Love Hina is the animated adaptation of a manga written and illustrated by famed harem mangaka, Akamatsu Ken. It ran for 2 seasons in 2000 under Xebec and spawned multiple OVAs because of its popularity. The series follows Urashima Keitaro who wants to get into the famous Tokyo University in order to fulfil a promise with his childhood sweetheart. When he fails again and again, he is forced to stay and work at the all-girls dorm, Hinata Inn. Fanservice and hilarity ensues.
Being a harem anime, the character development is shared between multiple female characters and the main male and female lead. You’d think this would make everyone else but the main couple underdeveloped but THIS IS NOT THE CASE. All the girls were given depth and each of their stories was explored. The development for the main couple is fantastic as well. Unlike most harem anime the female characters don’t fight over the male lead. This is a series where you’d actually want to root for the girl, not because you want him to end up with the guy, but because you want her to BE HAPPY.
Akamatsu originally intended the series to be a gag fanservice manga that was all filler and this was indeed the case for the first few chapters. However, at some point the manga took a turn for the REAL and the HEARTWARMING and that’s what caused it to get an anime adaptation. It’s also quite impressive how they can use gags and fanservice to further the plot.
Having been on-air for only 2 seasons, the show only has 2 OPs and 2 EDs. The OPs provide a good way of introducing the girls and their personality and generally fit the overall tone of the series. The BGM during various scenes are quite on-point as well and do a good job of setting the mood, whether be it sombre or playful.
Harem anime usually have multiple distinct archetypes for the girls. With famous and talented VAs like Horie Yui and Hayashibara Megumi, the voices were a perfect fit for their characters’ respective archetypes.
It was K. No really, it was K. The plot didn’t really call for extra shiny and advanced animation so Xebec did a perfectly adequate job of animating it.
Personal enjoyment: 10/10
Love Hina is one of the best harem animes of its time, perhaps even OF ALL TIME. It lures you in with good-looking characters and smexy fanservice but it makes you stay with GOOD, SOLID PLOT (and no, not THAT kind of plot).
GO WATCH AND/OR READ IT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T YET.
Overall rating: 9/10