Love Lab – 13 [END]

Riko with her other friends

Is Riko slipping away from Maki?

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With all the shows for Summer ended now, it’s time to finish up the posts! So let’s get to work and see how Love Lab finished up!

Reading the Atmosphere

Maki distracted

Sure, she’s just fine…

It’s pretty obvious something is up with Maki, and the thing that’s really eating at her is that, after learning that Riko lied about her experience with boys, she isn’t sure about Riko even being her friend. And that’s after she confessed about how much she likes being friends. So it’s no wonder that Maki’s making honest mistakes for the first time in her life.

Not a good atmosphere

Not a good feel

And it’s even worse that there’s seemingly a pall hanging over the whole Student Council. Maki has suspended any love research, and there’s obvious tension between everyone. But even then, Maki won’t say anything, and Riko is stubbornly hoping that Maki didn’t hear anything. But deep inside, she knows the truth and knows that she needs to fess up to make it right.

Riko’s Mike Holmes Moment – “Make It Right”

Er... Sayo

Well, weren’t we told that kurokami straight long was what guys wanted to see?

But Riko only gets the message when Sayo clues her in that she’s probably not the only one who’s afraid of something changing with Maki. And with a little help from Nagi, who defends Riko and even shows that he probably still has some feelings for her (for as little as it gets him), Riko realizes that she needs to chase Maki to her home (with the helpful brick of Maki’s handkerchief) and finally set things right.

Nice Pose

The Karate Kid!

What follows is at once funny, emotional, and authentic. Riko trying to figure out what posture to use, Maki with her strange punishment, and Riko with her selfish plea to not quit, which is exactly what Maki wants to hear. And she also makes it right with the rest of the Student Council, who react predictably, before moving on with their future Love Lab activities.

Everyone's revenge

Everyone gets revenge

Overall Thoughts

Riko's trouble

Riko even shows some emotion

Always amusing, if sometimes hard to write about, Love Lab was a very good show for this summer season. Easily accessible and easy to watch, with cute but not amazingly moe (well, at least in my opinion) character designs from the same designer as did Yuru Yuri, the show delivered the laughs week after week, and did it in a nice serialized format, with a “To Be Continued” at the end of each episode, rather than a whole bunch of stand-alone episodes.

Friends again

Yes, this is a platonic hug, with Maki in her pajamas

From their first meeting, when Maki shanghais Riko into helping her with practicing running into guys, the main arc of this show has been the strengthening friendship of this pair, Maki who is so perfect yet doesn’t have any close friends, Riko who is so out of the ordinary that she’s constantly in trouble, both admired from afar, but both with holes in their personalities that the other almost perfectly fits in. From the start, these two provided what the other needed, in a totally platonic manner. And where other shows would put some sort of yuri undertone to a group of girls in an all-girls high class academy, these girls were completely focused on guys. Now, that doesn’t mean they weren’t admired (and maybe there was even a little bit of lusting after both Riko and Maki on the part of the other girls in the school), but really, it was all about ‘we want to find boyfriends.’

The handkerchief

From Episode 1 to Episode 13, great continuity

The show also kept it simple and let the comedy writing take the lead. There were basically only two locations: the student council office and the cram school. They didn’t need to go to all sorts of locations, because there was plenty of humor in just the characters. Like another show I blogged this season, Servant x Service, the humor was found in the interaction of the cast, and while the situations were a little wacky, it was more that Maki tried to push them and the rest of the characters pulled them back.

Suzu and Eno plead with Riko

Nice work by some relative unknowns

The OP and ED songs and animation were ok, but not really something I listened to most of the time. Most of the time the show’s production just got out of the way and did a competent job while the writing and characters carried the show. And it was across the board good performances from quite a few less well-known VA’s, always appropriate for the characters and never sounding strained.

