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 began serialization in the shonen magazine Comic Meteor in 2016, and is still ongoing. It received a twelve episode adaptation from anime studio Zero-G that premiered on January 10th, 2020. The second season is set to be part of the Spring 2022 season.
A 4-episode Live-Action Adaptation aired in September 2018, starring Nana Asakawa and Shun Nishime as Ayame and Yukimura, respectively. This was followed up with an hour and a half long movie in February 2019.
Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove it provides examples of:
- Affectionate Gesture to the Head:
- Testing this is the first experiment of S1E02, 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.
- And the Adventure Continues: Even after sharing a kiss of the highest theoretical value, and seeing that their Oxytocin values were much higher during this event than under any other circumstance, Himuro and Yukimura continue their research into romance. They have to repeat their experiments for statistical validity, you know, so they need to kiss many more times. Kanade rolls her eyes and leaves them to their science-type flirting.
- 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. While Ibarada does tease him about it, she also thanks him for keeping his promise to always protect her. Also, despite the memories 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...
- Bait-and-Switch: At the Okinawa conference, Himuro longs to do the full-body physical contact experiment with Yukimura, but fears the time will never be right. Yukimura comes to her hotel room and declares that what they could not do earlier, they must do now. Hard cut to the pair of them trying to coach Kanade on her presentation.
- Beach Episode: S1E09 to S1E12 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. Most of S1E09 takes place on the beach with the cast in bathing suits, up until Kanade and Kousuke learn that they have to present to several renowned professors.
- Big Damn Kiss: S1E06 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 S1E12 for the trope to play out in full.
- Bully Magnet: Both Yukimura and Himuro were this as children due to their nerdy interests, to the point their backpacks have insults written on them. For Yukimura, though, it had no effect at all—he's so Proud to Be a Geek that he just shrugged it off.
- Cerebus Syndrome: While it starts off as a romcom with emphasis on the "com", the last two episodes of the first season 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.
- Dramatic Drop: In the opening scene of the anime, Yukimura drops the meal bar he's eating when he hears Himuro says she might be in love with him.
- 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 he realize it was them, to Kanade's frustration, who figures it out upon hearing the story.
- Fractured Fairy Tale: The second half of S1E07 focuses on Himuro retelling fairy tales updated to the modern day, generally making one or more of the characters a "science nerd", under the guise that the fairy tales are used as a vector to study romantic concepts.
- 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.
- Good with Numbers: Being in the computer science department, the Ikeda Lab is mostly this, with Kosuke being the only probable exception. Yukimura and Himuro can even said to be too good at this.
- Hot Scientist: It's a romcom starring scientists, so naturally almost every character is attractive in a labcoat.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The episode names for the anime use the format of "Science-types Fell in Love, So They Tried to (task)". They are also labeled as "Proofs".
- Impossible Task: The second half of S1E07 involves several fairy tales being given a scientific spin courtesy of the cast. Their version of The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter involves Kaguya challenging her suitors to solve 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 S1E07 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 have anyone and Professor Ikeda fell asleep. However, Yukimura, the only one who didn't drink, states that the ramblings of a drunk can't be merited.
- Labcoat of Science and Medicine:
- The entire main cast wears labcoats, 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 advises 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 seeing her in it. 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.
- Ludicrous Precision: When meeting up for the date-experiment, Yukimura says Himuro is 36 hundredths of a second late for their 10 o'clock meeting.
- Measuring the Marigolds: 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 S1E05, 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 of Tardiness landed jam-side down on her shirt, causing her to curse her luck (after a string of other unfortunate events that morning). 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.
- Mother Nature, Father Science: Zigzagged. The cast, which are mostly grad students in different disciplines of science, is very gender-balanced. However, Kanade says in this university, there's still a huge gap in the gender ratios among the science majors.
- No Communities Were Harmed: While not apparent when romanized, the Saitama University (彩玉大学) where this series takes place, is merely based on, but not literally, the real-life Saitama University (埼玉大学). The author swapped one kanji to a homophonous one.
- Not So Above It All: Despite her desire to do the experiments as much as Yukimura, Himuro tends to get super jealous whenever he gets paired up with another female (usually Kanade).
- 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 S1E03 (Judging by the letters shown, the group is most likely AKB48)
- Sempai/Kōhai: Kanade and Kosuke are the youngest student at the lab, the Kohai. This is notable by how they are referred to on a First-Name Basis, while everyone else is Last-Name Basis with one another. Yukimaru takes his role of training Kanade for her presentation seriously.
- Serious Business:
- Scientific evidence; if you're going to claim something as fact then you need to have evidence to back up your statement. It goes to the point that the two romantic leads thoroughly analyze every single aspect of romance they can just to scientifically prove that they are, in fact, in love with each other.
- When Yukimura finds Himuro's paper trying to apologize for their fight, he was more concerned with her typos and emotional biases than the actual content.
- 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. She also likes reminiscing about when they were kids because, in her own words, she can't possibly forget something that she has so much emotion invested into.
- Shout-Out: In S1E12, Yamamoto talks about the "Romeo and Juliet Effect" to Yukimura, it features recolored versions of Juliet Persia and Romio Inuzuka from Boarding School Juliet as the image for her explanation.
- 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 the spectacle case that was intended to be his gift for an identical damaged one that she purchased herself. She then nudges Yukimura in the right direction to help him settle things with Himuro.
- Sweetheart Sipping: Himuro and Yukimura try sipping out of the same glass with intertwined straws at some point as one of their experiments.
- Tsurime Eyes: Yukimura and Himuro both have sharp, upturned eyes, which underlies their serious nature.
- 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, which means they must have been performing the technique incorrectly.
- In an effort to have a control sample, Yukimura later repeats the experiment on Kosuke. It's more effective than the younger man would like to admit.
- What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: The premise of the series is Himuro and Yukimura's attempts to prove they are in love with each other via the Scientific Method.
- Write Who You Know: In-Universe — Arika uses Himuro and Yukimura as the basis for her next romance story.