Love stage is the perfect into anime to the queer anime community even if you aren’t sure you’re a part of it.
After years of idolizing a girl, he met on a film when they were children Ryoma finally is able to meet up with her again only to learn Izumi is actually a boy. From there on the story revolves around both guys relationship with each other and their identity.
For the most part, the story is based around character development but there are several well-developed subplots that rear their head. Izumi if forced into several situations where he has to ‘grown up and face the real world’. While it definitely isn’t the most original plot it does fill the slice of life genera nicely with what the community expects of it.
While the entire plot is based on the character development of Izumi and Ryoma all the rest of the characters fall flat.
Izumi is the most developed of all with hobbies, goals, and passions. We also get a decent look at his background throughout the show.
Ryoma has most of his development early in the anime. It would have been nice to see more of his background (possibly a hint of him being gay before).
Unfortunately, All the other characters are underdeveloped and primary act as plot movers instead of as people.
Izumi’s parents are in and out of the picture regularly as flat characters with little empathy.
Though there is the slightest bit of development with his older brother and caretaker hinted at through the show nothing obvious comes to fruition until the last episode (and is expanded on in the OVA)
The art, however, is beautiful. I love the way the characters express themselves. The animation is fairly realistic and doesn’t take many risks. (Well except when bodies are turned to clouds for censorship sake).
This anime has a lot going for it. From being what the audience is looking for to being another ‘turning gay’ story it definitely delivers on all fronts of fangirling. Its well-developed subplots make up for the generally flat characters.
Its major flaws are as said above, the side characters, and the general falling into category.
Overall I’d give it 8/10