One day, Saitama University Information and Computer Science students Ayame Himuro and Shinya Yukimura are bickering as normal when Himuro drops a bombshell on her male colleague:
"I seem to be in love with you."
However, no self-respecting science-type can let such a statement stand unanswered and unproven, so Yukimura poses the question of how one defines "love", and what evidence Himuro used to determine she was in love with him.
Thus begins Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it (Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shite Mita) a story in which a pair of Spocks attempt to answer the question What Is This Thing You Call "Love"? through the scientific method, all while dealing with the very feelings they are trying to prove they have for each other.
The manga received a twelve episode adaptation from anime studio Zero-G that premiered on January 10th, 2020.
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Himuro and Yukimura are a pair of university students with zero romantic experience trying to scientifically prove whether or not they're actually in love with one another. Early experiments include measuring heart rate during a Wall Pin of Love and finding the ideal angle of chin lift.
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
- Testing this is the first experiment of episode 2, with Yukimura petting Himuro's head. It sets off Himuro's Expressive Hair, prompting Yukimura to wonder what principle is allowing it to move independently. When Ibarada insists they need a control they test the gesture with her and Kanade. Kanade finds it awkward, Ibarada makes it awkward.
- Later, when they are doing an experiment involving having everyone kiss to tell what the right mood for a kiss is, Himuro reflexively starts petting Kanade when they are paired up. After Himuro confesses that she never really had any friends her age before and that she's glad Kanade is her friend, even saying she's like a little sister to her, Kanade asks her to pet her head again, because she's always wanted an older sister.
- Author Avatar: Proof 19 and episode 9 introduced Arika Yamamoto, an alumnus of the cast' science college and a mangaka. The mangaka is Alfred Yamamoto who also graduated from a science college and became a mangaka. The manga makes it even more obvious since Arika is shown with the avatar Alfred uses in the extras.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Despite their usual dynamic of Ibarada teasing and embarrassing Kosuke and Kosuke being angry about it, the moment Kosuke sees someone harassing Ibarada, he charges across the beach and punches the guy in the face. Only for it to turn out that he wasn't actually harassing her. And while Ibarada does tease him about it, she also thanks him for keeping his promise to always protect her. And despite them often ending in him wetting himself, Ibarada has an extremely good memory when it comes to all the times she and Kosuke were close as kids...
- Beach Episode: Episode 9 to 12 are set at a beach resort at Okinawa as the cast goes there for a training camp and to present their research at a seminar. Kanade and Kousuke have the wind quickly taken out of their sails at the end of episode 9 when they learn that they have to present to several renowned professors.
- Big Damn Kiss: Episode 6 is focused on the cast trying to orchestrate this trope, starting with deciding on the factors that comprise the optimal atmosphere for it to take place and deriving a formula to calculate it. Their attempts end in failure by the end of the episode due to a Mood Killer, but their ideal parameters make a big comeback at episode 12 for the trope to play out in full.
- Cerebus Syndrome: While it starts off as a romcom with emphasis on the "com", the last two episodes get more serious in tone as Yukimura and Himuro's relationship is threatened by a combination of Himuro's jealousy and Yukimura's inability to be more than The Spock.
- Childhood Friends: Ibarada and Kosuke have been friends since they were younger, though Ibarada claims it's just because they can't seem to get rid of each other. However, it is later shown that the two were quite close when they were younger, to the point that Kosuke said he wanted to marry her at one point. She even introduced him to dating simulators.
- The Comically Serious: Probably the most common gag of the series is to have Yukimura and/or Himuro begin ranting about the science and statistics behind minor things while delivering every word as if they're giving lectures on nuclear physics, coming off as complete Cloudcuckoolanders to almost everyone else around them.
- Crazy-Prepared: Himuro and Yukimura often have slide shows and various other things prepared for ridiculous situations they could not have known would happen, like Yukimura having a slideshow about why people are attracted to idol singers or characters in visual novels.
- Dating Sim: Kosuke plays one on a regular basis, to the point of considering his preferred character to be his girlfriend.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The show's opening, "Paradox," is sung by Himuro's voice actress Sora Amamiya.
- Doppelgänger Dating: A variant: Kanade comments that Aika, the visual novel character Kosuke is obsessed with, bears a striking resemblance to Ibarada, his Childhood Friend.
- Edutainment: Rikekuma the science bear will occasionally cut into scenes to provide a proper explanation of terms used or ideas presented in the series, such as defining a "null-hypothesis", a hypothesis specifically designed to be disproven to help prove the original hypothesis.
- Ferris Wheel Date Moment: Yukimura and Himuro test being alone in a Ferris Wheel cabin at the end of their experimental date in an amusement park, for which they took cues from Kosuke's Dating Sim.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Yukimura and Himuro actually met each other when they were kids when Yukimura inspired Himuro to truly get into science. Even when she recounts the encounter, neither she or him realize it was them, to Kanade's frustration, who figures it upon hearing the story.
- Freudian Trio: The first introduced characters, Yukimura, Himuro and Kanade make one. Yukimura is the superego, the hyper logical one, Kanade the more emotional one and Himuro who is in-between.
- Hot Scientist: It's a romcom starring scientists, so naturally almost every character is this.
