No, you don’t really need to look in here!
(Of course you do!)
When I saw Love Lab before the season, I didn’t expect it to be a serialized story. The concept really seemed to lend itself to one-shot topic episodes, or maybe even skits (like Kiniro Mosaic and Kitakubu turned out to be). So the fact that it’s a single continuous story is something that’s really surprised and pleased me. So what happened this week in the Student Council room?
The Battle Escalates
Everyone needs some context here
Sayo said she declared war on Maki, Riko, and Suzu last time, and while Eno was not as enthusiastic about a war, she definitely has a problem with Maki. Really, she just wants some respect, which she thinks she’s due (she did get appointed / elected as Student Council President after all), and while she’s not the best at it, she doesn’t want to be forgotten or shoved aside. Sayo’s motivation is a lot more… material, since she just wants to get her hands on the cash. It’s also not really sure who Sayo’s at war with, since she is more likely to insult Eno than Maki or Riko.
Anime overwork strikes again!
But for Riko and Suzu, the battle takes a back seat when Maki faints due to overwork and lack of sleep. Determined to not let her do all the work, Riko decides that she’s going to break her own condition of not having to do work, and also goes to convince Sayo to come back and be treasurer. But that plan hits a snag when Sayo wants Eno brought back as president. Since Riko’s trying to support Maki as president, that’s just not compatible.
Sayo gets a bit cheeky
Meanwhile, tho, Eno has found Maki’s notes about their Love Lessons. At this point everyone watching thinks “Why the heck would you type up the notes as if it was Student Council business?” But that’s just Maki and her very ordered self, I guess. Deciding to stick them into the packet for the Student Council meeting so she can look better, a plan that even Sayo thinks is pretty nasty. She even makes the copies but after having second thoughts (and a talk with Riko), she decides to not do the prank, but it’s too late because they’ve all been mixed up and grabbed by the teacher.
Bonding in the face of Adversity
The big confrontation
Of course, they’re found out when the council members read their notes at the meeting. But despite the blame shifting and bad feelings, everyone comes together to get them out of the bind, by saying they were researching it because of a question in the Suggestion Box. And it’s good that they closed ranks, because it was looking bad for all of them. But an inspired rant by Riko, and a brilliant idea by Sayo, gets them off the hook. And despite Eno’s outward protests, Sayo’s pretty sure that she’ll be all for studying love in the Student Council room.
Love Lab (I also like that it’s alliterative in Japanese, too: ren’ai rabo) continues to be the best comedy of the season for me. Having a continuous serial plot gives the show a special character that you usually don’t get from slice of life-style comedies. And now that we’ve got our full Five-Man Band together, it’ll be interesting to see how they all interact as friends, rather than as kind of haphazard enemies. It’s certainly not going to be all tea and cake, and I do wonder what Sayo and Eno will think of Huggy (probably the best name for the dakimakura). But will Maki quit writing down what they talk about? This is twice now that her nearly obsessive need for documentation has almost gotten them into trouble.