Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it
Episode 8

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it ?

In which a villain appears.

This episode starts out with a massive character building moment for Inukai. As we've seen in the background during the past few episodes, Inukai is having trouble working on his thesis project. It turns out that this is, in large part, due to a growing inferiority complex. While he may be the comic relief, even he realizes that he's out of place in a lab where he's surrounded by true geniuses. Most of the time he can't even understand what the others are talking about and they make no effort to dumb it down in a way he can understand. This in turn has zapped him of all motivation.

Enter Professor Ikeda. Up until this point, he's not done much on the teacher front. He sleeps in his office and occasionally gets real intimidating but that's about it. However, in this situation we see that he's actually a pretty good teacher.

Seeing that giving Inukai freedom (with some occasional prodding) hasn't been able to produce results, he's able to coax out why Inukai is having issues--his inferiority complex. Simply by hearing his student's problem, Ikeda is able to quickly find a solution--a way to motivate Inukai.

Ikeda knows that there is the potential for scientific research in anything--and the best research comes when you are personally interested in the topic. Even something as seemingly simple as a visual novel--a choose your own adventure game--can be staggeringly complex from a statistical viewpoint. And research on that topic is perfect for Inukai.

All in all, it's a good way of showing that with a little out-of-the-box thinking, something you hate can be transformed into something you love. And if you've ever found a teacher who can help you with this like Ikeda, you are truly lucky.

The other side of this whole interaction is Ibarada's reaction to it. Ibarada and Inukai have an interesting relationship. While Inukai is clearly a bit attracted to Ibarada (even if he can't admit it to himself), Ibarada seems not to reciprocate his romantic feelings. However, that's not to say she doesn't love him.

Ibarada and Inukai have been together for nearly their whole lives. Even at college (and graduate school) where the two could easily drift apart if either wanted, the two remain together. They're indispensable in each other's lives. However, the moment that Inukai starts lamenting his time in the lab, he is also (by proxy) lamenting the time he spends with Ibarada. So, partly out of hurt and partly out of wanting her best friend to not be miserable, she tells him he should just transfer to another lab if he's unhappy.

Then, after Professor Ikeda motivates and inspires Inukai, the latter is able to better explain his feelings about the lab to Ibarada. While he does feel like the weakest link, that's not to say that he doesn't enjoy his time in the lab--or as Ibarada hears it, his time with her. And while he may have missed that particular subtext in his own words, she does not and is unable to contain her joy at her lifelong companion still enjoying being with her.

This whole opening scene is a fantastic example of subtle, layered writing and makes for the best character-focused scene of the series so far.

The other major part of the episode is our introduction to the show's first outright villain, Arika Yamamoto. On one hand, she's an obvious proxy for the author as she wants to write a manga about Himuro and Yukimura's experiments.

On the surface, this can seem like a good thing--especially with the reasons she gives the scientific duo. It basically opens them up to receiving tons more data from far outside their current reach. However, it's quite likely that her presence will ruin Himuro and Yukimura's experiments instead.

Himuro and Yukimura want to prove their love through good science--through well structured experiments and data collection. This is not what Arika wants. What she wants is interesting content and states that she'll use whatever methods necessary to make it so.

Or to put it another way, she wants to force the variables to get a result she desires. This is not only a quick way to turn a romantic relationship sour, it's simply bad science. Perhaps this is why she became a writer--a creator of her own worlds--rather than a scientist--an observer of ours.

With all that in mind, I'm not surprised at all at Ibarada's clear apprehension about the upcoming lab training camp.

Rating:

Things I Loved:

• That the drinking party from last episode wasn't so quickly forgotten about.

• Even though Yukimura thought the drinking party to be a waste of time with no value to his research, he still recorded it just in case.

• Yukimura watches Himuro's drunken confession over and over.

• Himuro and Yukimura get slammed hard by the placebo effect and go Super Sayian.

Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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