- Impossible Task: The second half of episode 7 involves several fairytales being given a scientific spin courtesy of the cast. Their version of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter involves Kaguya presenting a math problem which is essentially Fermat's Last Theorem. The first suitor, who isn't good at math, is stumped. The second, with average ability, feels confident that he can solve it with assistance. The third, who is proficient, realizes that she doesn't intend to marry. After the tale's end, Himuro continues to a spiel on the history of the proof of the theorem before Kanade cuts her off.
- In Vino Veritas: Proof 17 and episode 7 showed the Ikeda lab having a drinking party with Yukimura and Ibarada the only one keeping their wits. Himuro becomes extremely clingy, Kosuke somehow mentally returned to childhood, Kanade revealed her jealousy that Himuro and Yukimura have each other when she doesn't and Professor Ikeda fell asleep.
- Knight of Cerebus: Arika's arrival is the point where the series starts getting more serious, and she deliberately plays the part in episode 12, sabotaging Himuro's attempt to make up with Yukimura just for the sake of creating drama to use for her manga.
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine:
- The entire main cast, despite working in a field in which lab coats aren't really needed. The only time their presence is questioned is when Himuro and Yukimura wear theirs on their experimental date.
- Discussed later on when Yukimura lends his labcoat to a nervous Kanade who is getting the jitters before giving a presentation. He advices her to think of it as an "armor", citing the Halo Effect as the reason why her audience will perceive her as smarter just by wearing. The actual reason is conditioning, though. Since all members of the Ikeda Lab wear coats when doing research, wearing one during her presentation helps Kanade to relax by association.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Episode 12 reveals that Arika intentionally damaged Himuro's gift to Yukimura for the drama of it. As a result, Ibarada intentionally ordered extensive room service that Arika has to pay for as punishment.
- Measuring the Marigolds: The Manga. Yukimura and Himuro are obsessed with quantifying everything they can, most importantly the things that make up romantic love.
- Meet Cute: Parodied in the Cold Open of Episode 5, which has a stereotypical Cute Clumsy Girl running late for school as she imagines meeting her soulmate as she runs around the corner. On cue, she crashes into Yukimura, and it's Love at First Sight for her. However, her toast landed jam-side down on her shirt, causing her to curse her luck. This prompts Yukimura to go on a tangent about Murphy's Law before explaining why it's scientifically probable for her toast to land jam-side down before walking away. The girl briefly seems entranced... before passing him off as a nerd.
- Morton's Fork: Kosuke points out that there tends to no good answer to the "Do you know why I'm mad at you?" question when it's between two romantic partners: saying they have no idea gets the person flack for not knowing, asking for the reason gets a Mathematician's Answer and correctly guessing the reason gets the person flack for doing the maddening thing despite knowing that the person asking the question wouldn't like it. Unfortunately for Yukimura, he manages to Take a Third Option in the worst way possible.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: In the anime, Yukimura says the Sound-Effect Bleep censoring the name of the real life idol group he mentions in episode 3 (Judging by the letters shown, the group is most likely AKB48)
- Sempai/Kohai: Kanade and Kosuke are the youngest student at the lab, the Kohais. This is notable by how they are referred to on a First-Name Basis, while everyone else is Last-Name Basis with one another.
- Serious Business: Love, to the point that the two romantic leads thoroughly analyze almost every single aspect of romance just to scientifically prove that they are, in fact, in love with each other.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Combine the nature of the experiments Himuro and Yukimura are conducting with their actual feelings for each other, and you can bet that plenty of bystanders need to be told they are in fact not a couple.
- Ship Tease:
- Yukimura and Himuro's relationship is the center of the manga. Himuro starts the manga confessing to Yukimura and despite Yukimura not being sure if he's in love, his actions make his feelings pretty obvious.
- Kosuke and Ibarada get some teasing as well. Kosuke wanted to marry Ibarada as a child and it's noted by Kanade that Aika, the visual novel character Kosuke is obsessed with looks a lot like Ibarada. When Kosuke suggested he didn't belong in Ikeda labs, Ibarada was noticeably angry at him and then was very happy when he reveals he intends on staying as long as possible.
- Spanner in the Works: Arika sabotages Himuro's attempt to apologize to Yukimura in order to prolong the tension between them and orchestrate a dramatic resolution. After Yukimura calls her out on it, she reveals she had no malicious intent, and simply swapped his spectacle case for an identical damaged one. She then nudges Yukimura in the right direction to help settle things with Himuro.
- Sweetheart Sipping: Himuro and Yukimura try sipping out of the same glass with intertwined straws at some point.
- Wall Pin of Love: Himuro's and Yukimura's first experiment with love has Yukimura doing this with Himuro after Kanade suggests the idea. They do it while recording Himuro's heart rate during the process. They do it exactly 100 times to see if the result is consistent, but see the heart rate increase diminish until there's no effect at all. Kanade immediately realizes it's because Himuro got used to it. Himuro goes on to recognize that the movement of a wall slam is strikingly similar to a sumo slap.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The premise of the series is Himuro and Yukimura's attempts to answer this question via the Scientific Method.
- Write Who You Know: In-Universe — Arika uses Himuro and Yukimura as the basis for her next romance story.