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> Love Hina Review, One of the best anime I've ever seen
post Dec 31 2002, 01:41 AM
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Playworks Magazine – Anime Section – Love Hina

It’s All About Love… And Getting Beaten Up

Poor Urashima Keitaro. He made a promise to a girl when he was still a child to go to Toudai University, as it was rumoured that to go into Toudai with a girl was to allow them to have everlasting love.

Many years later, through a sudden change of fate, he ends up being the keeper of Hinata Hostel. Could one of his tenants be his long lost love? Will he ever get into Toudai University? Well, that’s for you to find out.

Who They Are, And Where They Come From

Quite obviously, the protagonist of the show is hapless Urashima Keitaro. He’s likened to a henpecked husband, and certainly fits the description to a T, only he is not married. He falls in love with a sweet girl, Narusegawa Naru, but constantly gets beaten up by her through his accidental “prodding and touching”. Joining them are tenants with one of the biggest ranges of personalities I have ever seen.

Urashima Haruka: Keitaro’s aunt, who constantly chews a stick and dislikes acknowledging her age, preferring Keitaro to leave out the “Aunt” instead.

Konno Mitsune: A mercenary, foxy girl whose only aim in life is to fall in love with someone from Toudai, but spends time bringing Keitaro and Naru together.

Maehara Shinobu: A shy, withdrawn girl who abstains from all things children aren’t supposed to know. She meets Keitaro by accident and becomes a member of the hostel in one of the first few episodes.

Su Kaolla: Her origin is unknown (although she seems Indian with blonde hair), and she is the gearhead in the hostel. She has an obsession with eating, and is open and carefree.

Aoyama Motoko: Swordswoman by day and feminist by night, she hates Keitaro with a vengeance. Although she tries to believe that she doesn’t need a man, her actions betray her occasionally.

Also in the story is a girl with a personality almost similar to Keitaro’s, a Casanova, a girl with an urge to destroy and an eccentric professor. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Long Or Short, It’s Just Nice

The anime is rather short in my opinion, having but 24 episodes. Still, in the 20 odd minutes in each episode, characters are developed to their fullest, with some showing unexpected personality changes, and of course even love scenes between Keitaro and Naru.

Not to forget, every episode is different. Some take place in Tokyo, while others as far as the other side of Japan. Once in a while, there are slight changes to the whole storyline, with the whole cast actually acting out a scene in Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West in an episode for example. Kudos to the plot makers.

Audio And Video Splendour

Odex has done a great job transferring the show to DVD. My first impression of the opening theme was that the sound was distorted, but I guess that was what the animators wanted. As they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The seiyuus were perfected matched to their characters, I would say, especially Horie Yui as Naru and Hayashibara Megumi as Haruka. It is hard to believe that Hayashibara Megumi actually sang the opening theme, with her stunning but small performance as Keitaro’s aunt.

To Summarize The Love…

I was not a fan of Love Hina before I watched the anime. But now, I think I’m going to go get the Spring and Christmas special, as well as the Love Hina Again OVA. That is the influence this series has, with its vivid characters and twisted storyline. Thumbs up to the production team, and to Odex for bringing it to Singapore.

Storyline: 9
Character Development: 9.5
Picture Quality: 9
Audio Quality: 8
Value: 7

Region: 3
Publisher: Odex Pte Ltd
Genre: Humour
Episodes: 24

There is no emotion; there is peace.
There is no ignorance; there is knowledge.
There is no passion; there is serenity.
There is no chaos; there is harmony.
There is no death; there is the Force.
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