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Old 02-24-2004   #1
Jake
 
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Default "Love Hina Again - Kanako" review

I'm a big fan of the Love Hina manga, and ever since I finished reading it, I've wanted to see how the anime series compares to the manga, and considered buying the DVDs. Luckily, I was able to find an episode of "Love Hina Again" somewhere (with subtitles, making me even more luckier). And since I have nothing better to do, I'm going to post a short review on it.

Warning - major spoilers ahead!

Love Hina Again Episode 1 - Kanako

The introduction sequence mainly consists of Narusegawa, Kanako, and Keitaro. We first see Naru lovingly hugging her stuffed cat doll, afterwards Keitaro being smacked in the face by Tamago, and the title, "Love Hina Again". After a few seconds of a still shot of Kanako, we see Naru and Kanako fighting over Keitaro, and later Kanako daydreaming about him. After some still shots of the Hinata girls, Keitaro and Naru are standing on the roof, hand-in-hand, when Kanako pushes them both off, ensuing hilarity. The feature song is "Kirari Takaramono," a rather upbeat song.

After the absurd intro, the viewer is instantly thrown right where the original Love Hina series left off - Keitaro had recently been accepted into Todai University. He's causing quite a scene, which pisses off Narusegawa. Mutsumi wonders why Naru is ignoring him, and the loser goes over to them and shoves his happiness into Naru's face. One atomic punch later and Keitaro is sent flying into the air, but it doesn't faze him, oh no! He lands on top of the university building, causing quite a skeptical. Unfortunately, he gets a bit carried away - he falls down the roof, breaking his leg. Arsehead.

A few months later, Keitaro decides to visit his family for a while, and Naru is a bit worried that he won't be seen around Hinata Inn for a while. Once his leg completely healed, he comes back with Seta, explaining that he'll be gone for the next six months or so by living abroad in America. So much for a welcome-back celebration. Days later, the Hinata girls throw a farewell parade at the airport (amazing how there's no one around to stare and wonder "what the feck?" to themselves). Naru's the only one who's not participating, and due to her usual ignorance, she hides from the group, not wanting to see Keitaro.

While watching the plane leave out in the fields, Naru is blaming herself because she couldn't admit her feelings to Keitaro for the last time. Miraculously, Keitaro appears in front of her, explaining that his plane was delayed. They share a few words, and Keitaro is talking about what he said to her last Christmas ("I LOVE YOU~!"). He admits that he still feels the same way, and after a bit of awkward silence, he leaves without saying anything. Naru cries to herself, hating herself even more. I daresay she deserved it. "Baka...."

Six months later and still no word from Keitaro. Naru is having difficult adjusting to Keitaro's absense from Hinata Inn, since she is used to him accidentally stumbing into her in the hot springs or while in the middle of dressing (and beating him to half-death, of course). Present day: a mysterious dark figure is standing in front of the inn, talking to herself, and watching Mutsumi banging on the entrance door, clutching a letter from Keitaro. Naru and Shinobu are talking about Keitaro. Shinobu asks if Naru loves him, but Naru wouldn't hear it. This makes Shinobu sad a little bit, and eventually gets pissy by screaming, "It's your fault that Keitaro's gone!". Naru sighs and goes into Keitaro's empty room, still regretting that day six months ago. She turns around and sees a relatively-strange cat on the balcony, who soon leaps away.

We soon cut to Motoko walking around in the streets and being stopped by Naru in an alley. They share a few words, and Naru suddenly questions about Motoko's feelings towards Keitaro. This fuses up Motoko a bit, and Naru suddenly starts caressing her legs, and her hands disturbingly moving up towards her arse (this scene, along with future ones with the rest of the Hinata girls, is, unfortunately, disturbingly long, so if you're planning on watching and enjoying this episode, it's best if you skip the next five minutes of it). Motoko is stunned, but finally snaps out of it when she spots Keitaro's pals (forgot their names) spying and nose-bleeding nearby, and sends them clear into the horizon. In Motoko's words (and to apply to this scene)... "Unforgivable~!"

