AM! #8: Love Hina
Anime Me! #8: Love Hina
Love Hina is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu. A 24 episode anime version of the manga was produced by Xebec and aired in Japan from April 2000 to September 2000. So popular it was soon followed by a bonus DVD Christmas and Spring television specials. One draw back was the lack of a proper ending for the series. A new OVA series was created Love Hina Again, originally rumored to be a complete sequel, this series was only 3 episodes long, quickly introduced new characters and a plot that slightly confuses the original. It ultimately resolved everything rather quickly, due to the short length. But it still gave a proper ending to the series. Oddly enough, this anime is still considered one of the best selling anime, manga, and critically popular series worldwide.
The series itself is listed as a Shonen title, but is never recomended for anyone under 16 years old since there is many sexual innuendos littered through out. So for this purpose I have listed them as both a Shonen and a Seinen.
The series follows the daily life of Keitaro Urashima, the manager of an all-girls dorm, as he attempts to pass the Tokyo University entrance exams and find the girl he promised to enter Tokyo U with when he was a child. While it seems to be a Harem series, with the girls in the dorm all having personal opinions about Keitaro, some eventually have crushes on him. Even with the initial main female character Naru, it doesn’t truly become a Harem until Keitaro meets Mutsumi and the debate starts as to which girl he really has made his childhood promise to.
While there is really never any doubt who Keitaro will end up with. It is wall to wall comedy, as each time he either gets the nerve to approach Naru, or one of the other girls try to approach him there is always one thing or another that seems to get in the way. The main running gag in the series has Keitaro trying to approach or say something to Naru, just to have it misunderstood or completely missed, usually resulting in Naru punching Keitaro (which sends him soaring into the sky).
When I initially heard about the ending before I started watching this series, I was hesitant. I do not like anime which doesn’t resolve the story arc, nor if the ending is a cop-out. I was happily surprised with the ending to the original series. Without giving anything away, I felt the series did have a satisfactory ending. Even with the Specials and the extra OVA. That being said, you have to take this series for what it is. A light hearted comedy. It’s not hard to follow, and each female character in the dorm are very interesting. Each has there own quirks and style. Each has there own reasons for “liking” Keitaro, some bizarre, some funny, some down right sweet. You start to have your favorites as the series progresses, and you even seem to root for different girls, even though the one he’s destined for is rather easy to predict.
I personally found myself yelling at my TV. This is how I know for sure, that this anime is a keeper. If you can be that invested in an anime where you can lose yourself, it’s a good one!