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Love Hina

Love Hina (ラブひな) is a popular Japanese manga (and anime) series by author Ken Akamatsu. The manga won the "Best Manga, USA Release" in 2002 Anime Expo[?].

Warning: Spoilers follow

Table of contents

Story

The series centers around Keitaro Urashima, a young man who is desperately trying to be accepted into the extremely prestigious Tokyo Daigaku (University of Tokyo) in order to keep a childhood promise. He becomes manager of the Hinata Sou, property of his family and now an all-girls' dormitory near the university.

The story is a romantic comedy of the seinen genre that is about a clumsy young man who constantly accidentally stumbles upon buxom girls changing clothes or taking a bath. It definitely trades on an anime cliche, the one-guy-surrounded-by-pretty-girls story, also seen in series like Tenchi Muyo (and even Neon Genesis Evangelion).

Keitaro's main love interests are Naru Narusegawa and Mutsumi Otohime, though all the other girls are more or less in love with him as well.

Characters (Main)

(Where ages are quoted these are the ages at the time the character appears in the story - the story moves through a year fairly quickly so ages change quite fast)

Keitaro Urashima

Keitaro is a 19 year-old student who at the start of Love Hina is trying to get into Tokyo Daigaku.

After failing to get in twice and becoming a second-year Ronin, he gets kicked out of his parent's house and goes to his grandmother's hotel, thinking he might be able to stay there.

However, he finds out that his grandmother has turned the hotel into an all-girls dormitory. He finds this out when he runs into Naru in the hot spring at the dormitory, and sees her naked. He then very quickly meets all the other residents of the house and through a chain of events which leads to him becoming landlord, gets to stay there.

Despite looking like a weakling, he can actually take quite a bit of punishment and still get up from it, which is just as well as he is always getting into situations where one of more of the girls get angry at him and hitting him. Usually this involves one of them being naked and him being responsible for it or watching them.

Through the course of the story Keitaro starts doing quite well in his studies, passes the entrance exams for Tokyo Daigaku after another failure and develops friendships with all the girls in the house, but inparticular Naru and (later on) Mutsumi.

He has made a childhood promise to go to Tokyo Daigaku, but he can't remember who he made it to. The two most likely candidates are Naru and Mutsumi.

Naru Narusegawa

Naru is a 17-year old student with an extremely fiery temper. Of all the girls in the Hinata house Keitaro manages to annoy her the most, usually by accidentally removing her clothes or walking in on her while she is naked or changing her clothes. This is why she is also the one who hits him the most.

Despite this temper and violence toward Keitaro she develops strong feelings for him, to the point of being annoyed at him when another girl seems to be interested in him or he is interested in another girl.

Despite being only two at the time Keitaro made the Tokyo Daigaku promise, she thinks it might have been her he made the promise to, even though she wouldn't have been able to promise back.

Naru is very intelligent, to the point of being top in the nation (prior to failing to get into Tokyo Daigaku), but it wasn't always like this. Indeed, she was so behind in high school that her parent got Seta to tutor her, and that is how she met him and developed her crush on him.

Mutsumi Otohime

Mutsumi is essentially a female version of Keitaro, as is remarked on by Naru through the story. She is clumsy, like Keitaro. She is a Print Club Otaku, like Keitaro. She makes fake chocolates for herself on Valentine's Day, like Keitaro. She is 20, like Keitaro. She is a third-year Ronin (at the time she appears in the story) trying to get into Tokyo Daigaku, like Keitaro.

Most importantly, though, she also made a promise to someone to get into Tokyo Daigaku, and she made it at the same time as Keitaro did. Mutsumi doesn't think she made the promise to Keitaro, though, as she remembers making it to another girl and she encouraged the young Keitaro to talk to the young Naru.

Despite being clumsy in small things, Mutsumi generally has good luck when it comes to life-changing matters and always seems to come out alright, even if she gets a few bruises along the way from lamposts or her frequent fainting.

Shinobu Maehara

Shinobu is a 12-year old schoolgirl who, after a bad start in which Keitaro lied about being in Tokyo Daigaku and his subsequent failed attempts to make it up to her, develops quite a crush on Keitaro (or Sempai - a Japanese term for elder - as she calls him).

Kaolla Su

Su is a 13-year old foreign student. It is not clear exactly where she is from. She is a hyperactive girl who is usually either kicking someone, trying to eat something or inventing a new device.

She likes Keitaro, because he reminds her of her big brother.

Motoko Aoyama

Motoko is a 15-year old schoolgirl who is extremely serious, athletic and into Kendo. Her relationship with Keitaro usually involves her sword, which she frequently threatens to use on him for whatever accident he is in involving one of the girls.

As time passes, she fails a university entrance exam herself and becomes a ronin like Keitaro (by that time) was. This is an ironic development considering she gave him a hard time over being a ronin. While no actual university is mentioned, it can be assumed she is trying to get into Tokyo Daigaku, as to do anything else would make her inferior to Keitaro in her eyes, which would shame her.

Mitsune Konno

Mitsune (a.k.a. Kitsune) is a 19-year old freelance writer who is frequently drunk or teasing Keitaro or both.

She went to the same school as Naru, and along with Naru developed a crush on Seta.

Seta

Seta is a Tokyo Daigaku graduate and professor there who specialises in archaeology. Like Keitaro he was also a third-year Ronin.

