Love Stage!!: Episode 3 – “If Only It Had All Been a Dream”

Love Stage!! features an otaku named Izumi Sena who was born into a showbiz family. While his family wants him to go into entertainment, Izumi dreams of becoming a manga artist. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the talent that would be needed to pursue his dream. 10 years ago, Izumi found himself placed into a commercial his parents were involved in when a little girl cast for the commercial couldn’t make it, and he was dressed up as a girl. His co-star in that commercial was Ichijo Ryoma, who has gone on to become a very popular actor. When an offer to participate in a 10th anniversary commercial comes up, Izumi is forced to dress up as a girl again to reprise his role. It turns out that Ichijo fell in love with his co-star 10 years earlier, thinking Izumi was a girl.

At the beginning of Episode Three, Izumi discovers that he still has the glass marble that Ichijo lent him as a good luck charm. He also discovers there’s a crack in it. Unfortunately, Izumi loses his grip on it, and the marble breaks some more. Rei tells him to find a glass marble that looks like Ichijo’s and try to act guiltless when giving it to him.

We see Ichijo going onto a set, and that there’s a little girl who is part of the scene. The girl makes him think of Izumi 10 years earlier when he was dressed as a girl for the commercial, and it distracts him. He also finds himself thinking of Izumi.

Ichijo goes to Izumi’s house saying he’s there to get the good-luck charm back. Izumi’s parents and Rei are headed out to a party, but Ichijo is told he can stay and wait for Izumi to get back. Rei sends Izumi a text to tell him to hurry home because Ichijo is waiting for him.

When Izumi gets home, he shows the broken marble to Ichijo and apologizes. Ichijo removes Izumi’s glasses and finds that his heart still skips a beat when he sees Izumi’s face. He chases Izumi to make him strip down, thinking that seeing Izumi is a guy will make him put his feelings of the past 10 years aside. When Ichijo succeeds, he sees Izumi crying and asking him to stop. Ichijo seems to be attracted to Izumi’s pretty face, because he starts becoming rather romantic. Fortunately, Shogo arrives and bashes Ichijo on the top of his head to make him stop.

Now, was it just me, or did this scene between Izumi and Ichijo bother anyone else? I wasn’t bothered by the fact that this scene featured two guys. In fact, it would have bothered me just as much if this scene had taken place between Ichijo and a female character. Honestly, if Shogo hadn’t come at just the right moment, Ichijo could have potentially raped Izumi. And that would not have been cool at all. But it still wasn’t cool how far Ichijo had managed to get before Shogo’s interference. Hopefully there won’t be too many scenes like this in the remaining episodes of Love Stage!!

And is it just me, or does Shogo come across as a bit of whiner, especially in his interactions with Rei? For a guy who leads a rock band, he sure can be whiny! He also came across as being a little too fixated on how cute his little brother looks.

Right at the end of the episode, Shogo and Ichijo are scheduled to appear on the same program together. Shogo’s ready to take on Ichijo for what he did to Izumi, but gets a shock when Ichijo starts calling him “big brother,” cries, and asks Shogo for help. How is Shogo going to handle this situation, I wonder?

From what was seen in Episode Three, it appears that Ichijo may have developed an interest in Izumi. I hesitate to say feelings at this point, because it was obviously lust that fueled what happened at Izumi’s house. But if Ichijo really does develop feelings for Izumi, he’s going to have to keep that hidden somehow in order to protect his career since his primary fanbase consists of girls who see him as a heartthrob.

Outside of the scene where Ichijo tries to attack Izumi, I did enjoy this episode of Love Stage!! The possibilities of where this story could go are fascinating, so I’m going to keep watching this series to see how it will progress.

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