I have feelings about the latest Love Stage episode, and am concerned about the tone of the tumblr tag thus far. Guess I’ll wait until I’ve had a chance to watch the episode once or twice more.
Share with me cause I have some feelings too. I think I won’t go into the tag this week. It’s gonna make me really :| no matter what they are saying I’m sure.
I did a quick re-watch of the episode after work, and remembered things as I did, so these may be out of order…
What I enjoyed about episode 3:
- MamaRei making an appearance, even if it was only just in his waking Izumi up and picking out his outfit for the day.
- Continued beautiful animation and the little bits they’ve included that weren’t part of the manga
- Kuroi (adore his seiyuu, Kimura Ryouhei) making another appearance, hearing him speak (and wishing we got a cute dj from EE&ZT about him)
- Ryouma’s falling apart on set, while bad for him, was a bit amusing to see.
- All the EE/ZT character inserts (always).
- That they didn’t shy away from showing Ryouma assaulting Izumi (tho this is also a negative in a way; see below), since it’s needed to understand the evolution of their relationship.
What I didn’t enjoy about episode 3:
- Daigo’s performance seemed particularly off in this episode, but I’m trying not to let that get to me too much. Waiting until the end of the series to hear what he sounds like when he’s “better” doesn’t seem like a good enough bandaid, though, since it’ll only be 2-3 eps of what they consider his ‘better’ to be.
- The depiction of Ryouma’s struggle between heart and reality was appreciated and nice to see, and we know it happens for a bit longer, but SEEING it and HEARING it, the way he wheedles his way into the Sena household, his plans, and what follows… just seemed more…something—devious?—versus reading it.
- Shougo’s rage-y fire scene and what they did to his voice, which kind of ended up highlighting Daigo’s faults even more.
- Seeing the entire assault scene, where the comedy seems a bit bloated to take the edge off of what happens, just squicks me out more than it did when I was reading the same scene. Between animation and hearing them vocalize what’s happening, I guess it just made it more real? And to see so many posts in the tag seemingly glorifying the scene (everything between simple screenshots of the scene, people enjoying it and sharing how cute Izumi was, how they don’t blame Ryouma for wanting to get that, etc), I just…had to stop reading through the tag.
- The weird way they chose to censor what Ryouma does to Izumi; the pink kira-kira replacement seemed like a way to romanticize the act, despite our knowing that the manga doesn’t write it off like that. They obviously can’t show too much, but I’d probably feel differently if they maybe used a color more associated with something bad, gross, or evil, even if Ryouma isn’t necessarily a bad kid. It’s very different seeing it acted out versus reading it, and I think the type of censorship they chose actually insinuates enough of a “he just can’t help himself; izumi’s gorgeous even when he’s crying and pleading no” feeling that explains some of the reactions I’ve seen so far to the scene, even if Izumi’s actions next seen are ones where he’s in hiding and he’s clearly upset by what happened to him. I don’t know; this is a difficult time in the manga too, so the anime is obviously going to experience some of the same bumps—likely more so, given the medium.
I haven’t edited these any for clarification or improved wording/structure, so hopefully I got my thoughts across in a way that makes sense.