Is Riko slipping away from Maki?
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
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 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”
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.
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 gets revenge
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.
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.’
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.
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.
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?