Love Hina

LOVE HINA by Ken Akamatsu
genre: ?
characters: 8/10
story: 7/10
art: 9/10
overall: 8/10
– Series complete
– Number of books: 14
– Licensed by Tokyopop
STORY: It’s a bit hard to give Love Hina a genre. It’s a rather soft-shoujo-like story yet the whole series gives a LOT of fanservice. And the protagonist is a guy. So whatever it is, it’s good.

The story centers around Keitaro Urashima, a slacker who seems doomed to be a ronin for life. When he was younger, Keitaro made a promise to a girl that he would attend Tokyo University with her. Unfortunately, the girl moved away and though he still remembers the promise, he’s not in Tokyo University. Determined to keep his end of the promise, he moves into the Hinata House, a hotel run by his aunt, owned by his grandmother, and becomes both landlord and resident.

What Keitaro didn’t know was that Hinata house is a girls’ dorm and thus, he is the only male member. Lots of accidents happen involving him accidentally intruding on their baths or tripping and pulling down their skirts, pants…whatever, and always culminate in him getting beaten up. And after 10 books’ worth, you wonder how it could happen so much. It’s a sweet under-running story and the variety of the characters adds for some good color, but personally, I think, it didn’t have to take so long…

CHARACTERS: this is going to take a while….
-Keitaro Urashima: the main character. doomed ronin and unlucky little boy in some aspects (Gets beat up a lot)….very lucky in others( What guy wouldn’t want to live in a dorm with 5 hot girls?). Not too much else to his character though once in a while you get to see his “determined” side. As the books progress, he matures quite nicely and it gets him points so in the end, we’re all happy for this kid.

-Naru Narusegawa:
from the start it’s kinda obvious which of the girls is going to get the most screen time and here she is. Naru’s a ditzy, bitchy, angsty, messed up girl. And yet, sometimes, she’s lovable…when you don’t want to murder her… I couldn’t stand her constant doubts about herself or keitaro and how she’s always the one getting fallen on and etc. like most main bishoujos, Naru’s a pain in the butt. Near the end, after she gets over herself, though, she’s not too bad.

-Motoko Aoyama: sword warrior girl who’s conflicting with herself to either let herself fall in love with Keitaro or uphold her warrior-woman vows. Motoko’s an interesting character as her “tough-girl” appearance falls once every so often, but, being under the shadow of Naru means you’re going to be underdeveloped…

-Shinobu Maehara: 7th grade kid who’s an awesome cook and has a gigantic crush on keitaro. She’s annoyingly cute who matures rather nicely as the series progresses but definitely underdeveloped.

-Kitsune Monno: Kitsune is probably the only character who can be funny by herself in this whole mess. She’s older than all the other girls ( 20 something), loves alcohol, has indecent clothing when she wants to, scheming yet kind, is just pure fun, and adds the most colour to/of the Hinata House girls.

-Kaolla Suu: Suu is the techie-wiz in this and will remind anyone who knows Cowboy Bebop of Ed. She’s always hungry, perky, mindless, blowing up everything….what’s not to love? Suu is horrendously underdeveloped, though, and you never really figure out what she’s doing there in the first place….or at least, I didn’t…must’ve missed something…

-Mutsume Otohime: Otohime is a mess. She doesn’t have a brain and sleepwalks, but yet, is a friend of Keitaro’s from his childhood and at one point, speculation of if perhaps she’s the girl that Keitaro made his promise to.

-Haruka Urashima: Haruka has got to be the greatest character ever. First off, she’s voiced by the great Megumi Hayashibara in the anime (all hail…). She isn’t much of an aunt to Keitaro. She beats him up, makes him clean the house until it’s spotless, hangs with the girls like she’s one of them, smokes, drinks, and carries a gun. She’s also got a hilarious backstory and inside, she’s a really nice person…but you’re not supposed to know that.

-Seta (soujirou! no….just kidding) Noriyasu: (Not really a major character but i like him…^_^) Seta’s a professor/archeologist who’s a more bishounen sort of guy except he’s a nerd. Handsome, but almost more of a ditz than Naru, he taught Naru and Kitsune in their younger days and both developed huge crushes on him…not that it turned out to be anything in the end. Seta’s a hilarious guy and he’s so brainlessly idiotic and yet so brilliant that you can’t help but fall in love with him as well.

