English: Love Lab
Synonyms: Renai Lab
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 5, 2013 to Sep 28, 2013
24 min. per episode
PG-13 - Teens 13 or older
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.591 (scored by 20895 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisThe Fujisaki Girls Academy is known for their school body being composed of very proper students. The most prominent one of them is Maki, the student president who is admired by her classmates for her calm and polite demeanor. On the other hand, Kurahashi Riko is also admired but for having a very forward and boyish personality. Riko accidentally walks into Maki while she's practicing kissing with a pillow and learns that she isn't what everyone thinks she is. Riko is forced into keeping Maki's secret and join her in practicing all aspects of romance like holding hands and more.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Love Lab
Characters & Voice Actors
This show is not yuri. I don't want to spend a lot of time on that fact, so I'll just throw it out there immediately and move on.
So, MAL review reader, if you're reading this line, you probably started your trek of this review by checking out the number I dropped in the "Overall Rating" section. Intrigued, perhaps you even clicked those words to bring up the breakdown of numbers I awarded the show for various aspects of its creation. You would then have noticed the number "10" in the story section and probably asked yourself, "What? A perfect 10 in story for a comedy? How does that make sense?"
Normally I would not so directly reference the scores I gave in my actual review; the review is for explaining them, not reiterating them. They're just numbers, anyway. But I feel this worth the mention as it is, in fact, the most crucial part of the review and why the show is so great. I do not consider Love Lab's story worth a 10 because it's deep, or unique, or emotional, or ingeniously crafted. I give it a 10 because it is a comedy executed perfectly.
Love Lab, first and foremost, knows it is a comedy. What does that mean? It means that through everything it does, it stays comical. It will always keep you laughing (if its style of comedy does that for you, of course). Does it have dramatic subplots? Oh yes. Three, in fact. Yet even at the climax of these subplots, it stays funny. In fact, sometimes that's the funniest part.
And yet, at the same time, it never sacrifices suspense for the comedy. It's paradoxical in a way, but the show remains both serious and funny at the same time. Within the suspension of disbelief the show works under, the ways these problems manage to work themselves out are both believable and funny.
Now, one of the worst crimes a comedy can commit is to throw in a dramatic subplot out of nowhere to arbitrarily heighten tension, then forget it when it's done and go back to normal. Well, once again, Love Lab dodges this bullet. Every dramatic subplot has something to do with the point of the show (which, if you weren't aware, is a group of girls researching how to be popular with boys), is led up to, and continues to effect the story of the show and its characters throughout. The final climax of the series is actually the culmination of the event that began the daily lives of the Fuji Girl's student council in the first place and had been building up all along.
If that's not comedy done right, I don't know what is. But now, where would we be without our cast?
With all the praise I gave the story, the characters, too, must be good, right? Of course they are. Maybe not as perfectly crafted as the story, but still plenty good. First up is Riko, the tomboyish "wild" one. She has zero relationship experience, but her personality makes her pretty popular with the girls. However, when she walks in on student council prez Natsuo, known around school for being beautiful, kind, and just all around perfect making out with a hug pillow (Yes, really. Not exaggerating)...one thing leads to another and Natsuo, desperate to know how to be popular with boys, ends up believing Riko has tons of relationship experience. She has been around boys a lot...but always AS one of them, not WITH any of them.
Thus begins the relationship with Natsuo as the crazy and Riko as her straight man, even if the reason for it is a bit of a lie. Most of the show's time is spent with these two, and as they grow closer, Riko's secret becomes tougher to keep and even tougher to admit.
But that isn't all. Coming in to help with the love research will be Suzune, the klutz and shy girl, Yuiko, the slightly-childish and somewhat tsundere, and Sayori, the money-loving and merciless smart girl. Suzune and Yuiko, unfortunately, do not really get a chance to shine. One can only do so much in 13 episodes. That doesn't mean, however, that their characters are not well realized and put to use. Suzune's shy nature, while the center of multiple jokes, is also put to use as a way to distract faculty members when the student council needs to get a hold of the broadcasting room. Yuiko and Sayori make a comedy duo not unlike Riko and Natsuo, though in this case it is Sayori treating Yuiko as her butt monkey (don't worry, it's funny in context). Both of them also believe Riko's lie about being popular and further escalate the challenges of keeping or admitting it.
