Sometimes it’s nice settling down into an anime production knowing exactly what to expect; and Love Hina is a perfect example of a predictable but still fun series. Comedy, loads of fan-service and a fairly standard ‘slice of life’ drama pretty much sums up exactly what Love Hina #2 is all about. It is a consistently enjoyable viewing experience without ever wanting (or daring!) to stray far from the boundaries of the tried and tested.
These episodes mostly follow Naru and Keitarou on their summer-trip around Japan after both failed their Tokyo University entrance exams. Of course, they didn’t intend to go on the trip together, but by sheer co-incidence, they end up booking the same trip anyway and eventually bump into each other on the train journey down.
It’s hard to describe this volume as anything but Naru and Keitarou secretly ‘lusting’ over each other. The more I watch, the more the phrase ‘GET A ROOM!’ bounces around my brain. To me at least, it seems pretty obvious that they will eventually get it together, I just wish so much emphasis hadn’t already been placed on their relationship, since it has already hit a point where their constant fretting over each other has become painfully over-used.
With a good amount of episodes still left to play out, I wonder how the space will be filled between the end of this volume and the series’ admittedly predictable climax. With the Tokyo U exams now out of the way for another year, I am slightly worried that the story will loose a little focus and settle into a cliché filled mid-section of filler episodes.
The other girls play a very peripheral part through-out this volume, making only brief cameo appearances to fill their quota of ‘fan favourite’ joke-y moments. It would be nice to know a little more about them other than how they look wearing skimpy wet towels.
The ‘Carry-on’-esque jokes are beginning to become increasingly dull (Keitarou accidentally falling into a bath full of naked girls, again) but since each of these scenes are carried out with such a strong sense of energy and enthusiasm, you just can’t help but crack an occasional smile.
Indeed, there’s not much else left to say about Love Hina #2. It really is just the same old jokes in an occasionally different setting.
This volume leaves us at an important turning point for the series, the dramatic side of Love Hina has thus far held the story together through all of the same-old slapstick fun, but with the Tokyo U exams now out of the way, its important that Love Hina quickly develops a new, interesting angle if it is to sustain a decent plot until the inevitably warm and fuzzy climax.
Love Hina #2 is a pretty generic but still fun, ‘fan-service’ filled comedy. If you enjoyed the first volume, then I can’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be adding this DVD to your collection. If you hated the first volume, you should just stay the hell away; Love Hina #2 simply continues many of the story-lines and gags established earlier in the series and pounds them into your psyche a few more times. If anything, I admire Love Hina #2 for being a consistently fun watch!