a show without a big name seiyuu cast, with probably the most well known artists being Akasaki Chinatsu (Nibutani Shinka from Chuu2koi, Harusaki Chiwa from OreShura) as Maki and Manami Numakura ([email protected]) as Riko. The others are up and coming, and really haven’t appeared in the show yet.

More Fun with Love Lab!

Show ▼


Not a whole lot to say about this episode since it was more of an introduction to how Riko and Maki meet for the first time and how the two of them interact, but since this shares a lot in common with Yuru Yuri I will probably become a huge fan because I just love watching the characters run around doing random things while making me laugh. I just want to know what this series has planned in the long run because I kind of get the feeling that Love Lab is aiming for something obvious like friendship blooming between two different girls, as it stands I don’t really get any yuri-ish vibes from this series right now, but I kind of hope it stays out of anything serious like romance between Maki or Riko and continues to focus on the comedy aspects even though I know that Maki has a real goal of getting a boyfriend eventually. So what did you love about this first episode and what direction do you think Love Lab will go?


This first episode was hilarious. Just outright gut-busting. I really like the setup, and really like Riko’s reactions to Maki’s odd personality, so I hope the show can keep that up as more and more people are brought into the secret circle of Maki’s experimentation. Definitely a show to keep watching!


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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52 Responses to “First Impressions – Love Lab”

  1. skylion says:

    Wow. I’m in love. This was the best, knock it out of the park premiere episode to date (and I just watched High School DxD New, and that clinches awesome). This was pretty much the master’s thesis of pacing. I was LOL nearly every single minute.

    I’m looking forward to more. Thanks for the Tag, guys.

    • Highway says:

      Have you seen Kiniro Mosaic yet? A third direction, but I was blown away. I’ll have a post about it tomorrow.

      • skylion says:

        You mean, Charm Blitz: The Anime? Yes. I know some things are right in my wheelhouse, but this was one mighty wave…

      • Foshizzel says:

        Kiniro Mosaic its alright the engrish had me laughing but the artwork is kind of weak, but I will look past that and enjoy it! Also it could be one of the yuri shows of the season~

        • BlackBriar says:

          If it turns out that way, someone please let me know so I’d take another crack at it. 🙂

          • skylion says:

            Take a crack at it any way, it’s good stuff so far. We’ll keep you posted..

            • BlackBriar says:

              I’m going to hold you to your word. That is certain. 😉

            • skylion says:

              You can trust your rival…

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hell ya Love Lab is awesome and funny!

      You are welcome xD

  2. Liza says:

    I loved this first episode. Just watching the girls go through a bunch of romantic cliches was funny to watch.

    Poor Riko, getting stuck with a crazy girl like Natsuo. Can’t wait to see what the other girls in the student council bring to the Love Lab. XD

    • Highway says:

      I kind of get the feeling that Riko doesn’t really mind the whole thing anyway. She was talking about how she was wanting some excitement and love, and she gets both of them. It’s just how to keep Maki from being weird.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Riko said things were boring so Natsuo is the perfect candidate to bring in some excitement. She’d never have another dull day again.

    • Foshizzel says:

      This was a fun filled episode <3

      Riko and Natsuo had me laughing the entire time! I can't wait to see what the other girls bring to the table in terms of interaction.

  3. JPNIgor says:

    Damn… It screams YURI… But I will watch it anyway since it’s so much fun.

    And Maki jumping at the table in happiness was over the top. Love Lab promises so much that I can’t describe…

    • Foshizzel says:

      True it does scream yuri but Natsuo has plans to get a boyfriend eventually and that kind of cancels out the idea of yuri to me but anything is possible.

      I know what you mean lolol

      • JPNIgor says:

        Not really, Fosh. Natsuo may be planning to get a boyfriend, but nothing can make me stop thinking about the two of them blushing to each other. And look at that project of perfect boyfriend to her! It won’t become reality… I hope so.

    • skylion says:

      I think Yuru Yuri screamed it a bit louder. It’s almost there..

  4. Sumairii says:

    This show honestly came out of nowhere to me. I expected a fairly average YuruYuri clone, but if the premiere is any indication, Love Lab is something more. It’s just so much good fun. =)

    • Foshizzel says:

      I can’t wait for more and the Yuru Yuri character designs work wonders for this comedy anime!

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Note to self: All girls schools are veritible breeding grounds for yuri hijinks on a grand scale. And a tomboy thrown into the mix makes things even better. I love me a tomboy every now and then. They’re alright in my book.

    Love Lab is officially on my must watch list this season. It would be a crime to ignore so much off the wall, random fun.

    • Foshizzel says:

      Hahaha yeah that is a good note to make BB even though I don’t get the yuri-vibes as much as others but I can see why people would say that it comes off as yuri-like.

