The conclusion of Love Hina means it’s been 24 weeks since we began covering it, since EcchiHunter first launched! It’s finally time to say goodbye to the classic “ecchi” comedy. How does it hold up today?
Love Hina is a 2000 anime featuring Keitaro, a boy who by a twist of fate ends up managing an all-girls apartment complex, all while studying to go to Tokyo University in order to fulfil a promise he made with a girl from his childhood. During his time, he meets a wide cast of characters and experiences some crazy situations in his new daily life as an apartment manager.
Slice of Life + Comedy
While there is an overarching story, with Keitaro trying to get into Tokyo University in hopes of meeting the girl from his childhood, Love Hina is firmly a slice of life + comedy anime. Most episodes don’t advance the story whatsoever, but instead, showcase crazy events such as a giant robotic turtle attacking the apartment building or the cast going on a wild goose chase across Japan. It’s all very lighthearted and in good fun.
A lot of the comedy is what I’d consider an older style, with many jokes revolving around using Keitaro as a punching bag and using classic ecchi tropes such as Keitaro slipping and “accidentally” grabbing a girl’s breast or pulling her skirt down. Much of the comedy actually stems from how ridiculous things can get – a seemingly ordinary episode can take a serious twist for the crazy in no time at all.
Overall, it’s a good formula that is fun and works well.
Originally, I chose to cover Love Hina for EcchiHunter because I wanted to bring out an older anime to contrast with the newer ecchi series. As Love Hina has the ecchi tag on MyAnimeList, I figured it’d be a good start. The thing is, either the definition of ecchi has changed over the years, or Love Hina is simply not an ecchi as we would think of it.
I’m no ecchi historian, but I believe that at the time, Love Hina would properly be classified as an ecchi anime. It features countless moments of accidental boob grabs, nosebleeds, girls in the bath… all of the classic ecchi tropes that the genre really is known for, at least historically. Surprisingly absent from Love Hina is panty shots. Regardless, Love Hina follows what I see as an old school ecchi formula.
Newer ecchi anime revolve much more around panty shots, large breasts, and overt fan service. All of which are absent here. If I recall correctly, Great Teacher Onizuka is another example of an “ecchi” anime that doesn’t actually feature very much fan service, although I do believe it goes out on more of a limb than Love Hina does.
Anyways, my overall point here is that Love Hina was most certainly an ecchi at the time it aired, but over the years the ecchi genre has changed to become much more overt with its fan service and this causes Love Hina to seem much less ecchi as a result. It’s not an anime you’d watch for fan service like you could with High School DxD, for example.
As there aren’t really much in terms of fan service, consider these images a taste of the show, from the art style, to some characters, to how ridiculous things can get!
Ecchi Content – Cold
To no fault of Love Hina itself, it simply isn’t an ecchi anime in the way that we’d consider the genre in the present day. Love Hina is all about the classic tropes minus the actual fan service. As a result, there is a distinct lack of the fan service we look for that normally heats up an ecchi title.
Story / Characters – Good
The slice of life and comedic formula used by Love Hina is fun and enjoyable. Fans of this genre will probably find themselves enjoying Love Hina. Despite this, there are some moments where the show felt a little bland and unexciting. While the cast is excellent, the anime doesn’t always deliver on the individual episodic level.
Overall, Love Hina is a classic in many ways, and it holds up very well despite its age. However, it doesn’t offer much to stand out from many other excellent slice of life anime out there, and while it’s an ecchi anime from its time, the definition seems to have changed since then as it is definitely lacking compared to modern ecchi titles.
Not a bad anime by any means, but it’s not going to be for everyone.
If you’d like to see / read more about Love Hina, please take a look at my episodic coverage where I cover it from start to finish, one episode at a time:
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Welcome to the Hina Apartments
- Episode 2 – A New Guest
- Episode 3 – Motoko Returns
- Episode 4 – Keitaro’s Academic Struggle
- Episode 5 – A Trip to Kyoto
- Episode 6 – Lost and Found
- Episode 7 – Introducing… Kentaro
- Episode 8 – Classic Gaming
- Episode 9 – Rent Left Unchecked
- Episode 10 – Su Confusion
- Episode 11 – Starstruck
- Episode 12 – Turtle Mayhem
- Episode 13 – Shinobu’s Curiosity
- Episode 14 – Rat Race
- Episode 15 – Rekindled Love?
- Episode 16 – Teahouse Hinata
- Episode 17 – Ghostly Encounters on Vacation: Haunted Necklace?
- Episode 18 – Jealousy
- Episode 19 – The Crown Prince
- Episode 20 – Doll From A Bygone Era
- Episode 21 – Romantic Rivalry
- Episode 22 – Sisterly Conduct
- Episode 23 – Drama Ensues
- Episode 24 – Resolutions