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Pipian's Review for Love Hina

Review posted by Pipian (Anonymous User, Search for other reviews) on March 3, 2002 at 10:30 AM.
This review applies to 1 - 24.
Total Score: 21/30 (70%). Story: 8/10 (80%), Animation: 6/10 (60%), and Sound: 7/10 (70%).


      I would have given the story a better grade if it still wasn't of the stereotypical "guy-ends-up-in-(insert place here)-with-lots-of-girls" genre. It does add an interesting twist (the promise) and there are a lot of humorous instances, but Naru hitting Keitaro more than twice an episode just starts to get to be way too much. As I alluded to earlier, Love Hina is based on a comic by the same name that is soon to be released in America. The comic follows the anime for the most part, but the initial setup is slightly different, and the manga continues off of the anime (though the new OAV seems to be planning to wrap things up, as the manga has recently finished its run in Japan. If you are a student in Japanese, I suggest going out of your way to try to find the bilingual tankouban. Though these are no longer being actively shipped to the United States (due to the official US translation that is beginning soon; in addition, it seems that production of the bilingual comics has stopped at volume 8 of 14), they still aren't very difficult to find at many anime stores. However, the bilingual tankouban are designed more for the Japanese learning English than the American learning Japanese. Despite this, it's very good, and I suggest that. If you aren't learning Japanese, then it might not be worth the effort to try to seek one of those tankouban down, and instead wait for the American version to start appearing in stores (or if you're impatient, look for fan translations of the manga). As for the anime, if you want to see it all and don't mind long downloads or subtitles, go download them off the net. But if you like dubs, or don't mind the wait, then you should go out and get the first DVD now. This series is definately one that should at least be vaguely known by most otaku (it's certainly a very popular one among those who like the genre), and thus I'd give it a letter grade of B. The fansub for the series is most certainly an A, and the DVDs (thus far) are only B-'s if you've seen the fansubs, but A's if you haven't. Just avoid the dubbing if you can.



      Meet Keitaro Urashima, surly one of the most unlucky lads in the anime world. But then many anime guys are unlucky. But most anime guys don't get beaten up like he does, either. Keitaro Urashima is 20 years old, and is preparing to enter his third year of being a student "ronin," bereft of job, college, or home. Why is he stuck in such a position? One could argue he could have easily gotten in somewhere by now, but he has a promise that he needs to live up to. A promise made 15 years ago to a girl who he knows not the face, name, or voice. Only a promise to get into Toudai, Tokyo University (one of the hardest schools to get into in Japan.) One day, after having received a D on his previous mock exam for college, Keitaro is called to the Hinatasou by his grandmother Hina to become it's new kanrinin (manager). There's only one problem. And he only learns that after accidentally bathing in the female hot springs. Apparently, the Hinatasou is no longer an inn (it wasn't very profitable), but instead a female dormatory! He thought he had problems getting into college before, but this just takes the cake. Branded a pervert, Keitaro has a lot to do to make his initial appearance up to the girls of Hinatasou, who include: Naru Narusegawa, a 17-year-old who is also intent on getting into Toudai; Mitsune 'Kitsune' Konno, Naru's best friend who has no real intent on doing much, drifting from job to job, following her only other love, sake; Motoko Aoyama, the 16-year-old kendo superstar (and boy does she use her skills on Keitaro); Amalla Suu, the strange foreign girl who thinks everything is edible, but loves her mecha even more than food; and Shinobu Maehara, the shy middle schooler who is an excellent chef (though she doubts her skills). Take these girls and others who enter Keitaro's life (Like Mutsumi Otohime, the brilliant anemic girl who is only a ronin because she faints before she can put her name on her tests, Sara MacDougal, the American girl who causes nothing but trouble for Keitaro, and Kanako Urashima, who does not appear in the actual series (but she does appear in the subsequent OAV Love Hina Again, which is currently still being released in Japan. The first episode is the only one thus far to be fansubbed.) With all these distractions, will Keitaro ever get to go to Toudai and meet the girl of his promise?



      The character styles of the anime are MASSIVELY different from those of the manga (written by Ken Akamatsu) but even though the soft delicate drawing style of the manga is traded for the typical harsher cel-shading, the backgrounds are style done in a very airy style, well suited to the pseudo-fictional atmosphere (I mean, there is no such thing as a flying turtle, is there?) Some CG can be noted in the anime (especially in snow) but very little. If CG is used for anything else other than the snow and the logo in the OP sequence, I certainly can't tell. Love Hina doesn't have the wide variety of anime styles smashed into one episode, unlike such Gainax series of late, like Kare Kano and FLCL. The animation isn't that bad, but it's just average.



      Sound? The Japanese voice actors are excellent for their roles. The American ones on the other hand... Well just listen to the clips on: and you tell me. The background music is ALL synthesized, and some of it is pretty unorthodox for an anime, but all it all, they fit well. And finally, we come to the opening and ending themes. These (OP: Sakura Saku, ED: Kimi Sae Ireba) are both sung wonderfully by Megumi Hayashibara, but they are a major contrast to some of the songs she's sung before. Don't worry though, they still easily meet her previous bests (though Sakura Saku may not hit it off as easily with some fans, and others may need to listen to it a few times before it catches on.) Sound is of an average quality.


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