(24 episodes + various OVAs & specials)
What’s it about ?
Adaptation of one of the now “classic” harem romantic comedy manga series.
Keitarou, our hapless protagonist, has yet to enter college despite turning 20. Part of the problem is that he’s applying to the prestigious Tokyo university that’s way beyond his reach. This is because he’s trying to be faithful to a promise he made with a girl as a kid, and this is the place they’re supposed to meet again. (His parents wish he would wise up.)
The plot kicks off when his grandma decides to stop running her lodging house, and brings him in as a replacement. The current tenants aren’t too pleased (especially with the tons of ridiculous misunderstandings before he can even introduce himself), but eventually give him a chance. They are :
– Naru, clearly our lead romantic contender, and already displaying plenty of tsundere chemistry with him. Also trying to enter the same university, except she’s actually good enough to have a good chance at it. (Odds of her being the childhood friend : very high.)
– Mitsune, the one obsessed with money ; her interest perked up when, like everyone else but Naru, she mistakenly understands that Keitarou is already in that university and on the fast track to a successful life.
– Motoko, the tall taciturn beauty with tons of fangirls.
– Kaolla, the weird little tanned blonde who just does random stuff.
As explained by Haruka, his aunt who barely has time to give a bit of a helping hand, there’s little choice here : either the tenants reluctantly accept a male manager, or there’s just nobody left to run the place and it just closes down.
Shinobu, a “normal” girl Keitarou runs into in the neighbourhood. Presumably she joins the regular cast later on.
Decent enough. There’s a weird ethereal atmosphere throughout, as not only does Keitarou keeps daydreaming all the time, but also for some reason the town keeps being shrouded in fog, with weird old dudes being a bit creepy.
As the lodging house includes a hot springs, expect a good amount of fanservice.
Well, this was pleasant enough. All of the basic elements have been done dozens of time, but there’s nothing wrong with using them, provided it’s done properly and with enough energy. And that’s the case here ; I was reasonably entertained.
And hey : it’s Love Hina ; it’s the kind of show so famous I feel like I should have seen them already. And this first episode was okay enough for me to have no qualms with finally getting on that sometimes in the next few months.