Seta is the father of Sarah.

Sara McDougall

Sarah is Seta's daughter, and initially delights in making Keitaro's life miserable. However, like most of the girls in the story, she eventually warms to him, even if she still calls him Dork.

Sarah is left in the care of Hinata house by Seta, as he feels that going round the world with him would be too disruptive to her childhood.

Nyamo Namo

Nyamo is a resident of Pararakelse, where Keitaro ends up after running off because he thought he'd failed the entrance exam (the one taken at the end of book 7). She is working with Seta because Seta knew her grandfather and she wants to continue his work now that he is dead.

Nyamo is almost identical to Shinobu, both physically and in some respects mentally (e.g. liking Keitaro and being shy).

Kanako Urashima

Kanako is a younger adopted sister of Keitaro. After he left for the United States, she takes over the landlord of Hinata House from her brother. She appears from Book 11.

Kanako is a master of disguise and is able to impersonate anyone, which she uses to try and get control over the Hinata house. She also has feelings for Keitaro (remember that she is not related by blood to Keitaro, so this wouldn't be incest), reacting in much the same way as Naru does when she sees him kissing someone else (in this case 'Keitaro' was Mutsumi in one of Kanako's disguises, but it was real enough for Kanako).

Characters (Minor)

Amalla Su

Kaolla's sister. Both are magical girls from another world.

Grandma Hina

Original manager of Hinata, she retired and made Keitaro the new manager.

Haruka Urashima

Keitaro's aunt. She helps Keitaro manage Hinata and provides sound advice.

Kentaro Sakata

Originally Keitaro's rival for Narusegawa, he eventually loses his money in the pursuit. He remained fairly tenacious, but eventually gave up after getting deep into debt with the Inn.

Shirai Kimiaki

Shirai is a childhood 'friend' of Keitaro, even if most of that friendship involves Keitaro being on the wrong end of Shirai and Haitani's jibes.

Everyone, including Keitaro, seems to have trouble remembering who Shirai every time they meet him.

Haitani Masayuki

Haitani is another of Keitaro's childhood friends, and is (apart from a few physical differences) exactly like Shirai.

Tama

The turtle given to Keitaro by Mutsumi.

Mecha-Tama

Su's mechanical mockups of Tama. Every Mecha-Tama has turned out to be dangerous to everyone at Hinata Inn.

Ken Akamatsu

The manga author appeared in both movies as a plot device and for comic relief.

Ema Maeda

Ema appears in the epilogue to Love Hina that is found in Book 14, set 4 years after the main story. She is a 15 year old hoping to get into Tokyo Daigaku and is a new resident at Hinata Sou.

Her introduction to the Hinata house happens in much the same way as Keitaro's. She finds the house deserted, so goes to take a bath in the hot springs. A 4-years-older Shinobu then gets in, thinking Ema is someone else (it is not clear who) and comments on how big her breasts now are, showing them to Ema. As with Naru and Keitaro many years earlier, Shinobu realises Ema is not whoever she thought Ema was, screams and chases Ema through the house.

Ema then makes some Keitaro-style mess-ups, including trying on the headpiece of Naru's wedding dress and tripping an alarm Su had set up then fleeing with Keitaro who appears in a Seta-style van crash.

Theme Songs

Opening

Ending

OVA (Love Hina Again)

  • Opening: "Kirari Takaramono" (Glittering Treasure) by Yui Horie
  • Ending: "Be for me, be for you" by Yui Horie, Natsuko Kuwatani and Yuuji Ueda

Movie

1. Christmas Special

2. Spring Special

Book Summaries

Book 9

Keitaro breaks his leg at the Tokyo Daigaku opening ceremony, is forced to take three months off University and tells Naru he loves her (who responds by running off). Motoko's elder sister turns up and is eventually defeated by Motoko, proving her worthy to continue living at Hinata house. Shinobu decides to try to get into Tokyo Daigaku, and despite a couple of problems remains determined to go. Seta proposes to Haruka, a while he is turned down by her she does agree to go out on one date with him. Naru sort of confesses that she loves Keitaro too.

Manga (Books)

NamePublisherISBN
English Love Hina Volume 1Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1931514941
English Love Hina Volume 2Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1931514976
English Love Hina Volume 3Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820146
English Love Hina Volume 4Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820154
English Love Hina Volume 5Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820162
English Love Hina Volume 6Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820170
English Love Hina Volume 7Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820189
English Love Hina Volume 8Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591820197
English Love Hina Volume 9Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591821037
English Love Hina Volume 10Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591821169
English Love Hina Volume 11Tokyopop (http://www.tokyopop.com)ISBN 1591821177
Japanese Love Hina Volume 1講談社 (Kōdansha) (http://www.kodansha.co.jp)ISBN 4-06-312670-6
Japanese Love Hina Volume 14講談社 (Kōdansha) (http://www.kodansha.co.jp)ISBN 4-06-313070-3

Movies

Two movies, Love Hina Christmas Special and Love Hina Spring Special, have been made. They roughly correspond with volume 9 of the Manga. They also feature cameo appearances of Ken Akamatsu.

OVA

There is also a 3 episode OVA series that continues the story past Love Hina: Spring Special, that is called Love Hina Again, after Keitaro is accepted into Tokyo U. It has yet to be released in the States.

External links



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