Love Lab ep11: you can’t put on airs forever
The girls of Love Lab spent quite a bit of time faffing about in the last episode, but it appears that they’re ready to get down to business now. So Riko is put to work getting information for one of the requests they’ve yet to fulfill. It’s a vague question about what kind of hair style guys at a certain school like. It’s obviously something that differs from person to person, but Riko’s gonna have to find some sort of specifics to plug into the answer. She’s been forced to regularly go to a cram school as of late, because of her terrible grades. So she likely won’t have issue with finding a guy from that specific school to question. It’s just too bad for her that it happens to be the guy she’s been feuding with for the past few episodes.
Ironically, the answer to Riko’s query is – Maki! It seems that ruthless girls have overpopulated and Maki’s calm inviting demeanor and silky, long black hair are quite in fashion these days. That shocking bit of good news doesn’t linger in the air for long, as Riko upsets Nagi and they begin fighting again. Que sera, sera.
When Riko reports back her favorable findings to the student council, Maki goes crazy (or crazier) with joy. The news overloads her with hope and excitement, and later that evening she begins drawing up elaborate and ridiculous (or just plain stupid) ideas for meeting and attracting boys. Her mother comes across this book and is understandably disturbed by what she reads. Her reaction is much better than I anticipated though. She petitions her husband to send Maki to a cram school to learn to interact with the opposite sex and so that she may better adjust to reality. She’s understandably worried that her daughter is so social inept that any smooth talking guy could get a hold of her. The request is granted, and Maki is happily sent to a cram school by her father.
Once they arrive there, we see that her tutoring partner will actually be Masaomi, the very same guy who called her stupid and who she interacted so badly with earlier in the show. And their second meeting goes just as badly as the first, as Maki freaks out for reasons I nor Masaomi can understand. She runs through the building yelling and looking for Riko, all the while capturing the heart of each and every guy she runs across until they meet. There, she tells Riko of her horrible experience, making Masaomi look like a cad. And when she mentions that she may have been better off if she were as cool and popular as Riko, Nagi hears and begins to question Riko, who promptly punches him in the stomach. I actually don’t feel bad about this overreaction towards violence. Nagi strikes me as a bit of a sensitive punk, so his need to be a sensitive jerk needed to be punished at some point. In the end, everyone ends up leaving that day feeling awful.
We flash forward to a scene the next day, where Riko’s having an in-class nightmare about being exposed to Maki about her lack of relationship experience. The teacher catches her sleeping in class of course and give her a stern lecture after class. Like all the other teachers before her, she scolds Riko using Maki as a reference for the model student. And just as Riko returns to the student council room thinking about how perfect Maki is, she opens the door to find her friend crestfallen and near comatose on the couch.
Maki’s sour because Matsuomi was the first guy to call her by her first name. Riko tells her that it’s no big deal, but is rejected when she’s told that she doesn’t know how such a situation would feel because she’s already popular and has tons of experience with guys. Heh. But Maki does calm down when she (and Riko at the same time) realizes that Nagi has been calling her by her first name this whole time. It’s just one more thing to make Riko feel terrible.
Eventually, we get back around to the problem of the love requests after Maki stops fantasizing and scaring everyone with her newest hair-brained schemes for attracting guys with her wavy hair. The answer has apparently been staring them in the face the whole time. Well, maybe not so much staring in the face, and more spying on them at every corner. It’s the Newspaper Association. Does the name Love Lab News sound good to you guys?
End of episode.
If she’s having nightmares in class, it certainly seems that the pressure and guilt is getting to Riko. Not only is she left constantly struggling to keep up and fit in at this school that she’s barely able to keep afloat academically in; but she also has the pressure of living up to her friends’ expectations. And then there’s the stressful situation she has with her childhood friend who she can’t seem to stop punching or fighting. She’s bound to crack eventually. Yes, I’m saying that Riko’s gonna be the next one to crack and shed tears, that is unless her friends are able to realize the truth in time.
This episode was reasonably funny, though I finding that more and more of the laughs are being attributed to Maki than ever. She’s truly the king of laughs for this show, and we can thank that overprotectiveness from her parents for her being such a spastic goofball.
The only thing I’m left wondering now is how much longer are they going to take before they address the issues they have before them. A few episodes ago, when they got buried with all these love questions, they were all worried and frazzled about being able to make everyone happy, and doing it promptly. Now the characters don’t even seem much more than inconvenienced in the most minor of ways. Oh well, two episodes to go! Don’t disappoint me Love Lab, I want to experience feeling when this series ends, don’t waste all your time on being goofy and random.