With an actress mother, producer father, and rockstar brother, anyone would expect Izumi Sena to eventually enter showbiz himself. However, aside from a commercial for a wedding magazine when he was a child, Izumi has never been in the spotlight; instead, he aims to become a manga artist.
But a decade after the shoot, the magazine calls for a 10th anniversary ad, requesting the original child actors for the project. This reunites Izumi with Ryouma Ichijou, now a popular actor who, much to Izumi's shock, has been in love with him ever since their first meeting! However, due to Izumi's feminine appearance and unisex name, Ryouma believed the boy was a girl and continues to do so to this day. Izumi's troubles are just beginning, because even after discovering the truth, Ryouma can't seem to shake off his feelings...
I initially wrote off this show after seeing the now slightly famous intro scene, but soon, a joke amongst friends turned into a marathon of the six episodes that were out at the time. Every week after that, I looked forward to Wednesdays, where I'd get to see the next episode of Love Stage. At this point, after completing the series, the true question is this:
Why did I enjoy the show to the extent that I did?
I mean, it is quite normal for one to enjoy a show that is that is directed towards a different target
audience, (I.E. shoujos) and I have nothing but respect for yaoi and the culture, but me enjoying this would seem as a bit extreme...except its not.
What this show does well, and likely the biggest reason to why I enjoyed it, was the characters. I will say, I enjoyed the mere presence of almost every single character in this show. The first of the two protagonists is Izumi, the more feminine character of the relationship, and the youngest member of a family of world class entertainers. He has a dream to become a manga artist, however his complete lack of skill causes his family to worry to quite a large extent. Now, there is more to Izumi's wonderful eyes- His character is well developed throughout the show. We get to see all the trails and tribulations he goes through, whether it be with the relationship between him and the other protagonist, which I'll get to in a sec, or the constant tension with his family, who almost sees him as a lost cause. Izumi certainly does go through some entertaining developments throughout the show. The largest cause of this is the other male in the relationship, Ryouma. Ryouma is a growing celebrity in Japan, being seen in commercials and dramas frequently. As the masculine man in the relationship, is it his duty to take charge and progress the relationship along, and this works to create a dynamic between the two characters that I personally found quite entertaining to watch. The other characters, while not particularly developed, certainly add to the overall show- They accentuate the protagonists, while at the same time, being likable. Characters like Izumi's brother, a member of a rock band modeled off the actual manga writer's brother, make for good laughs, as well as Rei, the manager of Izumi's family. The beautiful thing is, all of these characters are likable: you can relate to their issues, and actually care about what becomes of them. When a character cried, I felt sad. When they were happy, so was I. This is the shows strongest point. All characters have their own moments in the story which makes for a good time.
(Speaking of good time, I will warn that the show, while not a hentai, does contain its fair share of...*scenes* in it, so do be prepared for that.)
As for the story, it is actually nothing quite special, however this is not necessarily a bad thing. Does it take risks? Not particularly, but for what the show is trying to accomplish, (Displaying the relationship between the main characters.) it is quite serviceable. Without spoiling too much, the show begins with a standard romantic, almost love at first sight affair, but quickly turns into a comedic tale about a yaoi relationship. The best part about all this, is that it is quite hilarious. The actual chemistry between the characters is almost more important than the story said chemistry is attempting to progress in the first place. Every scene attempts to have a funny moment, whether it be regarding the hilarity of Izumi's manga, or the conversations between him and Ryouma. So honestly, the story may be weak, but that may be the point.
Technically, the show is quite decent. Animation is quite solid here. Nothing to write home about, honestly, but character movements are crisp, and the palette is quite vibrant, adding much to the style of the show. (I mean, Izumi's eyes!) Keen eyed individuals would notice some shoddy art quality on occasion, such as inconsistent character drawings, but this is a nit-pick at worst. Regarding the soundtrack, I would not likely listen to the tracks outside of the show, but they do serve the show well. Songs play at the right times, while the tracks do not stand out, they certainly do fit well with the emotions a particular scene is trying to emanate. The OP, but SCREEN mode, fits in very well with the show. These guys are fairly new to the anime scene, and I do hope to hear them featured in more shows down the road. The ED is slightly less appealing to me, but still works quite well.
So yeah, Love Stage. This is the first yaoi show that I've every completed, and while I do not believe that I'll be actively searching for more in the genre, I would be lying if I say I did not enjoy this show. The show is only 10 episodes, and while the length did not hurt the show, I definitely believe that it would have slightly benefited from the extra two episodes, for developmental reasons which you will likely see. Nonetheless, I'd recommend it. Go watch it, you will invested in the characters, feel their emotions, and...yeah I still cant believe I watched a yaoi.
This is now one of my favourite animes, this is my first review so bare with me, I've never felt like writing one til i watched this anime. As a fan of yaoi/shounen ai this was a breath of fresh air as it's so hard to find decent animes in this genre because there are little to choose from and they're lacking in every department.
This is a -absolute must- watch for fans of the yaoi and shounen-ai, but also i would highly recommend it for those new to it and want to check it out, it would make a good starter into these genres
because it's quite cute, nice animation, likeable characters, good development in only 11 episodes and also it's quite tame when it comes to the sexual things compared to other ones like Junjou Romantica, yet it's still enough too excited about.
