|Love Hina is based on the popular shounen (male-oriented)
romantic comedy manga of the same name by Ken Akamatsu, and,
like the manga, there is plenty of fanservice for male otaku.
But if you belong to the other half of the population, don't
let that dissuade you from giving this series a chance. In my
experience, females have enjoyed this show just as much as their
drooling, sex-driven counterparts.
||The premise? Keitaro Urashima has applied, and failed, to
get into Tokyo University (the most difficult and prestigious
university in Japan) multiple times, but he's about to try again.
Why? Because when he was young, he made a promise with a girl
(see purplish picture above) that they would attend Tokyo U.
together and get married. The catch? The girl moved away shortly
thereafter and he didn't remember her name. While he studies
for yet another round of tough entrance examinations, always
wondering who his "promise girl" is, he happens to
move into, and subsequently manage, his grandmother's Hinata
Inn--only now the inn is an all-girls' dormitory. Six girls
and one guy stuck in the same building? Needless to say, chaos
|What separates Love Hina from the rest of the romantic
comedy anime series is not originality so much as execution.
Everything in this series raises the bar to a new level--the
humorous and touching script (half the episodes end with a WAFF--a
Warm And Fuzzy Feeling), the exceptional character designs,
the fluid and colorful animation, the energetic voice acting,
and the addictive, hyperkinetic music.
If I had seen this series on the shelves, I don't think I
would have spent the money on it (the words "romantic
comedy" more often than not make me think of Tom Hanks
and Meg Ryan). But I had heard a lot of good things about
Love Hina and I had the opportunity to check out a
few episodes, so I did, and I was immediately hooked. By the
end of the series, I had let down my guard and was completely
caught up in the romantic side of the story, sympathizing
to an eerie degree with the characters involved. The series
made me laugh, but it also made me cry, which is a sign of
a very good series, as I don't cry all that often when watching
animation (or live action, for that matter).
If you're in the mood for some energetic, humorous romance
with a fair amount of fanservice, or you'd like to take a
break from darker, heavier anime, Love Hina is a great
series to check out.