      Good idea!

      • BlackBriar says:

        Being in an all girls school would give that impression. Not mention how they all seem “interested” in Riko. If some of them do tread that way, I wonder if they’d really be interested in a tomboy.

    • skylion says:

      Yes. We got BB!

      • BlackBriar says:

        I see there were people with doubts about the fact. Well, you can rest easy now.

    • Highway says:

      I guess one could consider the adoration of the other girls as yuri, but I don’t see the show doing any more than that. Maybe Maki and Riko will get a lot of Valentine’s Day chocolate, but other than that, unless they introduce a specific character that is after either of them, I don’t see any more romance between these girls.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I know right? For girls to be that hung over another girl like that. People would definitely jump to conclusions and yuri would undoubtably be the first thing they’d run at.

        • skylion says:

          It does tease in the yuri direction without really going there. I think it gets more run over, like Maki practicing her “bump into hello”…

          • BlackBriar says:

            It’s an assumption that would be made mostly by those with their yuri googles either on too tight or in overuse. There’s a chance I might be one of them.

            • skylion says:

              There’s always a certainty I am one of them.

  6. belatkuro says:

    And to think I was going to skip this show. Thank goodness someone told me to watch it because it was so much fun.
    From that dakimakura kissing to the cliches to the subtle yuri, there’s a complete smile on my face the entire time.

    I’m going to be sticking to this show, though I did hear that there will be some guys entering the story later on so it’s not gonna end up a total yuri which is fine with me. Just that I hope those guys look much better than that dakimakura because…ugh…

  7. AllenAndArth says:

    this is AWESOME!man it’s been a while since i had fun with an anime(a new one) maki’s delusions are really funny, and the jokes are attractive, at first i was going to skip it, but, i’m glad i tried, i’m looking forward to the next episode…is it just me or did the nerd girl from the OP have a buchou feeling?

    • skylion says:

      Yes. Glad to see the awesomness of Love Lab netted another victim fan.

      Oh, I think the buchou feels are just beginning.

      • AllenAndArth says:

        i noted another think, maki seriously remembered me of Akeno from DxD…only for a few seconds (when she gets serious, before trying to bribe Riko with tea and cookies( the dark side has come!join now, we have cookies)

        • skylion says:

          Akeno? That is a very interesting comparison. If only for a few seconds…

          • AllenAndArth says:

            i know right, but, just give it a look at Akeno when she’s on miko mode! hmm…maybe it’s because i saw DxD new! today

  8. AllenAndArth says:

    i know right, i wonder if it’s because i saw DxD new! today
    that laugh is Akeno’s laugh for sure

    • Foshizzel says:

      I still have season one to watch of DxD…I should get on that…

      • skylion says:

        …get on it Fosh…

      • BlackBriar says:

        Do it quick or you’ll end up like me with Freezing especially when its next season comes out in Fall. I’ve still got to finish Infinite Stratos and its next season is in Fall as well.

        • Highway says:

          Season 1 of DxD is way better than either IS or Freezing. And of those two, I’d put IS way better than Freezing. Jrow might have recommended them in the opposite order, I don’t know what he thought of IS, so it’s not a cut and dried thing. If I was making a continuity, I’d put Sekirei in the middle, with Freezing in one direction and IS in the other direction about equal amounts. IS is more corny and harem-y, Freezing is more brutal and edgy.

          • Highway says:

            Not that I’m trying to speak for Jrow here. Just trying to say that there’s room on both sides for liking Freezing or IS. 🙂

          • AllenAndArth says:

            IS and Freezing were bad…for me at least i hoped for more, so i kind put DxD on top as having the best season one between the three

            • Highway says:

              I’d put DxD as having the best first season of them also. For harem-y fighting shows, I’d have Sekirei after that, then IS and Freezing (mostly because Freezing was so much of that “Us upperclassmen need to put you in your place, Satellizer!”, which I’m told is toned down in the next chapters). IS loses points for having the gold standard of terrible harem leads. Sahashi Minato looks like the epitome of self-confident harem leadership and observational attention compared to Orimura Ichika.

    • BlackBriar says:

      That reminds me. I’ve downloaded the first episode of DxD NEW but I’ve yet to watch it. Things have suddenly gotten busy lately. And it looks like DxD might be the only ecchi series this season. That’s a bad sign.

      • skylion says:

        It’s not the best sign it could be, but we can endure a bit less ecchi.

        • BlackBriar says:

          That’s like telling an addict to kick his habit in a period of three months (length of one anime season). It’ll take some time to mull over with this.

  9. Jrow says:

    I thought Riko was fantastic, and I just loved it whenever she beat up on Natsuo after doing something stupid. I also enjoyed the joke about no balls being allowed in this school. It was a surprise to me when the ep was done how much I enjoyed it.

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