Izumi stared in a wedding commerical with Ryouma when they were younger and since then Ryouma has loved her..ahem him... ever since. Later they meet in a reunion commercial and Ryouma's love is releaved.. and so is Izumi's real gender, but that doesn't stop his love. And so Ryouma pursues Izumi. Izumi plays the Uke, he's very cute, and loveable i just wanted to squeeze him to bits. Ryouma as a famous actor I wasn't expecting him to be a such a lovable character. He was so sweet, caring and kind.. it was cute seeing what love does to him, he was the kind of guy I would want as my man. Overall I really liked them as a couple. The supporting charcaters were great aswell, especially Izumi's brother he's quite funny.
Though there's only 11 episodes I was worried no way that's enough and I'll be disappointed cause it will leave me hanging incomplete. But actually it developed further than I thought in such the short time it was nice. Unlike other romance animes you have to wait for 24+ episodes just for a confession or even a kiss. I was excited for each episode and how it'd progress next.
The art was nice and especially the detail in Izumi eyes, so pretty. Only bad thing was lets say Izumi is walking down the street.. he will be detailed and everything but all the background people are whited out figures like ghosts or something which was a bit lazy.
There's not really any music in the anime it'self other than the OP and ED, they're really catchy I would always sit through them, usually I skip through the Op and ED on animes and get straight to watching the anime.
Only downside was that Izumi is a hardout fan of a anime La la Lulu which i found a bit childish but it goes with his cute character but after awhile it was bit annoying, especially that La La Lulu alarm clock omg lol. But it effected the anime to where there were La La Lulu scenes.. some which toke minutes that I had to skip and I didn't see the point of myself and just wasted the screen time.
Make sure you watch the OVA aswell for a total of 11 episodes. Though i wish there was more - there's alot of potiental for 2nd season, though the 11 are still satisfying.
Overall don't miss out on this anime even if you don't watch shounen-ai, this is a good place to start especially if you're into the romance genre. I tend to watch only romance animes and the romance in this anime was great it got me excited and fangirling on the other side of the screen. So give it ago you won't regret it :)
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Love stage is a Shounen-ai anime. Most of the male population really won't enjoy this but it's mostly for girls. The anime is really good and was enjoyable with Comedy, Romance, Drama etc...
Story's pretty good. Izumi wants to become a manga artist. His family is in show biz and so they want him to enter the show biz world. Note that he is only in college. He is often mistaken for a girl because of his cute looks and such. Ryouma, our main male character number 2, mistook him for a girl when they had
to do a commercial when they were young. After meeting 10 years later, Ryouma still has feelings, even after finding out Izumi was a guy. Izumi struggles to draw manga. It gets rejected and gets into despair. I really like Izumi's character development through out the show. He slowly realizes his feelings for Ryouma and gets into show biz in the end.
Art - 8
Art is beautiful but there were times were the art was iffy but it's good overall.
I love the OP and END. There both really amazing and also the background music
Characters are great as well. A lot of development with Ryouma and Izumi. Shougo, Izumi's brother who is a musician, has some secret affair going on with Rei, the Sena family's manager. But no one really actually realizes it unless you really pay attention. Izumi's parents are side characters and so are his friends. Most characters get a development.
It was really enjoyable. It made me laugh. There was some sexual moments and they were steamy. The drama is good and they left us some cliffhangers. Romance is beautiful as well. Though no one knows Izumi and Ryouma are gay hehe.
Overall this anime is great. If you're a yaoi lover than give it a watch, you'll love it. If you're a guy and watch Yaoi then I also recommend it. It's not as amazing compared to Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, but it's close. There isn't a lot of intimate scenes, maybe few. Unlike most of them that are M ;)
So give it a watch, and I'm sure you will like it, unless you hate Yaoi dont bother watching.
As with any genre, yaoi/shounenai is often criticized by people who doesn't like it. Actually shounen ai (and shoujo ai too) is mostly the same as ANY romantic comedy anime out there, the only difference is that the main couple features homoromantic characters, which tends to scare off straight viewers.
The thing with "Love Stage!!", what makes it so special, it's that for some reason it seems to have broken that genre barrier, and a big part of their viewers are straight male people who don't usually watch shounenai/yaoi shows.
The premise of the story is very simple: Ryouma, a famous actor, fell
in love with a girl when he was a child and has been obsessed with her memory since then, and once he meets 'her' again, now as a young adult, he discovers 'she' was actually a him: Izumi, a clumsy otaku with a showbusiness family.
What makes it SO good is both the comedic value, because the story is tremendously HILARIOUS, and the characters itself, which are really very well developed in just a few episodes.
The art is pretty cool, nothing out of the "shoujo norm", but myself, i love the character design a lot. But i'm biased because i really love Zaou Taishi's drawing style.
So, i must say that if you are a fujoshi/fudanshi or a person who appreciates the genre just like me, this is a MUST watch.
If you are a viewer who usually doesn't like yaoi/shounenai, or you haven't watch one ever, i will give it a try. Odds are you are going to like it... and if not, at least it's worth the laughs.
Yaoi anime and Boys' Love (BL) anime are some of the most recognizable and popular genres in the medium. Have you ever wondered why they are mostly aimed at female audiences and what makes them so irresistible? Come to the dark side for a moment and peek into the magical world of BL fandom.