Love Stage is a zany and over-the-top BL romance with great art and a lot of comic effect. It’s the type of story you don’t take seriously (e.g., dialogue of our 18 year old protagonist yelling “I hate you! I hate you!” like a 6 year old) but instead just enjoy the ride. Of note here is that the translation by Viz is superb – this particular title really shows how much a great translation can add to the story.
Story: With a famous actress/model mother, singer/manager father, and boy band lead brother, Izumi is quite happy to stay in the shadow. For when he was a little boy, he had to dress up as a girl once and fill in for one of his mother’s commercials. It ended badly and Izumi withdrew into the world of manga as an Otaku for a Magical Girl series. But the little boy, Ryoma, who appeared next to Izumi way back when has grown into a huge star – and wants to meet the ‘girl’ from the commercial again. He’s in for quite a shock when Izumi turns out to be a frumpy Otaku rather than a cute 18 year old girl! But love conquers all – even gender.
As noted, Love Stage is quite silly and never meant to be taken seriously. Mangaka Eiki Eiki had fun taking quite a few of the shoujo world cliches and turning them on end for this serious. From idols to romance, it’s all a playful romp.
The art is assured and quiet well done. And a diverse cast of characters only add to the equation. In all, a very cute read. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.