Home > Check-in Station > Check-in Station: Blood Lad & Love Lab ep1

Check-in Station: Blood Lad & Love Lab ep1

I’m getting buried here. And I’m really starting to wish some of these shows aired 3 months or six months earlier, when I didn’t have much to watch, or there wasn’t so much competition.  Here are two shows that I took a peek at to see if I could my already swollen queue.  Here goes Blood Lad and Love Lab.  Yeah, I’m totally not gonna screw up these titles at all.

Blood Lad seems like an interesting show, but unfortunately it reminds me how badly I need to finish Blue Exorcist. (Why have I not finished Blue Exorcist?!)

The distractions from my ballooning anime queue aside, it’s got an interesting premise and setting. The show stars Staz, a vampire, but it seems to have no interest in wallowing in vampire lore, cliche or standards. Instead the show is focused on how Staz is so obsessively distracted by human life and culture, specifically otaku culture. It’s here that rolled my eyes, because I don’t find the subject of speaking through the audience through references and pandering particularly creative or interesting. It’s been done by so many shows that even references I generally enjoy, I just nod my head at now. And that I did regularly during this show. That’s not to say there wasn’t stuff I enjoyed.

For a lazy slacker, Staz is holding onto an impressive amount of power. I loved his little attack where he (psychically?) grabs his opponent’s heart and rips it to shreds! Also, he seems to not be a totally sh*tty person, which if he was wouldn’t be all that bad or surprising considering the fact that he’s a boss in the chaotic demon world. I can’t imagine anything but a dearth of great, caring personalities coming from this environment.

His sidekick/costar is this girl named Fuyumi, who appears to be very, very unfortunate to not only find herself wondering into the demon world, the place of no humans, but to also get herself killed in the first episode! It’s a decent excuse for nudity, since the creature that killed her apparently is very efficient at stripping the flesh from a body, but won’t digest cotton or bones. And thus we get to the whole point of this show. The plant has killed Staz’s prized treasure, a LIVE human being. And now that Fuyumi is a ghost, he holds no attraction for her whatsoever. In a strange way, (and boy is this show strange) this displays Staz’s finer points, as we see he genuinely cares about resurrecting his new ghost cohort. Now whether he’s doing this out of a sense of curiousity, duty, primal desire, or a combination of all of this isn’t crystal clear. but he does have a nice ambitious goal in mind.

The only barriers to that are his ignorance and probably his obsession with the human world which he finds himself with the opportunity to visit at the end of the episode.

It’s a shame that I don’t think I’m going to be interested in this show though. I’ll give it points for creativity, and a good sense insanity that makes most anime fun to watch and unique. But I just don’t like looking at the anime as a whole, parts of it feel too bright and washed out. I don’t really care for any of the characters, despite some of the nice fanservice and my love of “rounder” characters in my anime. So I can’t see Staz and Fuyumi, or their somewhat abusive relationship being a good enough reason for me to come back and continue watching this show. The sad thing is, I still liked it more than C3-bu and it’s already taken up one valuable spot. Maybe if another show I pick up truly sucks by the five episode point, I’ll consider picking this up, but I’m not holding out hope for that just yet.

Oh how I miss having a good funny yuri show to watch. I know it’s a very specific, niche thing, but Sasameki Koto made me desire that niche experience regardless. And I went into Love Lab thinking this may be that show…

NO! No it is not! This clearly only a tease of yuri, which would only annoy me at the least, and infuriate me on a bad day. Hell, I really had not plans to even give it a shot after that. But nothing’s set in stone. And certain factors can change opinions quickly and dramatically. The factor for Love Lab that saved it? It’s actually pretty funny!

The show of Love Lab revolves around two main characters, Riko Kurahashi, the nicknamed “Wild One”. And Natsuo Maki, the student council president, and all around top student in the entire school. So in essence, this is the story of the rebel, and society’s darling coming together for some awkward girl on girl comedy.

This show (or at least its first episode) really surprised me. I expected a little comedy, but more of the witty dialogue heavy kind of comedy. What I actually got was a rather sharp, physical type of comedy. One that revolves around sudden physical punch lines, and some situational ones, as opposed to actual punch lines to a joke. And the real kicker is that it mostly comes from Natsuo, the shy perfect student. She’s just so awkward and quirky in the safety of Riko’s presence, that she really carries the show, and that leaves the wild Riko as the sort of “straight man” in this comedy duo. Natsuo does something stupid, or hears reacts strangely to something Riko says or does, and Riko is left to react or punish her for the activity. I make it sound so basic because it is, and because it works. We know so little, and have so little expectations for Natsuo, that every reaction or idea of hers comes as a sucker punch to the senses.

I think the concept of the show, Riko teaching Natsuo stuff about catching a man, and them acting out various scenarios can become tired after awhile, so it’s nice to see that there are other characters coming soon. The problem I have with most anime comedies is that they’re very hit or miss, and can be very subjective. Also, I don’t tolerate a show that’s funny, but only half or some of the time. It’s reason why I dropped Nichijou. Some of it was brilliant, but for the most part I didn’t laugh as much as you would expect for a comedy. I’m very conflicted, because why I really did enjoy watching this episode, I’m not sure how long my enjoyment will last. How long can this show be so funny? And will I get tired of the girl-love teasing? I can’t say for sure I’ll be picking this series up, but being on the fence is still better than being dropped or ignored.

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