ART: Absolutely wonderful. It’s simple yet effective and beautiful and oftentimes so cute that it makes your eye bleed. Akamatsu likes to cram things into little boxes though so there’s a lot of staring intently to make out the fine print, but it’s worth it. In the Tokyopop editions, however, in some of the books, the print is terrible with pages that are slanted, tilted, and cut off. The type is miniscule and I’m not so sure that all the translations are kept literal…Love Hina is quite close to hentai (Thanks to Oniichan DarknightZ0 for reminding me that Akamatsu used to be an ecchi artist.) and it’s bound to have endless perverted references…except that in the translations, there really aren’t that many, which leaves a reader to speculate just…a…bit….

PERSONAL THOUGHTS (SPOILER-IFIC): So this series was definitely annoying in the beginning. I skipped a few books at first because things got redundant and not-as-funny-anymore. But after a bit, I went back and found out that even the books I had previously skipped were still good. The series has a predictably happy ending that annoyed me and I think Akamatsu had WAY too many characters – especially those that appear at the end (i.e. Keitaro’s incestuous sister) that really a) didn’t need to be there and b) felt like auxiliary filler no matter what happened to them. I also think there was far too much nudity but I guess that was just a fanservice (Again, many thanks to Onii-chan for reminding me that Akamatsu was an ecchi artist before he hit it big.) Another downer was the fact that the ending was so blatantly obvious by book 2 that anything that came after that felt pointless….even w. the “It might be Otohime!” twist. However, somehow, the series grasps your attention no matter what, and that’s definitely a good thing.

My personal favorite story was the one of Seta and Haruka in book nine where they look back on their past. It may seem like filler (like a lot of the series does) but it’s so cute and, to me, the most heartfelt story. Plus you get to see a whole new side of Haruka as a bonus…pure wonderfulness and Akamatsu’s art at his best.

By kiyo-chan

Love Hina Opening – "Sakura Saku"

Love Hina Opening Theme – “Sakura Saku”

(Japanese Lyrics)

Yane no ue de sora o aogu, hizashi wa uraraka.
Miageru sora karadajuu genki ga minagitteku!

That’s so wonderful!
Yamerarenai, akirameru da nante!

Tohou ni kurete kinou ni sayonara.
Futsufutsu to wakiagaru kono kimochi!
Nandodemo yomigaeru hana o sakaseyou!

Omoide wa itsumo amai nigebasho,
dakedo tachikire, asu o ikiru tame.
Shukufuku no toki wa kuru, te o nobashite.

Dotou no hibi wa tsudzuku, doko made mo,
tengoku to jigoku yukitsumodoritsu.
Nandodemo yomigaeru hana o sakaseyou!

Hashire hashire ai o te ni suru made.
Sorede kurushima nara nozomo tokoro.
Shukufuku no toki wa kuru, te o nobashite.
Te o nobashite
Ryoute agete!

(English Lyrics)

I gaze up from the rooftops and feel the sun’s warmth
Looking into the sky, you can feel the energy building up inside!

That’s so wonderful!
I feel so alive!
I can’t stop, I can ever give up!

I’m saying goodbye to those day when I felt so down.
I’ve got these feelings bubbling up from inside!
You’ve gotta nurture those flowers that’ll bloom over and over!

It’s comforting to run away into your memories,
but you’ve got to break free from theme and live for tomorrow.
Your time to celebrate will come, but you’ve gotta hold your arms out wide.

Days of struggle and turmoil will go on and on,
and you’ll swing back and forth between heaven and hell.
You’ve gotta nurture those flowers that’ll bloom over and over!

You’ve got to run and run until you’ve found true love.
Any pain along the way is welcome news to me.
Your time to celebrate will come, but you’ve gotta hold your arms out wide.
Stretch your arms out wide…
and hold those hands up high!

By Jaimie

Love Hina Closing – "Kimi Saeireba"

Love Hina Closing Theme – “Kimi Saeireba”

(Japanese Lyrics)

I’m a dreamer…
…sono hohoemi douka sawarasete.

Kitto iku yo, hi no ataru basho.
Kono mama ja owarenai, yakusoku ga aru.

Tooi michi, hitosuji no hikari…
Kimi ga iru kara, kara kimi saw ireba…

(English Lyrics)

I’m a dreamer…
Let me touch…
…that delicate smile on your face.

Someday I’ll arrive at that place where the sun shines warmly.
It can’t end like this, there’s a promise I have to keep.

A long, winding path lies ahead, but a beam of light shines through.
It’s all for your sake, for as long as you are there.

By Jaimie

Love Hina

This is a duel review of the series Love Hina, from the loveable couple of Forte and DZ0. Forte’s thoughts are on the left, DZ0’s on the right of the backslashes.

