“Just A Little Steamy” – Love Hina (anime) – 7/10 Pencils

Love isn’t finding a perfect person. It’s seeing an imperfect person perfectly. ~ Sam Keen

Genre: Comedy/Romance/Ecchi/Harem/Shounen

Review Status: Complete (24 Episodes/24 Episodes)

Licensed: Yes, this anime is licensed by Funimation.

Art/Animation: Eh, it looks fine. The animation has aged a bit but the character designs are still prefectly cute.

Dub vs. Sub: I’ve been growing okay with more dubs as time has gone on, but this one just rubs me the wrong way! From Kitsune’s terrible Southern accent, to Su’s unplaceable one, there is an immense amount of terrible in this dub! If you really want to watch it, then it’s tolerable, but the sub is far better.

Review: Love Hina is considered a classic anime, that sparked a thousand imitations. Yet, for all its reputation, this still managed to surprise me. The characters are definitely prototypes for many you see today, like Keitaro’s sheer idiocy. He’s really not that much of a pervert – he’s more often a victim of obliviousness and circumstance when it comes to accidentally getting into trouble with the girls. He’s also fairly likeable (if an object of pity more often than not), only wanting to meet the girl from his past, and just not really smart enough to get into Tokyo U. to do it. He still works hard and studies harder, desperately trying to reach his dreams, and feels a whole lot of conflict and guilt when he finds himself possibly harboring feelings for a girl that isn’t the one he met in his childhood. And while a few of the girls end up with romantic feelings towards him, not all of them do, and that’s a nice change from most modern harems.

The girls that live in the hot springs are also cute and interesting. Naru, the main love interest, is the ‘girl next door’- she’s pretty, but she’s practical and tough. She has no time for Keitaro’s shennanigans, but still is a bit immature and doesn’t handle it well. Kitsune is the ‘playful older sister’ with no feelings towards Keitaro, and masking a heart that’s been hurt more often than not. When all her cards were laid on the table I really felt for her, and would liked to have seen her romance subplot work out. But she’s a troublemaker, no doubt about it! Su looks up to Keitaro as an older brother, is a genius, but is running from her own troubles stemming from the culture she was raised in. But she’s reaching for her dreams with all her might and the support and friendship of the other girls in the hotel. She tends to be responsible for most of the wackiness that happens in the dorms by virtue of her inventions and general airheadedness. Go figure, she’s also a magical girl in disguise! Shinobu, Su’s friend who ends up moving in, does have a crush on Keitaro but is very low-key about it. She’s the most practical, but the most shy of them all. It’s Keitaro’s aunt that speaks up and gets down to business when she appears.

The whole plot revolves around the wacky antics that happen in the Springs. I’m not talking about Keitaro accidentally walking in (though that does happen), I mean Naru being scouted as a pop idol, finding a labyrinth of tunnels underneath the springs, and fighting off giant, evil, mechanical turtles! Nearly anything goes when it comes to this show. Mixed in with the giant mechanical turtles are everyday issues that face the residents, like losing rent money, taking Tokyo U entrancec exams, and dealing with family. Those things make up more of the show than anything else, but still manages to be interesting through the stregnth of the characters and their interactions.

Keitaro and Naru are the main couple, but a third wheel does come into play about halfway through the series. It turns into a mess of accidental identity, childhood friends, and misunderstandings about who the girl in Keitaro’s memory really is. It works out in a pretty interesting way, but things get heated for a while when Keitaro tries to stay true to his childhood friend.

What hurts it more often than not is the fanservice jokes have been done in later anime repeatedly, and those get tiring. But overall, there are enough unique and fun parts where I don’t regret watching it. I won’t watch it again, but it wasn’t a waste of time.

Overall, it was fun, but not rewatch worthy.

Recommended: 16+.  This is a lot tamer than I had been led to believe- Ah! the differences between 2000 and 2012. The recurring joke is that he walks in on the girls in the hot springs, but they always have towels or covered by water. He occasionall falls over Naru in an awkward position – they’re almost always fully clothed. One of the girls grabs his hand and puts it on her breast to try and get free rent for a month (entirely her fault, Keitaro had no part in the plan). T=While doing a play, it’s implied that Keitaro accidentally rips off Naru’s bikini top – it’s totally an accident and he wasn’t going for that at all, but you do see the start of it, though it cuts away before you see anything. The worst is when a girl accidentally stumbles and falls out of the shower, naked and on top of Keitaro, but again you don’t see anything and nothing sexual actually occurs. One of teh girl seems to have the magical ability to grow into an adult under certain circumstances. This is really only pertinent for two episodes. There is talk of a cursed sword (it’s not). And one episode features a doll and a legend that after 99 years, if an object has been loved and cared for it gains a soul. The doll does seem to get one, but it ‘passes on’ at the end of the episode.  There’s also typical slapstick comedy. Keitaro gets slapped and sails off into space. There aren’t any serious injuries.

Other Titles You Might Like:

Ai Yori Aoshi (anime or manga)

Mahou Sensei Negima! (manga)

Seto no Hanayome (anime)

Toradora! (anime)

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. TWWK
    May 16, 2012 @ 20:40:46

    Worst…dub…ever. Well, at least my “least favorite.”

    And yeah, it’s pretty tame by today’s standards. Really, it’s tame compared to the manga, which I appreciated.

    Reply

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