Love Stage

Mar. 2nd, 2017 09:18 pm
type_wild: (Stare - Subaru and Hokuto)
[personal profile] type_wild
I wasn't expecting much when I sat down to watch Love Stage, and I sure as hell wasn't expecting to watch half of it in one sitting, prompting the reaction that:

1. This is better than I expected
2. Gravitation was better

SO DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS DOES
It takes that whole "fell in love as a child and have never let them go in the ten years since" and takes it where it inevitably would have to go some day, because our poor, obsessed love interest didn't know that his first love was a boy.

A moeblob-lovin' otaku with delusions about becoming a manga artist, at that. No, seriously, they bribe him with a body pillow to kiss another guy, it's...



Yeah, okay, it's what I suspect is pretty standard shoujo fare, except that the heroine is a guy. Kiss Him, Not Me does the "embarassing otaku protagonist" better, and Princess Jellyfish is the version of KHNM that is actually good. I actually feel a bit dirty bringing PJ into the conversation, but it's got kind of the same plot as Love Stage and shyeah, does it a loooot more memorably than this one. Love Stage is probably only interesting if your main interest in a story is in fact seeing two guys doing gay stuff together, or if you're like me and find absurdly much entertainment in listening to familiar voices.

Our Hero is voiced by whoever did Nagisa on Free!, and I'm pretty sure at least half his dialogue is spent in conversation with the babysitter butler manager of his famous parents, whose name is Rei and who is also voiced by whoever did Ryugazaki Rei. Someone was doing God's good work with the casting, is what I'm saying.

So yeah Our Hero Izumi is the youngest branch on a family full of famous people, and they all want him to get some kind of showbiz career but he wants to make comics. Things Get Messier when THE big idol of the times, Ichijou Ryuoma, confesses his love to him after believing him to be a girl ever since their fateful first meeting ten years ago. The story we're watching hinges on the two questions: Will Izumi give in and get into showbiz like everyone wants him to, and will he and Ryuoma somehow become a couple?

Not to spoil stuff here or anything, but the OP ends with them holding hands, and I think this is where the Gravi comparison comes in -

- and at this point I WILL go ahead and just say outright that by the end of episode nine, Izumi and Ryouma still aren't a couple. The anime ends at episode ten.

In Gravi, we get to see them be a couple. A dysfunctional one with one laundry list of issues to resolve, but of course that's partially why they could draw it out for as long as they could. I haven't watched the anime in years (this is totally a very serious comparison!), but we know for certain that there's a mutual attraction between Yuki and Shuichi by the end of the first episode, and they're a couple from at least episode three onwards. Love Stage has Ryouma pining for Izumi and Izumi being all "ooooooh this is so weird but I guess maybe I feel a bit sorry for the guy" until past the halfway point.

And it's kinda rapey and has some shoujo tropes that I'd have thought passsed away in 2004 at latest so yeah that was ultimately disappointing. Which is sad, since the beginning really looked like it would just be a comedy of errors ending with gay bits.

Maybe dated is the best way to describe Love Stage: it's three years old, but somehow it feels ancient. And except for how the first episode is really promising, you're not missing out on anything by skipping this one.

(except the unintentionally hilarious bit where they fall into bed while the orchestra swells, rather than fading to black, the camera treat us to a lingering tour of Ryouma's empty flat.)
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