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INFO FILE
Title:
Love Hina
Format:
TV Broadcast (Currently On-Air)
VHS / DVD (Volume One Only)
Network TV Tokyo, Japan
Production:
TV Tokyo
Xebec
Rating:
B+
Comments:
Big hit romance comedy straight from Japan!

ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Love Hina
By Ikusabe Wataru


Are you tired of all that robot-fighting, magic-casting stuff? Are you looking for something that will get you a good laugh without having to spend hours just to figure out what the story is about? Look no further! Love Hina is definitly the series you're looking for.

Love Hina is a romantic comedy brought into the world of anime from the hilarious manga series created by Akamatsu Ken under the same name. First aired on the TV Tokyo network on April 19th, the weekly anime talks about the sudden change of lifestyle when high school graduate Urashima Keitarou (and Tokyo-U student-hopeful) was asked by his grandmother to take her place as the resident manager (Kanrinin in Japanese) of the Hinata Dorm Complex after her retirement in a few days. Because of his recent defeat at the Tokyo-U entrance exam (not his first time by the way), Keitarou is hopelessly short on cash for his tuition and with no other choice, decides to take the job. The true reason behind his endless battle to become a Tokyo-U student? A promise. A promise which he and a girl who used to live nearby when they were still children, that they will study hard and become a couple after they both make it into Tokyo-U... sadly, there are two major obstacles standing in Keitarou's path, first, he had been trying to get into Tokyo-U numerous times but had no luck so far, and secondly, as unbelievable as it may sound, he can't remember the name of the girl he made the promise to!

And so, under these circumstances, Keitarou had become the manager of the Hinata "All Girl" Dorm Complex. Yes you heard right, "All Girl" complex. As much as Keitarou would want this to be just a big joke, after being beaten and hurled out the door of the dorm complex by the girls inside when he first arrived, the fact still stands, Keitarou needed the cash to continue his fight to get past the Tokyo-U entrance exam. So with the help of his aunt Urashima Haruka, owner of a coffee shop near the dorm, Keitarou begins his life as the mangaer of the all-girl dorm complex living with five uniquely different girls under the same roof, posing as a Tokyo-U student (which of course he isn't, at least not yet):

Narusegawa Naru - also a Tokyo-U-student-hopeful, ranked number one in terms of academic abilities among all student participants in the upcoming entrance exam, a long-haired beauty who can't see well without her glasses.

Konno Mitsune - also known as "Kitsune" among the residents of the dorm complex, mature and attractive lady who tries to subdue Keitarou because of his identity as a Tokyo-U student*

Aoyama Motoko - first year high school student with unbelievable sword skill, lives in the Hinata complex in hope for a quiet place to train her sword skills and her soul.

Mehara Shinobu - a innocent and pure young girl who had to live in the Hinata dorm complex because of family problems, a very capable cook in the kitchen.

Kaoura Su - energetic and active, Su can stir up chaos like nobody else could. Although she looks like a healthy girl from the coastal areas, Su always carries with her a strange Osaka accent.

Not as well-known as most manga artists who had their manga turned into big hit anime series before Love Hina, Akamatsu Ken had his share of hard times as a manga artist with his first manga series debute A.I. ga Tomaranai (The A.I. Can't be Stopped!) near the end of 1994 and early 1995, a story about a high school student who likes to program and one of his A.I. creations who accidently got turned into a real human being (a beautiful girl of course) because of a thunder storm. Akamatsu had been known, since then, not only as a manga artist, but also a computer fanatic because of his unmistakable passion for computers which can be read among his words in the acknowledgements in the front pages of each of the volumes of his manga series, in a point which he even posted his e-mail address and the location of his very own BBS forum for all to participate (keep in mind, when the A.I. series was published it was only 1995, and the Internet was not as popular as it is today).

Because of the recognition and increasing popularity of the Love Hina series, Akamatsu Ken had become one of the names among the most talked-about topics in the world of anime in Japan. The first volume, containing the first three episodes of the series, was just recently released on August 3rd on DVD and VHS format. CDs containing the opening song "Sakura Saku" and ending song "Kimi Sae Ireba" are currently on sale from Starchild Records, along with three other character CD drama albums.

Future release dates as of the creation of this article are as follows (special figures will be given away with each limited edition DVD set purchase):

- Volume 2 - September 6th, 2000 [Episode 4 ~ 6]
- Volume 3 - October 4th, 2000 [Episode 7 ~ 9]
- Volume 4 - November 2nd, 2000 [Episode 10 ~ 12]
- Volume 5 - December 6th, 2000 [Episode 13 ~ 15]
- Volume 6 - January 10th, 2001 [Episode 16 ~ 18]
- Volume 7 - February 7th, 2001 [Episode 19 ~ 21]
- Volume 8 - March 7th, 2001 [Episode 22 ~ 24]
- Volume 9 - April 4th, 2001 [Episode 25 ~ 26 + Special Video]

* Being a Tokyo-U student is an exceptional honor, and simply being a student of Tokyo-U is no less than a guarantee to a high-paying career after graduation.

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