Both this and your initial analysis are thoughtful and well stated. You needn’t worry about overrating the show, it’s really great from concept through execution.
An overarching theme is that all these young women, in their attempts to figure out romantic relationships, actually build authentic friendships—something that’s more valuable than romance anyway. I follow Miyahara-Sama’s Twitter, always hoping for the announcement of another season…
I feel so validated!
But yeah, Love Lab’s great and it’s one of only a handful of shows that I think both deserves a second season and would actually benefit from one.
Most shows of this type are episodic comedy so another season would just be more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Except, Love Lab was different in that characters, relationships, and situations actually evolved and progressed. Things actually happen in Love Lab and it’s one of the reasons I loved it so much.
The end of the first season was setting up the cram school as a legitimate setting. Yan and Nagi were starting to get fleshed out as characters and Maki’s now enrolled in the cram school as well. I haven’t haven’t read the comics myself (I’m pretty sure it’s mostly untranslated), but it’s my understanding that the next “arc” actually does involve the cram school characters.
Anyway, yeah. Love Lab’s great and I hope it gets a second season.
Honestly, I thought the second season as a whole was... superfluous. It doesn't really add anything as the story was wrapped up in the first season. In S1 you go along a path of development between Yuuta and Rikka. In S2... Yuuta rejects Worst Gril and nothing really else happens. Also, they needed more of Isshiki. Finally, the novels didn't have Touka so there is literally no reason to read them
I’ve only watched the first season, and I wasn’t exactly chomping at the bit for another one. The first season was a pretty complete story as is, plus for old shows I only download the first season and then later seasons only if I think it’s worth it after watching it.
I keep forgetting to mention Kumin and Ishikki when I talk about the show, but that’s only because so much stuff overshadows them. I loved Ishikki’s bro moments and the Kumin’s interactions with everyone. Like everybody else, they were pushed aside for the heavy focus on Utah and Rikka in the second half.
I just checked though, rallymodeller piqued my interest, for what’s after the first season. Turns out there’s Lite, the OVAs, the second Lite series I think, the movies (was it really this popular?), and then I think there’s the second season after all that plus more Lite? Man this series has a lot more material to it than I thought.
To be honest the two seasons of Chuu2Byou would have been better as one 26-episode anime. Nibutani gets some largish character development in the second season, and the relationship between her and her enemy/follower Sanae is expanded greatly — and the reason there is no Yuuta-Nibutani relationship is explained. Also, Kumin sees some more time, we meet the girl partly responsible for Yuuta’s own eighth-grade syndrome (Satone), and Tooka makes a return. All in all it is a very satisfying second season.
Nibutani and Dekomori was actually something I wanted to say but the post was getting long enough and I spent like a quarter of it talking about Nibutani already.
Thinking about it, the tone shift could probably have been helped if the whole thing was spaced out over a season twice as long. I don’t know what happens in season 2 (or even when it takes place) but the last few episodes were definitely rushed.
I really liked the parallels between Yuuta/Rikki and Nibutani/Dekomori. It’s another way that the two of them are really similar. The lack of Nibutani and Dekomori scenes was sorely missed in the second half.
That Dekomori was an anime exclusive character was a bit of a surprise. She adds a lot to the group dynamic because unlike Rikka she really is just a kid with an overactive imagination.
It’s more the out of fiction writer’s decision to not make Nibutani the romantic interest that I wonder about. I just think that having her be the romantic interest as a side plot, with Rikka’s own problems still being the central conflict, might have been an interesting route to pursue. There’s a lot of material to work with between the two.
I guess it’s just my personal preference in not liking romance be the central focus (it became an integral part of the story at the end of Chuuni) and prefer it being a natural feeling side plot. I hate to bring up Hyouka again, but to me that’s doing it right. It was something that happened with the characters naturally as the story and events go on.
In one sentence, it’s better than I thought, but worse than I hoped.
It’s one of those popular shows that I see people argue about pretty commonly so it’s hard to ignore. I never really cared much for watching it but between a recent comment from a friend and becoming increasingly curious about how KyoAni followed up Hyouka, I ended up watching it.
Like Yuru Yuri, I don’t think Chuuni is worth dissecting into several lengthy posts like I did several times with Hyouka. So instead, below is just a bullet point list of thoughts on the show:
Utah has good taste. He has posters of the Bell X-1 and the very interesting NF-104 experiment in his room. He’s also apparently very knowledgeable of the Mauser C96 and Luger.
While scrubbing through the series for screengrabs, I noticed that the camera angles weren’t as dynamic as Hyouka.
There are more than a few shots in which Utah frowns where he is a dead-ringer for Oreki from Hyouka, albeit in a more cartoony style.
"Equal opportunity" slapstick. I am always a big fan of this. Nobody is immune to being smacked for saying something stupid.
There is a lot of second hand embarrassment in the first half of the show that I found more relatable than I wish I did.
The show makes a drastic shift in tone and focus halfway through so complete, it makes the first half feel like a completely different show from the second.
I found the first half of the show more enjoyable.
Rikka goes from just a weird and delusional kid to broken in a very serious and real life way. It’s a jarring shift from the way the first half of the show presents itself.
Episode 10 completely glosses over a very important scene.
With the second to last episode, I was starting to wonder if they were going to attempt a fairly realistic and mature story about growing up.
Chuuni was starting to feel really grown up in the penultimate episode, almost cynically so. All I could think was that there was no way they were going to pull this off and follow through.
The ending was better than I thought it would be, but not as good as I’d hoped. It honestly felt like a bit of a cop out after the previous episode, but that’s me looking at it from a writer’s perspective. In-universe it technically works and I can understand how it could happen but still, I would have done it differently.
Nibutani feels woefully under-utilized, especially for the second half. She has a lot of personality and is easily my favorite of the side characters.
Speaking of which, I often see discussion of how the show might have been different if she was the love interest instead of Rikka. Without going into details, I think that could have been a really interesting show.
Nibutani and Utah are very similar in a lot of respects that could have made a really fun story, which is why I think the prospect of her being the lead instead of Rikka is so interesting.
At the end of the day, is it good? Well, it’s not bad, but it’s not especially good either. It’s competently made, but the drastic shift in focus halfway through really threw me off. It’s the long term story and writing decisions that I think that hurt the show more than technicalities in the characters or episode to episode writing. I wonder if it’s just a problem that stems from the source material.
Still, it was enjoyable for the most part and it certainly has it’s moments. I liked it, but I wouldn’t say it’s something you should go out of you way to watch if you missed it two years ago.
I don’t care much for Jingles as a World of Tanks player, but hearing a middle aged man talk about how great Girls und Panzer is fills my heart with joy.
Also he’s totally right that one of the best and most overlooked aspects of Girls und Panzer is the almost complete lack of typical anime fanservice. Girls und Panzer’s fanservice is instead spent on the tanks themselves and I have so much respect for the show and its director for keeping the animators in check.
I made this blog so that I had somewhere to dump personal stuff.
Most of what you're going to see here as of late is military aircraft or space sim related. Star Citizen has ushered in a sort of space sim renaissance and I'm loving every minute of it. I'm even working on my own for fun while I wait for the likes of Enemy Starfighter and Limit Theory.
I'm currently in the middle of translating Flight Highschool, a Korean series of comics by anyan. It's about cute fighter jets doing cute things.