John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Love Hina Again

Well, laurie_robey and I have now watched Love Hina Again, completing our viewing of the animated series and ancillary, erm, stuff. :)

My thoughts...

  • Anime Episodes 1-24: Great! Fun, romantic, happy, really top-notch. Terrific ending, too. You could stop watching at the end of this and be content.

  • Christmas Movie: Good. Kinda draggy in the middle, and sort of a retread (after Episode 24, Naru and Keitaro should have been past the whole "Are you together? No! Why do you say that???" bit, but they keep doing it here). It does have some nice moments and by the end does actually move the overarching story forward a bit.

  • Bonus Episode 25: Good, but out of place. Should have been episode 15, and is anticlimactic. Nice for Motoko fans, tho.

  • Spring Movie: Decent but only that. The high point was Kietaro's reaction to hearing the entrace exam results. Again, has a retread problem. (Why are Naru and Keitaro back to wondering who's in love with who? The Christmas Movie resolved that even more than Episode 24 did!)

  • Love Hina Again: Um ... weak. It's sorta like somebody was given Love Hina and told, "Do more of this." They capture the formula on the surface, but not the heart that makes you care. Keitaro's development into Mini-Seta (which makes sense thematically and is practically telegraphed from day one in the manga) is kind of neat, but the romantic elements are all overdone and, well, annoying. Between Naru's neurosis and Kanako's psycho-bitchness, I was rooting for Keitaro to give 'em both the boot and get back with Mitsume. (Okay, not really, but Naru's behavior and the reasons for it just didn't do it for me.) And speaking of Kanako's psycho-bitchness ... wow, what to say about Kanako? Do Naru and Keitaro really need somebody deliberately trying to break them up? With the aid of a Ancient Powerful Magic, no less? If Naru and Keitaro's love is strong enough to overcome malevolent supernatural influences, then for goodness sake, that story is DONE and it's time to move on to another one! The humor was also mostly absent, but with all the fantasy elements they threw in, it sorta sags under its own weight without humor to buoy it up.

So, final verdict: I love Love Hina! I heartily recommend the series. But unless you've a fan of the series, don't bother with the movies. They should only be watched if you get through to Episode 24 and just gotta have more. And dilletante, to answer your question: no, definitely don't start with Love Hina Again, it's the weakest part of the whole series.

NOTE: I'm still working on the manga. The good news is, as of Volume 8 of the TokyoPop collection, it's still just as good as it was in Volume 1, it's well into the same vague series of events that were depicted in Spring Movie, but the story is still going forward instead of grinding along in the same spot like the anime did ... and there are six more volumes still to go! Despite what I said here about generally disliking manga, I've really been enjoying this one a lot.

-The Gneech
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