Convenience Store Boy Friends Review

Two friends fall in love with two female classmates. Their stories will span an entire year.

Pretty much nonexistent here. Not even nose bleeds. There is a character death off screen, but nothing scary is shown.

Another tame sector. Outside of sh-t and the occasional d-mn, nothing to report here.

Yet again, tame stuff. Nothing worse than bare man chests for swimming are seen. No fanservice at all, really. And I won’t lie, it was nice.

Outside of one character making good luck charms for her classmates, nothing to put here.

Personal impression:
By all rights I could have marked this as an all ages show, but I’m erring on the side of caution due to the serious content, which isn’t kid centered stuff. And, yes, that does mean that this title drags a bit in places. The combination of serious tonality with a lack of any firm plot means we get a decent amount of aimlessness, at least at first we do. However, I found this show to be surprisingly grounded for a drama. The relationships actually make sense a decent amount of the time. So aside from a “plot twist” at the end, everything that happens is completely within the realm of possibility. In turn this made the emotional pull a bit stronger for me. I prefer logic to the over-the-top grandeur some shows are so addicted to these days.
All that said, overall this is still a pretty bland show. It has some decent ideas, but applied them in such a laidback manner that little gets done overall and some plot points just straight up get forgotten in the mix.
The animation reflects the tone well, decent enough at times but lacking in consistent quality, especially at the end where production takes a rather sharp drop (still backgrounds in place of moving animation, for example). The music is also all over the map, going from rather nice soft piano and violin to strange arcade-like music you’d find in Harvest Moon (I’d swear that was the “going into town in spring” theme).
Overall, this isn’t a bad show. But it was definitely rushed and likely a fuller title meant to waste time between higher grade shows rather than actually contribute anything new to the genre.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Romance, drama
Production: Studio Pierrot
Company: Dentsu Tech/BS TBS
Official streaming: crunchyroll


Love Lab Review

Riko never meant to walk in on that embarrassing scene. She really didn’t. But after it’s done, she can’t back out of it. She saw the much admired, beautiful, graceful, kind, council president Maki practicing making out with a weird body pillow in the club room. No doubt about it. There’s no way her life will ever be boring again. Not when she has to pretend she’s a heartbreaker and lead the way for a group of romantically challenged girls to practice “being in love.”

There’s really no violence in this show aside from slap stick and one or two nose bleeds. That’s it.

We’re pretty light in this area too, actually. D-mns and such, but nothing too heavy.

Oddly enough, we’re spared the usual cheap shots. Mostly. We still have jokes on chest size and misunderstandings about “doing it.” And there’s one scene where a young boy bumps into one of his female classmates from… behind. Down and behind… Yep. And there’s that one brother who has the weirdest ideas about what’s attractive and says strange stuff. But, frankly speaking, there’s nothing in this show to worry too much about. We never see anything, not even a bath scene.
Ah, also quite a few girls get heart-eyed (that’s totally a thing in anime) over their student council members due to their popularity. There’s no official romantic tilt to it, but it might be weird to anime newcomers.

Aside from some visual jokes where Maki tries to look attractive, but goes too far and looks scary, nothing supernatural or religious is discussed.

Personal impression:
This show really surprised me. I mean, the art is mediocre, the character designs plain and the music isn’t memorable in the slightest. Plus the story is really straight forward and predictable. And yet I enjoyed watching this show!
Simply put, while the story and characters aren’t exactly Shakespeare, they are well crafted enough to be one thing: entertaining. Heck, one scene actually made me emotional. Not an easy feet.
While their designs and personalities are rather plain, the dialog is snappy enough in the comic department to remain funny as well as true to each character, and the members are all just crazy enough to make it interesting to see what they would do next, even if you knew well in advance where the plot is turning.
The only downside (if the art level and music aren’t counted), would be a lack of real character development. We get a little bit here and there, but not all that much really. Mainly just the plot point of Riko’s lies are addressed. Maki still can’t function around guys and all the girls in the club are no closer to being functioning relationship potentials. So the whole series felt like more of a single arc than a complete story. Seeing as this is a recent show, there’s a chance a second season might be in the works. But maybe not considering how low the views on this show are currently.
If you like light comedy with a sprinkle of heart on the side, this is a fun show to watch. But like so many shows from the last streaming season, don’t hold your breath for everything to wrap up.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: n/a
Genre(s): Comedy, romance
Company: Dentsu
Legal streaming: Crunchyroll
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