mwolson.org logo Website - Love Hina

Characters
Review
Plot summary
Visual evaluation
Audio evaluation
Recommendation
Episode Guide

Characters

Urashima Keitaro
The main character, a 20 year old male high school grad who yearns for Tokyo University (aka Todai) so that he can meet the girl of his dreams. He had made a promise to a girl when he was very young that he would meet her at Todai and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, he has flunked the entrance exams three years in a row.
Narusegawa Naru
The alpha female of the Hinata Inn. She is very violent, but studious, an odd combination. She is 17 years old and plans to apply to enter Todai when she graduates in a few months.
Maehara Shinobu
Excellent 14 year old cook who comes to Hinata Inn during the second episode upon the divorce of her parents. Keitaro allows her to stay, and she has a crush on him throughout the series. Though timid and shy, she stands up for Keitaro in many difficult situations, and is someone he can rely on as a friend.
Aoyama Motoko
A 15 year old girl who lives at the Hinata Inn. She is a kawaii swordsman with a short fuse.
Kaolla Su
13 year old transfer student whose technological prowess and annoying inventions plague the other residents of Hinata Inn.
Otohime Mutsumi
A girl that seems to be a lot like the girl Keitaro's childhood sweetheart. She is 21 years old and has also flunked the exams for three straight years. She is anemic, which causes her to faint at inopportune moments. She fails the first three times because she passes out or forgets to write her name on the test.
Konno Mitsune
A longtime 22 year old friend of Naru who lives at Hinata Inn. Known by her nickname of "Kitsune", she is the party animal of the group. She is like an older sister to the other girls.
Urashima Kanako
Keitaro's adopted 16 year old sister, who shows up in the Love Hina Again three-episode series. She wants Keitaro in a romantic way because he showed kindness to her when he was younger.
Seta Noriyasu
Naru's old tutor. Naru used to have a crush on him, so he plays an important role in the middle of the TV series, when Naru has to sort out her feelings for Keitaro and him. He is an archaeologist now and helps Keitaro grow up by giving him advice, teaching him how to fight, and taking him on expeditions.
Sarah McDougall
Seta's adopted daughter from the U.S. She is perhaps a few years younger than Kaolla. She has a bent for trouble that almost matches Kaolla's.
Haruka
Keitaro's aunt. She was once Seta's lover, but now she fends off his every advance. She owns her own tea house and is quite self-reliant.
Masayuki Haitani and Kimiaki Shirai
Keitaro's friends from school. They constantly hit on girls and are always repulsed. Shirai has a crush on Haruka, which Haitane finds a bit weird.

Review

Plot summary

It was funny to see how Keitaro had to adjust from living with his parents to being a dorm manager (Resident Director, in our college terms) for a bunch of girls. He found out quickly that living with females is not paradise; I can sympathize: I have four younger sisters. He becomes attracted to Naru since she is one of the first girls to show kindness to him (in her special violent way) since his childhood sweetheart.

Keitaro begins to believe that Naru and the girl he promised as a child are one and the same. Another girl, Mutsumi, is another possible candidate. Keitaro, Naru, and Mutsumi form a study group in order to prepare for the Todai entrance exams. There are a few distractions in the studying process, which make for plenty of filler episodes and some eventual character development.

During the Winter and Spring Specials, Naru and Keitaro sort out their feelings and priorities. The theme of yaksuko (promise) is emphasized. Keitaro makes up his mind about Naru, but she still struggles to find her feelings and be comfortable in expressing them. Keitaro becomes more mature in Love Hina Again after going on an archeology trip with a college professor named Seta. Kanako, Keitaro's adopted sister, comes to the Inn. Kanako's presence causes Naru to sound out the depths of her heart and decide whether or not she wants to be Keitaro's girlfriend. There is a dramatic showdown in the last episode that decides the fate of this love triangle.

Visual evaluation

Great artistry is evident throughout the series. The scenery and colors are very well done, and make for some excellent background images. The blossoms and small leaves that swirl through the frames during reminiscent and graduation scenes are achingly beautiful.

Audio evaluation

The music is quite good on the whole. The opening theme is fast-paced, likable, and does not get old. It is tastefully used in several important revelatory scenes; sometimes the characters sing it, and at other times it is nicely orchestrated. The oboe is used in some of the orchestrated versions of the song, which makes me very happy. The closing theme is reminiscent and thoughtful, even a bit wistful, which I enjoy.

On the other hand, some of the sound effects are rather grating. The Kaolla sound, for example.

Recommendation

The artistry and music selection are decent. The basic plot of Naru and Keitaro's relationship is quite interesting, because one can see how their relationship progresses during various trials.

If you enjoy manga, I would recommend the manga version of Love Hina over the anime series. The drawings, though black-and-white, are much more expressive and beautiful.

That said, this isn't one of my favorites anymore. Maison Ikkoku is much better, in my opinion.

Episode Guide

Long episode summaries, a bit of opinion, and a whole lot of spoilers. This was made a few years ago. I think if I would have had the Love Hina manga at the time, I would not have put so much effort into this. I had a very idle and boring summer when I made the episode guide.

As a matter of fact, it's almost completely pointless to have the episode guide still up, so I have removed it.


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