A beach episode and dead lovers. Only on this week’s episode of Love Tyrant.
It’s back to the episodic format for Love Tyrant as this week the episode is split into two narratives. One an archetypical beach episode and the archetypical haunted school episode. Both of these setups have been done countless times in other school-based anime to varying degrees of success and quality. However, Love Tyrant definitely adds a nice flavor to proceedings with its use of random references, over the top antics and cute romance segments to make both episodes refreshing to watch.
The beach episode follows Seiji and co. along with the return of Aqua as they are at the beach soaking in some sun. The main purpose of the trip though is for Akane to try and win over Aqua so she can get to know her “future sister in law.” But Aqua being her usual abrasive and distance self, pushes Akane away every chance she can get until she is attacked by the demon penguin once again leaving Akane the only one who can save her. Meanwhile, the section also has the sprinklings of the over-arcing narrative as Shikimi approaches Seiji to first oddly sexually harass him by trying to stab him, then to tell Seiji about the three girls’ family heritage and that something concerning Akane will be a big cloud over their relationship. But Seiji being the complete saint of a nice guy declines to hear the whole truth and wants to wait for Akane or Yuzu to tell him. Leaving the thread, a bit dangling but it’s such a nice bit of characterization for Seiji that I think it works as a cliff-hanger for future plot developments.
The beach episode is definitely a strong start to the episode giving a great balance of comedy, character, and story to feel like every second built upon something. Though I can’t really say the same for the 2nd half of the show it definitely succeeds what it wanted to get across. References. From Japanese horror tropes to Fatal Frame and Ghostbusters the segment pulls a rapid-fire joke style to get across all these references and while visually jarring as it cuts to each one, it really invokes looney tunes “everything but the kitchen sink” style of comedy. Humor that keeps building in absurdity until it crescendos.
However, while in the beach segment the crescendo was a murder penguin, the payoff feels a bit like it’s two-fold. One is the horror twist at the end to continue the horror trope angle but the second is the episode’s emotional narrative, namely the Guri and Akane love rivalry and Yuzu’s growing infatuation for Seiji. Both subplots continue on in this segment as Akane confronts Guri and questions the “love” she feels and Seiji continues to be friendly to Yuzu much to her blushing dismay.
It brings about Love Tyrant’s cute expression of affection and love that I feel is rarely handled well in such a paradoxically over the top yet simple fashion. The emotion on display in between the over the top moments is so genuine and small that they actually magnify the sweetness of moments. Things feel like they are gearing up for some emotional turmoil for Guri coming up which will be a nice change of pace from her usual thick headed, yaoi craving, oblivious randomness. It is odd to think that the weakest part of the Love Tyrant is Guri who I believe Love Tyrant is supposed to be named after due to her randomness which at times comes off more jarring than humorous and her lack of dynamic character arcing. That appears to finally be remedying in these last few episodes but it’s still got a way to go before I consider Guri an equal love rival to Akane and that takes into account she is a crazy stabbing psychopath. Other than that, this was another solid episode of Love Tyrant if you have been following along weekly like myself then Love Tyrant won’t be losing yah yet, it’ll keep you entwined in its crazy over the top expression of love.