Name: Love Hina
Genre: Shojou?/ Comedy
number of episodes: 25 plus 2 specials and 3 part OVA, which I have sitting on my desk waiting to be watched./ Ive seen them all, ^_^

Plot = B/B-
Characters = A-/A+
Music = A/A
Overall = B+/A

General Outlook:
A promise between two kids to get into the prestigious Tokyo University, fast forwarded about 16 years. The main character can’t remember the name of the other girl and can’t even get into the school of his dreams. He’s already failed the entrance exams 2 times. Leaving his home he falls into the job of caretaker at a female dormitory that his aunt owns. (which he mistakenly thinks is still a normal hotel not female only) Romantic Comedy. That’s what this is, and it accomplishes this quite well. It’s very much in the vein of Tenchi Muyo where the main male character is suddenly surrounded by a large number of females. / The main plot comes from the thread of his past, and the mysterious girl he cant remember. Its complicated by the other’s pasts as they come to terms with similar ideas and thoughts, all of which begs the qustion…Just who is the girl Keitaro promised his heart to? Much funniness abounds from his role as the only male in a female dorm, and his unbelievably horrible luck, with life in general.

Now, the music in this series is definitely great. It stretches over a broad range, from the sad “I’m a dreamer”, to the upbeat crazy Opening “Sakura Saku”, to the calming “Kaolla Transformation, then finally you have the weird, like the RPG song. Saying such, the OST is great to listen to, especially the arranged opening song. That’s what you listen to if you want to actually learn the words to “Sakura Saku”. / Damn fine soundtrack. I gladly plunked down 40 bucks for an original import copy of the duel cd ost.(and subseqently made copys for all my friends, lol), and you’ll enjoy it the same. Like the series itself, which has much for everyone, the music has the same to offer.

You can’t like them all, but everyone seems to latch onto one character as their favorite. Some even latch onto one to hate. /(NARU IS A COCKTEASE!!!)
Keitaro, the main character can get annoying and whiny at times, but you really can’t hate him because he gets physically beaten by the girls…badly! Naru is the main female character, and not very nice to Keitaro. Not only does she punch and punt him in almost every episode, but she constantly calls him a pervert, even if it isn’t his fault. Though there are times when she is nice to Keitaro, she is mostly violent and mean, possibly hiding something? Kitsune is the drunk of the series. She also get’s Keitaro in trouble with Naru various ways, and this means Keitaro get’s hit. Shinobu is the cute innocent shy girl that comes to live in the dormitory because of family problems. She is very sensitive and cries a lot during the series. Kaolla is insane. Some of the things she does have no real explanation…and she’s my favorite character. Even though she’s weird, the two or three episodes that are centered around her are good. /Some of the other females introduced are just as fun, Motoko the kendo girl who weilds a mysterious sword technique from her familys dojo, and Mitsumi who complicates matters by being the girl who he may have made the promise to. (and having the biggest bust next to Kitsunes doesnt hurt either)

Overall: It’s a solid series, and everyone I know that’s seen it has loved it. It’s not the best series ever, but I love it. It has something for everyone, and the episodes vary SO much. It has mecha, sword fighting, turtles, magical girls, and so much more./Fun, and…just watch it.

Forte’s thoughts(and spoilers):
As I said before, I love the series to death. I don’t know, but it was my first true obsession. It started over two years ago, with the purchase of the September 2000 Newtype. I couldn’t read it, still can’t, but there was one full page spread of Love Hina in it. It took me nine months before I saw the first three episodes. After that, everything just sped ahead, and the whole series was seen. Yeah, the ending is weird and open ended, but hey, you deal with it. And one episode towards the end is just really weird, with a moving doll and everything. If you’re a fan of Tenchi, and want something with more variation, then you need to watch Love Hina. One final comment, there is a lot of fan service, mostly Naru’s covered breasts, or her panties, and all of she hit’s Keitaro for…hard.

DZ0’s thoughts:
God i hate Naru, the whole series i chanted her name like the plague hoping she would die but it never happened. Near the end, i guess i gave up on hopes he would find a woman who wasnt a worthless slut but oh well. The other girls all slowly fall for keitaro, so he has his pick behind the scenes, and we all know hes tapping everything but Sue and Shinobu’s underage pantys. This series is too good for words, other than watch it loser.

By Darknight ZO

Work in progress... not home!
Trying to get all/most of the new code working before I start on the eyecandy.