Love Hina: Spring Special
If you've seen Love Hina then you could probably guess exactly the sort of things this special is going to offer. And, sadly, you'd be much too accurate in your guesses, because this really does feel like, 'more of the same' in a formula that's getting pretty sorely stretched.
The series starts with some of the love hina characters following their character descriptions. The gentle and delicate shinobu has romantic desires she wishes she could balance. Meanwhile the worlds most established academic failure, the bumbling and hapless Keitarou, is going for his 6th attempt at entering Tokyo University. Although to be honest i've lost count of how many times he's manage to fail. Sadly he's so thrilled at coming so close, that he once again manages to daydream through the entirety of the exam.
Depressed at his certain failure, heartbroken that he has betrayed the love of his life and his dream to study with her at Tokyo Uni he wanders the streets. And is accidentally pressganged into a rather strange archeological effort to find the lost civilization of the magical flying turtles. And, naturally enough, the rest of the cast follow him for one reason or another. The whole thing being extended with a bit of comedy, action and a mushy sort of story about following your dream despite the difficulties in doing so.
As if that really matters. The other large part is that there's hordes of cute anime babes. Including some really excessive fan service, including lots of bouncing, wet T-shirts and bikini's from the well endowed Narusegawa. The other anime women who make up the cast of Love Hina also get their moments, although they're almosy entirely peripheral to this story...and I use that term very loosely.
I'm being a bit harsh there, although the fan service is just a touch too obvious. There's enough story to drag in all of the characters who occupied the TV series so that everyone can see their favourites again. There's some nice conversation, some comedy and some really silly su-chan caused, turtle based, comedy. Which leads me to assume the author has some sort of turtle fixation. And, to add meaning, there's some romantic scenes between Keitarou and Narusegawa which give some hope of the uneasy relationship between the two actually stabilising.
But at the end of the day it's soo obvious that this is an example of `milking' the popularity of the series. It adds nothing to the characters, and even goes against some of the continuity of the TV series. The story feels like fluff and is very, very silly. A lot of the thoughts expressed are trite and shallow, and as mentioned most characters have minimal and illogical roles. The television series was not only better in story and dialogue, but its longer duration allowed you get drawn into the strange world of Love Hina, and the interaction of the characters. And seen from that angle the point of their being a `special' doesn't make much sense. It was the `ordinary' in Love Hina that made it so much fun.
The animation has the feel of being somewhat lazy and slapdash. Sure they know how to draw the characters, but there's some really strange movements on some of the characters. Likewise the stuff added, such as new turtle mecha and one new character have little sense of interest or originality. Indeed they largely re-use a character design. The scenery is corny and the action scenes painful as well as pointless. There's also several song breaks, which look like they were added after because they aren't even vaguely linked to the animation. All in all it's acceptable, and watchable, but it doesn't impress. The voices are the same as in the TV series, and are quite good. The newer music is pretty bad although the old Love Hina opening (used in the close here) is still very catchy.
There are relatively few reviews for Love Hina itself from my regular sources, and none for this `special'.