Next victim - Mitsune, Naru's best friend. Back at the inn, Mitsune's dozing off on a couch (probably drunk as usual), and Naru suddenly comes up and starts caressing her breasts (this scene also is sadly long). Mitsune, due to her unsoberness, plays along, but eventually realizes her situation and scurries away from Naru, questioning her. Kaolla and Sarah come along to see what's all the commotion, and Mitsune is complaining about Naru's sudden behavior. Naru just shrugs and walks away.

Naru visits Shinobu next, who is hanging the laundry outside. Without saying anything, Naru lifts up her skirt mischieviously. Shinobu gets whiny and is asking just what is she doing. Naru goes into some talk that in order for Shinobu to become a woman, she has to wear smaller underwear and a tighter bra. Say it with me - WTF? Shinobu, in her usual manner whenever she is embarassed, runs away crying, leaving a smirking Narusegawa behind.

Later, Naru is raiding her own room. She's kicking around her doll and books, apparently out of angst. Naru lifts the table in the middle of the room, revealing the hole connecting to Keitaro's void room. Enter Mutsumi, who (once again) has been staying in the hot springs too long, and is acting more stranger than a drunk Mitsune. She nearly falls and Naru catches her, asking why is she here. Mutsumi, admist her half-asleepness, mutters about the letter and how she misplaced it. This gets Naru a bit excited and runs out of the room, leaving Mutsumi to sleep on the floor. A few seconds later, Mutsumi looks outside to see Naru being chased by the other Hinata girls.

Apparently they have all decided to get rid of Naru and her "inner demons that have possessed her". Naru has no idea what they are talking about and is desperately dodging Motoko's secret techniques and Kaolla's bombs. She's eventually hit by Motoko's sword and flies up onto the roof of the inn, away from the others. Naru hides in Keitaro's room, asking what is going on. She then sees herself hugging a cloth, and starts to panic. "Why am I seeing myself?!" She notices that "she" is embracing Keitaro's shirt, and starts screaming to herself. "What am I doing?! I'm not a pervert who likes smelling boy's clothes!!" The look-alike stashes the panicking Naru into some kind of raccoon container (same one that keeps appearing out of nowhere in the manga) and leaves the room.

The look-alike meets the others at the hot springs. She dodges Motoko's every move and stands on top of the roof, announcing that she wants to leave Hinata Inn. Everyone is questioning her sudden decision, and Naru arrives (still wedged in the container), exclaiming that the Naru they've been after is a faker (after playing Sonic Adventure 2 too much, I've grown to despise that word). The following quote pretty much sums it up:

Quote:
Shinobu: "There's two Naru-senpais?!"
Motoko: "Which one is the real one?"
Naru: "You should know just by looking!"
Kitsune: "She's a raccoon from the waist down... *points to the look-alike* That one's the real one!"
Naru: "And you call yourself a best friend?!"
Anyway, the look-alike gets impatient, while Mutsumi comes along, holding the letter. The look-alike, without hesitation, flies right toward her, knocking over Naru and Mutsumi, grabbing the letter, and standing on a high boulder, away from the others. She embraces the letter, smiling, which is when Motoko decides to make her move and unleash another secret technique, slicing off the faker's clothes. Hakura then inquires if she's Kanako, Keitaro's little sister. The look-alike admits this, and tears off her mask and wig to reveal her true identity. Indeed, she is Kanako, and as soon as everyone realizes who they're dealing with, she announces that she is Hinata Inn's new manager. No one likes this idea, though, and they mumble amongst themselves, but Hakura allows Kanako to stay due to her relation with Keitaro. Kanako then reveals that Keitaro isn't coming back, which sends a shock through everyone present (even Kaolla, who is busy petting Kanako's cat seen earlier).

