Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It – Anime Preview
Synopsis: What happens when a science-inclined girl and boy who are deeply passionate about research fall in love? An intelligent woman named Himuro Ayame who is a science graduate student at Saitama University happens to ask fellow science grad student Yukimura Shinya out. Of course, there’s no logical reason for this love! But as a science and engineering major, not being able to logically prove love would mean that those feelings aren’t real, and they’d fail as a science student. With that in mind, the two drag everyone else in the lab into trying various experiments to prove love actually exists. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Episodes 1-3 Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Science Fell in Love So I Tried to Prove It has a lot of similarities with Kaguya-sama: Love is War. Both focus on a couple that treats love in an abnormal way. In Kaguya-sama it’s treated (as the titles says) like war. Here Himuro and Yukimura treat it instead like a principle guided by science. The similarities end there though. Kaguya-sama is a raging success as a comedy, while Science limps across the finish line. The trouble, I think, stems from a flawed premise. It’s often embarrassing, particularly as teenagers, to confess your feelings for someone. If you do confess, and they don’t share the affection, then it can really feel like you’ve lost. It’s not hard to see how you’d turn confessing feelings into a fail state. But with Himuro and Yukimura, trying to gauge emotional attraction through science isn’t nearly as easily identifiable. I also don’t think the idea at all lends itself to comedy. Heck I don’t think Science as a methodology lends itself to comedy.
Linny: I don’t know if Tom’s statement about Science not jiving with comedy is true, but Science Fell in Love certainly doesn’t contradict that premise. The jokes in Science Fell in Love can all be boiled down to ‘look at these pedantic and high strung nerds approach everything with too strict of a scientist’s mindset.’ Because the leads are portrayed as ridiculously out of touch with their common sense, the comedy comes off contrived and you’ll see most punchlines coming a mile away. We do get some other avenues of comedy through the ‘straight man’ female classmate, Kanade. It’s not only through her reactions to Himuro and Yukimura’s idiotic experiments, but also whenever Kanade flashes back to her cringe worthy adolescent attempts at love. These bits have a better chance of landing with audiences as they’re more realistic and universally relatable versus having to sit through the millionth iteration of ‘look at these two science nerds be repetitive caricatures of extreme nerdiness.’
Tom: And boy does this show get repetitive. It takes an episode and a half for the series to let go of its very first experiment to determine love. That’s 35 or so minutes of Himuro and Yukimura performing various ‘heart throb’ inducing love acts and hitting the same punch line again and again. Even when we vary things up, the comedic timing is so off and unsurprising that what new material is presented falls absolutely flat. Thankfully the series eventually moves on and throws other experiments into the mix that are resolved in far less time. But the troubles don’t stop there. Science kind of wants to be an informative show too. It takes a page from How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift? and Cells at Work! injecting mini-explanations in about the scientific method and what principles they’re using for their tests. But, unlike Dumbbells, Science lacks charm, and unlike Cells at Work! it’s not nearly as concise with the information, making these segments drag.
Linny: Usually series struggling to find their footing early can turn to a supporting cast that brings new life and more comedic variety. But when it comes Science’s supporting cast, the show continues to instead hit more notes of predictable and generic. There’s the typical youthful genius/gamer girl, Ena Ibarada, capable of playing games on a DS-look alike with just one hand. Then there’s the token extreme otaku classmate, Inukai Kosuke. The show might have been able to pull off the surprise otaku reveal considering he’s been given traditional good looks but the show makes his otaku love so obvious from the get go that the surprise isn’t given long enough to simmer before the reveal. And once that gag is used, that’s kinda it, there’s nothing more to be said.
Tom: Science also seems confused concerning its own premise. At the start neither Himuro or Yukimura are sure they’re in love or that love itself exists, seeking to determine what signs constitute love for sure. Later on they approach Inukai, asking if he’s in love with anyone. I would think that’s a flawed method of measuring, since why would he know more than they would? What makes him convinced he’s in love but they aren’t? What makes them convinced he’s any more knowledgeable about the subject than they are? No one seems to point this out making me feel like Science’s starting premise is just a flimsy excuse to craft two ‘super nerd’ characters who are inept in the understanding of romance in whatever way the author sees fit for whatever gag.
Linny: I might have given Science Fell in Love some bonus points for not having everyone else mock and deride the otaku character and instead having one of his lab mates very calmly and logically explain how his devotion to a game character is just as acceptable as being enamoured with, say, a pop star. It would have been something different and unique at least. However, the show then proceeds to have other lab mates constantly mock him or use his otaku obsessions as a punchline, making me wonder if the logical approach earlier was meant to just be another joke in and of itself. Sooo would I recommend this show? No. The jokes and the cast feel limited, repetitive and predictable. The premise is painfully contrived and the parts where it does inject actual scientific procedures and explanation come off feeling more like lectures you would have had to sit through, reluctantly, in school. If you’re looking for a romantic comedy this season, I think most of you will have to stay on the hunt.
Tom: At its heart I think Science is simply a flawed concept that doesn’t lend itself well to comedy in the slightest. The end result is a series that beats already weak material into the ground as it rehashes the same goofs over and over. Even if you wanted to view Science as more of a romance, rather than a comedy, it doesn’t work well from that angle either. The first and only real ‘romantic’ moment is in Episode 3, where Himuro recounts a wholly cliched backstory about how she and Yukimura first met as children, but neither realizes it. I’m with Linny, if you want a solid romantic comedy anime for the Winter, this ain’t it.
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.