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Love Hina Vol. 1: Moving In (2001)

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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Bandai Entertainment
Genre: Anime, Comedy Anime
Running Time: 100 min.
Languages: English, Japanese
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This title is currently out of print.

Synopsis
One of the funniest anime of all time! After being rejected twice from Tokyo University, hapless Keitaro Urashima becomes the manager of an all-girls apartment complex! But will he be able to concentrate on his studies? Could one of his tenants be his long-lost love? Will his tenants leave him alone? Heck! Will he survive the school year?!

GreenCine Member Reviews

Has its moments, but more infuriating than fun. by JTurner1 May 28, 2004 - 6:31 AM PDT
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Ouch, Love Hina hurts indeed!

Hapless, accident-prone Keitaro makes a promise to a girl fifteen years ago that he and she will both attend Tokyo U "and live happily ever after." Keitaro fails to get in and ends up (amazingly!) becoming the janitor of an all-girls dorm. And he's surrounded by a quintet of beautiful women -- including mischief-making Su Koalla, shy but sweet Shinobu Maebara, man-hating Ninja Motoko Aoyama, fun-loving Mitsune "Kitsune" Kanno, and brainy but incredibly short-tempered and impossibly violent (not to mention outrageously bitchy) Naru Nagesawa. Of all these females (who occasionally treat him like a punching bag -- namely Naru and Motoko), Keitaro thinks that he may find his long-lost sweetheart in Naru, who also made a promise to someone at Tokyo U. Keitaro spends much of the time throughout the series getting physically abused, falsely accused, making mistakes (all quite by accident) that require him begging for mercy, and all other sorts of painful torture before he finally gets the girl (or does he?).

If the above sounds silly and uninspired, it is. But this isn't alone what drags Love Hina down. The show, based on a popular manga by Ken Akamitsu, is a collection of cliches all grossly exaggerated in an attempt to be funny -- multi-faceted, hysterical nutcases, klutzy guys, irrational behaviors -- and on some levels it works but on many others it flops.

Some episodes are entertaining: one of them is a parody on the ever-popular Japanese RPG series Dragon Quest while two others are a music video episode and a stage play that (literally!) brings down the house as well as much of the stage. And there are some likable characters, mainly Shinobu, a sweet, shy, sensitive doll who would (ideally!) be the right catch for Keitaro. The artwork is beautiful -- entirely created digitally, resulting in some spectacular shots, including fireworks, rippling waters, and many more.

Unfortunately, these benefits all seemed dragged down by a number of flaws that are appallingly too grating to ignore. Some of the gags are forced and may not translate well with others. And some episodes are less interesting than others; I actually found myself pulling away from it by the end of Volume 4, watching the last episodes only in bits and pieces. But the most offensive drawback of all is that the characters express despicably stupid behavior -- how am I supposed to believe that Naru secretly loves Keitaro when all she does is violently assault him, badmouth him, get jealous when he tries to be nice to someone else, and nasty to him when he is trying to be good to her? And how can Keitaro possibly survive all the nasty assaults and still have to be responsible for everything everyone gets upset about? So much of this is thrown at us, that Love Hina actually becomes more infuriating to watch rather than funny.

I understand Love Hina has its fans, but I didn't find the show as entertaining as I would have liked. Even the ending was a groaner. I did enjoy some parts of the show, but it's not one I would consider myself getting for keeps. I'd suggest renting it just one time before making any decisions.

The DVD presentation, meanwhile, is exceptional. The video quality is pristine and clear, and, on Volumes 3 and 4, there are behind-the-scenes videos -- an interview with the show's director and the other with the dubbing crew --. The dub is a mixed bag; it's lower mixed than the Japanese language track, and some of the voices are obnoxious and grating: do they really have to sound so high-pitched and squeaky? Keitaro and Naru's voices were okay, and some others were fine, but on the whole, this dub doesn't rank up there as one of the best I've heard.

All in all, I cannot recommend Love Hina as pleasant viewing entertainment. However, there are a number of fans who believe otherwise, so I will not bother to argue. After all, people are inclined to have their own opinions.

Fun Series, BUT... by AstroNerdBoy August 21, 2003 - 11:59 AM PDT
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7 out of 7 members found this review helpful
"Love Hina" is a series I do enjoy. Taken from the manga of the same name (which as I understand it was based on a dating-sim game), the series revolves around Keitaro, the dateless rounin (failed to pass his college entrance exams) who's grandmother suddenly makes him the manager of a girl's dorm. This immediately makes this a "harem" series as the girls are all attractive and all have varying degrees of interest in him whether they admit it or not. The overall story centers on Keitaro's promise to a girl when he was a little kid that they'd go to Tokyo University together, only he doesn't remember who she is. However, now he finds himself attracted to Naru, who's just about to graduate from high school and is also trying to get into Tokyo University. Could Naru be the girl of the promise or is it Mutsumi? If Naru isn't the promised girl, can he proceed with a relationship with her?

As far as the DVD goes, the English dub isn't that great, especially if you've heard the Japanese version first. Having Kitsune with that ultra-fake souther accent just drove me nuts. The English dub script gets an above-average domestication job (trying to make it appeal to a wider American audience) and the subtitled version is also domesticated, though not as severe (no honorifics, some purposeful mistranslations). To the casual anime fan, this won't matter, but if you are more hard-core, you've been warned. :-)

I Love Hina! by MsMargo October 15, 2002 - 7:43 PM PDT
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12 out of 13 members found this review helpful
O.K. I really didn't want to like Love Hina. It's one of those animes that's a classic with sicky sweet story line, but I fell hard. The animation was terrific and the story line moved along at a nice pace. We get several interlacing stories that keep your interest, and you end up rooting for our hero. Yup, I'm going to rent the rest too.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.54)
277 Votes
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