But Sayori doesn't believe Riko's lie. Naw, she's sharp and sees through Riko. But she's not just going to let it loose; she wants to use it to her advantage and have some fun, so she does. But for as clever as she is, she manages to get into some trouble of her own, and when it comes time to face the consequences, which she is completely prepared to do, what becomes even harder for her is allowing her friends to share in the blame with her.
Oh, there are boys in this show, too. Crazy, right? A cute-girls-doing-cute-things show with sausage? I already said it's not yuri, so it shouldn't be that much of a surprise. One might expect the appearance of boys to be a strange turn that doesn't work well in the show, but the opposite is the truth. If anything, the scenes with the male characters only serve to make the show and its characters even better, allowing them to grow in a way one normally wouldn't expect from this kind of show. It's also simply a nice diversion from the paths these shows usually take.
And honestly, I love yuri, but I'm happy for the inclusion of boys here (I know I said I didn't want to spend much time on this, but you've already gotten past the most important part of the review). These shows have a tendency to be kind of sort of maybe pretending to be yuri but not officially yuri so they can say it's not yuri and not polarize any given subset of fans but it's kind of sort of maybe pretending to be yuri so it gets the yuri fans, too. That's cute for a while, but, quite frankly, I'm sick of that shit. Be yuri or don't be yuri. Love Lab replies, "We are not yuri." Thank you, Love Lab. Thank you for being straight with me.
Hm, okay, technicalities now. Art and music are both in the decent/good area. They're not nearly bad enough to take the show down at all, but they also don't do a whole lot to enhance one's experience. To sum it up in one word, they are "fine." Standard. The character designs aren't wholly unique but distinctive enough to set them apart and animation is largely smooth, mistakes mostly being minor and unnoticeable if you aren't looking for them. The OP and ED are both pretty generic (actually, I found the OP annoying), though the insert music does tend to fit quite well and give the show a good mood when applicable.
If you're tired of the standard cute-girls-doing-cute-things formula but still want to see a good one, check out Love Lab. That was my situation. Heck, if you never even liked the standard cute-girls-doing-cute-things formula, you may still like this. It really isn't easily judged by its cover or title because it's just so much better than what it appears to be.
Well ... that was a freaking surprise. If someone told me, based on that synopsis, that Love Lab is a hilarious and heartwarming journey all through, I'd have him jump off a cliff into my love lab of death. Glad no one did. Regrets would be far too many.
So, where do I even begin? It's quite hard seeing as I'm still kind of thinking about the anime. I'll just begin by saying this: do not let title or the synopsis drive you off. If you think that this anime is filled with cute girls (it kind of is) doing cutesy things (it kind of is) and that's all it is, then you're wrong. Not blaming you though, I only decided to watch this after seeing a short, hilarious clip on YouTube. So yeah ...
The story is surprisingly good. Where majority of anime comedies fail, Love Lab managed to go up a notch. Almost nothing in the anime happens just so "you can have a couple of laughs". Somewhere, somehow, it all kind of ties up to the end of the story and the conclusion. It starts in a light tone which continues all throughout. Yeah, there's some drama, but it's not over the top. It doesn't try to shove tears into viewers eyes or anything. It's simply there to give more depth to already great characters.
The story follows Riko and Mika, two seemingly total opposites when it comes to ... well, everything. Mika is a perfect girl, nicknamed even "Princess", while Riko is a tomboy, nicknamed "The Wild One". They're both admired by other girls in the school but for all the different reason. Fate (and by fate I mean teacher) has its hands in them meeting one another and then the adventure begins. Along the way they're joined with some other (equally hilarious) characters and you're bound to like at least one of them, if not all. To be quite frank, the story is not deep, but it's extremely well executed. It's a story about friendships and how lies sometimes make it hard. Nonetheless, everything that happens is a part of the story. It's not just a sidetrack business trying to make you laugh.