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Love Lab was a really fun show, helping to fill up that Thursday / Friday time with a lot of outright laughs. Following Riko and Maki throughout the season, with assists from Sayo, Suzu, and Eno, really made the season exciting. This is another show that I hope for a second season from, and its sales seem to be close to the level that would historically justify it, and there’s plenty of material, as the anime covered volumes 1-4 of the manga which is up to 9 volumes at this point. Don’t you think it would be great to see this story continue through all of these girls graduating from middle school and getting boyfriends?

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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12 Responses to “Love Lab – 13 [END]”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Love Lab was a great series for the week-ends. All the characters were great and things got better when Sayo and Eno joined in. Out of the character designs, Riko’s my favorite. I can’t put my finger on why. She just looks good. Another season is definitely welcome and she did say at the end that the Love Lab starts now. It would be a shame to end it here just like that.

    For a moment, I thought Maki was losing it because she might have actually heard Riko’s confession last episode. I forgot about the part where Jan was talking to her. He can be such an ass sometimes. I’ll admit that due to her upbringing, Maki has little to no street smarts hence she can’t tell what’s real from what is based on rumors. The price to be paid for a sheltered life, I’m afraid.

    One would assume Riko reaped what she sowed with that clap to the face Maki gave over at her house after letting the cat out of the bag but I didn’t think her punishment would be that intense. Suzu uped the ante with those slapsticks. She even mentioned adding some thin plywood in the folds. They really take lying that personally?

    • Highway says:

      People take offense at the smallest things, and take the most innocent comments the wrong way. I think it’s definitely in character for Maki to be worried that the only really close friend she has is faking it just to be nice, especially because part of what makes her want to be Riko’s friend is that Riko is just naturally going to act like she cares. So as Maki said, she wasn’t sure if Riko liked being her friend, or just went along because it was her nature.

      So it was a combination of overhearing Miko and the poison that Yan put into her head that really pushed Maki into worrying.

  2. Karry says:

    Volume 8, from what little i can read – still no boyfriends. Yan is still Maki’s sworn enemy. Although it does get substancially more risque, for instance the case of a boy supposedly secretly escorting a girl into a ladies toilet…

    • Highway says:

      We mostly are just giving Overcooled a little bit of a hard time for mentioning that she heard there was yuri in this show on the Metaverse Podcast. ;)

      But it seems pretty obvious to me (and to most people) that the girls in this main cast are not interested in other girls at all. They’re completely focused on boys, so the end would be them getting boyfriends. However, this would mean they’d either have to have secret boyfriends (like Sayo, but actually wanting to), or graduate, so have it be over a year later.

  3. KLACMAN says:

    well finish seeing this yea fine big ha give whole fun way search for dating & yea huggy the pillow need own spin-off.

    yet series sure it fun & some bit drama give overall worthy to see give wonder IF get dub can imagine it dub range?

    • Highway says:

      Getting Riko’s tomboy quality right on a dub might be a little tough.

      I thought it was cute that they kept the dakimakura throughout as pretty much a mascot. This show did really well with keeping the same props relevant and funny.

  4. skylion says:

    Yes, the show was very much worth the watch. And if they got five more volumes to cover, then by all means let an S2 commence, if they managed to sell enough.

    Thanks for the coverage, HWY.

  5. HannoX says:

    One of the best comedies I’ve seen in a long time. Here’s hoping for S2! I want to see more antics from these girls. There’s still lots of comedy gold to mine from these characters and their quest for boyfriends.

    • Highway says:

      I found it interesting that although you had one show called Love Lab and another called Servant x Service, the one that was the romantic comedy wasn’t the one with “Love” in the title.

      Love Lab was just straight up humor, but with enough story to tie it together, so that it didn’t end up like Nyarlko: a bunch of fairly disjointed gags. It always moved along so that you felt like time was passing and that these girls were growing.

  6. Liza says:

    I really did enjoy Love Lab. It was definitely not what I was expecting it to be. There was no yuri-undertones between the girls and I really do feel like if there is a second season they will have the boys be involved much more(and maybe even get hooked up).

  7. CarVac says:

    A simple, effective comedy, without any low points in the humor.

    All in all, I really enjoyed watching it.

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