Anime Reviews

It’s just like a shoujo manga! Thoughts on Love Stage!!

© J.C.Staff, Sentai Filmworks, & Crunchyroll

Love Stage!! (ラブ ステージ )

(Anime 2014)

Written By Eiki Eiki & Illustrated by Taishi Zaō

Love Stage!! was requested to me by a friend on Twitter. I don’t really watch yaoi even though a majority of my blogging buddies are fujoshis. However, I took this request on and as my first real yaoi series, and it wasn’t so bad. I mean it wasn’t great, but it was something to watch.

Yaoi is like a shoujo series but with two guys in love. That’s basically what it was.

© J.C.Staff, Sentai Filmworks, & Crunchyroll

Izumi Sena and Ryōma Ichijō starred in a wedding commercial when they were children, which resulted in Ryōma falling in love with Izumi at first sight. However, Ryōma is unaware that Izumi is actually a boy. In honor of the ten year anniversary of the commercial they did when they were younger, Izumi and Ryōma shoot another wedding commercial together. This time, Ryōma attempts to socialize with Izumi but soon feels betrayed when he finds out Izumi is really a boy. Ryōma soon realizes, though, that his feelings are genuine and pursues Izumi.

© J.C.Staff, Sentai Filmworks, & Crunchyroll

If I were to describe the relationship between Izumi Sena and Ryōma Ichijō, it’s pure. There wasn’t really any obstacle other than internal drama. You see moments of jealousy from Ryōma when he witnesses Izumi surrounded by fans and you see Izumi going “stalker mode” when he buys all of Ryōma’s fan merchandise. These playful moments happen when you are unsure about your feelings towards someone and so, you are trying to grasp the whole situation by doing weird things.

Yet, these are just playful moments when you have a crush on someone. What made them realize their honest feelings towards one another was when Ryōma Ichijō was able to contact Izumi Sena’s favorite mangaka, Saotomi so that Izumi doesn’t give up on becoming a mangaka. Ryōma was really supportive of Izumi’s dreams and Izumi hears about Ryōma’s effort to cheer him up from his college friend. It’s the “tender, loving, care” that won Izumi over.

© J.C.Staff, Sentai Filmworks, & Crunchyroll

Although it has a simple storyline, I was left with unanswered questions at the end. Even though Ryōma and Izumi admitted their feelings to each other, they still have to deal with the public eye since they are celebrities. Also, Ryōma declared to the media that he and Izumi aren’t together since he’s a male and not a female. How would Ryōma address the media now since he lied about actually “dating”? I’m sure that the manga most likely resolved this, but it isn’t addressed in the anime.

Furthermore, I didn’t like the fact that Rei Sagara and Izumi’s family kind of forced Izumi into show business. In order to get out of a scandal that could ruin Ryōma’s career, Rei and Ryōma’s company decide to use Izumi’s debut to cover up the scandal. Although Izumi did it to help out Ryōma, it seems kinda sketchy to force someone to do something that they weren’t initially interested in. Izumi wanted a life out of the public eye since all his family members are celebrities. Yet now, Izumi is thrown into the limelight and has to deal with the media as well as his self-esteem issues. Likewise, this issue may have been resolved in the manga which we don’t see in the anime.

Overall, this is a pretty basic show. There wasn’t anything unique about it. It’s a cheesy romance that kind of reminded me of Skip Beat! to some degree.

You can watch the series on Crunchyroll.

2/5


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