Anime Meta-Review


Love Hina


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Title Info

  • seen: 1-25 of 24
  • type: TV
  • grade: watchable
  • genre: harem
  • form: sub
  • source: fansub
  • made: 2000
  • Review created: Original date unknown.
  • mod: Fri Aug 17 10:25:47 EST 2001

I'm not really sure what to make of this title. It's fairly obvious that it's origin is connected to a `romantic' computer game. But given how weird and energetic this title is it must have been a very strange game indeed. The plot concerns a geeky little guy who needs to find both a job and a residence while he makes his third attempt to get into Tokyo University. Why is he aiming for something so far outside his ability? Well, it seems when he was five he and a girl promised (before she moved) to get into Tokyo U. together. He's still trying to keep that promise, and dreaming of the girl, even though he can no longer remember exactly what she looked like. His problems are `solved' when he becomes kanrinin (manager) of a spa-hotel. Although this hotel is, wait for it, populated by a lot of attractive young girls of various ages and dispositions and levels of weird. While his ability to get into compromising situations sees him frequently getting punched into the stratosphere (but allows us to enjoy some fan service) there is the undeniable fact that the presence of real women (especially one with some qualities not unlike himself) does challenge his long held fantasy. Thus there's a bit of romance, a reasonable bit of character work and a lot of humor and weirdness to make this a pretty enjoyable show.

But one to treasure? probably not. The energy, action and humor of this show does place some limits on how intense it is. And the mixing of these elements is not always as tight as might be desired. In fact at times it is just way too silly for words. In addition the `nerdy' (but stupid) guy stereotype, the surrounded by women model and the fan service requirement is not really something we needed more of. This is especially true because he isn't actually a pervert (after all he's got a romantic role) but the story forces him, through circumstance or stupidity, to frequently be in such a situation. Thus there is lots of `accidental' sexual contact which strains belief and just makes him look like a complete klutz. Not that I find it too difficult to watch a show full of women, and there certainly are some interesting characters and interesting moments to be had. Not all of them are believable, and the `lesser' females are not that developed as characters, and they are forced to be involved in whatever `weird and funny' story is going on, but it is enough to generate interest in the characters and their backstories. Even the lead male, well...almost the lead male. Mind you, in amongst all the parody, comedy and silliness this show contains the best we can hope for are flashes of character which makes it take longer to get a feel for the cast. Fans of the original game might get more out of it, looks like there's lots of in-jokes, but even without that it's eminently watchable and enjoyable...but a bit light and variable to be too much of a classic. The conclusion is fairly solid, partly as a result of getting a bit more serious, but ultimately leaves things open for more (fine by me). Also like most of these character driven shows, it does tend to build up on you as you become more attached to the various personalities.

I'd love to criticise the production, but I find that difficult. It appears the tape I got was an mpeg at some time, and boy does this stuff up the visual appearance of anime. Even so it does appear that the anime uses quite a lot of computer support. There are strange `camera' pans and overlaid motion that looks quite weird. Combined with the bright colors, simple linework and occassional `comic' mutation it gives it a quite `unreal' feeling. This is enhanced by quite a lot of `physical' comedy and fast movements which is well done but accentuates the low frame count. It is also willing to use dream sequences, gadgets (such as a dream viewer) and visual tricks to support whatever is on the designers minds at the moment. Although when things are serious, it does settle down a bit. At its best it is bright, clean and competent animation quite capable of supporting the needs of the story. And, perhaps most importantly, the girls all look sufficiently cute (or sexy, or dangerous) as and when required. The voices are fitting and quite good, and the music is generally light addictive stuff that might have come straight out of a game itself.

It has been suggested to me that the origin for this series, in fact, is as a parody of computer dating games. I can sort of see how this might have been the intent, but it seems as if the characters stole the show away from this aim. In any case, it does mean that this might not have any foundation from a game.

I have also had the opportunity to see `episode 25'. This episode was not shown on TV and was released as an OAV some time later. Some even whisper about the existence of an episode 26. In any case it doesn't make any pretense of being a special or concluding episode. The style, and animation, is in keeping with the TV series except there's even a little bit more fan service. The story is firmly focused on Motoko, certainly a fan favourite but not the one most strongly linked to the core story of the TV series. It's quite good fun, nice to see all the characters again, but if you do not have access to it you are not missing out on any `secrets'.


  • A Letter from Aarsen A long letter in which Aarsen is suprised, and dismayed, by the intensity of the `humorous' violence but find the series ultimately enjoyable.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:21 WST 2009