Ecchi Hunter

Love Hina (Episode 21) – Romantic Rivalry

With Otohime having joined the cast for good, it’s about time that we got some rivalry going on between her and Naru. This episode dials up the temperature with a couple of dates!

Jealous Outburst? Two Lovebirds in a Boat: Tremble

Keitaro managed to score a solid B on his university prep exams, and so he asks Naru out on a date to celebrate. While of course Naru has no interest in Keitaro, she dresses up real nice for the date. After Keitaro fawns over her, they go somewhere that Keitaro had picked out – a beef bowl joint. Naru gets angry.

Kentaro then appears and offers to take Naru somewhere nicer. She turns to accept his offer, as a taunt to Keitaro, but Kentaro had disappeared! It seems he was tied up by someone who is watching Naru and Keitaro from the shadows.

They run into some girls from Hinata, but eventually Keitaro gets the two of them to a restaurant. Afterwards, Keitaro drags Naru to a photo booth, and they end up running into Otohime. And so the three of them go bowling. Once they’re finished with that, they go to Otohime’s apartment to study some more for Tokyo U.

The next day the girls are in the hot springs and begin talking about the type of guy they like. Otohime mentions that she likes Keitaro, causing Naru to get flustered. Otohime then asks Keitaro out on a date. Kitsune and Naru tail them, and are led to a pond and rowboat rental. In the middle of the pond Keitaro rests his head on Otohime’s lap – causing Naru to lose it and go after them.

Eventually the madness subsides, and the Hinata girls are all back in the hot springs. The episode ends with Naru’s little sister Mei making an appearance.

Episode Thoughts

I guess I was a little mistaken about Otohime staying at the Hinata Apartments, as she has her own apartment elsewhere. Either way, she spends a lot of time at the Hinata Apartments so it’s not a big deal.

Otohime is the worst nightmare for a tsundere character like Naru, because while Naru is embarrassed to admit that she likes Keitaro, Otohime doesn’t hesitate at all, essentially forcing Naru’s hand in someway or another. If Naru just continues to pretend she doesn’t like Keitaro, then Otohime will snap him up, and Naru will have no excuse.

It’s always fun to watch the tsundere’s hand be forced like that, with the introduction of a much more forward romantic rival. While I think Naru is waifu material, Otohime isn’t too bad herself. The series feels geared towards Naru, given she’s a main character alongside Keitaro from the beginning, but I wouldn’t be all that sad if Otohime won that rivalry. I doubt that’d happen though.

Overall, this was an entertaining episode. Naru’s gotten herself into a bit of a pinch because she won’t make a move on Keitaro, and now she’ll have to explain herself to her little sister too. Considering her little sister didn’t hesitate to tie up Kentaro, I’m thinking she’ll be going after Keitaro soon too.

Episode Highlights

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