Daydreamer Izumi Sena is the black sheep of his family. With a model for a mother, a singer for a father, and a brother who fronts one of the most popular bands around, you’d think Izumi would be destined for stardom. Despite being born into a family of stars, Izumi has no desire to be in the spotlight, and his only dream is to become a world-class manga artist. But in an unexpected turn of events, Izumi finds himself not only pulled onto the set of a commercial, but forced to dress as a girl! In case the situation wasn’t awkward enough, Izumi stumbles into his costar, the handsome Ryoma Ichijo, and it’s love at first sight. Or, at least it is for Ryoma, who is so convinced by Izumi’s costume, that when the shoot is over, he makes it his life mission to track down the “actress” that sets his heart aflutter. But when Ryoma discovers Izumi’s secret, will it be sparks that fly or fists? And will Izumi be able to avoid his destiny as a superstar, or will he be sucked into the same fame-filled life as the rest of his family?
Love Stage!! Episode Synopsis
Episode 1: The Door to My Dreams
Izumi Sena is a college student who aspires to be a manga artist despite lacking talent for it. His family is in show business. He is a huge fan of the fictional anime series Magical Girl Lala-Lulu. He is lured by his older brother Shōgo with a voice-customized Lala-Lulu alarm clock to shoot a commercial as a “ten years later version” of a wedding commercial shot when he was a kid. Shōgo tells him he is supposed to act as the bride that caught the bouquet 10 years earlier with a boy. That boy was Ryōma Ichijō, a popular young actor. Wanting to keep it a secret, Izumi askes his manager and makeup artists not to tell anyone about his real identity. When Izumi messes up the shoot, Ryōma gives him a marble and tells Izumi to use it again. At first, Izumi wonders what he meant by “again”, but he then remembers that when he messed up the shoot ten years ago, Ryōma gave him a marble and told him to hold it near his chest and ask for nervousness to go away. Izumi holds the marble near his chest and before long, all his nervousness disappears.
Episode 2: Because I Was Able to Meet You
Izumi accepts to do the happy bride commercial and has to work with Ryōma. Izumi gets dressed up as a girl, and when Ryōma finds out, he gets mad.
Episode 3: If Only It Had All Been A Dream
Izumi discovers the good-luck marble is cracked, and unsuccessfully tries to find a replacement. Ryōma’s work being disrupted by thoughts of Izumi, he visits Izumi’s house in order to put his feelings to rest by reminding himself that Izumi is male. However, after partially undressing the unwilling Izumi, he ends up kissing his body instead until he is interupted by Shōgo.
Episode 4: But I Do Like You
Izumi shuts himself in his room for a few days. Rei coaxes him out by reminding him of the consequences to his family. He also reveals that he too has had sexual encounters with men. After being on a comedy show with gloomy Ryōma, Shōgo agrees to let Ryōma see Izumi on the condition that he is there too. However, he gets mobbed by fans and Ryōma chases after Izumi alone and apologises on hands and knees. Rei tracks Izumi, and he and Shōgo watch the two from a car. Ryōma explains his actions and Izumi agrees to be “texting buddies”. A suspicious white van (later shown to be paparazzi) pulls away from the scene.
Episode 5: Just a Little
Ryōma has been texting Izumi excessively, and visits Izumi at his school. Izumi relents and lets him stay for Manga Club. Izumi’s irritation dissipates when Ryōma compliments his manga. Izumi wants to enter the Kadoyama Manga Prize and acquires Ryōma’s help to meet the deadline. After finishing, Izumi collapses into sleep and Ryōma puts him to bed. Before leaving for work, Ryōma cannot resist stealing several kisses from the sleeping Izumi.
Episode 6: What Kind of Test Is That?
Ryōma has been called to an emergency meeting with the company president, who reveals photos of Ryōma and Izumi taken by paparazzi. Uncertain whether to reveal Izumi is male, Ryōma calls Rei who devises a plan to divert attention away from a possible scandal by having Izumi make his debut. Izumi rebels, as he already has his heart set on debuting as a manga artist. Rei makes a deal with him, that if Izumi’s manga doesn’t get a favourable review, then Izumi must make his debut in the film industry. Izumi agrees and confidently takes his manga to the agency. However the reviewer tells him he has no talent and depressed Izumi goes to Ryōma’s house, asking him not to contact Rei. Izumi never wants to return home, and Ryōma reminds him that he’s in love with Izumi and that he’s not a strong person. Defeated Izumi invites him to have his way with him.
Episode 7: Could This Be…
Ryōma begins to take Izumi’s invitation but stops when he notices Izumi crying. Upset at Izumi’s disregard for his legitimate feelings for him, he leaves the room. But realizing the reason why Izumi is acting this way, he takes Izumi’s manga to be reviewed by the author of the Lala-Lulu manga himself, Saotomi-Sensei. Invigorated by Ryōma’s and Saotomi-Sensei’s words, Izumi decides to go home, still with some fear of what Rei will say. Rei who has not slept since Izumi left, greets him joyfully before falling immediately to sleep. Ryōma kisses Izumi before going home.
Episode 8: Love-Stage: Men’s Style
Izumi has agreed to make a debut, which details his debut and the trivial matters behind it. He is having jitters about his press conference and is pressured by Rei about his agreement in debuting. Rei shows him different footage about what the family thinks of Izumi to help him be more confident, but in the end, Ryōma’s message calms him down. He gets scared again after hair and make up and a kiss from Ryōma calms him down. At the press conference it is finally revealed that Izumi is actually a guy, with Shōgo making the official announcement of Izumi debuting and stating that Izumi is his brother.
Episode 9: Which Way Is Right?
Izumi has been in his room since the press conference. Rei catches Izumi buying Ryōma-paraphernalia online and realizes the cause. Izumi is unsure about his feelings. Ryōma on the other hand is worried about the extra competition with admirers now that Izumi has debuted. When he meets Izumi on the set of his show, he gets jealous of the attention Izumi gives his fans (Ryōma’s co-workers) and pulls Izumi away. He then asks Izumi whether Izumi has feelings for him or if they are just texting buddies before collapsing due to exhaustion. Ryōma is admitted to the hospital and later released to rest at home. Izumi is caught again by Rei but this time has been buying yaoi manga. Izumi asks Rei about the details of sex with another man. Izumi leaves the house to meet up with his manga club, but is recognized when his glasses fall off. A mob of fans chase after him and Izumi hides out in a construction area. Meanwhile, Kuroi, from Izumi’s manga club, saw him pass and runs after him. Izumi encounters some thugs harassing a man for money. The man escapes and the thug’s attention turns to Izumi.
Episode 10: Love is Not Enough
Izumi manages to escape the attackers and runs into Kuroi who tells Izumi that he has been working as an assistant to the author of the Lala-lulu manga, Saotomi Sensei. Kuroi relates how Ryōma came to the studio and grovelled before the editors and Saotomi-Sensei, in order to get the review of Izumi’s manga. Izumi realises that he has feelings for Ryōma and goes to his flat, declaring that he’s decided he wants Ryōma. They have sex for the first time, and afterwards, Izumi tells Ryōma he loves him.