The next few days involves the Hinata girls trying to adjust to Kanako's strict rules. Not only that, but Kanako banished all talk on Keitaro, mysteriously. A few days later, the Hinata girls get fed up and decide to check the wing in the forest behind the inn, in case Kanako is hiding something. Naru gets suspicious of the new manager's ways and confronts Kanako in her room. She tries to make Kanako cooperate well with the others and explains what the others are currently doing. Instead, she gets Kanako to spill the beans - turns out, she's only his half-sister, and not blood-related. And this leads to only one thing - she's in love with her brother. Kanako sees Naru as a rival, which is why she was trying to kick her out earlier in the episode. Kanako disappears, leaving Naru with a confused look on her face.

Outside, the Hinata girls are searching the small area of forest behind the inn. They are stopped by Hakura, who is questioning them and why they are here. This time, however, they aren't falling for this trick again - Kaolla pulls out her X-ray flashlight and shines it on Hakura, revealing that she is in fact Kanako. Motoko uses her secret technique to remove Kanako's disguise, who then sends an army of Mecha-Tamas to swarm all over the gang. Naru arrives to try and stop her, and suddenly the subject of the letter is brought up. As if on cue, a minivan crashes through the commotion and into a large boulder. It looks a bit like Seta's van, but the person who emerges from the wreck is not Seta at all.... "KEITARO~!!" A blanket of girls cover him as everyone is cheering for Keitaro's long-awaited return. Everyone is laughing cheerfully, as if they had forgotten about the past events. End of episode.

The ending credits are basically still shots of the Hinata girls, ending with a scene of Naru thinking of Keitaro, and afterwards a sticker photo with both Keitaro and Naru. The featured song is "Be For You, Be For Me," a sad love song, although not as depressing as "Kimi Sae Ireba," the ending theme for the original Love Hina. The lyrics are quite nice, too, and if you find an MP3 on this song, be sure to give it a listen or two (there's also a more upbeat version featuring both Keitaro and Naru). Anyway, that's pretty much the episode, so I'll get on with my thoughts.

This episode was great. Not as good as the manga, but it's still cool to see Keitaro and the Hinata girls animated. The voices are pretty cool, too. Keitaro sounds anxious a lot, but he has a lot of emotion in his voice. Naru's voice seems to fit her, as well as Kanako and probably Shinobu's too (who happens to sound like Charmy the Bee from the Japanese anime "Sonic X"). The only voices that I had a problem with were Mitsune's and Motoko's. Mitsune is way too high-pitched for her personality, and Motoko doesn't - I repeat - DOESN'T sound angsty in the anime. WTF is up with that? She sounds like the typical anime girl in cartoons. I sort of expected her to have an angsty and masculine-type voice, and it kind of removes from her personality. It probably fits her in Love Hina Again, but it sure as hell didn't in the original Love Hina series. The animation was better than in Love Hina, too - they've finally hired a decent artist, instead of that git who always draws everyone's faces, err, fat. It doesn't follow exactly like the manga, of course, and there's more nude shots (much to my distaste), but luckily we still don't see anything (yeah, the arse shots have been removed too, though not in the intro sequence). Anyway, I couldn't find episode 2 or 3 (Keitaro and Naru), so this has finally convinced me to buy the DVD altogether. This series is not something to miss. Go watch it now.
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Old 02-24-2004   #2
Knuckles MetalMind
 
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Wow, you´re working really hard...
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Old 02-24-2004   #3
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Default Naru is stupid in the anime, unlike in the manga.

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Originally Posted by Knuckles MetalMind
Wow, you´re working really hard...
Or I just have too much time on my hands.
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Old 02-25-2004   #4
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Well... I hadn´t thought about that :P
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Old 02-25-2004   #5
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I don't know anything about that anime. Can someone help me?
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Old 02-26-2004   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pikawil
I don't know anything about that anime. Can someone help me?
....Help you in what?
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Old 02-27-2004   #7
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Telling me what it is. I know jack sh*t about that.
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Old 02-27-2004   #8
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Okay, um, Love Hina is about a guy named Keitaro who finds himself living in an all-girls' dormitory. It takes him a while to become friends with all of them, and he eventually falls in love with one of them, namely Naru Narusegawa.
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