Love Stage!!: Episode 5 – “Just A Little”

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.

Episode Five sees Izumi staying up late, trying to get his entry for the Kadoyama Manga Grand Prize done in time to submit it by the deadline. Unfortunately, this means he’s falling asleep in class. Later, his classmate and fellow member of the Manga Research Club tells Izumi that his phone beeped several times in class while he was asleep. Izumi checks and sees that he has 27 new texts, all of which are from Ichijo.

I definitely called it in my write-up for Episode Four that Ichijo would be texting Izumi like crazy after getting his number. It’s so ridiculous how Ichijo texts Izumi every little bit of his schedule, everything he’s eaten, and stuff like that. Unfortunately, he tried blocking Ichijo once, and Ichijo ended up texting to Shogo and Rei saying that Izumi was acting oddly. Ichijo definitely needs to learn some self-restraint!

Izumi’s horrified to learn from reading the texts that Ichijo got some free time and has found out where he’s going to be next at the college. Izumi rushes to the club room and finds Ichijo waiting for him. Izumi is forced to concoct a story that Ichijo is a very distant relative who’s a shut-in otaku that wants to see what a manga club is like.

During this scene, Izumi ends up showing Ichijo his entry for the contest. Unfortunately, love (or maybe in this case, lust) appears to make him blind, because instead of seeing badly drawn manga, Ichijo sees it as modern art. Ichijo tells Izumi that it looks artsy and fantastic. I just sat there thinking, “Ichijo, quit giving this kid false hopes about his talent. There’s no way this would be anywhere near good enough for the contest.”

Then the story moves ahead to the point where there’s only two days left before the deadline. As Izumi estimates how much time it would take him to finish, he starts feeling defeated because there’s no way to get it done in time. Izumi comes up with the idea of having an assistant, but he thinks that the other three guys in the Manga Research Club aren’t able to help him for one reason or another. Just then, Izumi gets a text for Ichijo saying he’ll have his first day off in a while the next day. Out of desperation, Izumi asks Ichijo for help.

Ichijo comes over late that night, and the two of them work all day on the entry. Ichijo makes mistakes along the way, but Izumi isn’t bothered and simply tells Ichijo how to fix it. After they finish, Izumi collapses from exhaustion. Ichijo lays Izumi on his bed, and decides to kiss him while he’s sleeping. Izumi’s so zonked that he doesn’t wake up when Ichijo kisses him. Ichijo gets a frantic call from his manager, saying the company president is furious and wants to see Ichijo immediately. Ichijo says he’ll go, but then he starts thinking with the wrong head and keeps heading over to Izumi and kissing him over and over. This scene definitely made Ichijo come off as rather self-centered. Even though his manager calls him in a panic and makes it clear that the company president is pissed off, he’s more interested in sneaking kisses with Izumi rather than doing something that could be important for his career.

Right at the end of the episode, the audience gets to see why the company president is upset: he has pictures of Ichijo and Izumi together from a scene that took place back in Episode Three.

Oh, Ichijo. You’re really starting to mess up your career now, aren’t you? I imagine Episode Six is going to see him getting reamed pretty badly by the company president.

Izumi is starting to think better of Ichijo, but only because he considers Ichijo to be the first fan of his manga and is grateful that Ichijo was willing to help him out when he needed it. Unfortunately for Izumi, Ichijo has ulterior motives for what he’s doing.

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