Love Lab ep12: it’s not my fault I’m not popular- oh wait! Wrong show!
It turns out that the Newspaper Association has a bang up plan for helping the student council with their love research and advice. They demonstrate that through the power of their newsletters and the stories with fictional characters, they can address the pressing love questions without getting exposed. Though Yuiko raises a valid concern, she doesn’t believe it’s a fair deal for the Newspaper Associaton because it exposes them so much, with so little in the way of benefits. And it is true that they’ve also caused the student council quite a bit of trouble. But the rebuttal is that the Newspaper Association was trying to prove their worth, and have done so successfully. And while they admit that they would like to become a real club with a healthy budget, they’re willing to take the risk. Unfair as it may be.
The focus begins to shift towards Riko after the Newspaper Association leaves and everyone decides to trust in them. Riko’s guilt is starting to build up. And that night at cram school, she unleashes those frustrations on Masaomi, the guy who has given Maki so much trouble up to this point. And through their conversation she finds out that Masaomi genuinely does like Maki. She also figures out that with Maki now scheduled to regularly work at her cram school, she has not choice but to come clean. After all, with all those guys in the class, she’ll be exposed in no time. She decides to take the ultra coward’s route and silence Satoshi and Masaomi before she’s too late and exposed.
That’s not gonna happen.
As Riko and Maki separate, Riko goes to find her targets, but is rather unsuccessful. One reason why is because Satoshi is actually in the headmaster’s room waiting for him to return, just like Maki. And as is usual when Maki comes across guys in the wild, she freaks the hell out. Satoshi catches on that she’s not very good with guys, and despite the fact that Maki just CAN’T STOP bringing up Riko rejecting him, he finds it refreshing to be treated like one of the guys for once.
Satoshi is able to strike up a conversation with her, and is on the cusp of exposing Riko when Maki flashes that amazing look of admiration at the mention of her best friend’s name…
Not much later, Satoshi runs into Riko who is mortified to hear that he’s exposed her. She begins to run off with tears in her eyes to apologize to Maki, when Satoshi stops her to confess that he was just kidding.
He most certainly deserved that dose of physical violence.
Moving on, Maki finally gets in touch with the headmaster and Masaomi, who is especially competitive after having his crush exposed in front of Riko. Plus, I don’t believe he cares to be called Jan by Riko or Maki. He wastes little time in telling Maki that she should make preparations to move to another school when she finds out just how advanced the class really is. Though he’s brutally struck down when the headmaster realizes just how advanced Maki really is.
HA! SUCK IT MASAOMI!
All sorts of trouble starts getting started when the headmaster realizes that Maki is friends with Riko and starts talking about how much Masaomi helped her study for her school entrance exams. And even though Masaomi is clearly pissed off at the headmaster’s misconceptions about him and Riko, Maki starts having one of her delusions. Given the false knowledge of Riko’s background that she’s been given by Riko herself, she sees Masaomi as a jilted, ignored secret admirer with a twisted personality. The look of sympathy in her eyes only further incites Masaomi’s rage (he sure has a lot of rage for a nerd). He throws Maki’s pity back at her, finally exposing Riko to her. But it’s actually a wasted effort. Though he thinks he’s gone too far, Maki has actually overthought things, believing that Masaomi’s vast intelligence allowed him to read her weakness (her relationship with Riko) and use it to hurt her. She actually soaks up the blow amazingly well, and politely tells him that doing such things is a waste of his intelligence, before excusing herself. Out in the hallway, she finds Riko, grabs her and tells her of her horrible ordeal. Looks like she didn’t absorb the blow that well after all. She cries to Riko, who in the end never does tell her her secret.
The next day, things are back to business, as Maki informs the rest of the student council of her plans for the Newspaper Association. This plan involves putting up their accomplices in the student council storeroom under the guise of editing the student council’s own newsletter. As for the distribution, Sayori says that they should have the recipients write down their class and a statement, making them accomplices as well.
In the end, Riko and Maki find themselves sitting alone outside, recovering from some more stupid love research (or training). There Riko finally stands up and confesses her complete lack of love experience to Maki – and then properly, promptly withdraws it!!! Riko! YOu @%^@&%!! Much later, after having being chewed out again for her hair ties, Riko leaves school and runs into an old friend of her’s, Miko. Miko knows all aobut Riko’s complete lack of love experience and says so during her conversation. That’s when they notice that Maki’s right behind them. Riko wonders if Maki overheard their conversation, but Maki just laughs about the part they mentioned about her sense of responsibility. She then says she’s gonna run to the student council room, and Riko says she’ll follow, but it’s clear from looking at Maki’s face, that she’s hurt.
End of episode.
Well it’s clear that Maki finally knows, and it’s just about on schedule. We all knew this was coming. It’s the classic set up where a person with a good heart has to live a lie until they’re exposed, then they have to be forgiven based on their good deeds and more importantly, on the strength of their relationships. We all knew this day was coming, and I don’t doubt Riko will be forgiven, it’s just a matter of how she will be forgiven. It’s a silly set-up that I usually hate, but because I’ve enjoyed the show and the setup so much (much like Bakemonogatari), that I don’t mind its sins. I do love how all of this is coming to a satisfying and unifying conclusion though.
As for how we got to this point in this episode, i had a lot of fun seeing Masaomi being upstaged. Just off of his intelligence, he seems to enjoy lording over other quite greatly and easily. It’s nice to see Maki’s combination of hard work and talent know him down a peg. I will say that I’m surprised that things worked out this well for Riko up to this point. Her lie is an easily exposed one, it’s just that a combination of circumstances have allowed her to live this lie far past its expiration date. I just hope that when this final episode does air, it doesn’t over play the lie, as if it’s some huge betrayal. It was merely a misconception that Riko ran with, and the strength of everyone’s friendships should more than overcome that.