Reviews of Love Hina (2000) and related work

Love Hina (2000Moving picture, 9 hours) – previously

In modern Tokyo, a sweet-at-heart dork becomes manager of an all-girls dormitory. Misconception, romance and ultraviolence ensue.

Love Hina is remembered for its role in cementing the non-haram harem as a primary subject in Japanese animation. Earlier stories like Ranma ½ and Tenchi Muyō would dress up their harems with science fiction, martial arts or more dramatic sitcom material, not just as a pretext but for some amount of comedy. Love Hina tries to be a genre hybrid too, but its setting, story and characters are all too weak for comedy. The eroticization of varied girls under the protagonist’s roof is its only centre. Instead of making excuses for itself, it features ultraviolence against the protagonist to symbolize the sore conscience, or superego, of the viewer.

This series is based on a long comic, in which they eventually marry, and has spawned several follow-up episodes in the form of “Specials”. Because of its weakness as a story, I’ve seen claims that this is a parody of the genre or even a shōjo series. It’s not. There’s no escaping the dweeb factor.

References here: Outlaw Star (1998), Ground Defense Force Mao-chan (2002).

moving picture animation Japanese production fiction series

Love Hina Again (2002Moving picture, 87 minutes)

Attempts at character development! More of the strained plot of the original, with even more fan service.

moving picture sequel animation Japanese production fiction series