Finally we get the whole student council assembled. The question is, does the complete group work? – Well, not in the sense of getting any actual student council work done – but in terms of comedy? Yes and no.
After three episodes I had significant concerns about whether our group of three turned five would be able to keep up the comedy or whether they would just get in each other’s way. Early returns on this front are mixed. Let’s start with the good. Sayo’s place in the new student council became apparent as soon as Maki and Suzu started talking about Riko’s supposed romantic exploits. Sayo proves herself to be more perceptive than the rest of the group (by which I mean she has the perceptiveness of a fairly intelligent rock) by noticing that Riko is, to put it lightly, full of it. She decides to take advantage of this knowledge by being snarky towards Riko about the whole thing and egging her on to bigger and bigger lies.
As a fan of snarky characters this is a welcome development for me and it does a lot to assuage my fears that Sayo would prove pointless among girls who aren’t as easily flustered as Eno. As far as Eno herself is concerned at least she didn’t cry as much this week. Unfortunately that’s the extent of the good things I can say about Eno’s performance this week.
Harsh, but true
Eno’s role in this episode seemed to boil down to being a glorified Maki clone. I suppose that could be part of the joke since Maki joining the student council effectively made her superfluous before. It isn’t a good long term situation for her though so I’m hoping there will be more to her than just piggybacking on Maki’s jokes.
Beyond how the two “new” characters fit into the student council there were several high points in this episode.
Eno did prove to be useful later on in the episode as well. The lingerie joke from last week that seemed like a non sequitur at the time turns out to have some merit and led to what was probably the best part of this week’s episode (at least in this writer’s opinion) the Lingerie song. It’s no curry song but it was still very funny.
Really any time you can work a grown man singing about how his kidneys are lace panties into an episode you have to do it.
Another understated joke from this episode that I enjoyed was the inclusion of Baron Dabadaba hanging out in various seating arrangements in the background of the scenes. I’m a fan of sight gags that are just sort of there and the characters make no effort to call any attention to it. I feel like it adds a lot to the atmosphere without interfering with the flow of the conversation.
Now to return to the initial question of whether the group as a whole works, I feel much more confident about saying yes than I did at this time a week ago. I still think some kinks need to be worked out with Eno, but there’s plenty of time for that. At this point I’d compare her to Azusa from K-ON who, at least to me, initially felt like she was just a smaller Mio clone. However, given some more episodes she came into her own and they really started to feel right as a group of five rather than four. Obviously you can’t guarantee that will be the case here and K-ON sets a high standard in the world of all girl 4koma adaptations but the point is that there is precedent for a situation like this working out for the best. At the very least Love Lab has stabilized and should remain near the top of my season rankings for the foreseeable future.