Another impressive part of Love Lab are the characters. There are five main characters (seven if you include guys), and they're all enough unique to have their own charms and likeness to them. Mika is a delusional perfectionist who does everything on her own and wants desperately to have a boyfriend. Riko is her straight counter-part, who's "Master of love", and never fails to make you laugh with her comments. She's not as smart as Mika, but you admire her for what she is. Then you have Suzune, shy and timid but equally enthusiastic about their quest to learn how to seduce boys. There's also another duo of hilarity, Sayori and Yuiko; Sayori being composed, seemingly cold and detached person with quirky remarks and affinity for money, and Yuiko being not-so-annoying tsundere. All of them have distinct personalities and they all bring something to the table when it comes to comedy.
You see them grow closer and closer as friends, and you actually believe in their friendship and you feel worried when it feels as if it's going to collapse. There are some over the top moments, but most of the time it's down to earth funny.
When it comes to the production department, it's nothing amazing but it's good enough looking to the eyes. Anime-only-comedy was done extremely well, and I really loved most of the expressions of the characters. They were cute when they were meant to be cute, and they were extremely ugly when they were meant to be ugly. Backgrounds were lacking but that's to be expected from character-focused anime so no complains there. Soundtrack was lacking as well but, from what was there, it fit solidly.
Overall, Love Lab was extremely well done, definitely above average and on sub-par with some other hilarious comedies. Its drama wasn't there to suddenly shift the tone to dark and try to appear more mature, but to give more depth to already established characters. I really do recommend Love Lab if for nothing else but its hilarity. read more
Both anime are about ridiculous middle school girls and their life. The characters are loveable and cute. Filled with hilarious dialogue and moe artwork. A little bit of shoujo ai in both animes.
Aside from having the same staff and studio, both are an all-girl cast SoL/school comedy animes. These shows give off similar atmosphere and is hilarious. If you like Love Lab, you'd probably like Yuru Yuri and vice versa.
There's a strong sense of yuri vibes going in both series although it's mostly for comedy rather than anything to serious. More so though, Yuri Yuri and Love Lab both contain very humorous dialogues that are sometimes exaggerated and can be interpreted differently.
The girls from both series also has their own sense of humor. There's also dirty jokes related to love while others related to life. There's also the school life setting that inspires fun tales of humor.
Both involve some cute girls talking (mainly about love/relationships), have a similar art style, funny comedy and some slice of life elements.
Artwork is somewhat similar, in the eyes. Bunch of girls hanging out, doing random, funny things. Some instances of "yuri" is hinted or shown in both shows.
Both anime`s have some funny moments and they have some similar characters to the touch...
YuruYuri and Love Lab just give the same atmosphere... there both very comical and refreshing, if you liked one you should watch the other one
only diffrence is that yuruyuri is more into Shoujo-ai than Love La, and i liked yuruyuri a bit more... but you should watch both :3
In both series, it revolves a club with special activities. However, these activities usually are not so typical with school related ideas. Otherwise, Natsuo and Sena both have some similarities as being popular but also at times insecure and has a strange fascination in their minds. On the other hand, Yozora and Riko are considered tomboys and has a strange interaction with their club members.
There is many fun gags from both series and among other things...catchy dialogues, humor, and randomness. Both series also takes place at a school life setting.
Both are about a club doing pointless activities mostly unrelated with the club.
Both have a the same kind of humor, over hyped and exaggerated along with slapstick humor.
The art is similar in both shows.
Both give off a similar feel while watching. (Club members doing random things)
The club in Haganai is about making friends whereas the one in Love Lab is about discovering love.
Love Lab only has female characters while Haganai has a male lead and sort of a harem setting.
Some Shoujo Ai in Love Lab that does not exist in Haganai.
Nonetheless both shows give off a similar vibe with club activities that are pointless to what the actual club is suppose to be, if you've seen Love Lab you might enjoy Haganai, and the same goes for the opposite if you don't mind some possible Shoujo Ai in Love Lab.
Opening Theme"Love Shitai! (恋愛（ラブ）したいっ!)" by Fuji-Jo Seitokai Shikkou-Bu (eps 1-12)
Ending Theme"Best FriendS" by Fuji-Jo Seitokai Shikkou-Bu
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
AnimeYO! [AnimeYO!] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsCute Girls Doing Cute Things, Love Lab! , M⑨echan, Romantic-Love Club, Student Council Presidents / Class Reps, Open Discussion Club, Бессюжетные девочки, Hayami Saori Fanclub, Slice of Life Club, Gladies, Riko Kurahashi Fans! ☆, Love Lab, kawaii corner shop
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