Type: One Conversation would literally fix everything
Synopsis: 5 girls, 1 guy, and a Hot Springs Hotel in the longest “Self-Doubt” Arc I’ve every encountered.
Pros: Love Hina is considered one of the more influential franchises in Anime. It, along with Fruit Baskets, is often credited for laying the foundation for the love-comedy/Harem genre we know today. The premise is simple enough: a boy named Keitaro is trying to get into Tokyo University because of a promise he made to a girl he can’t remember, and find himself managing a all-girl’s dorm. The comedy derives from the now classic misunderstandings and peep-to-punish jokes, and the occasional cultural reference. Some episodes are even one-offs, like the medieval episode. The conflict comes from Keitaro and Naru’s developing relationship, as they both like each other but can’t admit it due to various circumstances. But still, the anime is very enjoyable in that old school early 2000’s kinda way.
Cons: Without talking about the animation or English voice acting, because this was made in 2000 so take it or leave it, my biggest peeves come from the conceits of the story. Keitaro and Naru are the driving force behind the show’s melodrama. They both like each other, but will not admit it. Keitaro is indecisive and lacks confidence. Naru is unsure of her feelings, but becomes jealous easily. The biggest issue is that this is the central plot, so this doesn’t change throughout the show. What we get is a lot of faffing about, with each character running away at several points after mistakenly feeling rejected. I didn’t like it in the manga, and I don’t like it here. I don’t really feel that every girl got a fair share of the spotlight, as they mostly acted as background characters for Naru and Keitaro. No wonder they always bad mouth him. And the anime doesn’t really get a proper ending until the OVAs, “Love Hina Again.” (PS. I’ve also always found the Tokyo U promise very dumb, because Keitaro made it when he was 3. He, nor anyone he’s with, should take that seriously).
Watch it?: Naru and Keitaro get married at the end (4/5)
Liked her better in the manga, but still.
Best Episode: “The Case of the Missing Hinata Apartment Money: A Mystery” (A mystery!)