The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Love Hina

Title: Love Hina
Genre: Comedy/Romance
Company: TV Tokyo
Format: 24 episodes
Dates: 19 Apr 2000 – 27 Sep 2000

Synopsis: In order to fulfill a childhood promise, Urashima Keitaro has boldly applied to the prestigious Tokyo University only to be rejected… twice. Despite having no memory of who made his promise with, Keitaro is still dead set on his dream of acceptance, and he has taken to a new residence at Hinata Inn in order to continue his studies. Little does Keitaro know that the inn is inhabited by a group of hot females. Now in constant contact with these girls, how can he possibly concentrate on studying?

The Highlights
Characters: Facetious.
Comedy: Very effective save a few episodes.
Animation: Bright, sharp and fluid.
Seiyuu: Fabulous; these voice actors define their roles.

Probably one of the most recognized harem anime in existence, Love Hina is one giant conglomeration of clichés with undeniably effective hilarious chemistry. Requiring little thought or emotional effort, the show is good for a heap of mindless fun. Though a few issues prevent me from giving my full-fledged endorsement, the show is a good example of a shallow, slapstick comedy done right.

The show starts out with the typical setup of a hapless guy who meets and begins to live with a massive harem of girls… in a hot spring his aunt happens to own, nonetheless. His sojourn quickly becomes rambunctious adventure as one random event happens after another. This barrage of side stories keeps thing fresh, and the fan service provides the intrigue. With quirky music, excellent seiyuu, and high quality animation, the show looks and sounds good, and the comedy is relentless. Like a cherry on a fudge sundae, this anime has several hilarious moments to top the already entertaining premise.

In truth, the only time the show flounders is when it is not funny, and this, sadly, happens more often than I care to enumerate. Redundancies aside, there are some episodes that even fail to generate a chuckle. I don’t mind cheap, asinine stories as long as they can make me laugh, but once such stories stop being funny, “cheap” and “asinine” are all that’s left. Since I don’t consider shallow character interactions to be character development, the show only has comedy to its name, and when that fails, I am not a happy camper.

For all you refined connoisseurs of anime out there, don’t expect anything meaningful from this show. Anticipating some semblance of quality is tantamount to asking a rock to float. You can spend all the time and energy you want, but the darn thing will still sink, 100% guaranteed. For all of you who watch anime for casual fun, I’ll recommend this series for the laughs. With a cast full of quirky characters and a fun-loving story, Love Hina is worth your time so long as your brain has an “off” mode.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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